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28
Apr

Origin : Cuba
Format : Seoane panetelaCohiba
Size : 5″ x 33 ring gauge (126mm x 13.10mm)
Hand-Made
Price : ~ € 11.80 / $ 14.50
More info about purchasing Cohiba cigars…

Draw : 6 out of 6 stars
Burn : 5 out of 6 stars
Flavour : 6 out of 6 stars
Aroma : 5 out of 6 stars
Strength : 5 out of 6 stars

Cuba’s Cohiba Exquisitos is one of the great panetela cigars of the world, well-deserving its name & its price, offering solid cigar strength, superb construction and quality, and an impressive flavour-rich experience via its slender package.

Tasting

Tho elegant & trim in appearance, this is a serious stick with a good deal of power, superbly made by the Cohiba torcedoras who roll this cigar with expert care. With its slow even burn, its power, and its subtle but richly-arrayed flavours, it is a fully satisfying Cuban cigar experience for those who open themselves to its charms.

Nowadays, people tend to begin sampling Cohibas through the medium-strength Siglo line developed more recently, with its several corona vitolas – but the Exquisitos belong to the original and stronger Clásica line. (The other two Cohiba ranges, are the also-medium-to-full strength Maduros, and the full-strength pricey thick Behikes.)

Amongst the 20 or so regular-production Cohiba cigars, no less than 6 are in panetela-range ring gauges – the 26 ring gauge Laguito No 3, this Exquisito in 33, the Lancero and Corona Especial in 38 – all from the Classic line – and the Siglo I and Secreto Maduro in 40.

Cohiba was personally developed by the late Fidel Castro, the story goes, after he sniffed a quality home-made stogie puffed by one of his bodyguards. The Comandante himself preferred narrower ring gauges, particularly 38; the Exquisitos was added to the line in the 1980s, when Cohiba expanded from being a diplomatic gift cigar, to being the Habanos ultra-premium marque available to the general public.

Tho there are sometimes parallel vitolas to the Cohiba sticks in other Cuban brands, particularly Montecristo, the Cohiba tobaccos are said to benefit from a unique extra phase of fermentation in barrels, and the Cohibas are indeed distinctive in flavour and impact.

Another great virtue of Cohibas is the construction quality on a different level than other Cubans, often rivalling that by the quality mavens at Davidoff, and the Exquisitos certainly falls into that superbly-rolled category, especially remarkable in a 30s ring gauge.

Tasting

One thing I see when buying an Exquisitos, is that it’s often rolled a little thicker than its official 33 ring gauge, sometimes more toward 35-36. Soft-firm balance is always nice to the touch, the wrapper usually good-looking, the cap well-applied.

Aroma at the lighting end, sweet and pleasant, tends to be mild, not hinting at the surprising strength ahead. Pre-draw is tasty and sweet, with some saltiness and spice.

After lighting, one quickly feels this is a first-class Cuban smoke. Lovely flavours show themselves, on one hand subtle, but in totality rich – hay and honey, cedar and a touch of caramel, soon some toastiness. There is some pleasing saltiness and tang, one feels the Cuban earth here.

By the end of the 1st third, one can feel the strength and satisfying headiness, that this is a full Cuban smoke, one is lacking for nothing here. Another flavour wave can arrive at this point, such as that of hot chocolate with nuts amidst the scent of a wood fire.

Draw in the Exquisitos tends to be perfect, and with the arrangement of the tobacco leaves here yielding so much flavour and interest, I often think of the hard-working Cuban torcedoras at Cohiba, grateful for their excellent work and skill.

The Exquisitos is substantial and solid inside, despite the narrow ring gauge; for much of it, one can typically enjoy quick follow-up puffs without overheating it.

In the middle third one gets a little more strength, and perhaps less sweetness for a time, a bit more of hay and field and toast, with the sweeter notes occasionally returning. And then one can have another flavour burst, such as one suggesting a creamy cappuccino.

