Overpriced brand-name cigar: Thou Name Is Cohiba

Cohiba Robusto

Origin : Cuba
Format : RobustoCohiba
Size : 124 x 19.84 mm
Ring : 50
Weight : 11.66 g
Hand-Made
Price : ~$15 each
More info about purchasing Cohiba cigars...

This guest review was submitted by a good friend of this blog, Richard Bui. Happy reading!

Cohiba is one of the cigar brands that need no introductions. The flagship brand of Habanos S.A. and the personal brand to Dictator Fidel Castro, Cohiba is the cream of the crop for Cuban cigars and you certainly pay top dollar for that.

As the Robusto is my favorite cigar vitola, it should come as no surprise that the Cohiba Robusto would be a cigar I would be interested in. I have looked forward to having one for a very long time and opportunity came knocking. Here are my thoughts.

Construction

I've read from a number of sites that construction issues plague Cohiba; complaints range from loosely rolled cigars to cracked wrappers. Fortunately the three Cohiba Robustos I sampled exhibited no problems, physically anyways.

Cohiba Robusto

The Cohiba Robusto has very small, minor veins on it's otherwise ordinary looking milky chocolate wrapper. When squeezed, there is some slight sponginess, but no soft spots so no odd burning issues are anticipated. The burn is decent, I did touch it up a few times with my Zippo Blu. The ash is an unimpressive flaky salt-and-pepper color that refused to hold for more than an inch at a time.

Flavor & Taste

Pre-light draw revealed very subtle hints of...hay/grass...? The foot of the Cohiba Robusto smelled like nothing but perhaps the subtle scent of floral.

The first third of the cigar is the worse in flavor. A combination of what I can only describe as chewing on wet, bitter grass. Of the two Cohiba Robusto I smoked, as well as my buddy who had one, that inital crap taste was consistent on all three. Yum.

By the second third, things definitely started getting better. The bitterness resided and flavors of coffee as well as dark chocolate began to overtake.

The last third is where this baby starts to shine and becomes what one would expect of a Cuban cigar. A touch of pleasant spiciness develops and becomes an enjoyable smoke.

Despite all the talk about the strength, power, and kick of Cohiba cigars, I hate to say it but, it is overstated. The Cohiba Robusto, in my opinion, is more of a decent medium body cigar compared to, say, the Bolivar Royal Corona. But let me add, what I consider a strong cigar isn't one that necessarily is overpowering, kicks the crap out of you and churns your stomach like drinking heavy liquor on an empty stomach, but rather the quality and complexity of taste.

Value

At $15 a cigar, the Cohiba Robusto, to me anyways, is hardly a value buy. A box purchase of 25 will certainly set you back a pretty penny. Had this cigar been more enjoyable from the get-go, it would be worth having a few stickslying around in the humidor for those special occasions.

Conclusion

Undoubtedly, I'm sure some readers may find my observations and experience with the Cohiba Robusto a bit harsh, but when a cigar passes the $10 mark, I'd expect to pay for more than just the brand name. Given the many Robusto choices, I have to say I'm more likely to reach for a Bolivar Royal Corona or a Montecristo Petit Edmundo for more half the price of a Cohiba Robusto. Obviously everyone's taste varies, but for my taste, despite how much I've been looking forward to having a Cohiba Robusto and finally having one, the experience came up short.

I'm sure down the road, I may consider trying a couple or few more to be sure, but that won't be anytime soon.

Appearance : ★★★½☆
Construction : ★★★★☆
Flavor : ★★☆☆☆
Value : ★☆☆☆☆
Overall Rating : ★★☆☆☆

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35 Comments on “Overpriced brand-name cigar: Thou Name Is Cohiba”

  1. A well aged Cuban says:

    Sorry to say but i think you really missed something here…May i suggest you try a few more if you can.

  2. I also think that it has an outstanding flavor profile. Perhaps not the best Cuban robusto deal out there, but definitely a cigar that I enjoy.

  3. First: 15 a stick???

    Did you buy them in London??? At the good reputable online shops you can get them for 9 to 10. In fact I frequently see boxes at duty free for 250 or less.

