Cuaba was officially launched by Habanos president Francisco Linares on November 19, 1996, at Claridge's Hotel in London, Great Britain, as an all-perfecto line of cigars. The brand was launched in an attempt to revive figurados, which had initially been very popular in the early 20th century but had declined since about the 1950s. For the release party, the creator of the line, Carlos Izquierdo González, and fourteen other highly skilled torcedores (cigar rollers) demonstrated making figurado cigars. The original Cuabas were of slightly differing sizes within the same box, due to a cigar mold not being used to press them into shape. When molds were finally made for Cuaba around a year later, these original non-molded cigars became great collectors' items.
González claims he styled the Cuaba blend after Montecristo, but most cigar connoisseurs believe the blend used is more similar in taste to Romeo y Julieta. Unsurprisingly, most Cuaba cigars are manufactured in the Briones Montoto (Romeo y Julieta) factory.
In 1998, Cuaba had the distinction of being one of the cigar brands chosen to be released with a special vitola (the Distinguidos) in a Millennium Reserve ceramic jar humidor and is often a brand chosen for special releases and humidors.
All Cuaba cigars are made at the Briones Montoto (Romeo y Julieta) factory in Havana Cuba using tobacco sourced from the Vuelta Abajo (Pinar del Rio). Each Cuaba cigar is hand-made, using only Grade 7 rollers (the highest certification).
Vitolas in the Cuaba Line
The following list of vitolas de salida (commercial vitolas) within the Cuaba marque lists their size and ring gauge in Imperial (and Metric), their vitolas de galera (factory vitolas), and their common name in American cigar slang.
- Diademas - 91⁄8" × 55 (232 × 21.83 mm), Diademas, a giant perfecto
- Distinguidos - 63⁄8" × 52 (162 × 20.64 mm), Romeos, a perfecto
- Divinos - 4" × 43 (102 × 17.07 mm), Petit Bouquet, a petit perfecto
- Exclusivos - 53⁄4" × 46 (146 × 18.26 mm), Exquisitos, a perfecto
- Generosos - 51⁄4" × 42 (133 × 16.67 mm), Generosos, a perfecto
- Salomónes I - 71⁄4" × 57 (184 × 22.62 mm), Salomónes, a double perfecto
- Tradicionales - 43⁄4" × 42 (121 × 16.67 mm), Favoritos, a petit perfecto
- Nee, Min Ron - An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Post-Revolution Havana Cigars (2003, Reprinted: 2005), ISBN 3-9809308-2-3