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
Hand-Made
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.