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Trinidad Cigars Taste Test

Trinidad Colonials
Reviewed by John Goddard
It's my first try of a Colonial and it appears very well made, with a smooth wrapper. The draw is easy but not too loose, and my first impression is of a fine cigar in excellent condition, with a dark 'earth and wood' character.

The predominant flavour is wood, and I think that smoked too quickly or drawn too heavily, this would become sharp and overpowering. As it is, I smoke very slowly and there's no harshness.

The most striking thing is the way the flavours cycle on the palate. Take a draw, exhale, and the first and foremost flavour is definitely wood, accompanied by an aroma of clean, dry wood-smoke. As this decays, it gives way to a distinct taste of coffee, rather like 'Tia Maria' in fact; at the same time the aroma becomes softer and honeyed with a touch of spice.

There are many other flavours at work here too: hints of dark chocolate, honey and toasting nuts, some bitterness - like wormwood, and some black pepper later, but these flavour-labels really don't give the whole picture, which is smooth, complex and interesting.

A little further on, and the now familiar wood / coffee cycle adds another dimension, with the coffee fading on the palate to sweetness rather like sugared almonds. No, I've never read 'Tia Maria' and 'sugared almonds' in a cigar review either, but I swear they are there!

The intensity and character changes throughout, but it's never muddled and somehow there's a balance to it all. It's complex but not really complicated. I love the way it combines sweetness and dryness at the same time, and the overall effect is a really satisfying and very accessible smoke.

Towards the end the flavours are still evolving. The wood flavour has softened, in fact I'm sure there is more than one wood, but I can't put names to them all. Conjures up a strange image doesn't it, of a man wandering around a forest, cigar in hand, gnawing tree-trunks for comparison!

Although dynamic, this cigar is not 'light and bright'. I would describe it as 'dark' referring to its earthy and subtle nature. Not a cigar for every occasion perhaps, it's different and cerebral, but quite special and of excellent quality. It has burned evenly and lasted for well over an hour. It's surprisingly satisfying for a relatively small cigar, and I don't feel at all short-changed now it's time to let it go.

This one is better than than first. It kept my attention and stayed on track as far as talking about the cigar. Maybe a little wordy for my taste but that is just me. It did make me more interested in the cigar than the first review.
Score: 7/10
Judged by: Dan Hanson

I enjoyed the review of the Trinidad Coloniale. The reviewer opens by giving a good description of the cigar and how well it is made. His observations are interesting to me. Some of the flavour descriptions are intriguing and there are a couple of humorous passages. For the most part, I think the review was very well-written, and it does make me want to try the cigar.
Score: 9/10
Judged by: Scotty J

There was not as much visual description in this review, but there was more in depth analysis of the flavor. I understood the flavor better. The text was not too wordy or cute. It got right to the facts. This was the best review for interesting me in trying the cigar.
Score: 8/10
Judged by: Steve S


Trinidad Reyes
Reviewed by Simon Elliott (June 2004) Cgars

It was to be the perfect relaxing Sunday morning. The kids were playing together unusually quietly and my wife busied herself in the kitchen with the roast. I sat in my study with a copy of Cigar Aficionado and a Frank Sinatra CD cued in the player, readying myself for my Sunday cigar. As I smoke few cigars, no more than one or two a week, it is always an event to be savoured.

A look in the humidor and a decision had to be made, would it be the Cedros No.3, or maybe an El Rey Lunch Club, Perhaps a Non Plus. The most recent edition to my humidor caught my eye, the faultless construction, beautiful pale veiny wrapper topped with the twist on the cap and the three T's on the yellow and gold band proved irresistible.

Back in the Kitchen, the espresso machine was warming up, having ground the beans and filled the strainer I was ready to go. I was on my way back to the study cigar punch and lighter in hand when there was a loud pop followed by a hissing and a screech behind me. The espresso machine had blown its seal and there was water, coffee and steam everywhere. After a few choice words and a clean-up I settled for a walk with the dog and a Davidoff Ambassadrice as the mood for the three T's was spoiled.