Beyond the flavours and senses, what is here ultimately and fully in the Exquisitos, is something a bit beyond words, that uniquely dreamy, thoughtful, and relaxing state of mind, that comes in a special way in a fine cigar, and very distinctively in a Habano.

This strong tho slender cigar can supply a perfect kind of balance for some moods, and it is one of my very favourite Cubans for that reason. The price seems quite fine for the experience one feels assured of having.

In the final third with the Exquisitos, there tends to be some darker flavours, coffee and dark cocoa. And it is here that being a small tho heady cigar does begin to show some stress. In the last third, one can get some harshness from one’s eager puffing, tho pauses and purges – exhaling thru the cigar – do bring quick restoration of the cigar’s excellence. One can also be rewarded with a large new wave of nutty flavours here.

Toward the nub one can get a bit of roughness, but I have no complaint given the substantial superb experience that has gone before. I typically say good-bye whilst some flavour remains, the better to keep a positive taste-memory of the whole experience.

Burn tends to be slow and even through most of it. For my slow-puffing self, I can sometimes top 40 minutes with the Exquisitos. Ash can be quite grey, not pointed, and often doesn’t hold long given the stick’s slender girth.

It is to me, a much more interesting cigar than the Siglo I Perla (40 x 102mm), the lowest-priced Cohiba where people often start in this brand. But to me there’s no comparison – the stronger, longer, albeit thinner Exquisitos, is my choice for 2 euros more.

This is a powerhouse compared to the same-ring-gauge, delicate Romeo y Julieta Julieta (33 x 120mm), despite the size similarity. The one rival to the Exquisitos amidst the Cubans, in size plus power, would be the Bolivar No 3 (34 x 125), a fine, quite pleasing stick, but not in the same exalted category.

For me as a panetela guy, the Cohiba Exquisitos is a masterpiece. I do notice the price when I buy it, given that some other good sticks I like are half the cost … but when I smoke an Exquisito and smile afterwards, I have no complaints whatsoever.

Beneluxor

Cigar Review – Cohiba Exquisitos

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26
Oct

Origin : Cuba
Format : Canonazo DobleCohiba
Size : 154mm x 21.4mm | 6″ x 54
Released : 2017 Limited edition
Hand-Made
Price : $40+
More info about purchasing Cohiba cigars…

Draw : 5.5 out of 6 stars
Burn : 5 out of 6 stars
Flavour : 4.5 out of 6 stars
Aroma : 5 out of 6 stars
Strength : 4.5 out of 6 stars

I was very fortunate to crack one box of the awaited Habanos 2017 Limited edition: the Cohiba Talisman.
We have seen many of these cigars on the different social medias even though the launch event is on the 8th of November in London. Hunters and Frankau, the UK distributor of Habanos, got the opportunity to organise the official launch. That said we should all get worried about any Talisman around on the grey markets.
If I decided to write a review about this unofficial release, it is because I am 100% sure about the provenance of the box and we were few from the industry around the table to have the chance to taste it.

Tasting

The Cohiba Talisman comes in a varnished slid lid box of 10 cigars. One thing which is interesting to notice on the box is the stamp on the back of the box. We are all used to see the “hecho a Mano” and the factory code being placed in the middle of the back of the box. Because of all the new health warning taking more and more space on the boxes, the stamps are now located on the bottom so even the biggest health warning should not be covering these precious information.
The Cohiba Talisman is the very first limited edition being produced in the mythical factory of El Laguito.
This said, the construction of all the cigars from our box was impressive. The way it should be. Packed of tobacco with a very nice pre draw.

First Third

The first puff strikes me with the amount of smoke it develops and the the great draw. The flavours are fresh and vegetal and the aroma incredible, reminding me of a young cedar wood you would burn.
The burn remains perfectly constant all the way. The intensity of the blend is taking over the palate with a nice acidity and a long finish.
Towards the end of this first third a lot of nutty style sweetness develops. Very much a Chiba like flavours already. A slight bitterness appears.

