Following Habanos S.A’s announcement of three new Trinidad cigars at the 11th Habanos Festival in 2019, the Trinidad Esmeralda, the last of the three new sizes, has now been launched in the UK.
The name Trinidad is a tribute to the settlement, ‘Santísima Trinidad’ located on the southern coast of Cuba. It was built in the 16th century and has became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.
Cigars bearing the Trinidad name were first released to the public at the beginning of 1998 in one size only, the Fundadores or Founders (7 ½”/192mm x 40 ring gauge).
However, long before that Trinidad had earned a worldwide reputation amongst aficionados as Havana’s mystery cigar.
Production started in 1969 at El Laguito, the Cohiba factory, but only very small quantities were made exclusively for the Cuban Council of State, which gave them as gifts to foreign diplomats and visiting dignitaries. These cigars, known unofficially as Trinidad ‘Diplomats’, were thinner than the Fundadores, in fact they were standard Laguito No. 1s like the Cohiba Lancero, but contained a very different, fuller flavoured, tobacco blend. They remained completely unknown outside diplomatic circles until September 1992 when their existence was revealed in the first issue of the American magazine, Cigar Aficionado.
From then on Trinidad became the Holy Grail of cigar enthusiasts, if only because they were virtually impossible to obtain. Some were auctioned for the Cuban Health Service in boxes signed by Fidel Castro at Cigar Aficionado’s Dinner of the Century in Paris in 1994 and London in 1995. Then, in 1997, some of the diplomats, who had been privileged to receive them, tested their price at auction. They were well rewarded when boxes of 25 Trinidad Diplomats sold first for £7,000 and then, later that same year, for £10,000 – that’s £400 per cigar.
Soon afterwards the Cuban cigar industry decided that, if people were happy to pay so much for Trinidads, the time was ripe to launch the brand to the general public. A team was assembled at El Laguito under the factory’s Director, Emilia Tamayo, to prepare Trinidad for the market. Work was completed in November 1997 and the brand was launched in Havana in February 1998.
Until 2019 there were just four sizes in the range, Fundadores, Coloniales, Reyes and the Vigia, introduced in 2014. The Esmeralda joins not only these four cigars, but also the 2019 releases of the Media Luna and Topes.
Esmeralda measures 5 ¾” (145 mm) x 53 ring gauge and is named after one of Trinidad’s most famous streets and as with the previous launches it is presented in the brand’s classic Semi Boîte Nature (SBN) varnished box, containing 12 cigars.
This new cigar has been rolled to Trinidad’s classic medium bodied blend and provides a well-balanced and nuanced smoke.
It has been made “Totalmente a Mano con Tripa Larga”- Totally Handmade with Long Filler – after a careful selection of filler, binder and wrapper leaves from the best tobacco-growing plantation in the Vuelta Abajo area in Pinar del Río, Cuba.
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