During the afternoon I kept contemplating the Trinidad, a lot of good things have been said, and I longed to find out for myself if it was all true. My choice, the smaller of the three new vitolas, the Reyes, is 4 3/8" long with a gauge of 40 and retails for £6.50 in singles. The opportunity did not arise again until the evening, when back in the study I picked up where I left off. The first thing you notice about this cigar is the quality of the wrapper and overall fine construction, I love the twist on the cap, the only other cigar I have with this is the Cohiba Lancero. Before lighting it has a delicious aroma which hints of the spiciness to come once lit.

Frank was singing, telling me how I made him feel so young, while I punched the cap out and set this piece of artwork alight, and took that all important first draw. Well let me start by saying, that as this is a young cigar I did not expect the smoothness that it gave, with a lovely easy draw and full body it had me hooked right from the beginning. The room was filled with a delightful aroma and plenty of smoke I love spicy cigars in general, and this one did not disappoint, the smoothness and the rich spicy flavour remained very consistent, throughout the smoke, with a slight nuttiness appearing just after the halfway mark.

The burn was a little less consistent than I would of liked going out about after about a third had burned and it rested in the ashtray for a minute. I knocked off the dark ash and tried again. It went out again twice, but this did not spoil the enjoyment of this fine cigar that went so well with the twelve year old Dalmore Malt that I was drinking.

Despite it's smoothness, it is quite a strong cigar, that is full of complex flavours, I cannot wait to see how well these age, judging by what I've experienced so far, they should be rather good. This cigar will be added to the list of permanent humidor residents, I would have to give it a 8 1/2 out of 10. I can't wait to try the Coloniales, when the right opportunity presents itself.

Well written with initial good set up of environment, then disaster and burn issues. Hit the nail on the head with the nuttiness and rich spicy flavors. I might not have tried this cigar from reading this review due to construction problems.
Score: 7.5/10
Judged by Chuck

A fabulous review that perfectly described the cigar even as it also set the mood in which it was enjoyed. This review was so well written that it made me wish that I could pull up a chair and enjoy a stick with you. Thanks for doing such a great job of describing a cigar with so much potential.
Score: 10/10
Judged by Lamar

Even though it takes a while to get into this review I really enjoyed it. Nice description of the cigars cap and construction. Good description of the aromas produced. Compared to the length of the review, the actual tasting section is quite small.
Score: 8/10
Judged by Jamie Johnston

While the events that occur to each of us everyday are interesting and should be shared, four paragraphs of color are a little too much for a cigar review. However, when the author finally gets into reviewing the cigar, he does a fairly decent job. His smoking description is adequate but does not really encourage me to try this cigar.
Score: 5/10
Judged by Elliot Blum


Trinidad Reyes
Reviewed by Tim Mezick (June 2004) Cgars

After arriving at the ski resort only to find the conditions quite poor we still decided to put on or boots and headed over to the lift, crunch, crunch, crunch as we made our way over the ice covered snow.

As we got on the lift chair I had remembered I stashed a Trinidad Reyes that my brother had given me earlier into my jacket pocket, being concerned that it may get crushed I took it and was about to put it into my Fannie pack when the lift came to a complete halt.

As I sat 50 feet or so in the air with my feet dangling, I decided that fearing that the cigar in my hand may not survive the day in my pack I may as well under the circumstances enjoy it now.

Knowing this cigar was a recent release I was going to let it age and didn't expect much from it at this time.

I noticed the cigar while of good construction was not as smooth and vein free as other Trinidad's I have had, this had a rougher look to it, however it seemed well rolled none the less.

The pre light draw was good and as I lit the cigar I immediately smelled and tasted woodiness with a ever so slight herbal or grassy flavor. This as I sat legs dangling still motionless was all I got from this cigar for the first third.

