Manufactured at the largest handmade cigar factory in the world, Tabacalera de García, the VegaFina 1998 is the brand’s most premium flagship.

In this article, you will discover the VegaFina 1998 VF52 as we review it according to the following considerations:

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  • Brand: VegaFina
  • Range: 1998
  • Reviewed Vitolas: 5 3/10 x 52 (135mm x 52) Double Robusto
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
  • Binder: Indonesia Java
  • Filler: Colombia, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacalera de García, Dominican Republic
  • Handmade: Yes
  • Body: Medium
  • Estimated Smoking Time: 120  Minutes
  • Pricing: $8,50 / Single [Buy Now]

1998 commemorates the launch of the VegaFina brand. With the 1998 line, the company offers an intriguing cigar, complex blend and great quality at a very competitive price point.


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VegaFina 1998 VF52 Look & Feel

  • Wrapper Hue: chocolate brown
  • Rolling Consistency: Even
  • Spring: Firm
  • Aromas: Musky, dried mushroom, orange candy


Hands down, this is a beautiful-looking cigar with a very oily chocolate brown wrapper leaf and quite a bit of texture or character. This Ecuadorian Habano coats the binder from Java, Indonesia as well as a blend of filler tobaccos from Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.

The ring design is neat and simple, showing an off-white, cream color.

The box, as well as a sampler, showcasing the three different vitolas of the line, all bear the same color code and design with a lively combination of the aforementioned cream color, black and red.

VegaFina 1998 VF52 Review

All cigars have been rested in a coolidor, equipped with 69% Boveda humidity packs to guarantee consistent and optimal storage conditions.

Pre-Lighting Experience

  • Draw: Ideal
  • Aromas: Bitter cocoa, caramel, black pepper

Upon first impressions, the construction is flawless. Minimal seams and a few veins run down the length of the cigar. Lots of oils and gloss give the cigar a shimmering appearance.


The cold draw is ideal, with just enough resistance, whilst maintaining enough airflow for the delicate nuances to come through.  There’s a touch of cocoa, swiftly followed by wood and mushroom notes. Just behind a more mellow sensation of sweet caramel emerges, together with a little bit of black pepper to round it all off.

Together with the lavish aromas off of the wrapper and the foot, there’s an inspired mix of muskiness, cream and wood. This is further enhance by a fruity connotation that reminds me of candied orange peel.

1st Third Smoking Experience

  • Notes: Salt, dry cocoa, walnuts


As strange as it might sound: there’s a little bit of everything in the aroma and flavor profile. There’s an soft, mellow and very creamy beginning with chocolate and caramel. Next, there’s a mixture of dry cocoa powder with a slightly bitter nuance that is hard to pinpoint. On top of that,  I detect a lively minerality with salty overtones to lighten up the profile ever so softly. The nuttiness and earthiness serve as the underlying basis,  oscillating between mushrooms and roasted hazelnut.

Though it might sound like an all-you-can-eat buffet, everything makes sense and the different layers are well balanced.

2nd Third Smoking Experience

  • Notes: Cream, earthy cedar, chocolate

Whilst the beginning is mellow and creamy with a distinct sweetness, the second third reveals dried fruits and more spice. The smoking experience feels more characterful and turned up a notch, by the arrival of dry earth, leather, and bitter coffee.


The technical performance is very solid, even though the prominent burn lines cause a few extra wavy curves from time to time, but without affecting the enjoyment or sensory perception.

Towards the end of the second third, the body of the cigar has definitely reached the full point, whereas the strength is a solid medium.

Final Third Smoking Experience

  • Notes: Toasted almonds, pepper spice, dried mushrooms


The final third is an eventful but balanced crescendo of all the previous notes. Caramelized nuts and roasted wood dance around bitter cocoa and earth, whilst a salty minerality provides finesse, freshness and keeps your palate engaged.

Especially the dry mushroom and bitter-sweet components towards the back of the palate, offer an illustrious spectrum of aromas and flavors. Even down to the nub, the cigar never passes medium-plus in terms of strength, whereas the rich body provides texture and oily mouthfeel.

Overall Burn

  • Ash Backbone: Slightly crumbly
  • Burn Angle: Mostly straight
  • Temperature: Cool
  • Draw: Very good
  • Final Smoking Time: 120 Minutes

The ash backbone of the VF52 is rather firm and stable, I recognized thought that there were crumbly bits and pieces here and there and the color is rather dark.


Overall, the technical performance is flawless, so that one can fully focus on embracing and savoring the cigar’s aromas and flavors.

The overall smoking time came to around 120 minutes for the VF52.

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Overall Experience

The design of the VegaFina 1998 line is neat and tidy, generally speaking. The rings look beautiful, and so do the boxes.

What sets the VegaFina 1998 line apart is definitely value for money. These are affordable cigars, offering a delightful experience for well under $10. All in all, one can get lots of cigar for that money out of the entire line. The VF52, for me personally, offers a solid balance between the vitola’s individual smoking properties, the way it feels in my hand, and the aromatic delivery.

Even though it could be a superb everyday cigar, the VegaFina 1998 – being a more luxurious offering of the brand – is definitely something that you would like to take to a fancy dinner or bring to your favorite cigar lounge to share and enjoy with your smoking pals.

Pairing Recommendations With A VegaFina 1998 VF52 Cigar

I particularly enjoyed the VF52 with a chocolate bar that has some crispy bits in the filling. As mentioned earlier, the cigar has different layers and nuances of dry cocoa, cream, and bitter chocolate, which are nicely intermingled with a characterful chocolate bite.


Given that there’s just enough spice and a slight murkiness as well, one could also pair it with an umami-rich truffle dish. I particularly enjoy the delightful combination of cream, roasted nuts, and a touch of spice, because of its balance and complex nuances.

When it comes to beverages, try the cigar with a mature, character full yet medium-bodied Single Malt Scotch whisky.


For those looking for a non-alcoholic pairing, chocolate milk would be my number one recommendation to go fabulously well with this cigar.

Closing Thoughts

If you’re looking for a full-bodied cigar, that offers lots of complexity but not an overwhelming nicotine strength, the VegaFina 1998 is worth your time and money. Particularly in Europe, VegaFina is a brand is immensely popular, primarily because of the quality in correlation with the prize. Only recently, Tabacalera has become more active in promoting this Dominican brand in the United States as well.

With the 1998, the Grupo de Maestros has created an intriguing blend for those aficionados, seeking a more high-end experience.

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"A great high-end everyday cigar with lots of complexity and balance."
Bespoke Unit Rating: ★★★★

Further Reading

If you enjoyed reading this cigar review, feel free to check out more related content:

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