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  1. Smoked my first La Trova the other day to check out this new release. Will give a brief account: Despite it's ring gauge of 52, this is a release I was really looking forward to. Because I love the complex Trinidad profile, and current Trinis are smoking exceptionally well. The blend is always spot on with great consistency, tobacco of top notch quality and wrappers mostly, too. The La Trova turned out no different, and this time (unlike e.g. for the Monte Dantés), I wasn't disappointed. This is only the second time this format is being utilized. First instance been in the famed Cohiba 1966 EL of 2011, when the Cañonazo Especial (52 x 166) made its debut. For me, girthwise really on the top end of what I can handle with aplomb and enjoyment. This release appears really well made, and Tabacuba seems having put much care into its making. Let's hope it will continue that way with follow-up production! Good, even bunching and beautiful wrappers of high standards. The complete row in the box is a sight to behold, and - if you ask me - is looking even nicer than the 1966 EL, due to their silky-smooth wrappers. Wrapper shade is typical Trinidad, of a lighter colorado-claro, smooth, supple and showing just a few, mostly finer veins, despite the comparatively large wrapper leaf necessary to clad this stick. When looking at a well-made Trini, it almost inevitably elicits in my mind that sound of the 3/4-4/4-time theme of The Stranglers' all-time hit.... "Golden brown, texture like sun" - this is how Trinidad is meant to be... in look & feel & impact This particular stick had a more open draw than I prefer. An initial fear I was having with this format, that it might turn out to be another windtunnel version of its regular production breed. But, seems not! - Still manageable for me, and I guess this will be in favour of many "wide-girth" smokers. Checking the weight distribution of sticks revealed a spectrum between slightly below 16.0 g and 20.2 g in a single box (- the official charts stating a mere 15.24 g for this vitola, a mass I would consider way too low for the format). In the attempt to see where we are standing here I intentionally chose the lightest one for this first trial, but the heavier ones will surely suit me better. Was still ok, no issues of overheating when the right cadence had been found, though the result was a comparatively quick smoke. This smoke was going from slightly under medium to full in body, lasting me a 90 min (not long, considering that a good, firmly packed Reyes already lasts me 60-70 min, ocassionally up to 75 min, a Fundi easily beyond 2 hrs....). A more properly filled exemplar will surely go for up to two hours. Towards the end you could feel the cigar's youth and its potential for further development. But right now, already a true pleasure to smoke. This specimen I had prepared prior to smoking by keeping it for about a week out of the box in the open in the storage room, at about 61-62 % rH. There is no reason to wait and not dive in immediately. Box code RAG AUG 17. General thoughts - While I thoroughly enjoyed this stick, actually the format and all the extra tobacco doesn't bring any extra advantage - for me personally - over a Fundadores. But I can see how this will appeal to the Robusto / Double Robusto smoker. This release is a clever move to attract new smokers and/or bring back those who had been lost to the marca with the (foolish) discontinuation of the Robusto Extra. It is producing much more 'steam' compared to its skinnier brethren, while tastewise being very similar, also in its evolution. It looks like they compensated for the bigger volume by shifting the blend a bit more towards the seco/volado side. My go-to, the Reyes, is providing me a similar if not slightly more intensity. But, this here is far from being a "volado roll", and smoking this first specimen it appears blenders did a pretty good job keeping the general perception of body and strength very similar to the regular formats. Which is nice actually. Would I smoke these more often in the future? Sure. But I'd only pull such a stick for special occasions. And for me, as an avid indoor smoker, this is a classic patio smoke due to its voluminous smoke production. Also, a general issue I am having with sticks of such formats going along with huge smoke production is that at times I tend to feel a certain palate tiring during the last third, so that I am not able to enjoy them as much as I am enjoying a skinnier stick towards its end. Still, this is a clear winner in my books. And it seems HSA managed to bring out another great LCDH release with This Luscious Thing, TLT aka Trinidad La Trova.

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