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Staff Reviews

Cohiba Toro Tubo Staff Review

Zack D. D's picture

Zack D.

When most people hear the term, “Cuban cigar,” they automatically think of Cohiba. The fact that the Cohiba brand isn’t even that old is amazing. Brands like Punch and Partagas have been around since the 1800s, but Cohiba was created in the 1960s as Fidel Castro’s personal cigar. Cohiba wasn’t available to the public until the 1980s.

Today, however, I am not reviewing a Cuban cigar. I am smoking the Dominican Cohiba in a 6 x 50 Toro Tubo. The Dominican version is sometimes called Cohiba “Red Dot,” due to the red dot in the letter “o” on the band. In 2020, the cigar bands and boxes were updated with an all-new silver, red, and black design with the words, “RED DOT,” now printed under the Cohiba logo – an obvious way to distinguish the Dominican cigar from the Cuban version. General Cigar Company has owned the rights to the Cohiba cigars sold in the United States since 1981 when they first trademarked the brand for U.S. distribution.

Cohiba is handmade at General’s sprawling factory in the Dominican Republic. An aged selection of Dominican long-filler tobaccos is blended with an Indonesian binder and finished with a toothy, milk-chocolate-hued Cameroon wrapper. This cigar is very firm and its wrapper is seamless. Pre-light notes of cinnamon, leather, and chocolate entice the senses while the cold draw offers up a bit of sweet spice, cedar, and figs.

When I fire it up, the Toro starts out with notes of cinnamon and pepper. The spices fade out quickly in favor of woody and earthy flavors. After about an inch, the cigar becomes a bit dull. I can taste notes of burnt wheat toast in the retrohale. The profile doesn’t change much until the halfway mark when it begins to dry my palate significantly. I suggest drinking good amount of water while smoking this cigar. In the final third, I detect hints of oak, leather, and a flavor reminiscent of the spicy Red Hots candy I used to eat when I was a kid. A bit of sweetness returns as the cigar concludes, but it’s a little too late.

For a brand with so much name recognition, the construction is subpar. Its tight draw doesn’t produce enough smoke, even though the burn is perfect. Try to smoke the cigar in a controlled environment because changes in temperature can cause its fragile Cameroon wrapper to crack.

Cohiba is a staple in every cigar shop. Based on taste alone, the blend is worthy of a rock-solid 87-point score. However, due to the always important quality-versus-price equation, it earns a 1-point deduction. At roughly $20 per cigar, Cohiba is quite possibly the most egregiously overpriced and unspectacular blend available in the U.S. market. Therefore, I give it a humble, well-deserved 86-point rating. When it comes to premium Dominican cigars blended with a Cameroon wrapper leaf, I’ve also reviewed Arturo Fuente Hemingway and consider it a sound benchmark for quality and value at around $7 to $15 apiece. Smoke a Cohiba cigar side by side with an Arturo Fuente Hemingway and let us know your thoughts.

86rated

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