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With the 50th anniversary of Cohiba almost upon us, We look at some of our favourite Cigars that the brand has put out over the years
1. Siglo Vi Length: 150, Ring gauge: 52
Having been released 10 years after the rest of the Linea 1492, the Siglo VI had plenty to live up to. And given the family in which it sits, it’s impossible not to have high hopes for it before lighting up. Based on its looks, the VI talks the talk, sporting exactly the same kind of flawless wrapper as the rest of the range. And it’s constructed just as well, providing an even burn and easy draw throughout.
When you light up, it’s clear that the Siglo VI can walk the walk, too—though it deviates somewhat from usual taste profile of wood and grass. During the first third, you get a medium-bodied flavour of honey, earth, pepper and cream. It’s still beautifully balanced, though, and you’re left with no qualms about smoking on.
During the second and final thirds, things begin to heat up a little, with spicy
notes making themselves more and more prevalent. It’s all bearable thanks to that wonderfully creamy smoke, though. During the final third, flavours of coffee are added to the mix, creating an interesting—if a little intense—finish. It’s strange how much the Siglo VI differs from the rest of the Linea 1492, but it’s still a fantastic cigar.
2. Edicion Limitada 2011 cohiba 1966 LENGTH: 166, RING GAUGE: 52
The Cohiba 1966 is one of our favourite special editions from any brand, let alone Cohiba. Indeed, we’ve always maintained that the 1966 is the essence of what a good Cohiba should be. For one thing, it’s hugely desirable, but on the flip side of that, it also delivers on the expectations— sure, you may have to pay an arm and a leg for a box, but you’ll never be disappointed whenever you light one up.
On the outside, the 1966 has an excellent construction, with a dark-coloured, oily wrapper that’s extremely pleasant to touch. Pre-light, on the nose, it’s all cedar and coffee—just like any Cohiba, only somehow more distilled. And when you light up, the draw is near-perfect.
That said, there’s no denying that the 1966 is a full-bodied cigar, and for the first few puffs, you can detect some similarities with the Cohiba Maduro, particularly in terms of smoke strength. And as you move to the second third, the 1966 really kicks in with much more strength, which helps to give the cigar its identity and character. As you make your way through the cigar, it begins serving up more notes of coffee and nuts, almost as if it’s inviting you on a journey of discovery. More flavours such as leather and cedar continue to gain strength as you get into the second and final thirds. This means that, by the end, you’re wrestling with a bouquet of different experiences. That said, it’s all very well balanced, in true Cohiba style, meaning that what you get is simply a solid, strong cigar that manages its flavours well. And it goes without saying that the finish is beautiful.
3. bhk 52 LENGTH: 119, RING GAUGE: 52
In 2010, Cohiba stunned the cigar world with the release of the Behike line, comprised of medium to full-strength cigars. They sit right at the premium end of the market, meaning they’re hilariously expensive, even by Cohiba standards. Despite this, whenever new batches are produced, they sell out quick, and that’s because the cigars (available with either a 52, 54 or 56 ring gauge) are some of the very best to have ever come out of Cuba. And our pick of the bunch is the BHK 52, the petit robusto of the range.
In terms of its appearance, the BHK 52 looks every bit as expensive as it is. The
aged, light-brown wrapper is smooth and veinless, and it’s packed to bursting point. It might be a little short, but because it’s a robusto variant, it looks stocky and masculine. And there’s even a little pigtail on the head, adding a little splash of drama to the package. And construction-wise, the 52 is just as special—the draw is perfect from beginning to end.
Upon lighting, the cigar delivers big amounts of thick, creamy smoke—it’s an event from the off. The Behike range is made from pre-aged tobacco, so the cigars are always ready to smoke straight out of the box, and in the 52’s case, that means an instant hit of stunning Vuelta Abajo region flavour profiles—wood, leather and spice. The first third goes on to deliver decent notes of earth and coffee. It’s certainly a complex flavour profile, but every part of it is extremely well balanced, making it a very pleasing smoke.
The second third reveals even more complexity, as notes of citrus, vanilla and cocoa come into the fray. Again, however, they’re more exciting than they are confusing. Lesser cigars would come off as a bit of a mess if they delivered such a range of flavours, but the BHK 52 takes them all in its stride, offering up notes that are potent enough to detect, but never overpowering. The final third sees things calm down a little bit, with the cigar reverting to its base line of leather, wood and earth. However, notes of cocoa still crop up every now and then. Things become quite full-bodied here, but, let’s be honest, if you’re indulging in a BHK 52, it’s pretty likely that you’re a seasoned cigar smoker who is quite capable of enjoying the stronger smoke. By the end, it’s easy to realise that the BHK 52 might be short, but it’s worth every penny.
4. Coleccion Habanos 2008 LENGTH: 184, RING GAUGE: 54
This Sublimes Extra was released as part of the 2008 Habanos Collection ‘Book’ series—a new special release size for Cohiba that was met with widespread approval. And when you get your hands on one, you realise that the packaging alone is worthy of the praise that this cigar has had layered on it. A thousand boxes, styled to look like volumes of an encyclopedia, were produced, with each box containing 20 cigars, meaning it’s still reasonably easy to get hold of one. And this is a good thing— seeing as the 2008 has aged beautifully since it was first produced. the overwhelming pleasure from this cigar is the fact that it produces such big plumes of creamy, tasty smoke—it’s classic Cohiba at its core and it’s just pleasant.
This is a good thing, because it’s a good 45 minutes before you get half-way through the cigar. You hardly notice the time slipping away as you’re puffing on this large stick—you could accuse the flavour profile of being boring given this fact, but the point is the whole package is really enjoyable. Anyway, by the time you’re half-way through, and well into the second third, more of the sweet notes become more obvious—it’s all honey and sugar, with a refreshing hint of grass on the finish. Cocoa is also present there, though