    Next, Cohibas are notoriously grassy when they’re young, so my guess is that you did not let the cigar age long enough. You should try an 06 through 08 at the youngest and then come back on it.

    Sorry you didn’t enjoy it…more for us!!!

  4. Let me first say thank you to CigarInspector.com for allowing me to submit my review here.

    I did not buy them in London and where I’m located, certain cigars have a higher premium and I only acquired a single three-pack sampler to try first. I definitely have no doubt they were young and would have benefited from some aging. By my own admission, I can’t hardly keep my hands off cigars long enough to let them age more than a month at most and thus I look for cigars that I can enjoy right away. I have no doubt I’ll try them again and who knows, this batch might have just been a fluke.

  5. Richard
    thank you for your review
    let me start by saying that I have a cabinet full of aged Cohiba. A box of amost every size and shape you can shake a stick at including the new Behike I pick up at the Habanos festival this year. I have to agree with you. I don’t find them worth the money. I keep them around for friends. I think for the money your better off with a Monte 2, Bolivar bel, or a Partagaa serie D 4. The only Cohiba worth the cash are the Maduro 5 series. These arey choice for Cohiba and I’ve never found a bad one

  6. Lea, my friend, maybe lancero and esplemdido are as same as Maduro worth the money, IMHO.

  7. First off Castros blend is actually the Trinidad Fundadore. Second you can’t smoke a Cohiba without at least 5 years of age on them.

  8. Lea: Thanks! You certainly have quite a collection there! I have yet to the try the Maduro, but it is on my list.

    Logan: I stand corrected, you are correct, Trinidad is Castro’s personal brand and Cohiba is what he gives away as presents. I guess I’ll have to get some more and let them sit for a while.

  9. Very entertaining review…loved it. Definitely try Cohibas again. I don’t think they’re the best but they are very good. I currently own a box each of the Siglo 2,3, and 4. None of them my favorite among their sizes, however, construction wise, the most consistent by far. This is what I pay for. A little age only helps. Please post this guys reviews again…he’s great.

  10. First, these are 260 Cuban Pesos a box in Havana as of two weeks ago, so I don’t think anyone outside of Cuba is getting them for much less than $20 a stick. You certain you got the real thing?

    I smoke a lot of these and they do get much better with age – 2-4 years seems to be optimal. That said, haven’t smoked anything from an ’09 or ’10 box code yet. Definitely more ‘grassy’ and less potent than the Cohiba Robustos from pre-’05.

    These were my favorite Cohiba until I tried the
    Siglo VI…that’s a powerhouse..a lot more like the old robustos.

  11. Jmorena: Thanks! I’m thinking of maybe the Siglo 6 or Maduro to try.

    cip61: 110% positive. Either that or the counterfeiters are getting incredibly talented.

    I’ll definitely consider trying the Siglo VI!

  12. @cip61 If a cigar costs XX in Cuba, it doesn’t mean that it will be priced XX+X in other places. Habanos SA has different distribution policies for each country, plus there is the tax impact so it really depends on where you get it from.

  13. Make your purchases in Switzerland, very low taxes=inexpensive cigars.

  14. I’m not a huge cohiba fan but the robusto is a great cigar. Maybe you’re supplier didn’t give you well maintained cigars. I prefer a d4 or even a bolivar royal corona but if I find cohiba robustos at a good price I won’t say no. Cohibas in my opinion are great from the first puff till the skin being burnt from my fingers. Only cohibas and trinidads have this quality but anyway don’t judge this cigar unless you try them from another supplier as well!

  15. I bought two robustos and found the same flaking/cracking on the wrapper. I’m not sure of the age of these cigars but now that i know i will sure let them age for as long as possible

  16. Grassy, hay … sounds to me like you got a fake. Try another one at your next opportunity.

  17. sounds like you got a not so good batch, I sampled a 3 pack and they were delicious, no info on date since it was a 3 pack but they rested for only a couple weeks, i got plenty of mild grassy flavor along with honey, rich tobacco, cocoa and a bit of pepper. You should consider giving them another try.

