Origin : Cuba
Format : Sublime
Size : 6 1/2 x 54 (164 x 21.43 mm)
Released : 2004
Price : N/A
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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.
Visually the Cohiba Sublimes still has a nice sheen to it. It is a tad rustic and toothy on appearance as were many of the Cuban cigars of that time period when construction issues were still a big issue with Cuban cigars. It has visible veining but tight seams.
Construction : (4.75)
The cigar had plenty of tobacco. It felt firm to the touch and had no lumpy spots. The draw was spot on but the burn did require a couple of minor corrections. The ash was firm with no flaking and the smoke output was moderate at times but mostly full.
The pre-light aromas offered up some classic Cohiba earthiness and sweet cedar along with hints of cocoa and roasted coffee bean.
Lighting the cigar greets you with a multitude of finely blended flavors to give you a very inviting mocha mixture of rich coffee, cocoa with roasted coffee bean. The classic Cohiba earthiness was there but mainly in the background. The cigar had aged beautifully with no harshness at all. It had just a touch of pleasant complimenting pepper on the palate. Usually I can taste it when a cigar has been harmed by age but there was no mustiness or off flavors coming out of this cigar. The finish was medium with minimal spice. The cigar is somewhat sweeter than I remember it and offered less earthy and grassy notes that are often a primary characteristic of the Cohiba brand. The smoke itself had a nice texture. It was velvety and left a pleasant residue on my palate that I likened to molasses with roasted coffee bean flavor. Exhaling through the nose was fine.
The second third started to reveal more of that earthiness, grassy and woodsy flavor that speaks unmistakably of the Cohiba brand. It was perfectly balanced with the coffee and rich cocoa flavors. Each flavor took its turn to shine on the front of the palate. There was some mild raisin and leather with the sweeter cedar flavors slowly transitioning to more of an oak woodsy taste. As I neared the end of the second third it was still more on the sweeter side. A little more leather entered the profile near the band but didn’t really hang around much nor did it dominate the profile of the cigar at any point.
As I started the final third of the cigar I continued to get complex flavors with a lot of depth. Whether it was the chocolate hitting the palate first or the coffee or the sweet earthiness or oak, the flavors were always pleasant with no bitterness. The back of the palate continued to have that nice but ever so slight smoke residue and just enough mild black pepper on the back of the tongue for it to be noticeable but never get in the way.
Overall Rating : (4.75)
My flavor rating says it all. A 5 out of 5. Sure there were a couple of minor burn and appearance issues that contributed to the cigar’s less than perfect overall rating but where it matters most is where this cigar shined; on the palate.
Overall the flavor transitions were perfectly complex. Cocoa and espresso notes dominated most of the cigar with perfectly balanced moments of earthiness, wood, slight leather and mocha. It was a tad sweeter than I had expected and it did offer up some nice salt on the lips to balance that along with some very mild pepper on the back end. The smoke always stayed cool.
The cigar was not as strong as I had remembered it but this is in large part due to the fact that I’ve been smoking stronger cigars over the last few years so I am used to the nicotine. Also, with age, the cigar’s flavors mellowed and blended amazingly. Age has definitely done it wonders.
Cohiba Sublimes are smoking incredibly well at the moment and believe it or not, it has been my experience that aging for too long doesn’t necessarily help cigars out that much. After a certain amount of time, additional aging really doesn’t do much and, in some cases, hurts the cigar. Don’t let this beauty go to waste if you happen to have any in your collection and give it a shot now because, in my opinion, it was “just right”.