Trinidad Vigía

The brand Trinidad (named after the southern Cuban city of La Santísima Trinidad), like Cohiba, was for a long time only available as a diplomatic gift from the Cuban government and both were produced at the world-famous, yet mysterious El Laguito cigar factory in Havana (which is still off limits to most visitors, with only Cohiba Behikes as well as diplomatic cigars currently produced there). However, whereas the Cohiba brand was launched in Madrid in 1982 and released to the world the following year to great acclaim, Trinidad was made commercially available only as late as 1998. By late 2004, demand outstripped production capacity at El Laguito which forced the brand to be made in Pinar del Río City, at the heart of the Vuelta Abajo. The decision at Habanos S.A. to discontinue both the relatively new Robusto T (50 x 4.9”) and the Robusto Extra (50 x 6.1”) vitolas baffled many in the premium tobacco industry in 2012, without either having reached a decade of production.

The following year, I was fortunate enough to be gifted a test-blend white numbered banded puro by a good friend, who told me that this Habano was going to be a new Trinidad cigar (of particularly stalwart build, if I may add). Accordingly, with a long-held attraction to try new cigar sizes or blends, especially those of a more rotund construction with their added depth of flavour and voluminous smoke, I secured the most favourable moment to taste what seemed to promise to be something to remember. Fortunately, I very much enjoyed the blend and this was confirmed having sampled another, this time an officially banded example several months later in Havana on New Year’s Eve 2013 and in great company. With my encouraging tasting notes scribed the following morning, it was something undoubtedly to look forward to, for what I knew to be customarily released at the end of the year of its debut at the Habanos Festival XVI 2014. My judgement was vindicated with many passionados having sampled a festival pre-release example and given favouring reviews.

With their official UK release delayed to mid-January 2015, I decided to revisit the satisfyingly wide Vigía (“watch” or “watch tower” in Spanish) and thus justly epitheted Habano, as an afternoon enjoyment upon its UK release. Offered in boxes of 12 (the only Cuban brand to do so as a dozen or for some other Trinidad vitolas, its twofold), they at first seem short, being the same length as the diminutive petit corona. Nonetheless, once in hand, the sheen of the colorado-maduro wrapper bathes you in a sense of serenity and assurance of what delights await.

Its milder medium-strength classification drove me to decide to distance myself from a digestif, and dive straight into the tasting after a satisfying afternoon lunch. Having not tasted Trinidad for a while, the cedared dry notes came flooding back along with a mighty initial rush of leather. The subsequent softer notes of the first third gave way to a youthful second stage with greater intensity and depth of woodiness and hints of spice on the retrohale with a somewhat dry finish. The final third and its growing earthiness were rather more intense from what I recalled and the balance was not quite there.

Nevertheless, with its excellent combustibility and the unmistakable class of tobacco shining through, this vitola would certainly be one to wait to mature into what should be a wonderful medium-strength Habano. The scarcity of stock within a few of weeks of their release (with more “coming at the end of February”) was somewhat surprising, but the consensus appears to be that they are worth tasting, even now. Admittedly, it is ever so tempting to investigate this premise of ageing forthwith considering I have one more example of the restricted white-banded test-blend Vigía in my humidor!

Tasting notes and details:

Trinidad Vigía

Factory NameTorres (totally new vitola)

Size54 x 4 3/8  (21.43 x 110)mm

Box code and dateSUE  OCT14

Wrapper – lovely colorado-maduro wrapper with some alluring sheen. One faintly protrusive vein visible.

Draw – good draw with a slight pull on it. Pre-light notes of cedar, touches of leather and a hint of grassiness.

First third – flavourful from the start. Its youth is evident as it packs a bit of an unexpected punch; unusual not only for its medium strength classification, but also the fact that heavy ring gauge cigars are usually mild at the very beginning. Thankfully this dissipates within a few puffs into a more mellowed, soft smoke with a bit of a dry, cedared finish.

Second third – the strength certainly develops and becomes bolder. A toasty, leathery and slight clove profile present on the retrohale. With lots of smoke, it becomes grassier showing its youth.

Last third – richer with more spice and peppery notes coming through along with ever-present trace of grassiness and earthiness. Balance not quite there yet, but nothing that a few years of aging cannot solve.

PairingSparkling mineral water – simple but effective for a medium-strength quality Habano.

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