For fans of Cuban cigars, there are cigar superstars. Hamlet, La China, Yolanda, Reynaldo, Taboada and Cueto are all elite rollers of custom blends, referred to by names, their names. For farming superstars in Cuba, there is one name that stands above all else—Robaina.

Earlier this week, Nicaraguan-based Cubanacan Cigars announced that at the upcoming IPCPR convention and trade show, it will be unveiling a new line of cigars called simply HR, which happen to be the initials of the cigar’s blender, Hirochi Robaina.

Robaina is well known for being the grandson of Alejandro Robaina, the legendary farmer who grew some of the country’s best tobacco at his farm, Cuchillas de Barbacoa, in San Luis, Pinar del Río. The elder Robaina was famous enough that when he passed away in April 2010, The New York Times penned an obituary.

Omar González Alemán, Cubanacan’s master blender who previously worked in Cuba’s cigar industry, wanted to create a cigar to honor his legacy and approached the younger Robaina in 2011 regarding the idea. The pair has been working on the project ever since and will be debuting the line in Las Vegas later this month at the annual trade show. Robaina will be on-hand for the trade show and is scheduled to be part of a number of in-store events for top HR retailers.

HR uses an Ecuadorian maduro wrapper grown from Habano 2000 seed, a Nicaraguan binder from the Jalapa Valley and filler consisting of Nicaraguan leaves from Jalapa and Estelí. The cigar is billed as being both powerful and flavorful.

There will be four sizes unveiled as part of HR’s launch, a 5 1/8 x 48 vitola called Hermoso, a 6 x 52 toro, 6 1/2 x 54 sublime and a 5 1/2 x 52 belicoso. Each will be packed in 20-count boxes, with pricing not finalized at this point, although halfwheel has learned it is expected to be well north of $10. Production is being handled at Cubanacan Cigars Factory S.A. in Estelí, Nicaragua.

For those unfamiliar with the Cubanacan name, it’s not a new company, just a new name in the U.S. It was previously known as Mederos Cigars, owned by the Mederos family who has been working in Nicaragua since the mid-2000s after leaving Cuba. Over the last few years, the company has begun to market its cigars under the Cubanacan name, the name of the company’s factory.

After the trade show, Robaina will be visiting the top retailers of HR for a series of in-store events.

News of the HR was first reported on

Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.