Trinidad and Habanos: Exquisite and Unique Blend


21/02/2019

When you hear the name Trinidad, most people in Cuba, the Caribbean, the Americas and the rest of the world think of a beautiful city located in the south side of Cuba, Sancti Spiritus province. Having one of the most beautiful and preserved architectures in America, the city is also known as the city museum of the Caribbean.

Trinidad or the Holy Trinity was the third village founded in Cuba by Spanish conqueror Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar in the early days of 1514. The village first settled in the vicinity of Jagua Bay and moved to its present location in 1515. Its economy has experienced different stages, from magnificence to decadence. Nonetheless, the city has risen from its ashes every time and thanks to the restoration and preservation work undertaken by specialists, as well as the love and care given by its citizens, Trinidad’s historical center and its Sugar Mill Valley were declared by UNESCO Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 1988.

Its name was chosen to name a brand of Habanos in 1969, exclusively used for a long time as special gift of the Cuban State to senior officials around the world. In February 1998, it was launched for the first time to the public consumption in an opening ceremony held at the Habana Libre Hotel. The initial version came out in a unique format with the vitola Fundadores.

Quite obviously its sponsors, by choosing the name, must have taken in mind not only the tribute paid to the village, but also the many converging features between the cigars and the idyllic site. Habanos Fundadores had the mission —as the old village had— to pave the way for the future.

The vitola stock increased with the launching of Reyes, Coloniales, and Robusto Extra. In 2009, the Trinidad Robusto was released to complete the range of the brand. As it can be seen, each name of the vitolas has a close relation with a city that recalls the colonial environment of Cuba and was the target of royal orders and concerns.

A new commercial name was introduced back in 2014: Vigia, from the Torres factory vitola. Both names make reference to areas close to the village such as Valle de los Ingenios (Sugar Mill Valley), where watchtowers —built to catch sight of sugarcane plantations— abound. But it may be also related to the city of Trinidad, a place where there are lots of towers in its buildings and a place known as Loma de la Vigia (Vigia Hills), where the local landscape can be enjoyed in its full extent. Not to mention La Torre Manaca-Iznaga (Manaca-Iznaga Tower), a must-visit place to those visiting the village.

Likewise, we can set a parallel story between the young history of Habanos Trinidad and the interesting, controversial, and contradictory history of the village. Archeology discoveries have proven that one feature that stands out in the pre-Columbian period is the merging of primitive cultures after revealing the existence of indigenous settlements with different degree of development and origin. There is no similar agreement regarding the accurate date of village foundation or even the name given by the Governor. Historian Carlos Joaquin Zerquera y Fernández de Lara passionately argues that the village name was Trinidad. However, current historian, Manuel Lagunilla Martínez, claims he has evidence that the original name is Holy Trinity and the adjective must not be missed out.

Its economic development was initially based on gold mining, which was once very important to the point that conquerors suggested the King to set up a foundry in the village. The development of cattle and tobacco cultivation —near the Rivers Agabama, Manati and its tributaries, Caracusey, and Ay— were also notable even though others believed they proliferated to the east of the village, in areas with good access to the coast.

By the end of the 17th century, Trinidad was one of the most important cities of the country and was regarded as a sort of capital city for the central villages, which enjoyed self-government until the King ordered Trinidad to follow Havana’s ruling. The truth is that its geography made trade easier —both the official with the metropolis and that related to smuggling and rescue. Contrary to some people’s perception, the cultivation and commercialization of tobacco was a very important source of income for locals. Trinitarians exported this and other products to different countries in the Caribbean as well as to the Netherlands, England, and France.

Sugar production flourished in late 18th century and early 19th century. The Valle de los Ingenios (Valley of Mills) became a highly-productive area and wealthiest families in the region devoted to such activity. Therefore, this sector identified the territory. However, the cultivation and commercialization of the aromatic leaf were not alien to this village and as the wise man Fernando Ortiz stated, this land witnessed the eternal competition between sugar and tobacco.

Trinidad has many attractions. Its inhabitants are hospitable. They love their city and its traditions. Visitors may enjoy a fantastic architecture enriched with monasteries, palaces, and large houses where they can observe tiled roofs, balconies, eaves, bars, wooden gates, inner courtyards, stained glass, decorative borders, and other common elements of an ancient time that still looks frozen in time to viewers.

Its cultural charms varied. You can witness the perfect merging of cultures that resulted in Trinidad as something unique. So are the merging of tobacco leaves used as wrapper and filler to make the Trinidad cigars. The leaves come from Pinar del Rio where the best tobacco in the world is cultivated. It provides the most demanding smokers with an exquisite and unique product.

Trinidad and its surrounding areas excel as tourist destinations due to its natural wonders; namely, the Sugar Mill Valley, the Ancon Peninsula where you can find one of the best beaches in southern Cuba, and the Natural Reservoir Topes de Collantes, where the Salto del Caburní waterfall is located.

Habanos tasters have posted their reviews on the Internet after tasting Habanos Trinidad. Some make reference to honey flavor, related to a traditional beverage made in Trinidad named Canchanchara, which is based on honey spirit, lemon, and water. This drink is a symbol of the ancient village and provides the same mild taste as Habano’s Trinidad. It is served in a common earthenware pot in a colorful facility perfectly outfitted.

Another converging point between these totally handmade Habanos and the city is the traditional feature. The cobblestone streets of Trinidad’s historical center look like a handmade palace where visitors find a wide and varied range of products made of different materials such as fabric and pottery.

The city treasures an impressive Casa del Habano. Its wide range of vitolas —being the brand Trinidad is one of them— makes the place one of the best attractions for visitors.

Finally, when it comes to connect the city with the brand Habanos, we can confirm that even if the term “Holy” is not linked to the name of the Village, both are certainly worshipped. The first is worshipped by its inhabitants who protect such an exquisite, unique city whereas the second is worshipped by the most demanding smokers who know how to taste an exquisite, unique Habano.