Vegueros is the newest brand added to the Habanos S.A. regular production line. It was launched in 1997 and is dedicated to the generations of farmers that have cultivated tobacco in the Pinar del Río region of Cuba. Originally launched in 1997, the brand was entirely revamped in 2013. All previous vitolas were discontinued, the bands were redesigned, and the packing switched from wooden boxes to metal tins. The Vegueros brand is also considered one of the budget lines offered by Habanos S.A. This is most noticeable in the packing for the brand, it is only a handful of Cubans brands bundled and wrapped with cellophane before being placed in tin boxes. Though this is categorized as one of the budget marcas from Cuba, take that designation with a grain of salt. The Centrofinos is nuanced, balanced, and has enough character to intrigue even the most seasoned cigar smoker.
VITOLA: Centrofinos – Robusto
SIZE: 5.125″ x 50
FACTORY//BOX CODE: TLE / JUN 20
Gift from an acquaintance
My garage / patio
Morning around 7 a.m.
Latte and Water
65 Degrees with a slight breeze
Watching Cigars and Coffee
RELEASE TYPE Regular production cigar
ORIGINALLY RELEASE DATE Released in 2018
Typical Box Size: Boxes of 16, in either a tin of 14 or 4 boxes of 4, or single boxes of 4.
Production Totals: Undisclosed
o Centrofinos / Robusto (5.125″ x 50)
RESEARCH & BACKGROUND INFO
- The Centrofinos vitola is the newest addition to the Vegueros line.
- This is the first brand to be dedicated to the vegueros, or the generations of Cuban farmers.
- The Vegueros brand is produced exclusively at the Francisco Donatién Factory, in the Pinar del Río region.
- The Francisco Donatíen Factory began producing cigars for local sales only in 1961.
The Vegueros band is the most contemporary band design out of all the Cuban brands. The band has a white background, a black band on the bottom, vertical thin brown lines and silver metallic borders. Centered on the band is a “v”, for Vegueros with a leaf formed in the negative space of tge “v”. The bottom black border has the brand name, printed in silver. Left of the center is the region where the brand is rolled, Pinar del Río, and right of center the origin, Cuba. There are a few articles that mention that the entire Vegueros rebranding was done under the management of Nelson Alfonso, designer responsible for several well-known luxury brands in the cigar industry. However, I was not able to confirm this with Habanos S.A. directly.
For a value blend from Cuba this is a well constructed. The wrapper is matte (almost velvety) colorado claro in color, delicate in appearance, slight toothiness, and has some small visible veins. The roll is firm with no soft spots or uneven packing. There is some heft to the cigar which gives it a nice balance in the hand.
The foot has the typical dry hay and old barn notes that you get with quite a few other Cuban macras. The wrapper has some of the similar barn qualities (hay, manurer, and earth), but with an added sweetness that I can’t quite place.
Fresh cut grass is the only notes that really sticks out on the cold draw. There is some residual paper or cardboard notes on the lips, but this could be as a result of the method these were packed.
LIGHT & DRAW
Cut: Guillotine Cut with a Xikar XI2
Fire: Soft flame light with S.T. Dupont Ligne 2
The triple cap construction on the Centrofinos makes the cutting experience flawless, no tears or loose tobacco. Taking your time with a soft flame lighter also produces an even, light gray ash on the foot of the cigar. The Centrofinos I smoke for this review all all a good even draw, not extremely lose and not overly tight. All three cigars required little to no touch-ups with the lighter and even one burned evenly the entire length of the cigar.
>> Earth, Short Bread, Leather
The first few puffs had the typical ammonia flavors you get with freshly rolled Cubans, but the youthful notes do fade away quickly. Within the first quarter inch the flavors start to develop: sweet biscuit (maybe short bread), earth, and coffee are the first notes that really stick out. As the cigar continues to burn the earth and coffee hold fast, while the short bread fade into the background, eventually falling off completely. The the flavor drop cedar and leather start to become prominent flavors on the palate. The retrohale has been mostly red pepper and subtle notes of cedar, but some of the pepper is also noticeable on the middle of the tongue. The burn has been straight and the ash held for most of the first third, falling in one solid stack.
>> Coffee Beans, Leather, Cedar
Flavors in the second third have been very much on par with the initial third. The base profile is still dark roasted coffee beans, new leather, and the cedar note has become much easier to pick out. There is still some of the sweet elements buried in the background, but it is much difficult to determine what it reminds me of. The retrohale has rounded off into nice mellow combination of red pepper, honey and cedar. The burn is still straight and hasn’t required any touch-up or attention to keep it shark. The ash is a bit flakier than earlier, but still fell in one solid piece just before the band.
>> Coffee Beans, Chocolate
The flavor intensity ramps up a bit more in the final third. The dark roast coffee beans dominate the majority of the flavor profile, smothering the more subtle notes that were present earlier. With that said there is some dark chocolate that starts to come through halfway into the last third, but fades relatively quickly giving way to some of the ammonia from the beginning of the cigar. Oddly enough the ammonia and dark chocolate combination was unappealing but more interesting.
RATING & FINAL THOUGHTS
The Centrofinos is very much a one note cigar, and not in an unpleasant way. The dominating flavor way for this cigar is coffee, and the development is not linear. From the first third you get very light earthy roasted notes, which gradually develop into a bolder dark roast. The characteristics I enjoy are the nuanced notes that follow along this flavor transition, each complimenting the overarching coffee flavors.
Though it may be considered a value brand in the Habanos S.A. catalogue, it is rolled exceptionally well. Each cigar reviewed for this article kept an even burn, ashes fell in large segments, and not extra attention was required to keep the cigars lit. Each cigar had roughly the same burn time, averaging out at 61 minutes between three cigars.
0.40 / 0.80 … Craft & Aesthetic
0.40 / 0.50 … Pre-Light Characteristics
0.40 / 0.50 … Lighting Process
5.50 / 7.70 … Smoking Experience
0.40 / 0.50 … Personal Enjoyment
COMPLIMENTS & CRITIQUES
Viva los Vegueros!
A cigar from the people, for the people, and by the people. Just as the name suggests, the Centrofinos pays homage to the heart and should of the Cuban cigar industry. The Centrofinos brings those qualities, and personalities to the world stage: A cigar that is rough, but still nuanced, full of character, and rolled to be enjoyed today in the moment. If you smoke multiple cigars a day, consider adding the Centrofinos to your rotations.