Later this month, Hirochi Robaina will kick off the much-anticipated tour to promote HR, the new cigar developed by Robaina and Cubanacan, the Nicaraguan-based company formerly known as Mederos. He is the grandson of the late Alejandro Robaina, the legendary Cuban tobacco grower who passed away in 2010. The younger Robaina was long noted as the successor to the family’s growing operation in the Pinar del Río region after spending over a decade learning under his grandfather. According to Cubanacan, HR has received a blessing of sorts from the Cuban government meaning Robaina will spend time in the U.S. promoting the brand, but is still heading the farms in Cuba.

Hirochi Robaina

This portrait was taken at the 2014 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show using a Canon 5D Mark III and a 50mm f/1.2 lens set at f/1.8. The shutter speed was 1/125 second at ISO 800. There were two main sources of light: ambient incandescent light from bulbs in the ceiling and two incandescent video lights used to light his face and smoke from below. The photograph was color corrected in Adobe Lightroom and adjusted for color, contrast and sharpness in Adobe Photoshop CC. 

Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.