The first-ever non-Cuban cigar blended by Cuban tobacco grower Hirochi Robaina is now available in cigar shops across the United States.
HR, as the cigar is known, contains no Cuban tobacco and was rolled in Estelí, Nicaragua at the Cubanacan Cigars Factory S.A. The cigar is a collaboration between Robaina and Omar González Alemán, the master blender at Cubanacan who migrated to Costa Rica from Cuba in 2004.
The HR blend contains filler from Nicaragua's Jalapa Valley and Estelí regions, binder from Jalapa, and a maduro wrapper grown in Ecuador from Habano 2000 seed. Cubanacan says HR is powerful. It is available in 20-count boxes in four sizes: Belicoso, 5 1/2 inches by 52 ring gauge; Hermoso, 5 1/8 inches by 48; Toro, 6 inches by 52; Sublime, 6 1/2 inches by 54. The cigars range in price from $18.99 to $21.99.
Four years ago, Robaina took over control of famed tobacco plantation Cuchillas de Barbacoa in Pinar del Río, which has been in the family since the mid-1800s. The plantation was previously overseen by legendary Cuban tobacco grower Alejandro Robaina, Hirochi's grandfather, for decades until he died in 2010. HR was created in order to honor the elder Robaina's legacy in the cigar industry.
To celebrate the release, a series of in-store events has been scheduled in which Hirochi Robaina himself will be attending. According to Lawrence Miltenberger, the vice president of operations and marketing for Cubanacan, Robaina will be talking to event goers about the Robaina family and taking pictures with fans and signing cigar boxes, too. Attendees who purchase a box of HRs will also be entered into a raffle in which they will have a chance to win a four-pack sampler.
The store tour began last week in La Casa, a cigar bar in Las Vegas. It will continue on Thursday when Robaina and the Cubanacan team heads to Miura Cigars in Doral, Florida. From there they will visit Marcus Daniel Tobacconist in Old Naples, Florida, before moving on to Serious Cigars in Houston, Texas on December 19. The tour will then take a break for the holidays and start back up again in mid-January.