Second Third
There is nothing to be mentioned regarding the construction. The draw and the burn are close to perfection. A great pyramid appears when you tap the long standing grey ash.
The flavours are very nutty and earthy. High intensity of in the blend like before. It doesn’t increase, the bend is well balanced in strength.
A nice grassy finish takes over the palate and still this wonderful aroma is very pleasant.
The flavours are really opening and I could not believe the sweetness the cigar developed… This is not what I was expecting for a fresh cigar. Already great to smoke. Strength is medium to full and the flavours are complex expressing many different version of the cigar.

Final Third
Very big development from the fresh vegetal beginning to the marzipan long finish in the palate. I was far away from expecting such a delicious cigar already. A true cohiba which reminded me why we love this brand so much even though the price point is very high.

That said a new question comes to my mind. If it is already that delicious, how will it age?

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Cigar Review – Cohiba Talisman 2017 Limited Edition

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20
May

There are many new exciting releases this year. The new Cohiba 2017 limited edition, called Talisman is one of them. This big size cigar (154 X 54) may become another big collector items.

Like every year, Habanos S.A. will host a launch evening to promote the new Limited edition cigars. Last year the Romeo y Julieta Capuletos was presented first in the Italian city of Verona, organised by the country’s exclusive distributor Diademas S.P.A.
A very limited number of guests including Habanos Specialists, representatives of Smoking Clubs, Habanos Exclusive Distributors from other countries, media and influencers are usually part of that special event.

This year the Cohiba Talisman will most probably be launched on the land of Hunters and Frankau. Exclusive distributor for the United Kingdom. If the city of London is almost confirmed to be presenting the new gold and black double banded cigar, the date is a total mystery. I would guess not before October or November…

Let’s see if the inspector was right or wrong…

Happy Smokes!

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Cohiba Talisman EL 2017 – Launch Evening

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03
Nov

Cohiba Piramides Extra

Origin : Cuba
Format : Piramide ExtraCohiba
Size : 6.3 x 54 (160 x 21.43 mm)
Released : 2012
Hand-Made
Price : $30+
More info about purchasing Cohiba cigars…

The Cohiba Piramide Extra is a relatively new vitola (released in 2012) which measures 6.3″ inches in length by 54 ring gauge. Although it is considered to be part of the “Linea Clasica”, it bears a different band. The cigar is presented in 3-packs of aluminium tubes and semi boite nature boxes of 10.

The Cohiba Piramide Extra is a handful! The wrapper is light brown with a reddish hue, similar in shade to the Classic line, and has a moderate amount of veins but no imperfections. Its brand new shiny band has inherited the holographic security markings of the Behike, but unlike it, it only has one side (face). The bunch is firm and a close look to the foot of the cigar reveals that there are plenty of leaves packed in it. However, none of these leaves is Medio Tiempo, as the Piramide Extra uses the recipe of the Classic Line blend. The aromas are mild, with notes of flowers and a little bit of pepper. The prelight draw is perfect… Time to light up!

The Piramide Extra kicks off with sweet, fruity flavours and a touch of cinnamon, which gives it a spicy but sweet finish. The body is medium and the finish is long. The flavours start to enhance as you smoke through the first half. Earthy flavours now cover the initial sweetness, with some nutmeg also joining in. A subtle bitterness has also appeared on the finish, but this is to be expected from a young cigar.

Cohiba Piramide Extra

In the second third, the Piramide Extra changes very little. The flavours of earth and wood dominate, while the body is a little fuller, just about medium to full now. The biterness on the finish is still persistent and it starts getting annoying. The cigar burns very well, and develops a dark grey ash that stays on the cigar until well in the second third. But the the lack of complexity is bugging me… This Cohiba is still very young!

Cohiba Piramide Extra

No surprises in the final third either. It gets a little fuller but that’s about it. The earthy and woody flavours are still in control, while the sweetness has now disappeared completely. The finish is long and bitter, but not acidic. Being impatient to smoke it, I didn’t give the Piramide Extra enough time to settle, and as a result I got an ugly crack on the wrapper. With nothing else to spark my interest, I put the cigar to sleep early…

It is still early to judge the potential of the Piramide Extra, but I have to say I wasn’t overly impressed. Although the first few puffs were promising, the rest of the cigar was disappointing and nothing was there to give away the fact that it was a Cohiba. To me, this cigar needs something to make it better, especially given the hefty price tag it carries. Whether this cigar will be a worthy addition to the Classic Range, only time will tell… A generous three stars.

