View Full Version : Robaina Cigars with Legal Cuban Tobacco

06-04-2005, 10:27
Anybody tried the Robaina cigars that contain 40% pre-embargo Cuban tobacco? Saw them on the Two Guys Smoke Shop site -- no prices posted. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/bandit.gif

06-04-2005, 12:20
What does pre-embargo Cuban tobacco mean?


Special Reserve
06-04-2005, 13:35
Before 1961. Back in the day when I smoked (1970's) you could easily vintage 1959 Cuban tobaco cigars. Cuban cigars were good.

You can still get Cuban cigars in Canada. However, they are very expensive.

06-04-2005, 13:39

Even as a 22-year non-smoker I too was curious about that term.

IIRC, the U.S. started the embargo under President Eisenhower, which means it was before 1960. That would make "pre-embargo" goods over 45 years old. Does tobacco last that long? Under what circumstances would someone in the tobacco business warehouse it for such a long time? [It appears my recollection was incomplete, at best. According to this source (http://www.historyofcuba.com/history/funfacts/embargo.htm), President Kennedy played a significant role, as well. Still, pre-embargo goods are probably over 40 years old.]

The reference to "tobacco" rather than "cigars" also raises a question. Did Cuba ever export tobacco as a raw material? I thought it was very closely managed to ensure that it all went into Cuban-made cigars.

I seem to recall seeing pre-embargo Cuban cigars for sale (at very high prices) around 1960-62, but I haven't even heard that term for decades.

Sometime after I quit smoking (1983) I heard from a friend that illegally obtained Cuban cigars were not of the same high quality he recalled from the pre-Castro period. He had obtained a box at considerable cost and inconvenience, only to be disappointed in them. An item of urban folklore from that time said that the best tobacco growers and cigar makers had fled to other Latin countries.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

06-04-2005, 15:10
I know, and thanks, but how could cigars be made today with tobacco imported from before the Castro era? It couldn't keep that long, could it?


06-04-2005, 15:12
Dave, thanks for elucidating the point I was making, and I am still puzzled over it.


06-04-2005, 21:33
If properly stored at the correct humidity and temperature, the tobacco can be kept quite a long time. However, I wouldn't bet on the quality. Personally, when I see these advertisements I am somewhat curious but not enough to take a chance on buying a whole box. Plus, if I read correctly, this was only partly cuban tobacco and who knows what kind of filler was used for the rest let alone the binder or wrapper. If you mix the finest champaigne with castor oil, you know what taste is going to stand out in the end.

As for the current quality of Cubanos, not having had any previously as I was born JUST pre-embargo myself I have nothing to judge them on. In Cancun, I enjoyed samples of Partagas, La Gloria Cubana, Ramon Allones, and Bolivars, while at BF I tasted a Montecristo and occasionally a friend gets a couple of Cohibas he generously shares. All were fine cigars but not what I consider overly superior to some of the fine Dominicans I have had such as Opus X and Diamond Crown (both made by Fuente). I'm looking forward to tasting another Habano soon which was a generous gift from a fellow board member, a Hoya De Monterrey. I just want to give it some time in the humidor to recover from it's long journey before passing judgement on it. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/bandit.gif