Thinking to myself what a waste of a day and also how this cigar was just too young to be smoked, the cigar became fuller richer with a very strong wood and earthy flavor, it was at the half way point starting to turn into a power house loosing its sweetness.

Towards the last third this cigar I started to feel that the chair was again moving; however it was not the chair, this seemingly small innocent looking cigar was making me quite dizzy. I realized this unlike other Trinidad's was not a light smoke to be had in the morning.

I could barely finish this one off as the lift did start to move again my happiness to start skiing turning to fear of being able to make it down the hill.

I believe this cigar has great ageing potential; it is reminiscent of the old style Cuban cigars being very full flavored and with tremendous strength.

I would recommend picking these up and laying them down for awhile, but be forewarned not to smoke these for breakfast.

Fuller & Richer strong wood and earth flavors, Yes Reminiscent of Old Style Cuban Flavors, Yes Nice description of setting. I agree with the review!
Score: 9/10
Judged by Chuck

I thoroughly understood the power and finesse of this wonderful cigar after reading this review. A wonderful appeal to all of my senses in that after reading it I could all but see the cigar in my hand having both heard and felt the crunch of the snow. When a review takes me on a virtual smoke, it has done its job.
Score: 10/10
Judged by Lamar

Not too keen on this tasting - bit too much of a story at the start and a bit of a poor ending. Although, good description of the cigars strength. Interesting place to smoke a cigar!
Score: 6/10
Judged by Jamie Johnston

Reviewing a cigar, especially one coming from the Trinidad line deserves a little more respect than an off the cuff evaluation on a ski-lift. Although the writer gives his opinion of the cigar I was too busy wondering if he was going to blow chunks before or after he gets off the lift. I was also left with the following question. How can you enjoy any cigar while on the slopes? Après-ski in the lodge, that I can understand.
Score: 3/10
Judged by Elliot Blum


Trinidad Reyes
Reviewed by Rob Sluss (June 2004) Cgars

I wanted to extend my utmost thanks for the pleasurable experience I had when purchasing some of the new Trinidads from your establishment. The service was friendly and fast. In return, I am submitting the review of the first one I smoked, a Reyes:

After a tip from a good friend, I purchased a few boxes of the new Trinidads in various sizes. I really enjoy PC and TPC sized smokes, so I drew out a Reyes first (4 3/8" x 40). It was Christmas day 2003, and my lovely wife and I just returned from a good friends house where we had a gut busting dinner. We walked around the neighborhood to work off some of the food and spirits once we arrived at the house, and then we settled in.

I retired to the lanai, where it was very comfortable, around 75 degrees with no humidity. I glued my ass to the lounge chair with a bomber snifter of Jamaican Rum and went to work. The Reyes, upon pre-light inspection was a work of art for a TPC. Flawless roll, deep semisweet chocolate wrapper color that was as soft as well worn leather, no large veining and not hard spots. I clipped with a guillotine cutter and the pre-light draw was perfect without plugs. The aroma of the pre-lit cigar was deep with and earthy spice, and heavy on sweet tobacco.

The light took place without a hitch, typical pre-draw roast and several medium draws to prevent a head rush. The first few puffs were insane, very strong but not in a bad way. Like drinking stout for the first time, your kinda excited, kinda scared. It quickly leveled out and the definitive spice "pepper" note turned to crisp heat, very similar to what you experience when you eat wasabi. There was no lingering heat or burnt feeling on the tongue, just a long lasting semi-sweet tobacco flavor with faint wisps of macaroons and coffee.

This TPC help on longer than the norm, it was like Willy Wonka rolled it. Midway through this lil' cigar poured on flavors of cafe cream with the consistency of maple syrup, the flavor lasted far after the smoke was gone. The ash was dense, medium gray and help on like a cliff hanger. It never went out even with 3-5 minute pauses in puffing.