Overall Rating : 3 out of 5 stars

Cohiba Piramides Extra

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17
Apr

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
More info about purchasing Cohiba cigars…

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 : 4 out of 5 stars
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 : 4 out of 5 stars
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 : 4.5 out of 5 stars
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 : 4.5 out of 5 stars
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.

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Cohiba Coronas Especiales ’98 (Vintage Review)

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28
Mar

Cohiba BHK 52

Origin : Cuba
Format : Petit RobustoCohiba
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.

Appearance : 5 out of 5 stars
It looks absolutely amazing. Loving that triple pigtail cap and light brown wrapper color. BHK52 feels a bit dry on the hand. The texture reminds me of paper bags. I like to keep my cigars between 60­65 on the humidity scale. No visible veins.

The foot has a very pleasing sweet tobacco aroma with hints of hay and cedar. Overall impression is drop-dead gorgeous.

Construction : 4.5 out of 5 stars
The first draw on the BHK52 was a little snug. The cigar was firm and had no soft spots. I thought maybe it was overfilled or something. I used a straight cut when I took off the cap. After the first third, however, it opened up to a perfect draw. It was slightly resistant and produced tons of cool thick smoke. Ash was light grey and lasted for more than a inch at a time, and then felt off in big even chunks. Burn was almost perfect through the whole cigar, a little wonky especially at second third, but otherwise never needed any attention or re­lighting.

Cohiba Behike 52

Flavor : 4.5 out of 5 stars
From the beginning, that thick (almost foggy) smoke was flavored with grass and hay, signature flavors for Cohiba in my opinion. It left a slight espresso and leather taste on the back of my throat. These flavors continued until the final third. During the last third it started to get interesting. The hay and grass were almost gone, replaced by cocoa flavors featuring burnt espresso. I also observed some ammonia and bitterness towards the end. I have to remind myself that this was a young cigar. This is going to be great cigar for years to come as age helps the flavors to deepen and evolve. No doubt about that.

Value : 3 out of 5 stars
Let’s face it. This is an expensive cigar, not your everyday smoke. In Europe retailers sell it 27euros per pop. If you have the change to get these, I say buy a box and hide them for 5 to 8 years. If you have the patience to do that, you’ll be rewarded.

Overall Rating : 4 out of 5 stars
Cohiba Behike BHK 52 is a great cigar and it deserves all the glory which has been given to it. Moreover, it has great potential for aging. Cohiba definitely isn’t my favorite brand. I’m more of a Partagas guy. Other Cohibas I’ve tried have not impressed me, but this BHK52 changed my opinion. It certainly made my Saturday afternoon.

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Cohiba BHK 52

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05
Nov

Cohiba Sublimes 2004 Limited Edition

Origin : Cuba
Format : SublimeCohiba
Size : 6 1/2 x 54 (164 x 21.43 mm)
Released : 2004
Hand-Made
Price : N/A
More info about purchasing Cohiba cigars…

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.

Appearance : 4.5 out of 5 stars
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.

Cohiba Sublimes Edicion Limitada 2004

Construction : 4.75 out of 5 stars (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.

Cohiba Sublimes Construction

Flavor : 5 out of 5 stars
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 out of 5 stars (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”.

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Cohiba Sublimes 2004 Limited Edition

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03
Apr

General Cigar Wins 16 Year Old Lawsuit Over Cohiba Trademark

A federal panel has just announced General Cigar Co. Inc. to be the winner of a 16 year old lawsuit between the company and Cubatabaco. The lawsuit revolved around the use of the name “Cohiba” in the United States, with Cubatabaco protesting that the trademark belongs to them and that General Cigar has no right to use it.

