- Price: $49 USD, (Box of 24, $951 USD)
- Made By: Habanos S.A.
- Factory Location: Cuba
- Dimensions: 7 ½” by 40 ring gauge
- Shape: Lonsdale
- Filler: Cuba
- Binder: Cuba
- Wrapper: Cuba
- Cold Draw: Floral, Sweet, Honey, Milk Chocolate
- First Third: Chocolate, Hay, Honey, Almond/Nutty
- Second Third: Graham Cracker, Honey, Hay, Nutty
- Final Third: Chocolate, Slightly Stronger Cocoa, Coffee, Honey, Pepper
The Trinidad Fundadores is an exceptionally classy looking cigar. It’s a unique shape called Lonsdale (or Laguito Especial), which basically means that it’s a long, thin cigar. This particular shape just lends to its overall elegance, as well as making the flavors more concentrated than they would be in one of its thicker, shorter counterparts.
The Trinidad Fundadores has a dark caramel colored wrappers with an oily sheen to it. The wrapper, and cigar itself, is very smooth to the touch. Trinidad Fundadores are sold individually or in boxes of 24. When you open the box, you’re greeted by a lovely cedar aroma that quickly yields to a sweeter, more baked-goods kind of smell.
The cigars are wrapped in the classic Trinidad bands: yellowish gold, highlighted with a darker, reflective gold around the perimeter, with three T’s in the middle. Something interesting about the Trinidad Fundadores, in addition to their impressive length, is the cap. Each cigar’s cap is twisted at the tip, known as a pigtail cap. Some will say this design is just for aesthetic purposes; others say that it actually serves a practical function in that you don’t need a cutter, and can just twist off the cap prior to lighting the cigar.
Taste and Draw
With so many cigars, the initial aroma and the cold draw aren’t the same as what you find when you first light the cigar. But the Trinidad Fundadores doesn’t follow that pattern. The sweetness, honey, and milk chocolate from the cold draw blend seamlessly into the chocolate on the first lighting. Hay and honey and almonds start joining the picture, and then dissipate to allow some stronger cocoa and coffee notes to come in.
Though the Trinidad Fundadores is absolutely a complex cigar, it’s never surprising or jarring. Everything about the Trinidad Fundadores exudes elegance and nuanced complexity. It’s one of those cigars that makes you lose track of time and place; you can picture yourself back in 1970’s Cuba, in an elegantly furnished room. You’re surrounded by low, sultry voices, while the smoke wafts gently through the air.
Floral, Sweet, Honey, Subtle Milk Chocolate
I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: the cold draw is that exciting first introduction you get to a cigar. It gives you clues on what the cigar might taste like and how easily it will pull and smoke. Sometimes the cold draw is spot on with the flavor notes you pick up; other times it tells a completely different story.
From that first cold draw you take of the Trinidad Fundadores, you get a story of classy, complex elegance. When you take that first pull off the cigar, you pick up some floral, almost perfumey notes mixed in with sweeter notes of honey and a very mild milk chocolate. A subtle hint of wood and earth are in there too, but not enough to turn the flavors pungent.
The construction of the Trinidad Fundadores appears impeccable, and although the draw feels a little tight, it wasn’t alarming.
Chocolate, Hay, Honey, Almond
The first light of the Trinidad Fundadores is exceptional. The milk chocolate from the cold draw greets you immediately, and then, strangely, there’s a hint of hay that comes in. I wouldn’t say it’s like fresh-cut hay, so much as hay that’s been stored awhile in a hay barn, and has that soft, lightly sweet smell. Before too long, honey takes over and the first third of the Trinidad Fundadores finishes with a sweet, nutty, almond flavor.
The smoke is sweet smelling, like baked goods, and doesn’t start out very thick. It coats your mouth smoothly and has a creamy feel and tastes like honey and coffee and vanilla. The flavors are so well balanced and work together perfectly. The Trinidad Fundadores starts out as a light bodied cigar. The draw is actually quite nice, and my earlier concern about its tightness is quickly put out. The construction is perfect and the burn line is straight and even.
