For nearly a century the name Trinidad has conjured up the richest, boldest flavor you could find in a cigar. The brand harks back to 1905 and Santa Clara, Cuba where two brothers, hardware traders Diego and Ramon Trinidad, bought their wares. They then travelled to remote villages on the outskirts of the city to sell them. One day, as they hauled their empty wagons back home, they noticed—truly noticed—the magnificent tobacco crops around them. Apparently, it was a eureka moment from which we cigar fans are still benefiting. They filled their wagons with the bountiful crop and, upon their return to Santa Clara, began selling this lush commodity. Suddenly they were in the tobacco business.
Recently, Altadis U.S.A. announced the acquirement of several cigar brands and a new head of product capability, Rafael Nodal, who was the previous co-owner of Aging Room Cigars. His first project is the Trinidad Santiago. This stunner hails from the Dominican Republic, specifically the Jochy Blanco’s Tabacalera Palma factory which also made several of Nodal’s cigars previously. This smoke is a true puro with filler, binder, and wrapper all from the Dominican Republic. Full on flavor, once lit up you will find medium to full bodied notes of cedar and sweet cream with small bursts of pepper. Cigar Aficionado gave this smoke a well-deserved rating of 92 noting that it was “balanced and elegant.” Enjoy it with your favorite scotch.
Though tobacco is indigenous to Hispaniola, the tobacco industry in the Dominican Republic existed in the shadow of Cuba’s dominance through the 1960s. When the exodus of Cuban cigar makers began in the wake of the revolution, many decided the Dominican Republic would be ideal for the resumption of their livelihoods. Unrest in Nicaragua in the 1980s fueled the Dominican cigar industry further. The country now makes more than half of the premium cigars imported into the U.S.
The Cibao Valley and the nearby city of Santiago are the center of cigar production in the Dominican Republic. Three main varieties are grown here: the mild and native Olor Dominicano; the intense Piloto Cubano, brought from the Vuelta Abajo of Cuba; and San Vicente, a milder and more acidic Piloto hybrid. Dominican puros were once unheard of as it was widely thought impossible to grow quality wrapper leaf on the island, but new growing techniques are now allowing some exceptional puros to be produced.
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