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Cohiba: Cuban vs. Dominican Cigars

J. Bennett Alexander Alexander's picture

J. Bennett Alexander

This past Thanksgiving, I was at the home of a friend who had been given a box of Cuban Cohiba Lanceros. He said that when he received them in February, they still had residual ammonia and were vegetal. Nine months later, the cigars had aged well in his humidor and shed the impurities, though they still began with a bit of a grassiness. Now, I’m not a big fan of thin cigars. I have more experience with the Cuban Cohiba Robusto and Esplendido and that experience is quite mixed. For this comparison, I’ve chosen the Robusto since it’s generally considered to be the best of the original Cohiba line.

The Cuban Cohiba Robusto (4 7/8 x 50), when just right, is a medium-bodied cigar that can deliver a lot of sweetness. It can almost be like smoking a flower at the beginning, but it gains complexity as it burns, though it never really gets strong. There is a lot of creaminess, some bursts of cocoa and just a bit of spice. The cigar’s finish is a little more savory and, when not right, downright flat. For more than $40 a stick in London, hope that you get one that’s just right.

The Dominican Cohiba Robusto (5 x 49), the one with the red dot on the band, is the original non-Cuban Cohiba. The Dominican one is also a medium-bodied smoke, but far different in flavor than the Cuban. The red-dot Robusto carries a Cameroon wrapper with Dominican filler that creates a slightly more complex cigar than the Cuban. There are solid pepper notes, some leather, but also a significant amount of sweetness that comes through in the finish. The draw is excellent, something not always the case with the Cuban version. The Dominican Cohiba Robusto sells for about $10. The risk-reward ratio is favorable. When it comes to value, it’s hard to argue against the Dominican Cohiba.

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