The 1998 Trinidad Fundadores is an elegant looking cigar. This has a sentimental value for me as it reminds me of a fantastic herf that I attended in Las Vegas where a great BOTL gifted this to me, knowing that I have an affinity for old Trinidads.
I try to purchase them any time there is an opportunity to pick these up (on the rare occasion they are for sale in the private market) as they are fantastic. Original release cigars tend to be high quality as it is the public’s first impression of the vitola.
Let’s see how this is progressing….
The 1998 Trinidad Fundadores is such a beautiful looking cigar. It is a Laguito Especial vitola that comes in at a 40 ring gauge and is 7.6 inches in length. Prior to release to the public, the Trinidad Fundadores were only given out as diplomatic gifts. Legend has it that these initial production runs were produced at El Laguito, home of Cohiba.
They were available in a number of different formats. 12 count Semi Boite Nature boxes (discontinued in 2004), 50 count Semi Boite Nature boxes (discontinued in 2006), 5 pack cardboard boxes (discontinued in 2010) and 12 count varnished Semi Boite Nature boxes (discontinued in 2012). These are only available in 24 count varnished Semi Boite Nature boxes at this time.
The wrapper is light honeyed hue. Smooth to the touch. Paper thin. Aromas of earth, honey, milk chocolate, and touches of mocha.
Construction is excellent. Firm throughout the cigar with a slight give when squeezed. The pig tail triple cap looks good and the foot is packed.
A careful twist from my Siglo multi punch and we are ready for lift off.
The draw is perfect. Nice airflow with a slight resistance.
Initial flavours from the cold draw are: honeysuckle, citrus, leather, eucalyptus and a touch of earth.
Time to take this to the flame….
We are off to a great start. Subtle and sleek with no harshness to speak of. Pure flavours of light cedar, hay, earth, honey, toasted almonds, and touches of eucalyptus. Strength is at a medium level.
The draw has tightened up slightly and the blue smoke flows gently into the air. The burn is slightly wonky but should correct itself and the ash is a ‘Dirty’ white with grey inflections.
The retrohale is smooth and silky. Gentle layers of toasted almonds, earth, light cedar and eucalyptus ease their way through the nasal passages.
The after finish is just delicious. Refined and complex, with gentle layers of hay, earth, toasted almonds, leather and touches of eucalyptus and faint hints of citrus. The medium level strength allows the flavours to dance on the palate effortlessly. Gentle like a touch of a baby’s hand on your face. Great harmony between flavours and strength. Everything is in perfect balance. Breathtaking….
A pure tobacco note has come into play. Distinct and combines nicely with the toasted almonds, earth, leather, hay and eucalyptus. Heavier now as the citrus and honey notes have dissipated. Strength continues to be at a medium level.
The retrohale has increased in density as hay, roasted nuts, earth and leather move more assertively through the nasal passages.
The after finish is heavier as toasted almonds, earth, leather and a distinct, pure tobacco note move to the forefront, followed by touches of hay and eucalyptus. The flavours continue to be supported by the medium strength level and dance on the palate before slowly ebbing away. There is a nice smoothness to this cigar and no harshness to speak of. The balance between flavours and strength continues to perform well.
Strength has increased slightly, changing the flavour profile. Heavier now. Earth, leather, oolong tea and cedar lead the way, with toasted almonds and hay following suit.
The retrohale is more muscular now. Earth, leather and cedar move with confidence through the nasal passages.
The after finish is heightened with the increase of strength. Still in the medium category however, noticeably more potent. Heavy layers of earth, leather, oolong tea and cedar lead the way with authority while toasted almonds and hay try to be part of the show however, have to settle for playing second fiddle. Surprised how much power this final third has. The balance has slightly tilted towards the strength side of the equation, leaving me to wonder the potential of future evolution of this cigar.
A brilliant cigar at this stage, with the pedigree to continue to further develop over time. The flavour profile evolves throughout the experience and goes through distinct changes as you reach the end.
The increase of strength and the intensity of the more robust flavours at the final third tells me that the future looks bright and that there more to come as this has not reached its apex yet. I may have to keep the remaining ones in the humidor until 2018 to enjoy it on its 20th anniversary…