Vegas Robaina Clásico

A very new brand, established just in 1997 by Don Alejandro Robaina, one of the best tobacco farmers on the island of Cuba. Don Alejandro lived a full life and died of cancer in 2010 being 91 years old. Who said the Cigars are not good for you? The major part of his crop was used for wrappers, he was thát good. Today this multi-local brand with minor market share has only three expressions left, since two of the five expressions were deleted.

  1. Don Alejandro, a Double Corona, 49 x 194mm.
  2. Famoso, a Hermoso no.4 (Corona Extra), 48 x 127mm (almost a Robusto sized cigar).
  3. Unico, a Pirámides, 52 x 156mm.

This year, probably to save good tobacco for other Habanos brands, and due to the popularity of fat cigars, the other two relatively slender Vegas Robaina expressions were discontinued. Today anything under ø48 is considered ‘thin’.

  1. Familiar, a Corona, 42 x 142mm, and last but not least,
  2. Clásico, a Cervantes or Lonsdale, 42 x 165mm.

I’ll have a look at the latter one.

Vegas Robaina Clásicos (42 x 165mm, Cervantes, Lonsdale, Box code unknown)

Color & Looks: Colorado, on the light side of colorado actually. Rustic looking, no large veins. Firm and good build.

A cru: Deep tobacco smell. Leafy like nice old books. It also has a mocha or chocolaty side to it. Even unlit it oozes strength, but still in a way it smells fresh and green. Sandalwood. Freshly cut, more chocolate and powdery dry. Good first impression, elegant maybe (due to some perfume). It’s not salty on the lips, but maybe a bit soapy. Mind you it’s not soapy in the taste. Burn is uneven around the vein, otherwise burn is all right. An unbelievable dark ash and thick impenetrable smoke.

Taste: Already after a centimetre or so, it’s obvious that this isn’t a beginners cigar. Its tarry and very spicy. Hints of petrol. Wow, heavy cigar, that goes wonderfully well with water and this made my espresso taste like something for children. I guess that if you want this to accompany a drink, you should pair this with a very heavy rum, a sweet one perhaps. Lots of smoke. Some kind of industrial grade? It’s funny it’s so heavy-duty since it smelled so elegant a cru. Ash is gray, dark grey and black, with countless tiny light grey spots. No white ash whatsoever. Some plastics and popcorn in the finish.

I found it very heavy and very linear in developement. I knew beforehand that this would be very strong, but not as much as this. It has enough nicotine to last you for a week. One plus though. It doesn’t leave a three-day (bad) taste in your mouth.

Points: 77


San Luis Rey Lonsdale

Another fine day to have a quiet smoke on the porch, but not in front of the house but in the back. I know, I know, this is very important information for you. This time it was very easy to pick a cigar from my humidor. I delved somewhat deeper into my humidor to surpass the Robustos and other shorter cigars, to find a candidate among the Lonsdales, Coronas and Double Coronas. This one beckoned, and again it’s a San Luis Rey. It’s a very well aged cigar, it has aged for maybe ten years. Also some sad news. This Lonsdale was discontinued in 2006, since SLR isn’t a main brand anymore, and the tobacco is needed for other brands.

Cuban San Luis Rey Lonsdale (42 x 165mm, Cervantes, Lonsdale, Box Code Unknown)

Color and Looks: Colorado (grey/green). No frays, has some veins, well cut. Looks a bit rustic, but is straight as an arrow. No spots and slightly box pressed. Draw seems ok.

A cru: Smells like a good cigar shop. Grassy and hay, but not young.

Taste: The first whiffs are excellent. No salt on the lips but there is some soapy sensation. After all those Robusto like cigars, this Lonsdale seems rather thin. It’s a good smoke, chocolate. Especially the smoke from outside the cigar is outstanding! White ash throughout. It has some wood but it’s different from other woody cigars. It’s like plywood with furniture wax. Also some almonds. This goes well with carbonated water. It’s a mild cigar. It almost smokes like a (dry) Dutch cigar. It’s funny and maybe a bit insulting, but the best thing going for this cigar is the second-hand smoke, which is simply stunning.

It smokes easily. No problems with draw or burn. Good build. Ash falls off quite quickly. No tunnelling. This cigar makes my Lavazza Sinfonia Espresso taste woody, sharp and dry. The cigar is better. I like this one. I thought the beginning was pretty decent, but the second part is great. Give it some time and you’ll have a happy moment. I’m having this pre dinner, but I think it will work well anytime in the day. Still I don’t consider this to be an everyday smoke. It deserves more respect. Now I try it with double burnt Robusto coffee. Definitively the better choice for this cigar. The coffee tastes creamy, so it complements well.

Why isn’t it perfect then? I recon it could have evolved some more. The last part is rather bland and does nothing for the cigar. It also lacks some complexity. I’ll do another test. This time I’m going to try it with a Bourbon. I chose a Four Roses Single Barrel (the new 50% one). Like the coffee tasted creamy, this Four Roses tasted sweet. Still something unexpected happened. The first sips of Four Roses were done in the second part of the cigar, but when the cigar became bland in its final stage, the Bourbon started to taste better. The cigar’s final stage announced itself with dying down tastes and an addition of menthol. It never became harsh or sharp, but you just know the end is near. Also the ash became darker, even black. Since the Lonsdale is a long cigar, the weaker end wasn’t such a problem.

86 Points