Graham Cracker, Honey, Hay
The second third of the Trinidad Fundadores proves to be just as wonderful as the first. Graham crackers greet your taste buds first; you know that mildly sweet, kind of nutty flavor. I know graham crackers don’t exactly bring up images of class and elegance, but they are definitely timeless. Pretty soon, notes of honey come into the picture and the graham cracker fades. That hint of hay from the first third reappears.
The smoke from the second third of the Trinidad Fundadores is definitely thicker than it was in the first third. It’s creamy and sweet, and although the cigar’s strength and body have increased a little to a light medium, the smoke isn’t overpowering. The flavor profile it leaves on your tongue is sweet, complex, and elegant, and it smells just as perfect. The burn line is still straight and the draw just gets better.
Chocolate, More Bitter Cocoa, Coffee, Honey
I’ll admit I was getting pretty sad as I got to the final third of this Trinidad Fundadores. The smooth complexity and perfectly blended flavors of this cigar were really lulling me into a calm, peaceful place. But I digress.
The final third of the Trinidad Fundadores had a little surprise in store. The chocolate notes from the first third all of a sudden came back. Before I had too long to savor them, they were replaced by a more bitter kind of cocoa note (think the cocoa you would use for baking). But that bitterness didn’t last, and it was replaced by a creamy, smooth coffee note. Honey and hay proved themselves to be staple flavors in this cigar, so they were also there as this smoke ended.
I’d say by the end of this smoke, the Trinidad Fundadores was still a lighter, medium bodied cigar. Its flavors and aromas danced perfectly together; they threw in some complexity and nuance, but never overpowered. The smoke stayed creamy and sweet like in the second third, and lingered pleasantly in the air.
Trinidad Fundadores Summary
The main flavors in the Trinidad Fundadores are mostly sweet and baked, but at no point do they seem overpowering or sickly. They’re complex and nuanced and really balanced: chocolate offsets the honey; cocoa offsets the chocolate; hay offsets the sweet almonds. This cigar feels really approachable and I think most smokers would enjoy this experience, especially since the light-to-medium strength and body never threaten to kick you in the teeth.
These cigars are handmade and use tobacco grown in the fertile Vuelta Abajo region of Cuba. This ensures extremely high quality, and also great attention to detail. You can see that in the pigtail cap that tops off each cigar. Their being handmade also probably contributes to the initial tight draw.
The Trinidad Fundadores is really a perfect cigar. It’s got an old-world charm to it that lulls the smoker into a daydreaming kind of trance. I feel like late afternoon is the ideal time to smoke this cigar. It’s a time when your mind wanders anyway, so why not take advantage of that.
Trinidad Fundadores Pairing Notes
I feel like this particular Cuban cigar can handle a slightly different drink pairing than some of the others I’ve reviewed. I always like my pairings to complement the cigars, so when I was coming up with a list of drinks to go with the Trinidad Fundadores, I surprised myself a little. Here’s my list (and my disclaimer that you shouldn’t feel limited in what you pair with your smoke):
- Knob Creek Whiskey
- Sweet Tea
- Cream Soda
Trinidad Fundadores History
Trinidad Fundadores cigars are made in the El Laguito factory in Havana. They were first produced in 1969, and then commercially launched in 1998. The Trinidad Fundadores cigars are surrounded by some cigar-history scandal.
The former manager of El Laguito factory, Avelino Lara, had an interview with Cigar Aficionado. He told them that the Trinidad brand of cigars was the all-time favorite of Fidel Castro, and that the Trinidad Fundadores were the only cigars he approved to hand out as diplomatic gifts. Lara also claimed that these cigars were of a higher quality than Cohibas.
Two issues here: before their mass production in 1982, Cohibas were, in fact, diplomatic gifts. Cohibas are extremely high quality cigars, mostly due to the fermentation process the tobacco goes through. Secondly, Fidel Castro himself denied ever making the claim about Trinidad Fundadores. While Trinidad Fundadores are handed out to diplomats, they’re of a much lower level than the Cohibas. In spite of, or maybe because of this scandalous history, the Trinidad Fundadores are incredible. I recommend smoking one, or 100, at some point.