Saturday, March 15, 2014

Cigar Review: Trinidad Reyes

Trinidad…a cigar fit for a king, diplomat, or political guest really.  I have to say, I was always intrigued by this brand, given the nature of them being given as gifts before they went into production.  It makes me wonder how much attention was put into these blends, as I am sure Mr. Castro had to have a hand in them.  Then again, I could be way off base, as I have no evidence to support my ideas.  Either way, it makes for an American fairy tale of sorts when trying to obtain a Trinidad Habanos.  The Trinidad Reyes  is a small 4x40 cigar that is absolutely the size I love.  While I have smoked several in the past, it was always in passing, never sitting down to examine what the cigar really was all about.  So I was rather excited when I got one from a guy named after a month, and Seth and I decided it would be a good cigar to do a show around, since so many folks seem to dig these little guys. 

Dry Draw: interesting spice here, cannot put my finger on it, leans to sweet side.

First Third: The Reyes began with a rather strong retrohale up front, providing a nice pepper burn on the nostril.  Medium to full bodied for my palate, with a dry profile that was woody with hints of cocoa bean on the palate.  Richness took a backseat to the woodiness, and I think this is an example where age may balance the flavors as the strength was muting the depth.  The end of the finish was when the Reyes really shined, but I really had to let it sit and develop on my palate to appreciate what it had to offer.

Second Third: The balance I was seeking arrived, with the rich cocoa bean notes mixing with the pepper.  The overall dryness of the draw took over quickly though, with cedar and pepper back to dominating as my experience of rich flavor was fleeting.  The retrohale became rather smooth, but the balance was lost.  Some sweetness entered the picture for a bit, and the amount of spice overall really surprised me for a Habanos blend.  At this point, the burn required several touchups and pissed me off.  I had to touch it up constantly, which is annoying to me, as I normally let cigars roll and turn to correct naturally.

Final Third: Finally the damn pepper and dry cedar backed down from the draw and hit the finish.  The cocoa beans and sugary flavors were out front in the draw, providing the most balanced third thus far.  I felt like my tongue was coated in white pepper, while the retro banged it out all over my palate and nostrils.  The cocoa reminded me of baking chocolate at times, the kind you stole from Mom’s cabinet as a kid; bittersweet if you will, kind of like this final third. 

Construction: burn pissed me off… Roller must have been hitting the Havana Club hard.

Final Thoughts: I have yet to find a Trinidad I like, and considering the price, I am not impressed.  I would not buy this again due to the lack of balance.  However, given this was most likely a fresh cigar, this may be a case of needing tons of age.  I would not hesitate to buy an aged fiver if it came up, to see if the balance I was seeking and rich flavors I enjoyed pushed their way to the top.  This review could very well be the instance where an experienced Habanos smoker asks why the hell did you smoke it young?  Lord knows, I have had plenty of bad box experiences that turned into masterpieces when I let them rest.  For the record, I do think fans of spicier cigars will enjoy this, and I was rather surprised at the amount of burn the spice provided for a Habanos blend.  So do check them out if you get a chance, as I know plenty of folks that love these things.  The Trinidad Reyes was just not for me, and it may be the brand as a whole.  I really do need to get my hands on some Fundadores though, as I know several folks that swear by them.