The world of Cuban cigars is filled with stately names that have been a part of cigar lore for generations, some dating back over a hundred and seventy-five years. Cuban Cohibas, H. Upmann, Partagas, Romeo y Julieta, Punch and Montecristo cigars stand as the most famous cigars in history.
And yet it is one of the newest on the scene that has risen to the top as an overwhelming favorite amongst connoisseurs: Vegas Robaina.
Although only in existence since 1997, the Vegas Robaina story began generations ago with the emergence of the first family of Cuban tobacco farming.
With roots dating back to 1845, the Robaina family rose out of the famed Vuelta Abajo region to deliver some of the finest tobaccos to be found anywhere and by the 1950s the Robaina farms were considered the best source for luxurious wrapper tobaccos destined for the best Cuban cigars.
It was this period that the legend of Alejandro Robaina rose to epic proportions.
Born in March of 1919 and growing up in a family of tobacco growing experts, Don Alejandro took tobacco growing to new heights, experimenting with a plethora of tobaccos in search of the perfect match to the soil and climate of his beloved farm at Cuchillas de Barbacoa of the San Luis district in Vuelta Abajo.
It was during the crucial moments following the Cuban Revolution when the new regime was forming state-sponsored cooperatives that Don Alejandro stood firm against the powerful Fidel Castro.
Castro wished for all of the smaller tobacco farms to come together under one collective for greater control and consistency of production.
Robaina, however, was defiant, explaining to Castro that the smaller farms needed to maintain some autonomy, as it was the traditions handed down from generation to generation on how to read the soil, the climate, how to cultivate and harvest that dictated the quality of the tobacco, not the overseeing eye of a government appointed official.
Castro relented and allowed the Robaina family to continue as they always had done. In the following years Don Alejandro Robaina’s fame increased, delivering the tobaccos, mostly wrapper leaves, for some of Cuba’s most famous brands including Cuban Cohiba cigars.
As Don Alejandro Robaina legend grew, so too did his influence upon the tobacco world. He took on the persona of sage and began travelling around the Globe to promote the glories of Cuban tobacco farming.
And so in 1997 to pay tribute to Alejandro Robaina’s unwavering dedication to the industry, Alejandro Robaina was honored with a new brand that would wear the family name.
And so Vegas Robaina was born.
The reasons for this underwhelming reaction are muddled in whispers, but as Don Alejandro himself and others suggested, it was really nothing more than politics. Whether it was rumors about mishandled tobaccos or it was other cigar makers jealous of Robaina’s success or it was a simple case of aficionados unwilling to rank an untested brand with established favorites, the Vegas Robaina cigar brand was off to a rocky start.
Through the tireless efforts of Don Alejandro, his son Carlos and grandson Hirochi, however, Vegas Robaina began to win over the naysayers and finally took its place amongst the best Cuban cigars.
Don Alejandro Robaina passed away on April 17, 2010 after a losing battle with cancer, but not before seeing the brand created in honor of the Robaina family name become one of the World’s most sought after cigars under the reins of grandson Hirochi Robaina.
With the Robaina family legacy firmly entrenched, Hirochi Robaina looked towards a more global view of the cigar industry, creating the Robaina’s first non-Cuban venture with his HR cigars.
Sporting a cigar band reminiscent of his grandfather’s Vegas Robaina, the HR brand cigars are plush super-premium smokes handcrafted in Nicaragua and feature a parade of flavors that will remind many of their Cuban counterparts.
He has also championed the use of modern farming techniques in Cuba to ensure the quality of tobacco farming as the demand for Cuban tobacco is sure to rise. And so the Robaina legacy continues to grow and evolve, garnering new-found appreciation at every turn and lifting the Cuban Vegas Robaina into the very echelons of history’s greatest smokes.
Each Vegas Robaina cigar is handcrafted around plush tobaccos from the Robaina family’s home province of Pinar Del Rio and the Vuelta Abajo.
These luscious smokes are only offered in five vitolas including: the 6 ½” x 42 Clasicos, 5 5/8” x 42 Familiar, 5” x 48 Famosos, the legendary 7 5/8” x 49 Don Alejandro and the connoisseur favorite 6 1/8” x 52 Unicos Pyramid.
When searching for where to buy Cuban cigars, be sure to ask for these exquisite smokes.
From a far distant past to enduring the perils of revolution and on to leading the charge of tobacco farming into the modern age, the Robaina family has had a profound effect on the cigar world and seems poised to carry on for generations to come.
And the Vegas Robaina brand of Cuban cigars is indeed a fitting tribute to the legend that is Don Alejandro and the family Robaina.
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