I nubbed it, or course, and my fingers still look like hell. But, the last 1/3rd of this beauty really poured it on. A slight sugary smell started to present itself after each puff, as if the natural sugars in the tobacco condensed into the last of the cigar, and reminded me of the smell in a candy makers kitchen. My tongue went numb, the Rum kicked in, and to this day my wife really did not know what the heck I was saying when I went to bed that night.

In conclusion, these are a must have. The Reyes are ready to smoke now, but will only age well over a long rest. These are the perfect aging cigar, in my mind. I have not had a chance to smoke the Colonials or the Robusto Extras yet, but will report on them soon. The Fundadores are also being produced with the new bands and packaging, but I don't know if they are the old blend, or this "possibly new" blend. Will have to get some and do a comparison smoke-a-thon for the two.

A bit wordy. Nice description of the environment. Excellent description of appearance and construction characteristics. Willy Wonka? Maple Syrup? No, Semi-sweet and spicy flavors Yes
Score: 8/10
Judged by Chuck

Ultimately the key to a great review for me is how willing am I to buy the smoke afterwards and this review did it for me, more so for curiosity than anything else. I would have appreciated some comparisons of this cigar to other benchmark smokes just to serve as a standard of comparison but at any rate, this was nothing less than a wonderful review that covered all of the aspects of this cigar in a captivating way
Score: 9/10
Judged by Lamar

Good description of setting. The cigars construction, taste and flavour are explained brilliantly. The phrase ' like Willy Wonka rolled it' is genius. Clear and to the point - excellent review.
Score: 9.5/10
Judged by Jamie Johnston

An excellent review. The writer enticed all of my senses; sight, feel & taste. The correct use of metaphor and analogy only added to and did not distract from his prose. I finished the review with a definite desire to smoke this cigar. Well done
Score: 8/10
Judged by Elliot Blum


Trinidad Robusto Extras
Reviewed by Rick Woodbridge (February 2004)

The Trinidad Fundadore has always been one of my favourite cigars and when I saw that new sizes were to be released, I jumped at the chance to try what I thought would be the best of the best… The Trinidad Robusto Extra.

The day after receiving my 3-pack from Mo, I lit one up on the drive into the office (a 1 hour commute). I find that I taste more in a cigar when I smoke in the early morning and it’s the first cigar of the day.

I can only describe the appearance of this cigar as promising elegance. Perfectly rolled with a silky wrapper, not an unwanted vein or bump in sight, it makes the mouth water with expectation. The aroma of the unlit tobacco is the most unique I’ve sensed in a Cuban. The tell-tale barnyard essence one expects from a well-aged Cuban cigar is evident but subdued, while a faint hint of citrus promises more from an already rich label.

I cut and performed a pre-light draw and wondered if the Fuentes hadn’t been commissioned to roll this cigar. In short, absolutely perfect draw. The light was even and the burn even and tempered. The first draw was full and voluminous, every note a classic Cuban but with something new, different. The body was medium and perfectly balanced, as in no bitterness on the finish, with the slightest essence of orange peel. There, along side of the citrus was lightly roasted coffee and honey. Not one flavor was withholding the other, each complimentary. It had the taste of maturity, the perfect blending of each element. Every full draw was like a rich dessert, driving me to take just one more bite. I horded and savored each draw as if the precious last one. The ash was classic charcoal grey and tight, and with the exception of one midway touch-up with the lighter, was picture perfect even down to the last ¼ inch that I could hold.

I still had 1/3 of the cigar left after my 1 hour commute and saved it for the drive home. Even after going cold and resting for 9 hours, the relight was perfect, the flavor even richer and my singed fingers can attest to the fact that if I didn’t know better, I would’ve eaten the butt that I could no longer hold for the heat.

Finally, the finish lasted for an hour, honey drenched citrus and coffee. Now, to find a way to mortgage the house for a ready supply of this vitola. Mmmmm…mmmmm…good!.

