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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

Virtuozity - - Brand Brand -

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

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