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1999 ? 2002. The sad, bad years?

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  • #16
    Loving this thread! I don't feel I can really add much though!
    Originally posted by tippexx View Post
    Given that Cuban tobacco is aged 4 years before being rolled into cigars
    I'm surprised nobody has commented on this. Is this documented anywhere?

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    • #17
      That was a misconception on my part Dave .... however the process from picking until date stamping a box is quite a long one.

      Explained here:-

      http://www.cubancigarwebsite.com/inf...tion_&_Sorting

      There is also a mention (brief) of Havana 2000.
      If you want to, you can.
      And, if you can, you must!

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      • #18
        Originally posted by daverave999 View Post
        Loving this thread! I don't feel I can really add much though!

        I'm surprised nobody has commented on this. Is this documented anywhere?

        +1
        May be worth making it a sticky..?
        Love Life - Love Cigars

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Simon Bolivar View Post
          Cbob, you seemed to have raised another interesting point there; can you explain furhter about the Havana 2000 wrapper? Was this part of a seed cultivation progamme to get a more resistant strain to pests & fungus ect (I have heard about that idea) or a a wrapper prepared in a different way?
          Here is just a portion of a cA interview with Alejandro Robaina (and his Grandson Hiroshi) by James Suckling in October 2006.

          CA: What about the influence of new tobacco varieties, such as Habanos 2000?
          Robaina: I was the first to plant Habanos 2000 here in Cuba and the results were very good, but nowadays, Habanos 2000 has lost quality to the point that I am not planting it anymore. It's prone to blue mold and black shank. Plus, there are now other seeds that have much better quality.

          CA: Do you mean that you like such new varieties as Criollo 98 and Corojo 99 better?
          Robaina: Yes, I like them much better. These plants are much more resistant to blue mold.

          CA: Yes, but what about the flavor?
          Robaina: Well, the flavor I feel is much better also. These have higher quality than Habanos 2000. In my opinion the Habanos 2000 is excessively fragile. These new seeds have higher quality. I have had better results with Corojo 98 and Criollo 99. This year I planted both.

          Hiroshi Robaina: You mean Criollo 98 and Corojo 99, grandfather.
          Robaina: Yes, that's what I mean, but I am always mixing them up and saying their names the wrong way!
          CA: Why don't you plant the old variety, the traditional Corojo?
          Robaina: I wish I could get my hands on those seeds!

          CA: The flavor was wonderful.
          Robaina: Yes, no doubt, and the traditional Criollo was the best filler tobacco around.

          Hiroshi: I wish we could use it.
          Robaina: Perhaps this year we could try.

          I have a great book called "Cuban Cigar Tobacco" by Eumelio Espino Marrero and found some of the following details:

          Cuba had a bad Blue Mold problem in about 1979 and developed a resistant strain called "Habana P.R." which could be the leaf the Robainas are talking about. The leaf (planted out in about 1982-1988) matured to a nice reddish "Colorado" colour that made for some great cigars but the yields were not high.
          They kept trying for disease resistance and in 1992 came up with "Habana-2000" (Criollo) and "Habana-92" (Corojo).
          (Corojo is the variety used mainly for "capa" or wrappers)

          The "Habana-2000" produced huge robust plants but the cured leaf was a bit too fragile, lacked flavour and aged poorly. This was not really understood until most plantations had converted over to the new variety and there were some blah smokes for some years.
          The Cuban researchers went back to the original Criollo and Corojo strains, selecting for mold and disease resistance. The result was "Criollo-98" and "Corojo-99" and those varieties are what has mostly been planted in the last ten years with the "Criollo-98" being the choice for wrappers.

          I don't have much info on newer strains of black tobacco that may have been or are currently being produced but I'm always interested if any of you have updates.
          Commander Bob

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          • #20
            the biggest problem with cigars from this period are not from the Havana factories but from the smaller factories around the Island. There is no way some factory in Gibara or Holguin could have the same quality control as in Havana. It's no secret that the Havana factories had priorty to the best raw materials and rollers during that period. Leaving lesser quality tobacco for those other factories rolling the same marcas. Oddly enough, my biggest complaint from those years were not plugged cigars, but cigars that either all tasted the same or just tasted like ammonia.
            I'm glad that that those days are over
            why do men have nipples?

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            • #21
              Cheers Cbob, great tobbaco info there & Rocco, think your comment links in to an interview I recently read by J.Suckling, where a Roller complained to him, his supervisor told him it didn't matter what went into the cigar, it was just the labels that were different. Hence the reason for sameness during this dark period.
              Simon Bolivar: Liberator of Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru & Venezuela.

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              • #22
                Oh fascinating. I would love tons more info on the tobacco, varieties and history, this is good stuff!
                "In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock!"

                Comment


                • #23
                  Green With Envy!

                  Don TJ has a box of early 2002 Bolivar Royal Coronas that were a gray/green color when he purchased them, which almost caused him to return 'em, pronto. But he didn't and we Coros are happy he didn't.


                  Now, after 9 long years of rest in his massive humidor, the sticks still retain the Claro appearance, but smoke fantastic - best BRCs we have ever enjoyed!






                  sigpicVaya con Dios, Amigos! - don TJ and the Coros

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                  • #24
                    Excellent post cbob, thank you. Very interesting information there about changes in tobacco growing/use on the island and the various strains' pros/cons; it certainly broadened my knowledge.
                    My cigar review blog: The Cigar Monologues (Twitter / Facebook)
                    My Company:
                    Siparium Sporting

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Big_T_UK View Post
                      Oh fascinating. I would love tons more info on the tobacco, varieties and history, this is good stuff!
                      You might be interested in getting yourself a copy of this book I picked up a while back then? Try AbeBooks if eBay or Amazon don't have it.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        I found a copy in the US for $3.71 but they want $12.99 to ship, hmm....
                        "In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock!"

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Simon Bolivar View Post
                          Cheers Cbob, great tobbaco info there & Rocco, think your comment links in to an interview I recently read by J.Suckling, where a Roller complained to him, his supervisor told him it didn't matter what went into the cigar, it was just the labels that were different. Hence the reason for sameness during this dark period.
                          I'd put a story like that in the "apocryphal" category.
                          I've been visiting the major factories (not just the Partag?s tourist tours) for many years and have never seen rollers with "generic" bundles of tobacco.

                          Speaking of "possible apocryphal":
                          I was told by several cigar men in Havana (including the former mgr. of H. Upmann) that the "sampler" cabs of 5 different marcas of Robustos or Pir?mides that are so popular were actually the same cigars, rolled at Partag?s with different bands and wrapper colours but I've been called on this a few times (although not by anyone who would know for sure) so I won't claim that this subterfuge is reality. You gotta wonder tho when a box includes a "Cohiba" that would sell for almost half of the price of the little 5-cab on its own.
                          Commander Bob

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by daverave999 View Post
                            You might be interested in getting yourself a copy of this book I picked up a while back then? Try AbeBooks if eBay or Amazon don't have it.
                            Thanks Dave.
                            That's the book I quoted.
                            Published in 1996, it has no recent info but loads of great glossy tobacco photos.

                            (Big_T: It's a slim volume but likely worth the $16.70 total price/shipping. Probably a $25 book when new.

                            The author is (was?) a biologist deeply involved in developing many of the strains of tobacco grown in Cuba.
                            Commander Bob

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                            • #29
                              Really? Well I will go back and see if it is still in stock. Just seems wrong to pay way more on postage than the cost of the item.
                              "In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock!"

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by cbob View Post
                                Thanks Dave.
                                That's the book I quoted.
                                Apologies, I missed that part of your post.

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