Habanaos SA introduced two new lines during the 1990s. The Vegas Robaina brand was the second of the two, and is named after Don Alejandro Robaina. The Don became famous for growing premium wrapping leaves on his farms in the Vuelta Abajo region, also known as Pinar del Rio, on the island of Cuba.
The Robaina cigars are produced using only the finest tobacco and are classified as having a medium to strong blend. Cigar aficionados describe the cigars as having a fine burn, a wonderful presentation and an excellent aroma.
How It All Began
Don Alejandro Robaina became very well known by cigar aficionados all over for growing the best tobacco in all of the farms in the famous Cuban region of Vuelta Abajo. Every year, eighty percent of Don Alejandro’s abundant tobacco harvest was declared to be of high enough quality to be used as wrapper leaves for premium Cuban cigars. Only about thirty percent of the tobacco produced on other plantations received this honor.
In 1997, Don Alejandro was honored by Habanos SA when the company decided to launch a new line of cigars in the name of his exceptional tobacco farm. Produced in the former H. Upmann factory in Havana, the Vegas Robaina cigars quickly rose to the top choice of cigar aficionados around the world.
Don Alejandro himself became quite a large celebrity in the Cuban cigar world, with thousands of tourists and aficionados flocking to see the famous farm, and to meet the man behind the legendary leaves.
In 2009, Don Alejandro was diagnosed with cancer. He died a year later on April 17, 2010.
Vegas Robaina Line of Vitolas
This is a list of the commercially sold vitolas in the Vegas Robaina brand of cigars.
Vegas Robaina Vitolas Made by Hand:
- Clasico – measures 6 ½ inches long x 42 ring gauge (165 × 16.67 mm), officially named the Cervantes, commonly called a lonsdale by smokers
- Don Alejandro – measures 7 ⅝ inches long x 49 ring gauge (194 × 19.45 mm), officially named the Prominente, commonly called a double corona by smokers
- Familiar – measures 5 ⅝ inches long x 42 ring gauge (143 × 16.67 mm), officially named the Corona, also called a corona by cigar aficionados
- Famoso – measures 5 inches long x 48 ring gauge (127 × 19.05 mm), officially named the Hermoso No. 4, commonly called the corona extra by smokers
- Unico – measures 6 ⅛ inches long x 52 ring gauge (156 × 20.64 mm), officially named the Piramide, commonly called the pyramid by smokers.
Discontinued Production Vegas Robaina Cigars:
- Clasicos – measures 6.5 inches long (165 mm) x 42 ring gauge. Officially named the Cervantes and commonly called the longdale. The line was discontinued 2012.
- Familiar – measures 5.6 inches long (142 mm) x 42 ring gauge. Officially named the Coronas and commonly called the corona. The line was discontinued in 2012.
Special Releases of the Vegas Robaina
In 1999, Vega Robaina released five special limited edition cigars called the Siglo XXI. They were:
- Clasicos – measures 6.5 inches long (165 mm) x 42 ring gauge. Officially named the Cervantes, and commonly called the longsdale.
- Don Alejandro – measures 7.6 inches long (195 mm) x 49 ring gauge. Officially named the Prominetes, and commonly called the double corona.
- Familiar – measures 5.6 inches long (142 mm) x 42 ring gauge. Officially named the Coronas and commonly called the corona.
- Famosos – measures 5 inches long (127 mm) x 48 ring gauge. Officially named the Hermosos No. 4, and commonly called corona extra.
- Unicos – measures 6.1 inches long (156 mm) x 52 ring gauge. Officially named Piramides, and commonly called the pyramid.
The company also released many other special edition cigars to commemorate various milestones.
- 2002 – To celebrate the fourth annual Habanos Festival, another cigar bearing the Don Alejandro name was produced, but never released for sale. The cigars were given to guests at the Gala celebration dinner. About 800 cigars were produced and gifted at the dinner. This cigar is extremely rare. It measures 7.6 inches long (194 mm) x 49 ring gauge. Officially named the Prominentes, and commonly called the Double Corona.
- 2002 – To celebrate the 83rd birthday of Don Alejandro. The limited run was named the Don Alejandro, officially named the Prominentes and commonly called the double corona. It measures 7.6 inches long (194 mm) x 49 ring gauge. Only 83 cigars were produced, none of which were released outside of Cuba. All 83 of the cigars were numbered and packaged in a special humidor box.