  18. I have to AGREE with the review from Richard. I have only been smoking cubans for a few years. I broke down and bought a box of the robustos and the date was from 08. Cohibas are overrated and the only ones I think are worth the $$ are the maduros, and even those are not by far the best cuban cigars. I’ll take a RASS over a Robusto Cohiba any day, great review, and Alex, its no fake, anyone can tell you that a young cohiba smells like grass or hay, this is the ONE site I KNOW always gets the real deal. Maybe you got fakes, if they don’t smell like grass or hay, you DID!

  19. I hate to feed the trolls, but RyanR, you are an ass, and you should shut up and listen. I have been smoking Cubans for over 20 years and I had my first Cohiba in 1995. I have also had many fake Cubans, generally brought back from Cuba or Mexico by well-meaning friends. Currently I’m supplied with Cohibas and other Cubans by an old family friend in Geneva who buys boxes at Casa del Habano and then walks to the post office down the street and mails them to me. They are most assuredly not fake. It is certainly true that one defining characteristic of Cohibas is that they have a clean, grassy note. However, I’ve never heard smoking them described, by anyone, ever, as like “chewing on wet, bitter grass.” I think Suckling put it best when he said that the true defining characteristic of a Cohiba is that they leave your mouth feeling absolutely clean. Fakes, on the other hand, generally taste ONLY of grass / burning hay. Trust me to be able to tell the difference between the most consistently high-quality cigar currently produced and a 50 cent fake.

    Richard, I hope you’re not permanently turned off of Cohibas by what was undoubtedly either a fake or a dud (or possibly stored very wet). Give another one a try sometime, you won’t be sorry. And, despite what loudmouths and idiots will tell you, it’s actually fairly easy to find real Cubans online, if you don’t have a friend overseas who is willing to mail you some.

  20. Also for what it’s worth the possessive of thou is thine. If you say thou name is it’s like saying you name is in modern English.

  21. Alex: I certainly think it was a dud and way too young, more than anything else. I hardly doubt it was a fake. I smoke or have smoked numerous Monty No. 2, Monty No. 4, RASS, Bolivar RC, Bolivar Churchills, Bolivar Belicoso, Monty Edmundo, Monty Petit Edmuno, Cohiba Esplendido, Trinidad Robusto T, Trinidad Extra T, Cohiba Siglo 2, RyJ churchill, Partagas No. 4, and so forth, so I think I have a pretty good idea of the Cuban flavor profile. I’m not trying to say I’m an expert by any means, but I think I can at least know if it’s a fake or not. I’ll probably try another Cohiba robusto just to be sure and let it properly age, but I personally found the Trinidad Robusto Extra T to be a whole lot more flavorful and enjoyable, but that’s me.

    And I stand corrected on the thou/thine.

  22. Yes, upon reflection it sounds more like a dud or bad storage than a fake. I was mostly reacting to the suggestion that the Cohibas that I smoke were fake.

    I haven’t had a Trinidad (any shape, every) but people are pretty worked up about the robusto. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were better than a Cohiba robusto, which should still be fantastic. My personal favorites are the lancero and the corona especial – give those a try sometime.

  23. Alex, you should definitely try the Trinidad. Either the Fundadore or the Robusto Extra T, the floral flavor profile is like nothing I’ve ever had. It’s a nice change!

    I’ll certainly try the lancero and corona especial. Thanks for the suggestion!

  24. I’m agree with this review, a few days ago i smoked a Cohiba Siglo III, the cigar was pretty and well constructed, no soft spots, with a chocolate wrapper and the tube was amazing; but i was really disappointed when i star to smoked it, i just sense a little of a spicy and creamy flavors and it was all!!! oh the second part i felt some herbal flavors and after that the flavors became more and more horribles, i did not finish it, can you imagine…!!!! now, i’m not sure if i want to try another cohiba…(the only cohiba that i like, and i like a lot is the Cohiba Magicos, but it’s really expensive so…)

  25. FYI: Trinidad is not the personal brand for Fidel Castro, au contraire, he used to send as gifts Cohiba’s. For me, all this stuff about Trinidad as the personal brand produced exclusively for Fidel Castro is a Mith used as a merketing strategy of Habanos SA.