Since however Cubatabaco does not operate in the United States and General Cigar Co. Inc. does, the court has ruled that General Cigar is entirely within its rights to use the trademark “Cohiba” when selling cigars in the U.S. Cohiba was first registered as a trademark by General Cigar clear back in 1981. With the decision by the federal judge protecting General Cigar’s use of the Cohiba trademark in this country, parallel use of the name will continue in the U.S. and in Cuba.

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General Wins 16 y.o. Lawsuit Over Cohiba Trademark

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28
Dec

Cohiba Behike BHK 52

Origin : Cuba
Format : Petit RobustoCohiba
Size : 119 (4.7”) x 20.64 mm
Ring : 52
Hand-Made
Price : In Cuba $18.50 (Other Parts of the World, $30.00 -$45.00)
More info about purchasing Cohiba cigars…

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.

Appearance : 5 out of 5 stars
This cigar is simply beautiful. It has a virtually seamless wrapper and while there is some veining present, it is absent of any distracting ones. The cigar is firm and evenly packed with no detectable soft spots. The beautiful band has two security holograms on it. Truly, this cigar, along with the very lush packaging looks the part. The band is meticulously applied to the cigar and comes off with relative ease so as not to damage the cigar in any way. The Behike has a pigtail and a very inviting sheen to the wrapper that is just a tad darker/redder than a colorado shade leaf. The cigars come in a lacquered box which itself comes in a velvet pouch. Very nice. The box is sealed magnetically and I currently use my empty box as a dry box on my desk where I normally place the cigars I intend to smoke in the next 24 hours. With a humidity pouch, these boxes can also be used as a travel humidor in which you can place a few sticks for a weekend getaway or a week long trip.

Cohiba Behike BHK 52

Construction : 5 out of 5 stars
As I indicated above, the Behikes are meticulously crafted. From the elegant pigtail to the perfect cuts at the foot to the perfectly applied triple cap. The cigar is put together by Cuba’s best rollers and it certainly shows. The draw of the cigar was perfect. Just the perfect amount of resistance and every draw yielded clouds of thick, velvety smoke. The burn was exceptional and having smoked 10 now, I can say that they are very consistent in this regard. I can’t seem to recall ever having to touch these up and most certainly they never required a re-light of any kind. Having rated appearance and construction at a perfect 5, it now boils down to the main reason why we smoke cigars; to immerse ourselves in a relaxing stimulation of the senses and to enjoy pleasant flavors that only fine cigars can offer. So, none of the construction or appearance ratings matter if the cigar doesn’t taste good. With that said, here’s what I feel about the BHK 52.

Flavor : 5 out of 5 stars
I’ve smoked cheap cigars that tasted fantastic and I’ve smoked expensive cigars that tasted like wet sod wrapped in spent cigarette wrappers. It is fair to say that I don’t think anyone who smokes this cigar will be disappointed. I can honestly say that for the first time in a long time, smoking the Behike BHK 52 actually stimulated all 5 of my senses at the same time combining everything into an excellent 70 minutes experience. Even after smoking 10 of them, my experience never changes.

The cigar starts with a very creamy, velvety smoke that leaves a very pleasant sheen on your palate that never disappears. The smoke output from the moment you light it never changes, remaining consistently thick and creamy.

The initial flavors are woodsy with some very pleasant earthiness and slight coffee flavors. You can say that they are typical of the high quality Cohibas however there is an added dimension to these cigars on lighting them that can easily be detected. Prerhaps it is the fact that they are so smokeable right out of the box. There is just a hint of pepper on the finish and a perfectly balanced saltiness on the lips that helps marry the flavors.

By the time the first third of the cigar is finished, you’ve already gone through some very complex flavors that many cigars lack during their entire smoking time. I picked up hints of vanilla, cocoa, earth, cedar and some slight citrus, all coming and going all the while having that pleasant saltiness on the lips that only a Cuban cigar can offer. The spice was always there but neatly packed away at the back of the palate and never getting in the way of the enjoyment of the cigar.

