For over half a century, the mystery behind Trinidad cigars has proven to be worth the wait. These cigars were previously reserved for the elite among diplomatic circles, excluding all outsiders from taking part in the ultimate Trinidad experience. However, as time has passed, even the lowly are invited to take part in the enjoyment of one of these sticks that in years past was exclusively reserved for dignitaries and company.
Trinidad cigars were first produced in 1969 in Havana at a factory known as the El Laguito factory. From that point, until the early 1990s, little attention was focused on the Trinidad brand. In fact, the only reason the brand received extra attention was because the former manager of the factory where these cigars were produced gave an interview to Cigar Aficionado, claiming that Trinidad was an exclusive brand that catered to the needs of Fidel Castro. Furthermore, Avelino Lara, the former manager, claimed the brand was so exclusive that Fidel Castro was the only person authorized to distribute Trinidad cigars as gifts. He then went on to charge that the quality of Trinidad's, in comparison with the highly sought after Cohibas, was hands down made of better quality.
Just as these claims were gaining momentum, two sources have come forward and rebutted the claims. First of all, Fidel Castro spoke out against the charge and denied having more than minimal knowledge of the Trinidad brand at best, claiming he only hands out Cohibas as diplomatic gifts. Then, Adriano Martinez, a former executive of Habanos SA also made corrective statements in an interview about the quality of the cigars. He stated that Trinidad cigars were actually a lower-level diplomatic gift than Cohiba cigars, although the tobacco blends are extremely similar. The only real difference between the two is actually the third barrel fermentation that Cohibas receive. Either way, the debate sparked an interest that has continued to grow, and has since spread throughout the world.
After the debate continued over a period of time, the decision was made to release Trinidads to outsiders, or those not within immediate diplomatic circles. Thus, in 1995 at the Dinner of the Century in Paris, France, Cigar Aficionado hosted a party in which the guests were the very first to taste these cigars. Then, in 1998, the Trinidad brand was unveiled and released to the public at a reception in the Habana Libre Hotel in Havana.
Although only one size, the Fundador, was released in 1998, and the demand for these cigars began to grow. Finally, parts of the mystery surrounding these sticks would be lessened a little. The blends of these cigars are always mysterious, and it is hard to completely pinpoint the flavors. However, the quality of the cigar did not change as it was manufactured for mass consumption, versus just the diplomatic clients. In 2003, three additional sizes were introduced: the Coloniale, the Reyes, and the Robusto Extra.
Overall, as the mystery surrounding these cigars starts to fade, a small hint of suspense will always be associated with Trinidad cigars. With the obvious bean, floral, and herb notes, these cigars are sure to please the palates of not only world leaders, but also the common cigar enthusiast.