    On an interview published by cigar aficionado Fidel Castro admited that he used to give as presents Cohibas and also that he dont know much about Trinidad.

    “Shanken: Trinidad. We understand that it is a brand of cigar that is your own personal brand, which you give to diplomats and friends as presents.

    Castro: No. I principally give Cohibas for presents.

    Shanken: You don’t give Trinidads?

    Castro: No. I don’t give Trinidads. I give Cohibas. I have been advising the people who are in charge of tobacco production, Cubatabaco, that they should come up with new brands and new blends. This would help the situation with the conflicts over the brands [with similarly named cigar brands from such countries as the Dominican Republic and Honduras]. If we have the best raw material, we have the best soils and the best know-how, why shouldn’t we create new brands?

    Shanken: The El Laguito factory has a brand called Trinidad, which they say is for you to give as personal gifts. It has become a legend.

    Castro: I am not fully aware of that brand, but I assume it is like the Lancero in size from Cohiba.”

    http://www.cigaraficionado.com/webfeatures/show/id/A-Conversation-With-Fidel_6005/p/7

  26. phathungarian says:

    Lea: Thanks! You certainly have quite a collection there! I have yet to the try the Maduro, but it is on my list.

    Logan: I stand corrected, you are correct, Trinidad is Castro’s personal brand and Cohiba is what he gives away as presents. I guess I’ll have to get some more and let them sit for a while.

    and:

    FYI: Trinidad is not the personal brand for Fidel Castro, au contraire, he used to send as gifts Cohiba’s. For me, all this stuff about Trinidad as the personal brand produced exclusively for Fidel Castro is a Mith used as a merketing strategy of Habanos SA.

    how the hell do you guys know so much about Fidel? I was in Cuba last week and I don’t even know if he is still alive!

    Whatever. There is no smoke anywhere that everyone will like or love. I don’t particularly think this is the best out there, nevertheless a great cigar and I have to admit I do crave it once in a while. So I swallow the bullet and pay the $260 CUC (in Cuba!) to keep some around. I would agree it improves greatly with age.

  27. phathungarian: about the cigars someked by fidel castro you can see an interview in cigar aficionado magazine…

    http://www.cigaraficionado.com/webfeatures/show/id/A-Conversation-With-Fidel_6005/p/7

  28. I don’t know where your from but in toronto those cigars are 50$ a stick!!

  29. Destroyer says:

    One of my favorite cigars, and yes i buy them by the box. Leaves my mouth tasting wonderful, super nutty. Smell your nub as you smoke and you’ll get a great hit of creamy goodness. It is possible you did not smoke a real one, or the humidity was too low. they taste the best at proper humidity, on the construction i have to agree, 3.5-4, some of them will burn slighty funny but nothing awful. The first 1/2 inch of this cigar starts out eh, the middle section is def the sweet spot. I smoke them until i burn my fingers.

  30. phathungarian says:

    Anthony:
    I am from LA but live in Calgary Canada at the moment. I Usually buy smokes in Cuba as I travel there often. A cabinet of 25 robustos cost 260 CUC (convertible pesos) in Cuba. That is about $11-$12 CAD a piece. The local store here sells it for as high as $58.00 ea. I paid that price in the past…

  31. It’s very funny how people get offended when someone give a constructive but negative review on Cohiba.

  32. $15 per stick and you have to let them sit for 5 YEARS before they are smokeable? No thanks.

  33. mcodragon says:

    My boss brought me a box of 25 Cohiba Robusto cigars he bought in Venezuela in 1998 when my daughter was born. I am down to the last one – the well aged one were the best I had ever smoked….

  34. Overpriced? I just smoked a cohiba and while they are $$ they are worth every penny in my opinion.

  35. I purchased a box of partagas d-4 and a box of 10 magicos, both had no power or flavor. I smoked the d4’s about 7 years ago, those cigars blew my socks off.I got these new sticks from the number 1 site rated here . Must say I was not sure what I got. Compared to the sticks I got earlier, no comparison Just my opinion

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