Marshal TITO was Yugoslavian leader before country apart. He was personal friend of Fidel and cigar connoisseur. I believe that this cigar is dedicated to Tito's citizens next to adriatic see. At least I recognize it this way.
Review: Vegas Robaina Marshal (ER Adriatico 2008)
For those of you that don’t know, the story of the Vegas Robaina Marshal, which is the Regional Edition Release for the Adriatic Region in 2008, is one of the most interesting, and honestly, confusing, to come out of Cuba in a long, long time. It might get a bit confusing, so stick with me.
In 2008, the Official Habanos “Proposed Regional Editions” list was released. At that time, the list contained a release called the “La Gloria Cubana Marshal” which was a robusto, and was to be distributed by Camelot (which serves Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, and Bosnia).
(Interesting side note, there was also a Por Larranaga Marshal on the original list of REs for 2008 (see below) that was never released and although they were both called “Marshals” they were to be different vitolas).
(List courtesy www.InternationalCigarClub.com)
Well, as time went by, it became obvious that the LGC Marshal was going to be another one of the oft delayed Cuban regionals (or even cancelled) as no one heard anything about the release date. However, there were prerelease samples of the the LGC cigar with the “Exclusivo Adriático” second band on them that were given out and smoked.
Well, as 2008 turned into 2009, it became fairly obvious that something was wrong with the release. It was later learned that because of trade mark issues (i.e. Swedish Match registered La Gloria Cubana in Croatia and other regions long before Habanos SA ever did, and they would not relent to letting Habanos use the name without paying quite a bit of money), the LGC cigars had to be re-branded as Vegas Robaina before their release to avoid litigation issues.
As you can imagine, this caused all sorts of problems. Apparently, the boxes for the cigar were already produced (see box photos below) and prerelease samples of the LGC blend had already been sent out. No one that I have talked to knows with any certainty if the cigars for this release were rolled BEFORE the Trademark issues were realized or AFTER. If they were rolled before, it would be hard to believe that Habanos would destroy the entire stock of rolled cigars, so that would indicate they are a rebanded LGC blend. If rolled after, they are most likely a VR blend.
Whatever the case may be, there were only 1500 boxes of 10 cigars officially released, so 15,000 total. The boxes are actually fairly unique, in that they are in a “3-4-3″ configuration (that is, inside the box, there are 3 cigars on the bottom row, 4 on the middle row, and 3 cigars on the top row). Here are some photos of the box itself. Notice the Box code in the 1st photo on the right, which reads “TEB SEP 08″.
Now to the REAL humdinger, as my grandfather would say. Apparently, instead of destroying the original LGC boxes that had already been produced before the copyright issues came to light, Habanos S.A. decided to just put a Silver plate with the VR info ON TOP of the LGC stamping into the box, and if you notice, on top of the banner on the top right corner as well. If you were to pry off the plate, underneath you find this.
But enough about that, let’s get down to business, shall we?
- Cigars Reviewed: Vegas Robaina Marshal (Edición Regional Adriático 2008)
- Country of Origin: Cuba
- Factory: Fernando Perez German
- Wrapper: Cuba
- Binder: Cuba
- Filler: Cuba
- Size: 4.9 inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Robusto
- Price Paid: $15
- Date Released: 2009
- Number of Cigars Released: 1,500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (15,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2
The Vegas Robaina Marshal is a perfect sized smoke to me, the perfect width and length. The wrapper is a medium brown color, and is actually quite rough to the touch. It is extremely hard when squeezed, almost shockingly so. Also, it has a second band which says “Exclusivo Adriatico”. The cap is extremely well made and the wrapper is very dry, and also quite bumpy along it’s lenth, and smells slightly sweet, with notes of leather and hay. The Predraw had notes of sweet cedar, hay and just a tiny bit of pepper.
The first third starts out with just a bit of pepper, but mostly a nice, creamy and sweet cedar and hay flavors, along with a little floral note tossed in. A very nice start, quite mild, but very flavorful.
The second third continued with the same flavors, mostly a sweetish hay and woodiness, however, I did notice a note of honey and even some nutty notes as well. Tthe pepper remained noticeable, but very much a background element.
The final third switched profiles almost totally, with quite a bit more sweet fruityness coming into play. I still tasted the same woodiness and a bit of leather, but they took a backseat. There was just a bit of pepper still, but really not enough to make much of a difference. It never got hot at the end, or harsh, and had an extremely dry finish.
- Unfortunately, we might never know for sure what happened with this release. t is possible that the cigar is just a Vegas Robaina blend, it is possible it is an LGC blend with a VR band, and it is possible that that the LGC boxes were built, but the actual blend could have been changed to a VR blend after the boxes were already made.
- In case you missed it, if you look at the detail of the side of the box, the name stamped on the side of the box is “Marshall” (with two “L”s), while the name on the removable plate on the front of the box is “Marshal” (with one “L”). Afar as I know, the oficial name has always been “Marshal” (with one “L”, check the list above), so I am at a loss as to where the “Marshall” even came from.
- Interestingly, the Vegas Robaina Marshal got quite a bit stronger body wise as it ended, almost surprisingly so, considering the sweetish/milder profile.
The Bottom Line: While the Vegas Robaina Marshal was one of the better Regional Editions I have smoked in a while, aleit mild, I have to be honest and say the story behind the release is more interesting to me. It is a very good smoke, quite flavorful, and I will be buying more of them, if I can find them. Having said that, the flavor characteristics of a Vegas Robaina blend and an LGC blend are NOTHING alike, and the two Marshals that I smoked for this review tasted much more like an LGC blend then the VR. In fact, it was not even close. I am going to have to say that the Vegas Robaina Marshal RE is, in fact, just a LGC blend, rebanded and released as a VR. If this is true, it raises serious questions about not only the quality control at Habanos S.A., but also the whole Regional Edition series as well.
Final Score: 90