Cohiba, a General Cigar Company-owned brand, has entered into the Nicaraguan growing region for the first time with the new Cohiba Nicaragua. Released in the later portion of 2014, the new blend will rank among the brand’s most upmarket releases – consisting of some of the more premium Nicaraguan tobaccos available. Typically, the brand operates out of the Dominican Republic, but has decided to diversify their portfolio with the trending flavors of Nicaragua, found in many releases in today’s market – joining the ranks of other brand expansions (into Nicaragua), such as Davidoff.
Cohiba Nicaragua Breakdown
- Wrapper: Honduran Colorado Oscuro
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Factory: Scandinavian Tobacco Group Estelí S.A.
- Production: Regular production
- Vitola: 5.5″ x 54 “N54” Toro
- Price: $12.60
Before we begin, I must admit I haven’t smoked many Cohiba cigars (aside from a Cuban now and again – which is unrelated), so I won’t be able to compare this blend to their usual Dominican cigars. The company has noted the tremendous effort involved in blending a Nicaraguan cigar that would “complement the existing Cohiba portfolio”, while at the same time, offer something new.
Cohiba describes this cigar as having a Colorado oscuro-hued wrapper, and it’s origins are of Honduras. Most would assume this cigar would be a Nicaraguan puro, but the growing climate and soils of both countries are virtually the same. To me, the wrapper has a medium brown color, with the slightest red tinge. There are many thin veins visible, and it has a muted, oily sheen to the wrapper. It looks to be double capped, and the construction feels solid with no soft spots – a densely packed stick. The design is nothing special, having the usual Cohiba branding (red dot and all) and a new, black band. The boxes look nice, understated with black and copper, and the shape of the box curves at the front – a nice touch.
Cohiba Nicaragua has a pungent aroma of tobacco and earth, with a hint of chocolate for good measure. Lighting the cigar, I couldn’t help being reminded of the recent Davidoff Nicaragua release, though this cigar is much darker in appearance – both seem to have a more sophisticated, balanced approach to a Nicaraguan blend. The draw is perfect and there is a good burst of smoke on the first puff (I hate coaxing smoke out of a cigar). Right away I can tell this is a well-balanced cigar – no one flavor hits you over the head saying, “Hi, this is the flavor profile, I’ll be with you for the duration.” No, it takes a moment to decipher this smoke. Initially, I picked up on more of a texture, which was a dry smoke. For instance, instead of chocolate, there was a dry, cocoa powder. Also apparent was an aged tobacco quality and a very subtle spice – it was nice to have a more balanced approach to the Nicaraguan spice we’ve all become accustomed to.
Unfortunately, the burn line seemed to be wavering from the get-go, which was probably due to me not giving the cigar enough time in the humidor. There was signs of tunneling around the 1/2″ mark, which a quick touch-up took care of. The cigar made no qualms regarding its heritage, this thing was unmistakably Nicarguan – but, like I mentioned, it was more balanced than usual and nothing felt out of place. At 1″ the flavors were creamy, showing a nice combo of milk/caramel/chocolate – the caramel bringing an appreciated warmth to the smoke. At this point, I’d describe the cigar as medium bodied (at most). And let me say, that didn’t last long…
Soon the cigar introduced woody flavors, most noticeably cedar. It was interesting, the flavors seemed to go back and forth between dry (almost harsh) notes, and smooth, creamy flavors – again, probably due to lack of acclimation. Another relight – the dryness brought similarities to a good, aromatic, hoppy beer – I can’t complain. The ash held on in flakey, half-inch segments, having a medium gray hue.
Rounding out the experience, the cigar seemed to find itself, abandoning the dry notes for more creamy and warm flavors. I will say that, while at times it seemed very “back and forth”, when it was on, it was ON! I could retrohale the entire smoke – not something I can usually say with a Nicaraguan, but this had a very delicate spice that made a smooth and enjoyable retrohale. The cocoa flavors became chocolate, then dark chocolate, then very dark chocolate… And there were notes of anise to go along with the growing chocolate qualities. This is where the cigar’s strength makes its “sneak attack”. I couldn’t believe how quickly this cigar went from a light-medium, to full blast strength! Suddenly I found myself reaching for water and food to counter the onslaught of nicotine, which put me back on track. After another relight, the cigar showed musky qualities, not unlike certain Cuban cigars. The flavors joined the strength, ramping up to a point where they felt heavy enough to scrape off my tongue! But the cigar never abandoned its roots of balance – never did I feel there was too much of this, or not enough of that, I think with proper aging this could be a real home run for Cohiba.
Would I smoke this cigar again?
You better believe it! I know there are many boutique cigar enthusiasts that look right past Cohiba, but this cigar deserves a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd look by any cigar lover. I’d recommend this as being a box-split purchase, you’ll want a few of these to enjoy and age.
Special thanks to General Cigar Co. for providing the samples used for this review.
- Perfect draw
- Satisfying amount of smoke
- Wavering burn line
- Tunneling at times
- Occasional harsh notes