Thursday, March 13, 2014

Cigar Review: Trinidad Reyes (OUR NOV-08)

There is very little middle ground when it comes to the Trinidad brand. I have never met a guy in person who loves the brand, and those who I have spoken with who have liked it have been in few in numbers. I myself am not the biggest fan of the brand either and I can see why it has had so many vitolas cut off throughout the years. I felt that the brand was always lacking something, and how it got to where it is confuses me. I think part of the success for the line is that for a time it was a cigar that was only available to diplomats and other foreign dignitaries, and when it was finally released people were intrigued. The cigar was released to the world in 1997 so it is been on the market for about 17 years now. It is one of the three brands that was released in the 1990's and is the second youngest brand in the Habanos portfolio. With all of that being said, let's take a look at the Trinidad Reyes

The Reyes is the smallest vitola in the Trinidad brand, and it is a brand composed of small cigars to begin with. It is a petit corona by classification, and the name is translated to Kings. It measures 110 mm (4.3") and has a ring gauge of 40. Most of these cigars are being made in Pinar del Rio at the Pinar del Rio Factory, and are being composed of Vuelta Abajo tobacco. The wrapper coloring is a light Natural coloring, and it is applied fairly well to the cigar. You can see some stretching in one area but the cigar is finished with a lovely triple pigtail cap. The aroma to the cigar is that classic Trindad aroma, and it has a nice bit of pepper present on the wrapper, and it is showing wood and leather notes. The foot shows some sweetness with the spiciness that is found on the wrapper, and it has some solid tobacco notes present there.

The cigar opens up by showing wood, coffee and spice notes. I am getting some leather and pepper qualities with that, and it is a solid smoke especially for the size. There is not a long finish to the cigar, rather short, and it is a cigar that you really need to retrohale when smoking because that is where the flavors are going to make an appearance. There is this dry earth and sweetness on the finish, but it is there for a moment and then gone. In my opinion the cigar is a classic medium body and strength cigar. This is a cigar that I could begin the day with or end the day with, but more often than not I would smoke in the afternoon. The cigar worried me early on with construction, but it quickly corrected itself and began to burn evenly. The ash on the cigar is that solid dark charcoal color and it holds on firmly with the smoke.

I am in the second third of the cigar now and there is this hot chocolate flavor that is now making an appearance. It is balancing out the spices and pepper notes from the first third, and it is really a great addition. I am still picking up some pepper, wood and coffee notes, but with that hot chocolate sweetness it is really opening up. These cigars smoke well with a year or two on them, but with over five years on this baby it is smoking like a champ. The construction on the cigar is absolutely phenomenal and with it is that beautiful charcoal ash. The draw is just perfect and this is a solid medium cigar in terms of body and strength. I know some guys are not a fan of the Trinidad brand, but the Reyes is a wonderful smoke in the line that does not get enough credit.

The final third shows a growth from the second third and while it keeps those hot chocolate flavors, the spice and pepper notes grow. There is an increase in the woody qualities as well and more leather notes are present as well. I would not say the cigar is very rich, because it is not, but it is stronger and "darker" than the previous two thirds. The strength is still at that medium level but the body has increased to a level between medium and medium-full. The construction remains perfect in this third and it has a razor sharp burn line with that beautiful charcoal colored ash holding on well. The draw remains cool right to the nub and it is producing a nice bit of smoke with that. While the cigar ends well, it is a third that I wish was similar to the second third overall and did not change the way it did.

The Reyes is easily the best vitola in the Trinidad brand, but when there are only four vitolas in the brand there is not much competition. They have had some vitolas cut from the brand over the years, and this little petit corona has continued to do well for the brand since 2004. I am not a huge fan of the Trinidad brand overall, and don't smoke them that often. The funny thing is, if I look at all the current Niche brands that Habanos has, I don't really about any of them. Trinidad is really the newest brand in the Habanos portfolio, and I think it is brand that caught a lot of attention early on, but then faded away quickly. There are those who are huge Trinidad fans, but they are few in number, and that is why the line struggles. The Reyes produces some lovely flavors, a great short smoke, but it takes some years of aging to really have them open up and show the complexities that they can offer. The price is right on these cigars, so they are great for a box purchase, 12 or 24 count. I would recommend you all to at least try one in your smoking career because you might find the brand or the Reyes speaks to you.

Young Rating: 85-87

With Age Rating: 89-92