- 2003 – Commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Vegas Robaina brand. Five numbered humidor boxes were created to house 100 cigars each. These cigars were:
- 20 Clasicos
- 20 Don Alejandro
- 20 Famosos
- 20 Maestros
- 20 Unicos.
- 2005 – To commemorate the Fifth Avenue fifteenth anniversary, Germany Edition. One thousand cigars named Robaina were made and packaged in a Boite Nature Box containing fifteen cigars each. They were officially named Robustos No. 2, measured 6.1 inches long (156 mm) x 50 ring gauge and were commonly referred to as the robusto extra.
- 2006 – Two hundred cigars were produced for a special First Habanos Art Edition. The artwork on the bands and on the four limited edition boxes were created by Angel Ramirez. The cigars were packed in a Numbered Dress Box, with each box containing twenty-five cigars. The cigars used for this edition were the Famoso Ramirez, measuring 5 inches long (127 mm) x 48 ring gauge. Officially named the Hermosos No. 4, they were commonly known as the corona extra.
- 2007 – Edicion Regional Espana, limited regional release. The Maestros was chosen for this edition. It is officially named the Gorditos, and commonly called a robusto extra. It measures 5.6 inches long (141 mm) x 50 ring gauge. There were 20 000 cigars made for this release, and packaged in Numbered Varnished Boite, with ten cigars to a box.
- 2008 – Edicion Regional Adriatico. This limited regional release was intended to be released in 2008, but wasn’t actually released until late 2009. Part of the delay could have been trade mark issues. Originally, the planned brand to use for this edition was to be the La Gloria Cubana brand cigars, but the proper authorization couldn’t be secured, so the company used the Vegas Robaina brand, instead. The cigar they chose was he Marshall, officially named the Robustos, and commonly called the robusto. It measures 4.9 inches long (124 mm) x 50 ring gauge.Another delay in the release date might have been due to the re-branding of the boxes. The La Gloria Cubana boxes had already been produced. This required the company to re-brand the boxes with the Vegas Robaina insignia and design, which they did by adding a metal name plate to all of the boxes. The Numbered Varnished boxes each contained ten cigars. In total, 1 500 cigars were produced for this release.
- 2008 – Edicion Regional Portugal. In this regional limited release, the company chose the Petit Robusto. Officially named the Petit Robustos and also commonly called the petit robusto, this cigar measures 4 inches 4 inches long (102 mm) x 50 ring gauge. There were 600 cigars produced for this release, and they were packed in a Numbered Dress Box, with twenty-five cigars per box.
- 2009 – Edicion Regional Canada. For this limited regional release, 1 200 cigars were produced. The Petit Robaina was chosen, which is officially named the Petit Edmundo, and commonly known as the petit robusto. It measures 4.3 inches long (110 mm) x 52 ring gauge. Twenty-five cigars were packed in each of the Numbered Semi Boite (Nature Box) produced for this release.
- 2010 – Edicion Regional France. For this limited edition release, 3 500 cigars were produced. The Petit Robusto was chosen, which is officially named the Petit Robustos, and commonly known as the petit robusto. It measures 4 inches long (102 mm) x 50 ring gauge. Ten cigars were packed in each of the Numbered Varnished slide lid boxes produced for this release.The original proposed release date of 2010 was thought to be abandoned, and then rescheduled to be released 2010, but actually, the limited edition wasn’t available until 2012.
- 2012 – Edicion Regional Canada. The XV Aniversario was chosen for this limited edition release. In total, 5 000 cigars were made and packed in groups of ten in special Numbered Dress boxes. Officially named the Sublimes, the cigars are commonly referred to as a double robusto. It measures 6.5 inches (164 mm) x 54 ring gauge.
- 2012 – Edicion Regional Suiza. The Petit Unicos was chosen for this limited edition release. In total, 5 000 cigars were made and packed in groups of ten in special Numbered Dress boxes. Officially named the Petit Belicosos, the cigars are commonly called the petit pyramid. It measures 4.9 inches long (125 mm) x 52 ring gauge.