Cohiba Coronas Especiales are regular production cigars, but difficult to find in aged or vintage condition. I purchased this box about 8 years ago for a little under $400. I have no idea what these would be worth today, but I’d guess significantly more.
Origin : Cuba Format : Petit Robusto Size : 119 (4.7'') x 20.64 mm Ring : 52 Smoking time : 1h 15min Pairing : Cuba Libre Bought in June 2013 Boxcode : BTO OCT 12 Price : 27 EUR each More info about purchasing Cohiba cigars...
Today we've got a guest review from our reader Juha Murto. Enjoy!
Well, this is my first review ever on the internet. So I decided to smoke something special. I managed to get my hands on these beautiful Behikes and I’d been planning to smoke one per year so that I can see how they age over time. Let's see if this little robusto is worth the hype.
I’m going to do something a little different in this review and instead of reviewing a cigar in current production I am going to go deep into my aging humidor and have a cigar that I haven’t sampled for a long time.
Originally released in 2004, the Cohiba EL Sublimes attracted some very favorable reviews. In early 2005 I bought five of these cigars. I smoked two over the next couple of years and quite enjoyed them. I decided to age the remaining three but I did smoke one about 3 years ago before I started reviewing for this site.
Suffice to say that my collection grew exponentially since that time so these did get a little lost in the humidor but while doing my cigar rotation and autumn cleaning of the humidors this past week I decided to smoke one with the intent of making it a review. As we head into the 10th year anniversary of this cigar’s release I decided to see how this cigar has aged. Of course, the Sublimes are no longer readily available nor are they in production so this review will not factor cost or pricing at all. With that in mind, let’s see how this 2004 Sublime has aged.
In 2010, Cohiba officially unveiled perhaps one of its more exclusive cigars ever. The cigar received extensive reviews at the time of release ranging from over-priced to the best cigar the reviewer had ever tasted. I understand that whenever a cigar is priced in the highest end of the price range for a particular product, there will often be resentment associated with that. However, the fact they are priced in the “exclusive” end is perhaps why they are consistently sold out even two years after their release. Although we can still call this cigar new to the scene, it really isn’t all that new to the aficionado anymore because anyone with a passion for Cuban cigars knows very well about the story behind these cigars and their desire among smokers and collectors alike. One of the best cigars to come out of Cuba in a long time is also one of the most, if not THE most expensive to come off the Island and as a result, people will have varying opinions, often wrongly, because of that price tag.
What makes the Behike so special is that unlike many other Cubans, this cigar, for all intent and purpose really needs no aging in large part due to the fact that the cigar is essentially constructed with aged tobacco. For example, the filler is made up of tobacco known as medio tiempo which is a sun-grown leaf that grows at the top of tobacco plants. Not all tobacco plants produce this leaf though but it is known to be full-bodied and loaded with coffee-like flavors with a very creamy texture to the smoke. Essentially, this leaf has elements of tobacco leaf that has already been aged and, even with young medio tiempo, one can detect the same creamy, earthy and coffee-like flavors of a well-aged cigar. The BHK comes in 52, 54 and 56 which corresponds to their respective ring gauges and, once stabilized for humidity, can be smoked “out of the box”.
I’ve been lucky enough to obtain 2 boxes both from Cuba and at Cuban pricing. The first one, bearing a box date of October 2011, was brought back for me in early December of 2011 from a vacationing friend. At 180 Cuban Pesos per cigar, the 10-count box worked out to 18.00 Cuban Pesos per stick. With an exchange rate to the Canadian dollar being almost equal, we can fairly say that these cigars were roughly $18.00 each. The second box was purchased for me in June of 2012 and they carried a box date of May 2012. Again, I placed the order through a vacationing friend and that second box cost me 183.00 Cuban Convertible Pesos or roughly $185.00 Canadian dollars for a 10 count box ($18.50 each cigar).
These cigars sell out fast wherever they are, indicating that the price is not keeping people from indulging in the pleasure. I’ll comment some more about this later. First, however, let’s talk about these cigars of which I have 1 box left, having smoked the last one out of my first box just a few weeks ago.
With only 5,000 boxes made, harvested from the best tobacco of the 2003 crop, the Gran Reserva signifies the best possible product from Cuba. Here's more about this special smoke: Habanos Press release. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to smoke a cigar of this magnitude, even at nearly a dollar per millimeter of tobacco.
As I take it out of my trunk humidor, I can't help but notice how unassuming it is. The wrapper looks like any other Habano, light brown and thin with very little visible veins - just a little more red in color. I expected it to be heftier than it is: most Cohibas are packed very tightly, but not this one. Upon clipping it, I notice the pre-light draw is very easy - different from most Sig VI's.
Perhaps one of the morereviewedcigars has to be the Cohiba Robusto. I find that smokers of this cigar either love it or hate it with no real in-between. I for one don’t like all my cigars to taste the same and look to different brands and varieties to keep my interest. What good would only drinking your favorite bottle of wine be? At some point the anticipation of enjoying that glass of wine or, in this case, that cigar would be lost. This is why I ensure my humidor always has cigars with different flavor profiles and vitolas. This particular sample came from a batch that was brought back to me from Cuba by a vacationing friend back in 2009. With a box date of April 2009, this cigar is ready for smoking. Being one of my favorite robustos, I’ve smoked many of these over the years. For the purpose of this review though, I was sure to pay special attention to why this robusto has become a must have in my humidor. Having been a fairly regular smoker of this cigar for the last 10 years or so, it has been my experience that this cigar does benefit from a little age and, at 3 years, becomes very smokeable. Younger samples tend to be a tad bitter as you approach the center of the cigar and that bitterness lingers. I find that a little age does it well in that regard.
I have tried the smaller Secretos version of the Maduro 5 previously, but not its big brother, the Genios until now. Most of the reviews I've read on the Genios have been positive, so I was hoping to have the same luck, though I wasn't terribly impressed with Secretos. I enjoyed this with a nicely aged cabernet sauvignon, which paired pretty well.
On my last visit to the local shop, I just couldn't resist. I must admit that if I didn't have a cigar blog, I would have probably passed on it. Spending over $40 on a single cigar is not among my habits. However, this is a Cohiba, this is a Behike (it used to be the most expensive cigar in the world a few years ago!) and I have a way to tell thousands of cigar aficionados how it smokes - and this makes it worth the price.
Cohiba Behike was (re)released in 2010 during the XII Festival del Habano. The term Behike was first found in a travel note written somewhere in the 16th century and it designated a tribal chief. The characteristic feature of this cigar is the use of "medio tiempo" leaves in the blend. These rare upper leaves which are supposed to receive more sun light are expected to add a distinct taste to the cigar. According to Habanos, this is the reason why Behikes will be produced in very limited quantities every year.
Presented in black lacquered boxes of 10, three vitolas are available: Cohiba Behike 52 (Petit Robusto, 4.7 x 52), Cohiba Behike 54 (Robusto Extra, 5.7 x 54) and the giant jaw-breaker Cohiba Behike 56 (Double Robusto, 6.5 x 56). Today, I will be tasting the Cohiba Behike 52.