At the start of my cigar journey many years ago, I waded through the standard machine-rolled, $5 pieces that one purchases in their primary years. Mostly acrid, bitter units that I soldiered on through. With experience, time and a hunger to expand my horizons, I realised that I needed to venture further towards more highly prestigious noble brands. So along came Trinidad. My introduction to this spectacular line was none other than the Coloniales.
I will never forget my first time with this cigar. The initial sip transported me to a part of my subconscious that I had barely experienced. Excitement, pleasure, the thrill of having discovered something so sensuous and so remarkably incredible. In that moment my love for Trinidad was born. I looked forward to returning to this vitola.
Originally released back in 2003 with the launch of a new band design, alongside the Reyes and the Robustos Extra, the Coloniales measures 44 ring gauge by 132mm (5¼ inches) in length—a size not too dissimilar to a standard petit corona. Upon inspection, aesthetics for Trinidad are always unmatched: a flawless Colorado Claro wrapper finished with a perfectly set flag as its “pigtail”. Solid springy construction to the touch, with no dips in filler underneath the wrapper. An absolute gem from top tier torcedores.
On initial lighting, I tasted notes of sweet wood and dry cedar, with textures of fluffy cotton wool—a mouthfeel that would persist throughout. There was a sharpness of acidity drawn to the centre of my tongue with the first few puffs. Up to the first third, the cigar was bright and creamy, with a light dusting of sweet spice coating the gums. Textures were tangible with flavours prominent; the cigar holding a solid medium body to the smoke.
Half way through, sweetness persists with grassy undertones and there was an incredible thirst quenching moment occurring on the palate—as if you are practically drinking the cigar. Mouth texture developed to the point that I felt like I was being hugged by a giant fluffy cloud. There is a velvet richness on the draw that encompasses you with warmth and vigour. Towards the last inch, the retrohale comes forward with sharpness and brightness.
Despite my fingers touching ash, I did not want to put this cigar down. As I laid the final millimetres of tobacco in the ashtray to die gracefully, I noticed that the cigar had left a lasting menthol freshness, which stayed long after the remnants had gone cold. Construction was decent, although I found that I had to touch up a few times to even out the burn—but not a major concern. Draw was good, with only one or two relights necessary. Ash, although speckled grey and black with distinct edge curling, had held solidly for up to 3/5ths of its length.
I have found the Coloniales to be a perfect breakfast cigar (if you so happen to have 45 minutes to spare). Paired with a decent croissant and flat white, the cigar transforms into a slightly different being. Initially, oak sweetness dances with concentrated dry fiery, chilli spice in combination; halfway through imbibing all three components, I noticed a distinct chestnut mushroom/truffle note developing halfway through the cigar, a note that I often get with the chunkier vitolas in the brand’s portfolio. Coffee, pastry and Coloniales seem to be the perfect bed fellows. To quote George Bernard Shaw, “first love is only a little foolishness and a lot of curiosity.” Alas, a line that illustrates perfectly, infatuation and consequent growth of inquisitive exploration—especially when it comes to cigars.
Be fascinated, be intrigued, be beguiled, but most of all, never let the flame of passion die out.