Behind The Stick:
If you have been paying attention to the cigar industry over the past 2 or 3 years – aside from stating the obvious about radical changes within companies and legislation – there has been a trend which seems almost every company is switching their focusing to Nicaraguan tobacco, their factories and the skill of their workers as a whole. For some, the road started out a bit bumpy while others have moved their entire base of operations to Esteli to be at the ‘heart’ of the cigar pulse right now.
Within the past 2 to 3 years also, General Cigar has been breaking out of their old ‘standard’ and really starting to push the line with innovative, unique and downright impressive cigars. We could talk about their staples Punch and Macanudo, their recent additions of CAO and Foundry – but today we talk about the “Super Premium” Cohiba line that is setting a new bar for the Esteli Tobacco Rush and the cigars that are being produced. Using a Nicaraguan blend for the filler and dbinder, a Honduran Jamastran Colorado Oscuro wrapper offsets what otherwise is a Nicaraguan Puro that will be released in boxes of 16 with a MSRP of $9.99 to $14.99 depending upon the vitola selected. Without rambling too much, how does this cigar perform?!
Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Honduran Jamastran Colorado Oscuro
Binder and Filler: Nicaraguan
Strength: High Medium to Full
Price: $12.99 Ea
Factory / Country of Origin: STG Esteli / Nicaragua
Release Type: Regular
Release Date: Mid October, 2014
If you are looking for a cigar that is going to make people stop and give their attention – this is a cigar that will do just that. The light coffee brown wrapper carries a red-ish hue to it, giving it an almost glossy cherry wood appearance that is offset by an imposing black and bronze band, sporting the classic “Red Dot” in the O of Cohiba. Very smooth to the touch, while there were some veins to the cigar they were more ‘characteristically’ noticeable vs being exceptionally large or worrisome. The cigar was evenly packed from head to foot with a solid feel to it – not over full but thee is also no doubt in my mind there is a lot of tobacco in there. The head clipped without issue, lit with my preferred draw ( just a slight bit of resistance ) and the burn remained unwavering till the end.
Without hesitation, buildup or delay – the Cohiba Nicaragua begins with this hot, peppery and spicy punch that dominates the flavor profile. To say it is in your face would be an understatement, but even for those who are not a pepper bomb fanatic ( yours truly ) the sensation was never overwhelming yet if I am being truly honest, it was more intriguing than off putting. This heavy pepper was shrouded only by a coffee, cedar and a semi-sweet cocoa backbone that seemed to slowly fluctuate with intensity as the cigar warmed up. There was an almost chalky quality to the smoke – not in a negative way but it did push me towards consuming an extra glass of water throughout the cigar.
After the first ash ( almost directly at the 1/3 mark ) the coffee and cedar backbone lifted slightly, allowing a citrus ‘tang’ to join the party. The chalky quality of the smoke remained, a cocoa burst mixing well giving substance to the smoke itself. While the initial sweetness had faded near the midway point, there was a syrup like ‘sugar’ burst prior to switching into the ‘darker side’ of the flavor profile. Espresso replaced the coffee, dark nuts and leather replace the cedar all while still being dominated by a more mellow, yet still prominent, white pepper that not only hits the sinuses but put a little tingle on the edges of your tongue.
Whenever there is a ‘rush’ to something ( American Gold Rush ) one thing can be certain – a few will prosper while many are left in the dust caused by the others. Unfortunately, we have already started to see this with a few boutique brand and even some of the larger companies going ‘back to their roots’ – luckily for us the Cohiba Nicaragua is not one of those situations. While the price of these are parallel to the Davidoff counterpart ( my assumption is that this blend is directly targeted to counterbalance their Nicaraguan blend ) the delivery is far superior. If nothing else, the sheer size and burn time make more time vs cost effective – but the flavor delivery is where his cigar really shined. If you are looking for a pepper bomb with a level of complexity not ‘normal’ to the line, I cannot recommend them enough. I know for myself I will be picking up more of these, and soon!
Every Cigar Has A Story, Every Smoke A Memory