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Be a Caribbean pirate! (ft. Vegafina and Diplomatico)

Posted by on Jan 6, 2014

Cigars and rum : a divine combination! I’m sure this pair sounds familiar to you. Doesn’t it remind you of your childhood? I do remember a lot of movies and cartoons with pirates fighting their enemies, drinking rum with cigars and singing pirates songs.

As you probably know, Cuba is rum’s motherland as it is for cigars. But don’t limit yourself to Cuban products only: there’s a huge possibility of choices in this case so be creative and try everything you deem worthy. As for me, today I tried two products from different place: Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

Now let’s start the tasting…

The cigar : VegaFina Robusto

Pic1Vega Fina cigars are handmade in The Dominican Republic at Tabacalera de Garcia. The cigars are blended with a diverse recipe of Dominican, Colombian, and Honduran tobaccos bound in an Indonesian TBN (shade-grown) binder, then rolled in an attractive, lightly tanned Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper.

Appearance: Oily and shiny wrapper, I noticed many veins but it didn’t really affect the overall judgement. I liked to hold this cigar in my hand.

Construction: Excellent burn and perfect draw. Never needed to correct it. The ash was simply flawless. However, the wrapper tried to peel off (to no avail) in the end.

Flavor: With mild woody and leather notes in the first third, it starts out real good. These flavors are also present in the second third, but get a little bit stronger and with some dried fruits and cocoa aromas. The last inch was somewhat bitter but keep its aromas.

The rum : Diplomatico rum Reserva Exlusiva Ron Antiguo

Pic2Diplomatico Reserva Exlusiva Ron Antiguo is produced in Venezuela by Destilerias Unidas S.A. 80% of the rums are heavy rums from pot stills and the remaining 20% are light rums from the column stills which are aged in small American White Oak casks for up to 12 years before bottling. Something that originally caught my attention, was its esteemed antique design of the bottle reminiscent of the ones used in apothecaries. It’s made of green frosted glass and has a label that looks like a very old stamp featuring a gentlemanly character that can only be the founder, Nieto Melendez, or perhaps the gentleman in the stamp is a diplomat or an ambassador.

Appearance: An extremely deep copper colour that’s almost brown or even bronze and it has an alluring sparkle of amber when you tilt the glass in the light.

Nose: The bouquet of this rum is warm and redolent; it is heavy and rounded with intensely rich notes of toffee that are diplomatically escorted up from the glass with almonds. There is a slight tingle from the alcohol, honey notes and hints of copper as well as very delicate banana aromas, which I did not notice on the first day of evaluating.

Mouth: This rum is very sweet and round, possessing a velvety body that coats your mouth nicely. There are notes of toffee, honey and hints of wood and cognac like fruitiness. Though it is good I think that perhaps it is a bit one dimensional and the sweetness obscures some of the flavour. Regardless of that I’ve already enjoyed my way to the top of the label on this bottle.

Final: The final is warm and sweet, with rich notes of coffee and caramel in the palate. It is slightly nutty and honeyed and has a subtle tinge of tobacco lurking somewhere in the back of the throat and palate.

Final Thoughts

Pic3The cigar is light to medium bodied with mighty tobacco palate mixed with cocoa, dried fruit and cinnamon which match perfectly with the fine sweetness of the Rum. As the rum revealed itself and the cigar became mightier, they appeared to be good partners leading a kind of conversation together.





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Jean-Charles MAURICE, usually known as "JC" or "Mister Wine", is a wine lover and passionated by all steps from the seeds we put in the soil to the liquid we put in our mouth. Native from a French traditional farmer family, he almost start to drink wine in same time as milk! Chairman of Polyway Group and creator of the “French Wine Ambassador” brand in Asia, he imports and sells French wine in Asia for almost 10 years now. Eminent judge in Chinese Wine and Spirit Awards, consultant and writter for several magazines, his knowledge is highly recognized in wine industry, yet JC is very approachable and always find a simple way to explain the technicalities of a very complex culture. Owner of restaurant and wine bars in China, he loves to share his passion everyday with different people! Let me finish with a sentence of JC himself : "I will never pretend to be expert or professional, wine for me is Passion! It’s family and friends, it’s warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art, culture, tradition and an art of living!"


  1. Fantastic! You sons-of-guns stole my wine expert!

    Great article, JC. Diplomatico has been added to my ever growing Rums to try list.

    • Thank you DK!
      Yes you should try this rum if possible, he got a fine sweetness naturaly given by oak ageing. Excellent one!

  2. I am always intrigued to read pairing articles. One for the items involved and second for the combined tasting notes that people receive when both items are together.

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