Cohiba is perhaps the best known of all the Cuban cigar marques. This fact is interesting considering that Cohiba is a post-revolution brand that only began in 1966, a youngster alongside some of the storied brands of old which still exist today. It is classified as a Global brand with worldwide availability and is the flagship brand of Habanos S.A.. This marque started as a private brand for Fidel Castro and other top officials which was often given as diplomatic gifts, but wasn’t made commercially available to the world until 1982. The word “cohiba” comes from the Tainos people for the tobacco that was smoked from large, musket shaped tubes, observed when the explorers first came to Cuba from Europe.
According to Habanos S.A., Cohiba cigars are made of the best available tobacco from the prestigious Vuelta Abajo region, with some tobacco components undergoing a unique third fermentation process. The Maduro 5 variant made its’ debut in 2007, offered in only 3 vitolae; Genios (Robusto Extra), Magicos (Petit Robusto), and Secretos (Petit Corona). This offshoot line of cigars was a radical departure for Cohiba, as they offer a 5 year aged Maduro wrapper, an anomaly in the Cuban cigar world, with 3 years of age on the filler components.
The example smoked was the Secretos, measuring in at 4.3 inches (110mm) by 40 ring gauge. This cigar had a dark reddish-brown maduro wrapper that was somewhat veiny and even a little rumpled in appearance. The prelight aroma was of sweet tobacco with tinges of cocoa. Upon lighting, the palate was met with earth, dark cocoa powder, and minerals, and these flavors continued for the entire duration of the cigar. The cigar smoked easily with a wonderful draw. It held onto about an inch of mottled Grey / white ash in between ashtray visits and offered a medium bodied experience overall, though the strength factor did move into the medium full category as the final third smoked down. This cigar, while showing some complexity, proved to be somewhat underwhelming due to the lack of flavor change, especially considering the legendary status that marca seems to have acquired. If given the option, the standard Cohiba Robusto, Lancero, or Esplendido is much preferred to the Maduro 5 for this smoker.
This tasting session occurred in the posh surroundings of Tim Tang’s Lux Lounge at Ace Tobacco Town in Elkins Park, PA among some good company and some great Grahams Port! Kudos to the Tang family! Definitely stop in if you are in the area! Great People, Great Lounge!