General Cigar is really keeping things moving on the luxury cigar scene, with their Cohiba brand leading the charge. Hot off the heels of last year’s ultra-premium Cohiba Royale, General brings us something radically different for the brand: a cigar handcrafted right here in the United States! Yes, you read that right, a US-made Cohiba.
The acclaimed Cuban expatriate cigar makers at the world-famous El Titán de Bronze factory in Miami, Florida are the ones that earned the right to bring this cigar to the humidors of aficionados. Sandy Cobas, owner of El Titán de Bronze, said, “I am honored that we were chosen to craft the first American-made Cohiba cigars.” If anyone has visited a factory or reviewed the many videos of the cigar-making process, you have seen a team (or pair) of rollers completing the cigars. Yet at El Titán de Bronze, each torcedor is responsible for the cigar from start to finish. Having visited El Titán de Bronze multiple times, I can say they take pride in their work and are very talented.
The cigar at hand was announced in April as Cohiba Serie M, a limited run of 50,000 cigars that seeks to highlight the authentic practices of Miami’s boutique-minded artisans.
Cohiba Serie M Breakdown
- Wrapper: Nicaragua (Corojo)
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Dominican Republic (Piloto Cubano) | Nicaragua (Jalapa & Estelí)
- Factory: El Titán de Bronze (USA)
- Production: Limited Edition (5,000 boxes of 10 cigars)
- Vitola: 6″ × 52 (Toro)
- Price: $29.99 (MSRP)
Not only are these the first Cohiba cigars to be rolled in the USA, they are also the first ever to feature a Nicaraguan Corojo wrapper, which covers a Nicaraguan binder and fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. As is often showcased from El Titán, Cohiba Serie M cigars boast a fantail cap, as well as a covered foot.
Cohiba Brand Ambassador, Sean Williams, said, “Cohiba Serie M has been a passion project for all of us on the Cohiba team. To take a brand as iconic as Cohiba and make a cigar in the U.S. in collaboration with a boutique, family-owned factory has been an honor for all of us.”
General Cigar has definitely upped the luxury game in terms of packaging. This cigar is no exception. A very intricate, ornamental, gold graphic adorns the gloss black box top, displaying the classic Cohiba graphic and the “SERIE M” name. Inside the box is the same graphic, as well as a descriptor badge that gives a quick overview of the blend. The cigars themselves are nestled into individual form-fitting cutouts.
The wrapper is a beautiful medium brown, having a vibrant, oily sheen and a little bit of tooth. Taking a closer look, it is evident that these were rolled with extreme care, as the toros have almost invisible seams, a very well-done closed foot, and intricately applied fantail cap. They are firm from foot to cap, but not overly so, with no detectable soft spots. The cigars truly look the part of something special.
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The pre-light aromas from the foot are of barnyard, cocoa, and espresso. The wrapper itself has hints of leather and earth. On the pre-light draw, which is a little tight due to the closed foot, flavors are mostly of toasted almonds with a little bit of barnyard.
Getting the cigar fired up, I am immediately greeted with a heavy dose of almond and espresso, with a good amount of pepper on the finish. As soon as the closed foot burned through, the draw opened up and was very close to what I would consider perfect, allowing a long draw to get a mouthful of smoke. A little farther in, cocoa, with just a hint of leather, join in. The retrohale at this point is earthy and peppery, with a menthol-like zing—along with a little bit of floral on the finish—that really helps to open the palate. The burn line is fairly straight at this point, and there is quite a bit of smoke coming from the foot. At about the inch-and-a-half mark, the almond notes turn a little sweeter, with some creaminess that I would associate with marzipan. This helps to mellow out the pepper spice and the bitterness of the cocoa and espresso. The body of the cigar is medium at this point, as well as strength.
As the cigar burns along, construction and draw are still performing flawlessly. Hints of leather become noticeable at this point, adding another element of bitterness, but the creamy finish is doing a great job of not letting the bitter element control the profile. For just a few puffs in the mid-region there are notes of salted caramel that add into the mix, making for a wonderful, albeit short-lived profile. Both the body and strength remain in the medium range.
Surprisingly, just past midway, the profile seems to stop developing in body or complexity. Things revert back to primarily espresso, leather, and earth, with a black pepper finish. The creaminess also rapidly fades, allowing the bitterness to push out of the background and into the forefront. The retrohale has also changed to black pepper and espresso, with more of a cedar note on the finish, replacing the menthol/floral notes detected earlier. The body and strength remain in the medium range, with the burn and draw requiring no maintenance from the start. The cigar finishes with this profile just past the one-and-three-quarter-hour mark.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
With a luxury cigar, this is a very difficult question to answer. I am one of the many cigar smokers out there not prepared to go out and spend $30 on a cigar on a regular basis (though I wish I could!). I will more than likely revisit this cigar in the future, but it will be for a special occasion that warrants a luxury cigar.
- The cigar used for photos had the fantail cap break off when removing from the cello.
- Flavor: Medium
- Strength: Medium
- Body: Medium
- Smoke Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
- Pairing Recommendation: Manhattan cocktail | Japanese whisky | Aged rum | Cappuccino | Earl Grey tea
- Purchase Recommendation: Single
- Great burn and draw
- Good to see Corojo wrapper in the Cohiba line
- Price point
- Profile was linear from midpoint on
- Fantail cap somewhat frail and easily damaged