Trinidad’s. Written OK,but when the reviewer said that it had “barnyard smellings” it turned me off. I do enjoy Cohibas and tend to find that the young ones have a very pronounced “grassy” taste. To me he turned someone off from trying one of these enjoyable sticks.
Score: 5/10
Reviewed by FBCoacho

I like the overall review of the cigar, and a long drive is a great time for cigar smoking. What I don't like is the comparison to a Fuente product, which was implying that the cubans cant roll their cigars well. We also know that after a long time between relights a cigar is not going to taste that great. Sounds like a sales pitch to me...
Score: 8/10
Reviewed by ChrisECheck

A hard to follow review of a cigar that should be enjoyed sitting somewhere besides in a car, for such a luxurious cigar a lot of time should be spent on focusing time and attention on the cigar. To ad insult to the fine Cuban rollers, the name Fuentes is brought up as if a Cuban could never roll such a well made cigar. The review could have been describing one of the many Cuban cigar lines.
Score: 7/10
Reviewed by Ted Hood


Trinidad Fundadores
Reviewed by Joe Gellman (22nd October 2001)

I have often heard smokers describing the Trinidad as a glorified Lancero with an aged wrapper. While there are certainly some things in common between the two, the Trinidad has a life of its own.

Both the Trinidad and the Lancero are rolled are the El Laguito factory. On a recent trip to Cuba our group was given a thorough tour of the El Laguito factory. The factory is nestled between mansions, a short trip from Old Havana. The care given to each step of production at the factory was drilled home after over one-hour, having been taken to every department at the factory. We were even given a tour of the "classroom" where novice rollers are taught the ins and outs of production of the cigars rolled at El Laguito.

It is not unusual, therefore, to be pleased with every Trinidad one buys. This cigar was first made for distribution in late 1990, and, at first, was reserved as a gift from Castro to "special' people. After a while the cigar became available, in very limited production, to the public.

Having had the good fortune to sample some of the original cigars I can attest that the blend has been changed, somewhat, and is not as strong as the original. I feel this is a boon to smokers since the flavors and aromas are now quite distinct and, frankly, more enjoyable. I am certain that a few, Francois LeGal included, would argue that the cigar is 'wimpy', but he always has something negative to say (though he smokes them all the time).

The cigar is considered a Laguito Numero 1, or a long (grand) panatela. It measures 7 ½ inches long and has a ring gauge of 38 (192 x 15.08), though several of the tomes on the subject measure the cigar at 7 inches.

The cigar is perfectly rolled, having a color between a maduro to a negro. When describing the color many smokers are used to seeing a maduro as a brown-black leaf; this is not the way the Cubans describe the color. A maduro is a cigar without reddish tones, i.e., all brown, while a negro is a brown-black leaf.

Each selection I have seen starts out with a little sheen on the leaf and, after a few months of age, starts to glisten as the oils begin to be prominent. I have not seen any Trinidad with veiny wrappers, all are smooth and soft to the touch. Each cigar is silky smooth and supple.

Before lighting up the cigar has a hint of saltiness to the taste but that disappears on the first or second draw. The first minutes of the cigar will surround you with a pronounced floral and dulcet taste and aroma. The draw is even throughout, providing plenty of smoke.

The aroma, through the first half of the cigar is fresh and light. After that, the cigar begins to strengthen, giving off hints of seasonal spices, reminding me of the smell of fresh juniper berries.

At he last three inches the cigar starts to get richer, but stays cool. Hints of pepper and undergrowth appear, and the dulcet tones disappear, completely. Towards the end of the smoke the cigar has an intoxicating impression and becomes a bit piquant. The cigar does not finish with a bang, but continues to be strong and pleasant.

The ash is dark gray to black through the entire smoke and is reduced to a powder when sampled in the ashtray. Thus, one notes that every bit of the leaf has been burned and the cigar is constructed with the highest regard.