The aging room at Tabacalera de García is probably the biggest in the world, after all the Dominican factory owned by Altadis USA is the biggest cigar factory in the world. While the name implies that the cigars might have gotten lost, Altadis USA isn’t claiming in any press material that the company lost track of the 50,000 cigars being released as part of the two-vitola Trinidad Lost Blends. Instead, the company claims the cigars were stored in the aging room until they were ready, which is now.
Lost Blends is offered in two vitolas, each using an Indonesian wrapper, Dominican olor binder and Dominican olor, piloto and Connecticut broadleaf filler.
- Trinidad Lost Blends Salomon (5 3/4 x 52) — $9.25 (Boxes of 50, $416.50) — 1,000 Boxes of 50 Cigars (50,000 Total Cigars)
- Trinidad Lost Blends Belicoso (6 1/8 x 54) — $9.50 (Boxes of 50, $427.50) — 1,000 Boxes of 50 Cigars (50,000 Total Cigars)[ref]Altadis USA has not stated how production was split between the total, only that there were 50,000 cigars between the two vitolas.[/ref]
Both cigars are sold in 50-count boxes with five trays of 10 cigars.
- Cigar Reviewed: Trinidad Lost Blends Salomon
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera de García
- Wrapper: Indonesia
- Binder: Dominican Olor
- Filler: Connecticut Broadleaf, Dominican Olor & Piloto Cubano
- Size: 5 3/4 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Salomon
- MSRP: $9.25 (Boxes of 50, $416.50)
- Date Released: May 27, 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: 1,000 Boxes of 50 Cigars (50,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
I’m intrigued quite a bit by the shape, particularly that it’s double-capped. It’s fairly easy from the start to tell that the wrappers are Indonesian given their color and reflection. As for the aroma, it smells a bit like taco seasoning, some artificial vanilla and sandwich bread—so it’s bit like walking through a grocery store. The foot of the Lost Blends is fairly similar, albeit the taco seasoning is a bit stronger. While I’ve smoked double-capped cigars before, normally there’s some semblance of a cold draw, not here. It’s extremely tight, but I caution myself from making additional cuts knowing that this should sort itself out once lit. Flavor-wise, it’s got a gingerbread sweetness and a rich sunflower seed.
Somehow the draw gets tighter after lighting. It can happen on any cigar, but I honestly wasn’t convinced there was any room for the Lost Blends Salomon to get any tighter after the cold draw. After a few puffs it works itself out, flavor-wise it’s a very muted nuttiness, leather, water chestnut and saltiness in the back for the first few puffs. The draw does open up nicely and eventually it’s just like any other cigar. There’s flavors of earth, leather, sunflower seed and a big black pepper on the back end before a floral flavor comes in on the finish. It’s got some harshness, not an overwhelming amount, but the flavors are noticeably unfinished. Smoke production is a bit below average, but the burn and draw are both great in the first third, at least after the aforementioned first few puffs.
Unfortunately, the Trinidad’s burn goes awry fairly early on into the second third requiring me to touch it up. Fortunately, the flavor gets much better. There’s a muted sweetness that reminds of guacamole, cedar, earth, earth and some English muffin-like bready flavors. While the flavors themselves still retain some of the harshness, it’s been reduced and the flavors are a lot more detailed. Unfortunately, by the back of the second third, I continue to find myself fighting an uneven burn through the end of the second third of the Trinidad.
The sweetness continues to pick up in the final third of the Lost Blends, but it’s lost whatever guacamole characteristic it had in the earlier parts. Instead, there are more generic flavors of coffee and sweet cedar taking over. Pepper is still completely devoid, although I do get some bits of paprika and other spices, along with the semi-harshness surrounding most of the flavors. Strength is medium-plus, much like it’s been throughout the entire cigar, perhaps peaking in the second third. Unfortunately, the burn continues to be a problem and eventually I give up.
- Because it’s the cigar business, there’s a bit of math that doesn’t add up. A company spokesperson told Cigar Aficionado that the cigars were almost a decade-old, however marketing material shown by a retailer lists tobacco vintages of 2009-2011. While I understand that you potentially could round say 2009 vintage tobacco to being a decade-old, that’s a bit far-fetched. Furthermore, That’s the vintage from the crop, if the cigars were using tobacco from the 2011 harvest, they couldn’t have been rolled until at least 2012, making them at best three-years-old.
- I’m a big fan of perfectos, largely for their uniqueness, given my issues with the burn it’s difficult for me to not think the shape was part of the problem.
- I will say that if you make sure the burn is completely even in the first third and puff a bit quicker than normal—and even maybe a bit much for the flavor profile—the burn will work itself out.
- As for the debate of clipping the end of a perfecto, I’ve always believed that if the cigar manufacturer wanted you to have a wider opening on that end, they would have made it that way. There’s also of course issues of unraveling.
- Altadis USA refers to the wrapper as Java Island. It’s technically correct, but it reminds me of San Andrés naming. Java Island sounds a lot sexier than Indonesia to most consumers.
- The packaging for this release is nice, particularly with the trays. Much like the Grupo de Maestros release I reviewed earlier, my only caution would be that it’s fairly challenging for most consumers to store this at home.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Site sponsors Cigar Hustler, Serious Cigars and STOGIES World Class Cigar (713.785.5100) have the Trinidad Lost Blends in stock.
While I would smoke one again if given to me or if that’s what I pull out of my humidor, I have no real desire to smoke the Trinidad Lost Blends. I’ve mentioned before that there are certain cigars from Tabacalera de García I enjoy, but I am still waiting for Altadis USA to produce a more modern profile amongst its mountains full of tobacco. I would think that if Altadis was going to attempt to venture to that area, it would do it on a project like this, a limited production run for a non-flagship brand, but alas, they did not.