Cohiba Coronas Especiales ’98 (Vintage Review)

Cohiba Coronas Especiales

Origin : Cuba
Format : Laguito No. 2Cohiba
Size : 6 x 38 (152 x 15.08 mm)
Box code : EL – March ’98
Price : roughly $12/cigar for current production

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.

Appearance : Rating: ★★★★☆
Natural (Colorado Claro), no prominent veins, somewhat flat sheen. A little darker and rougher than the typical premium Cohiba. Ash is variegated with black, dark gray and white.

Construction : Rating: ★★★★☆
Somewhat tight and the whole cigar feels very firm but not as tight as I expected once lit. Good volume of smoke. Slightly uneven burn and a little wrapper unraveling, but perhaps I damaged the cigar. Requires a few relights, but the draw eases further and the smoke grows copious. Lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes.

Cohiba Coronas Especiales

Flavor : Rating: ★★★★½
Opened with more flavor than I expected; despite the age, this Cohiba hasn’t faded at all. Very smooth but still full-bodied. I wish I could report something unique about this Cohiba, but it matches the classic, nearly perfect Cohiba profile: grassy and earthy with a little vanilla, a touch of cocoa and honey. The cigar has a long finish which coats the mouth in toast and leather. The flavor builds with each puff and the honeyed sweetness increases. Interestingly, there is also a presence of black pepper. It simply gets better with each puff. I’d give this a 5 for taste, but I reserve a perfect rating for the rare mind-blowing cigar. Consider this pretty darn close.

Cohiba Coronas Especiales

Overall Rating : Rating: ★★★★½
A terrific smoking experience. Time has improved an already excellent cigar. As with most of the Linea Clasica, I’d recommend buying a box and setting it aside for as long as willpower allows.

4 Comments on “Cohiba Coronas Especiales ’98 (Vintage Review)”

  1. Charlie H. says:

    I love the Corona Especiale! One of my go to smokes/sizes…For the “dark years” of Cuban Cigars I hear the ’98-’02 Cohiba and Trinidads are smoking very good. Great review!

  2. Great review and photos. Thanks!

  3. Always nice to read about this fine cigar – of which Fidel Castro has acknowledged in interviews, that the Cohiba Coronas Especiales is his personal favourite.

    Have just smoked the elegant slender sister of the above cigar, the Cohiba Exquisitos (126mm x 13,10mm), which for my occasionally-smoking self, I thought to be one of the best sticks I’ve ever had, a medium-mild cigar that burned perfectly & drew easily, giving an hour of enjoyment & inducing a naturally dreamy state of mind, the cigar keeping its gentle profile even in the last third.

  4. Martin Nordaas says:

    I fully agree with the reviewer, a bit tight on the draw still, tried 2 from a box purchased early in the year, production late ‘17.
    They’ll be allowed to rest longer.

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