The second third of the cigar continues to give me something different with each draw. The primary flavors remain chocolaty, woodsy and coffee but there are always hints of flavour coming into the profile. At this point I start to pick up hints of citrus, vanilla and the occasional sweetness similar to that of a thick cocoa or a perfectly brewed espresso with the right amount of crema on top. So many flavors but yet so perfectly balanced.

I start to detect some leather notes as I approach the halfway point of the cigar with some very creamy smoke. I liken the smoke to the foam of a perfectly made cappuccino. Thick, velvety and flavourful; I wouldn’t say that it is caramel-like but more of a textured, creamy smoke. It is a very pleasant texture indeed.

The cigar continues to provide very complex and extremely pleasing flavours right until the very end. Trying to break down each third is pointless for such a fine and deeply complex cigar because it is constantly evolving as you smoke it.

This cigar takes you on a very pleasant journey. What starts as a slightly woodsy cigar, reminiscent of the Cohiba brand as we know it, turns into a cigar that offers the occasional hint of orange peel, coffee, and semi-sweet chocolate. Some very sweet flavors that are occasionally mixed in with some spots where one can pick up some unsweetened coffee, dark chocolate, leather and cedar. The transition from sweetness to the occasional pleasant bitterness is seamless and very well blended. The bitterness isn’t a disturbing bitterness but more like the flavors one gets from a quality dark chocolate or unsweetened espresso, however the slight hints of vanilla and citrus magnificently balance it all.

The spice is pure Cohiba. You know it’s there, it is clearly detectable in the finish but never gets in the way of the enjoyment of the cigar. There is just enough of it and exactly when the cigar needs it. I have been smoking cigars for 20 years and I can honestly say that I have had maybe 5 brands that had such a complex flavour profile with a seemingly perfect blend and transition.

As I said at the outset, this cigar truly utilizes all 5 of your senses. First and most importantly, the taste is something that once you smoke one, you never forget. You are constantly challenging your palate trying to pick out that next enjoyable flavour note. All the while you can hear that cigar burning with every draw as your eyes remain fixed on those thick white clouds of creamy smoke, that is, if you can take your eyes off the beautiful band that graces the cigar. Finally, if tasting, listening, looking and smelling the experience isn’t enough, you will be more than pleased with the perfect balance of this very well constructed cigar. You can feel its flawless construction and perfect balance in your hand while taking in all that this cigar has to offer. It is truly an aficionado’s experience and such a pleasure to see Cuba putting out a true standout. I can’t find one negative about this cigar’s flavour profile.

Value : 5 out of 5 stars
This is perhaps the most debatable aspect of this review and any review for that matter. What is value after all? Many will despise the cigar simply because of the price. There is no way that they will spend so much money on 1 cigar yet those same people will surely hunt out the best bottle of wine or spirit of their choice. There is admittedly a trap when reviewing something so expensive. It is easy to simply love the cigar because you are getting a chance to smoke something so exclusive and pricey in an attempt to justify the price tag.

I find myself asking why some people spend extra money on the “better” bottle of wine, or on the XO cognac or the scotch with more age to it? It’s simple. Because we want the best that our money can buy. I don’t begrudge anyone for buying Louis XIII Cognac if they can afford to, nor do I begrudge anyone for buying a bottle of Glenfiddich Royal Salute 21 year old scotch or a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue. It’s because those that do, like what they are spending their money on and don’t mind paying that little bit extra to ensure that they enjoy their experience.

Sure, this cigar does not fall into every smoker’s budget but neither are any of the aforementioned spirits. That doesn’t necessarily make those products “poor value”. When assessing Value, I like to ask myself if what I just enjoyed was worth the money spent. In that regard, and of course taking into consideration that my BHK 52’s were purchased in Cuba, the answer is an un-resounding “yes”. Would I pay $40.00 for one? Absolutely, but not in the same quantity but certainly for that moment when I truly want to sit down and know that I am about to experience something special.

