Vegas Robaina-Unicos

Unicos

Many Piramides or Torpedo shaped cigars with a 52 ring gauge and just over 6 inches of length thrill smokers with millions consumed annually.  There is something about the shape of this cigar, it’s tapered head and how it feels in your hand as you watch it burn.  Montecristo No 2’s could be the most popular Cuban cigar in this shape, H Upmann has a wonderful torpedo, as does Cohiba with it’s Piramides Extra, the first figurado ( 54 Ring Gauge ) in it’s regular line, but pictured above with it’s elegant band is the Vegas Robaina Unicos.

This Piramide first was produced by by Habanos SA’s line, Vegas Robaina, in 1997.   You’ll taste notes of leather in the pre-draw, then after lighting, this medium to full flavored cigar becomes full of earthy woodiness accompanied with a sweet creamy finish.  I’ve found that instead of a very pronounced evolution, third to third, this cigar seems to have a steady flavor profile that will reveal subtle bean flavors from time to time, making this cigar very enjoyable.

The Vegas Robaina brand, established in 1997, currently produce the Unicos, the Famosos and the Don Alejandro.  Discontinued cigars from this brand are the “Clasicos”, a Lonsdale which is 6.5″ long by 42 ring gauge, and the “Familiar” which is just a bit shorter at 5.6″.   These two sizes will be missed by many and currently there are smokers who are stocking up on boxes of both since this premium Cuban brand ages so well.

This brand was named after the farmland of Alejandro Robaina, whose family has been producing tobacco in the renown Vuelta Abajo since 1845.  Alejandro assumed the role of manager of the family plantation in 1950 then for decades went on to raise tobacco leaves which become wrappers for many premier Cuban brands.  Alejandro died in April of 2010, his plantation is now run in the same tradition by his grandson, Hiroshi.

Diplomaticos No. 2 ………..2007

bbf-2007

This past Christmas proved to be great for the humidor.  Your peers, for the most part, will see you as their dear friend who is usually smoking and situated downwind,  inevitably missing out on all of the significant events occurring in their general vicinity.  I’m often very happy downwind from the crowd and think as they may, I DO know one thing and that is, sometimes as often as twice a year they all know that I’m real easy to shop for.  The picture above is a quick shot of a great Christmas gift, a Diplomaticos No 2 from 2007,  the month I’m not aware of but since we’re now looking at a cigar that is going on 6 years of age the month didn’t mean too much to me.

As you probably already know, the Diplomaticos brand was introduced in 1966 as a more affordable option to the Montecristo line in the French market.  The two brands had cigars that were identical in size, both numerically named from 0ne to five and both rolled at the Jose Marti factory.  Any suspicions that the two lines may be similar in flavor and you’d be on to something, although I believe that Montecristo has considerably bolder flavors but there are similarities.  Needless to say, its great to witness what was initially intended to be a secondary line become a respected brand and offer a high quality handmade Cuban cigar to any enthusiast.

The No 2 in the picture was a finely constructed piramides, it was clear that it had been aged properly and after the head was clipped the pre-light draw tasted of hay and tea.  After smoking this cigar for at least a third, I found that there was a predominate taste of cedar throughout but as the eventual bean flavors appeared, they came in with a certain boldness that really did remind me of the Montecristo profile.  The biggest difference was that the Diplomaticos was a bit milder but in no way anything below a medium strength cigar.  I have another of these and will probably give it another year in the humidor, I’m sure it’ll only become a finer cigar.

Sadly the Diplomaticos line is quickly disappearing, only the No 2 is in current production and no one is sure how long this final size will continue to be available, this is one cigar you want to have in your humidor.  If you have the ability to also purchase any of these cigars other than the No 2 I would highly recommend you to stock up.  They’re affordable today and will be valued collector’s items in the near future.