Cigar Review: Cohiba Blue

  • Cohiba_blue_straightVitola: Robusto
  • 5.5” x 50 ring gauge 
  • MSRP $9.99
  • Provided by General Cigar

Background

General Cigar’s Cohiba brand has been around about 20 to 25 years and there have been quite a few ups and downs for the brand in that time…times when the name was attached to some luxury-high-end cigars with massively aged wrappers…not to mention time spent in court defending the use of the name, which was originated in Cuban in the late 1960s. But one thing that has been a core tenet of Cohiba that whole time was being “synonymous with luxury smoking experiences”…which means the cigars have always dwelt in the higher-priced end of the marketplace. General decided to change that this year with the new Cohiba Blue.

This latest blend is working to introduce the notion of “inclusive luxury.” The Cohiba blending team used Honduran Jamastran, Nicaraguan Ometepe and Dominican Piloto Cuban for the filler leaves, along with Honduran Olancha San Agustin (OSA) leaves for binder and wrapper, and they set price points for the four sizes from $8.99 to $10.99 per stick.

Along with this new blend, General recently announced the hiring of Sean Williams to be the brand ambassador for the Cohiba brand. Sean founded Primer Mundo Cigar Company in the first decade of the 21st century and seemed on the road to making that brand more prominent before taking this new job. General Cigar Company sent me several samples of the new Cohiba Blue for review purposes; this review is based on the fourth time I’ve smoked the blend.

Cohiba_blue_bandPrelight

Cohiba Blue takes the notion of color-coding a cigar to heart, presenting the blue-banded cigar in bright blue boxes. The photo of the box they sent is pretty basic, really, but it does fit in with the original Cohiba from General, as well as the Cohiba Black line. It will stick out on the shelf because of the color, yet look a part of a larger presence.

As stated, the banding is pretty simple…blue background with white lettering and lines that circle the cigar. The center of the “O” in the name is filled with red, and that letter and motif is repeated on the back of the band…which is what drives many people to call the General lines “Cohiba Red Dot.”

The wrapper leaf was the color of peanut butter or caramel, with just a little darker mottling in evidence, and a nice oily feel under my fingers. The aroma from it was muted and faint, but it was a mix of hay and wood mostly. From the foot, I got notes of hay and earth, with a richness to it. The cold draw was a bit snug, but not horribly tight. Cold, the cigar had notes of peanuts, grass and earth.

Cohiba_blue_bandbackFlavor

The Cohiba Blue was easy enough to get fired up evenly and it burned well from the outset. I picked up on medium-bodied smoke with flavors of sweet hay and roasted nuts up front, along with a little earth and leather coming in behind that. There was a little pepper spice, but it was fairly mild on the tongue and just gave a short, sharp heat on the nose.

The second third of Cohiba Blue was mellow and flavorful, with developing bready notes and continuing notes of nuts and earth. Pepper spice faded to almost nothing on most puffs.

As I slowly made my way through the final third, I got more bread notes along with a resurgence of light leather mixed in with the earth and nutty flavors.

Cohiba_blue_boxConstruction

The draw was slightly tight, but ultimately good enough to be workable. The ash was solid up to almost an inch long. The burn line was very even with little need to touch it up.

Value

This is a General Cohiba branded cigar that I can definitely say is worth the money…it was quite good while staying around the $10 mark.

Conclusions

The Cohiba Blue doesn’t stray too far from what I remember about the original General Cohiba (White? Red Dot?) blend. It is a good cigar with plenty of flavor and a decent amount of complexity, riding on a medium-bodied smoke. Above all, though, this cigar seems to be about the price, which is decidedly lower than anything else in the Cohiba collection. Truly, this is the first time I can definitely say that a General-produced Cohiba blend is worth every penny you pay for it.

By-The-Numbers

Prelight: 2/2
Construction: 2/2
Flavor: 3.5/5
Value: 1/1
Total: 8.5/10

David Jones

David has been smoking premium cigars since 2001. He is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Leaf Enthusiast. He is a full-time retail tobacconist, working for Burns Tobacconist in Chattanooga, where he has also organized the Chattanooga Tweet-Up for the last four years. He is also an independent graphic designer and typesetter. Twitter: @dmjones1009

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