Now I understand that not every smoker will be able to get these cigars at Cuban prices but not every drinker of fine spirits can get their hands on duty free liquor either but they continue to spend money on what they perceive to be the best their money can buy and if the best your money can buy includes a BHK 52 then I don’t have a problem with that.

All in all, value is perceived as being worth the price of admission. A cigar can have tremendous value but taste horrible. A great tasting cigar might not be worth the money spent on it because there are better cigars available for the price. However, the Behike, price tag aside, is perhaps the best cigar I have smoked in the last 10 years or so and for that reason alone, it was worth every cent. As a smoker, I received excellent value for my cigar experience.

When assessing value we must also consider the market that this cigar is manufactured for. Therefore as I noted, It was worth every cent because the experience I had from smoking it was exactly what I have been waiting for from a cigar for a very long time and is unique to anything else out there on the market.

Overall Rating : 4 out of 5 stars
In conclusion, it’s easy to say that I’ve fallen into the trap of trying to justify such an expensive cigar however I can equally state that some critics of the cigar are basing their experience on the price tag too. Remember, I absolutely despised the Alec Bradley Prensado, despite the fact that it was named the cigar of the year and at the time seemed it was in style to simply like that cigar as a result without dissecting it. Those Prensado Churchill cigars aren’t cheap here in Canada after our taxes are included into the pricing and easily exceed $20.00 a cigar. The point is that notwithstanding the price tag, the BHK 52 is worth every cent paid for it and truly offers an aficionado a glimpse into the world of what a cigar was meant to taste like. Not unlike some of the higher end Padron Series of cigars, this cigar is meant to cater to the true aficionado that loves a quality cigar and is willing to pay for the experience. It is really a very unique and rewarding experience. It’s like sipping a sniffer of Louis XIII de Rémy Martin Cognac or enjoying a bottle of the best red wine on the wine list at your favorite fine dining establishment. You do it because you want to enjoy your experience.

I certainly wouldn’t call this cigar an “every day” smoke because of its price but then again, in the real world, Louis XIII de Rémy Martin Cognac or the best red on the list aren’t daily drinking spirits either. However, this cigar, like those fine spirits, is there for those times when you want to relax and take yourself on a magnificent 70 minute journey of the senses. The best part is, you know what you are going to get for your money because the consistency that accompanies this cigar’s profile and construction s simply astounding.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this review. Please feel free to leave your comments below.

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Post from CigarInspector.com

Cohiba Behike BHK 52

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14
Nov

Cohiba Siglo VI Gran Reserva

Origin : Cuba
Factory : El LaguitoCohiba
Format : Canonazo
Size : 150 (5.9”) x 20.64 mm
Ring : 52
Hand-Made
Price : $100+ each
More info about purchasing Cohiba cigars…

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.

I toast the foot and begin to draw in the best that Cuba has to offer.

The first few puffs are milder than I expected, even given the tobacco’s age. The flavors are slighlty woody with leather and white pepper that still manages to tickle the sinuses.

To say that this cigar is complex is almost a disservice, every puff yields a different note all the while maintaining a perfect balance and a long finish.

The pepper note picks up a bit an inch in paired with that wonderful earthy mustiness that makes Cuban tobacco so unique.

The burn is dead even and the aroma of the smoke is floral and intense!

Another inch in, the cigar gets richer and stronger, notes of espresso and anise abound.

Notes of tea are paired with the leather and wood with a hint of cocoa powder on the finish. There is also a surprising amount of mint present.

Halfway through, if you can believe this, the Siglo 6 Gran Reserva gets better. The retrohale is musty and rich and is better than anything I have ever smoked. The cocoa notes intensify and accentuate the licoricy finish.

As this cigar draws to a close I can only think of something I often hear from the cigar community, that Cubans aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, and that they’ve dropped off in the last decade or so. Really? I’d put the best of Cuba against what anyone in any other country could produce any day. This is simply the best cigar I have ever smoked. Really my only complaint is that this cigar smokes too fast, I would compromise the draw to make this cigar last longer!

Rating: 105 (A++)

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Post from CigarInspector.com

Cohiba Siglo VI Gran Reserva

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