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Famous Cuban Cigars: Trinidad Topes Edición Limitada 2016

J. Bennett Alexander Alexander's picture

J. Bennett Alexander

The Trinidad Topes Edición Limitada 2016 is one of three limited editions released in 2016 by Habanos, the entity that controls all Cuban cigars. That’s not unusual as almost every year three limited edition cigars seem to get produced. What is a bit unusual among limited edition releases is that the Trinidad Topes Edición Limitada 2016 is a really tasty cigar. Or should I say, it was.

A Fat Robusto

The Trinidad Topes Edición Limitada 2016, 4.875 x 56, is what’s known as a Robusto Gordo, or a fat Robusto. This makes for a lengthy smoke, about two hours. This limited edition was released in boxes of 12, a trademark of the brand, and with a darkish wrapper, less common for Trinidad today. In 2019, the Trinidad Topes became “unlimited,” graduating to the regular production line. The 2019 Topes has a lighter colored wrapper and, I would offer, is not as complex as the original. Both cigars have the typical Trinidad pigtail cap.


I have three Trinidad Topes Edición Limitada 2016 left in my humidor from a box I found in Doha, Qatar, duty free. This cigar was what Cubans call medium-full, and what you and I might call medium, in power. But the complexity was evident from early in the smoke, a result, in part, of the cigar being aged two years before its release.

The richness comes through in a very generous draw. There’s a lot of woodiness and pepper, some marzipan and a spicy finish. The pepper and almond go back and forth, with the pepper ultimately winning out. In some, I’ve detected citrus notes towards the end. Many times I’ve noted a bit of saltiness, not entirely unpleasant, in Trinidads. This minerality usually gives way to sweetness. Leave this cigar in your humidor, and you’ll benefit from a rounding out of any harsher elements, though more than five years in they should be very ready to enjoy.

The newer (2019) Trinidad Topes is actually milder than the limited edition original. Put simply, this is not as good a cigar. The citrus flavors tend to the sour on occasion and the mineral taste is quite prevalent. There is a bit of sweetness, but the finish is weak.


The Trinidad Topes Edición Limitada 2016 was a flavorful cigar, but it suffered from the Cuban malady of inconsistency and poor construction. This would make the cigar burn unevenly and sometimes hot. These would be the cigars you light delicately, with a cedar spill, and don’t touch the flame to the foot. Of course, that doesn’t guarantee a good burn if the construction is bad. So, beware.

Buy Them, If You Can Find Them

It’s not exactly clear how many Trinidad Topes Edición Limitada 2016 cigars were made, but they are extraordinarily hard to find these days. If you do find them, they sell for at least US$20 each, but that’s if you’re in a duty free shop. In London, when they first came out, these cigars sold for more than US$40. That’s likely what you’ll pay today if you find some.

On the other hand, the 2019 version of the Trinidad Topes, again, in boxes of 12, are pretty easy to get and very pricy. At James J. Fox in London, they go for about US$43 each. In the Euro zone, you’ll find the Topes for about US$19 each, maybe US$20 in France.

If You Really Want a Trinidad

Listen, Trinidad has some tasty cigars. Among them are the iconic, original vitola, Trinidad Fundadores, a Panetela, 7.5 x 40; and the Trinidad Vigía, a sort-of fat, short Robusto at 4.375 x 54. The Vigía was a 2016 Cigar Aficionado top 25 cigar of the year. Again though, beware of construction issues.

The Trinidad Story

Before it became a regular production brand, in 1998, Trinidad cigars commanded $700 per cigar at a 1994 charity dinner in Paris. Legend has it that the original Trinidad, a Lancero, 7.5 x 38, was made only for gifting by Fidel Castro to diplomats. The first Trinidads were made in 1969 at the same factory as the Cohiba and both cigars were “private” brands. Each box of “diplomatic Trinidads,” as they were known, came in plain cedar boxes of 100. You could buy them only at auction, occasionally. Anyway, that’s the legend. The original makers of the Trinidad cigar have a different story.

In 1905, the tale goes, Diego Trinidad founded Trinidad y Hermanos (Trinidad and Brothers) as a tobacco company. Diego Jr. took over the business in 1920 and, in 1958, renamed it TTT Trinidad and began producing cigarettes and a Panetela cigar. But, of course, only a few years later, the Castro government confiscated the company, along with all the other cigar concerns in Cuba. The Trinidad family fled Cuba, and, for a short time, had the Fuente family make a non-Cuban Trinidad. The Trinidad family won the right in 2001 to sell cigars under the Trinidad name in the US. A year later, they sold the brand to Altadis, a partner with Habanos in the Cuban cigar industry. Altadis still makes non-Cuban Trinidads.

Back in Cuba, the production of the diplomatic Trinidads ended after the Cubans realized how much interest there was in the brand. So, long-story-short, around 1998, the first Trinidad Fundadores were made. A little fatter than the diplomatic Lanceros, the Fundadores became popular. Around 2003, Trinidad added three sizes, all with pigtail caps, and the brand became a regular in the Habanos stable. The only Figurado that Trinidad has released is the 6.125 x 59 Glorioso, also the only Trinidad without a pigtail. This was a very limited production cigar made to commemorate the brand’s purported 50th anniversary in 2019.

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