I located a box of these very good quality cigars with a 1999 date stamped on the bottom and decided to buy a couple. Since I can’t remember the last time I had smoked one I thought that it would be a good time to revisit the experience with a cigar with 11 years time sitting in a humidor. I first felt the cigar up and down and felt no hard spots which told me that care was taken when rolling this long Panetela and, as I expected, the draw was perfect.
This is, by Cuban cigar standards, a young cigar which was released by Habanos SA in 1997. The cigar was rolled for years ( since 1961 ) before the international release but only smoked in Cuba at special occasions, where they were handed out. Tourists, coming to Cuba, had the ability to buy these but they were a bit of a secret for those lucky few who could get their hands on them. The name, Vegueros, is named for the harvesters of the tobacco leaves in the fields.
At 7.6 inches long and a ring gauge of 38 you get at least an hour or more of fine Cuban taste. These Panetelas have a slight citrus flavor but have a lot more going for them. Somewhat grassy and earthy notes will also tantalize your taste buds as the cigar goes from third to third but if you’re looking for a constant evolution of tastes you may not find it here. Instead what you find is a very smooth tasting cigar that gets slightly stronger in taste as you reach the final third.
I think I was lucky to find this cigar with this much age, I’ll probably go back and pick up a few more and, oh yeah one more thing……. Very affordable!!!!!