Altadis U.S.A. is shining the spotlight on one of its smaller brands, VegaFina, with the release of a Nicaraguan puro, dubbed VegaFina Nicaragua. A popular European cigar brand, VegaFina is often overshadowed in the United States by the heavyweights of the Altadis U.S.A. portfolio like Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta and H. Upmann.
But things are changing for VegaFina. While Montecristo and Romeo y Julieta have both received their own all-Nicaraguan treatments in the past two years (Espada by Montecristo, RyJ by Romeo y Julieta), the release of VegaFina Nicaragua suggests that Altadis U.S.A. has the same confidence in the VegaFina brand as well.
The original VegaFina was released to the U.S. market in 1998 by Tabacalera S.A., a Spanish-owned tobacco giant, but the cigar was discontinued when the company merged with SEITA to become Altadis S.A., the parent company of Altadis U.S.A. The product returned to U.S. shores in 2007. In recent years the brand has seen a package redesign, limited editions and offshoots, including the fuller-bodied line extension VegaFina Fortaleza 2, released in 2012.
This all-Nicaraguan VegaFina features a Habana 2000 wrapper from the Jalapa region, a binder also from Jalapa and filler tobacco from Estelí and Jalapa. The cigars are manufactured at the Tabacalera de Garcia factory in the Dominican Republic.
VegaFina Nicaragua is in stores now, and available in three sizes: Gran Toro, at 6 inches by 52 ring; Robusto 5 by 50; and Corona 5 3/4 by 42. The cigars retail between $5.50 and $6.25 each, and come in boxes of 25.
This article first appeared in the January 6 issue of Cigar Insider