Earlier on today I stopped into the Vancouver Cigar Company to take a look around at their humidors and the exotic cars in their showroom. This is no ordinary outlet dedicated to the appreciation and sales of some of the world’s finest authentic Cuban cigars, a few steps away from the humidors reveal exotic high performance automobiles and luxury sedans, anyone who appreciates items of great beauty will Not be disappointed by their efforts to drop by. I had a chat with both Trevor and Aaron, who had just returned from Havana’s “Habanos Festival”, and listened to every detail they passed on to me about the world’s premier gathering of cigar aficionados. Each February, Habanos hosts a week long event where participants attend seminars about rolling cigars, the construction and blending of cigars, pairing with different beverages, visits to cigar factories and tobacco fields. There’s music performed by Cuba’s finest musicians at prestigios gala events where new Cuban cigars are unveiled and the whole city comes alive with parties in every restaurant and hotel rooftop.
What shocked and amazed me was that Aaron and Trevor brought me back a sample of what Cuban has in store for 2014. I was gifted the new Cohiba Robustos Supremos Edicion Limitada 2014 which was unveiled this year on February 28 at a special dinner in tribute to the Trinidad brand. A 2 Michelin star chef, Ron Blaauw, from the Netherlands with sommelier, Cuno Van’t Hoff had prepared a meal of incredible food, fine French and Italian wines and enthusiastic diners were given a few of this year’s new releases by Habanos. On the menu were appetizers of caviar or tuna tartare, main courses of Free range chicken with foie gras and truffle sauce or Tournedos of roast beef served with a red wine sauce. From Trevor’s report, the big winner was the caviar. Cigars given out were: Trinidad Reyes, Trinidad Coloniales, the new Trinidad Vigia and finally the Cohiba Robustos Supremos Edicion Limitada 2014.
When I got home I kept rolling this cigar in my hands and marvelling at it’s construction, this was a firmly rolled cigar with not even a hint of a soft spot anywhere, so much so that I had some concern about the draw. My concerns were needless because after I carefully clipped only the cap off the head I was met with almost no resistance whatsoever, a beautiful draw. It would probably be a safe bet to assume that the finest rollers Cuba has to offer are given their quota of bundles of blended tobacco leaves to roll into these cigars that will be handed out to international delegates and aficionados alike. The pre-light draw was pure barnyard, plain and simple, I kept tasting the flavours present for a length of time before I reached for my lighter and then wasted no time in toasting the foot.
At first I was met with a powerful Cohiba taste full of grass and cedar but there was a tang and spiciness that had a real mysterious quality about it. The spice continued as the first third finally opened up and powerful hints of dark chocolate were in your face along side the rich Cohiba herbal flavours. This was a complex cigar, there were slight changes to the flavour profile with almost every puff, I swear I could taste coffee and nutmeg then a dark woodiness would appear along side healthy doses of leather.
Second third introduced a wonderful rich sweetness into the picture. The cedar flavours were somewhat present throughout but mixed with very subtle notes of black coffee and even licorice. Those would appear then the leather would again make it’s presence known all with a strong cedar finish that would last for minutes. Final third settled down into mainly herbs, cedar and sweet leather notes. Because of this cigar’s youth I was expecting a huge dose of nicotine but none of the usual young cigar dizziness came into play today at all. The tobacco leaves used for these Special edition cigars go through enough aging that you can expect a fantastic smoking experience right out of the box.
Once again I would like to thank Aaron and Trevor for thinking of me and allowing me to get a glimpse of what the lucky participants were tasting that night at the Trinidad Dinner in havana.