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Vegas Robaina Zigarren

Much in the same way as their sister brand, Vegueros, was created to pay tribute to the famers who grow the tobacco for the Kubanische Zigarren we so love to smoke, Vegas Robaina cigars have a special connection to the agricultural communities which work the fields of Pinar del Rio.  Don Alejandro Robaina was renowned throughout the industry for his masterful command of the crops in his fields, achieving a yield which could only be dreamt of by his neighbours and which won him the honour of having an entire line dedicated to his memory.

The Robaina family have been...READ MORE

Vegas Robaina Zigarren

Much in the same way as their sister brand, Vegueros, was created to pay tribute to the famers who grow the tobacco for the Kubanische Zigarren we so love to smoke, Vegas Robaina cigars have a special connection to the agricultural communities which work the fields of Pinar del Rio.  Don Alejandro Robaina was renowned throughout the industry for his masterful command of the crops in his fields, achieving a yield which could only be dreamt of by his neighbours and which won him the honour of having an entire line dedicated to his memory.

The Robaina family have been growing tobacco in the Vuelta Abajo region since 1845.  Don Alejandro Robaina was born in 1919 in Havana itself, returning to the family farm to begin his work growing tobacco at the tender age of only 10 years old.  He attested that he smoked his first cigar not long before this, beginning a long relationship with cigars which would last until his death at the age of 91.  In 1950, already with 21 years of experience behind him, he took on the responsibilities of running the operation following the death of his father.  His prowess as an agriculturalist, particularly in cultivating the finest wrapper leaves available, meant he was able to keep the independence of his farm after the Cuban Revolution of 1959.  When most other growers were forced to join cooperative schemes, Don Alejandro was allowed to keep going on his own, allegedly due to him standing firm in front of Fidel himself.  Such fortitude is the stuff of legend; the truth of his claims are lost to the sands of time.

Most of the biggest Cuban cigar brands, such as Cohiba und Hoyo de Monterrey, have used wrapper leaves from the Robaina plantation.  In the 1990s Don Alejandro was named by the Cuban government as the greatest tobacco farmer in the country, and he was often asked to travel the world acting as an ambassador for the Cuban industry.  In his later years those travels became less frequent, but a visit to his farm to meet the man himself was often a highlight of trips to the island for cigar industry veterans and VIPs.  Eventually his grandson Hiroshi took over the reins on the farm, maintaining the standards today which were set by his grandfather almost 100 years ago.

In 1997 a range of cigars were released sporting a golden letter ‘R’ on the foil band to commemorate the contribution of the Robaina family to tobacco growing.  Of the 5 vitolas originally forming the brand portfolio, only 2 currently remain.  The cigars are categorised as medium-to-full strength, all handmade using tripa larga from the Vuelta Abajo.

Vegas Robaina Famosos

A Grand Corona cigar, measuring 48 ring gauge by 5 inches in length, the Famosos will delight the tastebuds for about 45 minutes.  Flavours of spice, tobacco and grass are most prevalent.

Vegas Robaina Unicos

This piramides cigar is presented in an exquisite vitola, favoured by connoisseurs around the world for bringing a little extra intensity to the flavours of cigars thanks to the small aperture for the smoke to flow through.  The 52 ring gauge by 6 ⅛ inch size will allow the cigar to smoke for about an hour, with plenty of leathery and fruity notes to savour.

Over the years Vegas Robaina have been used for a handful of Regional Edition cigars, but since 2015 the brand has seen the popularity of these dry up a little.  In 2017 the cigar graced with the name Don Alejandro, a mighty Double Corona of 49 ring gauge by 7 ⅝ inches, was finally discontinued, much to the consternation of the brand’s loyal supporters.  One can only hope that the future holds a re-issue for this magnificent cigar.

In a nation where tobacco farming is such a large part of the national identity and economy, for one man to have such honour bestowed upon him is telling.  Thousands upon thousands of tobacco growers have come before and after Don Alejandro Robaina, but none have come close to his achievements both in the technical aspects of farming and the promotion of his craft across the wider world.  Each year around 35% of the leaves produced on Cuban farms are considered to be of a high enough standard to form Cuban cigars – Don Alejandro’s farm boasted a yield of 80%.  To be so far ahead of one’s peers is almost unheard of – no wonder, then, his reward was equally unusual.

Now that Don Alejandro has passed his expertise will hopefully live on through his family – the farm is approaching its 200th anniversary, and the new generation of Robainas continue the good work.  Whether any of them manage to come close to the greatness of their famous ancestor, only time will tell.