VITOLA: Petit Belicoso
SIZE: 4" X 46
FACTORY: Francisco Donatien
Tins of 16; Originally released in 2014
SOURCE: Trade with u/DrMackDDS2014
Three Season Porch at Home
June 5, 2017 at 9:30 AM
Cold-Brew Black Coffee
Mid-80s and real humid
CIGAR BACKGROUND INFO:
- These are a re-release and a rebranding of the original Vegueros line. The brand relaunch was announced at the Habanos Festival in 2013 and started hitting shelves the next year.
- The original Vegueros line began in 1961 and was a dedication to the farmers of the Pinar del Rio region. The story goes that they would farm-roll these to smoke and the blend was too good not to sell. ‘Vegueros’ is Spanish for ‘farmer’. The brand was discontinued is 2012, but production seems to have stopped around 2001.
- The brand came back out with new vitolas and a new blend.
- The entire brand was redesigned aesthetically by Nelson Alfonso – same dude that redeveloped the Cohiba/Behike branding.
- Courtesy of Halfwheel – here is the old band design.
The band (and entire new branding) was designed by Nelson Alfonso. He’s somewhat of a legend in the cigar branding world and has worked for tons of brands, included Cohiba, Behike, Atabey/Byron and Bandolero.
Alfonso maintains the “v” on the band is inspired by a woman’s spread legs and tobacco leaf. So, there’s that. To me the band is reminiscent of an old 1940s car grille. The band design isn’t the best thing I’ve ever seen and honestly, it’s a little boring for being inspired by a woman’s legs.
First glance of this stick shows a really nice level of craftsmanship. While the veins are a little raised and bumpy in places it’s nothing too bad and definitely doesn’t detract from the overall appearance of a well-made stick. The seams are flawless and the triple cap exhibits true perfection as it blends seamlessly into the body. The foot doesn’t give any cause for alarm and appears to be rolled and packed consistently. The wrapper itself is a tannish leather color and completely free of blemishes, marks, scars, etc. The cigar feels very light and airy – definitely not a dense feeling cigar. Size is nice for a shorter smoke
The foot has some prominent notes of hay, cedar, maybe a little bread and light, faint citrus.
Cold draw offers up a little sweetness – vanilla, honey and lemon – almost like a very light tea.
LIGHT & DRAW
Cutter: Perfect Draw & Xikar XO Lighter: ST Dupont Defi Extreme
Snip the tip and fire it up! I’ve got a couple new toys to play with since my last review - S.T. Dupont single torch lighter and an XO Xikar cutter. Both have been fantastic to use for the past couple months and I have no complaints about either. Back to the stogie - First flavors are honestly a little heavier than expected.
Smoke production is great – while it’s resting, there’s a consistent little stream and while puffing nice clouds of white smoke.
> Bread, Wheaties, baking spice
The cigar ashes almost immediately– not a big deal, especially for a review – just glad it fell in the tray and not my lap! The flavors popping forward are somewhat muted/muddled and a little hard to discern – but I’m getting bread, cream, a little pepper and some wheaty cereal – like, um, Wheaties. Also getting some light baking spice but more on the mouth-feel than an immediate flavor profile.
The burn line is a little jagged but nothing terrible. The draw is pretty much perfect.
> Wheat, cream, lemon pepper
Ash is building nicely as I get into the middle third of the stick. Flavors continue from the first third while getting slightly lighter on the tongue and introducing just a touch of lemon. Still present are a little spice/pepper, cream and wheatiness.
The burn had corrected itself nicely but it’s starting to get a little wonky again – nothing warranting a touch-up just an observation. The draw continues to be very relaxed and, in my opinion, perfect.
> Dough, yeast
Even as the second third started to end, the cigar got a little warm – so I began to let it sit a bit longer between puffs. The flavors are leaning more towards the bready, wheatiness side now and the pepper/spice is really dissipating – reminds me of raw dough and yeast. Burn line continues to correct itself pretty well and no real issues as I finish the smoke.
The Veguaros Mananitas lacked any real kind of flavor progression to speak of - it started in the wheat/bread/dough flavor profile and remained in that family for the duration. That said, the flavors were very enjoyable and exactly what I was expecting out of this tiny Cuban - not overly complex and perfect to smoke with a cup of joe in the morning.
OVERALL BURN EXPERIENCE
While the burn was a bit uneven at times, the Veguaros smoked very well. Considering the price point, I was impressed at the even burn and that it didn't require any touch ups or relights.
RATING & FINAL THOUGHTS
COMPLIMENTS & CRITIQUES
👍 Unbeatable price point for Cuban cigar
👍 Great construction and flavor
👎 Relatively simple with little flavor development
Construction & Appearance ....... 0.73 / 0.80
Pre-Light Characteristics ............. 0.50 / 0.50
Lighting Process ............................. 0.50 / 0.50
Smoking Experience ...................... 5.75 / 7.70
Personal Enjoyment ........................ 0.50 / 0.50
best cuban for your (very few) dollars. 8.0/ 10.0
For a Cuban that only costs a few bucks, the Vegueros Mananitas is truly fantastic. The lightness combined with the breakfast-y notes (wheat, bread, honey) make it the perfect stick to start your day with and it pairs really well with a cup of joe in the morning. To me these are a little different than other Cubans I’ve had – a little heavier and ‘beefier’ than I typically expect. For the price and quality (and the fact it’s Cuban), this is an unbeatable cigar that I will definitely be looking to restock soon!