Earlier this year, General Cigar Co. announced it would be releasing a new blend called Cohiba Nicaragua, which would use Nicaraguan tobacco for the binder and filler and a Honduran Jamastran Colorado oscuro wrapper rolled at the company’s Nicaraguan factory. Four different sizes were announced ranging in price from $9.99 to $14.99, and with three out of the four vitolas being sold in boxes of 16 cigars. The Cohiba Nicaragua is scheduled to be released in November.
Jhonys Diaz, vice president of operations for General Cigar, had this to say about the new blend:
It was a laborious process to develop a Nicaraguan cigar to complement the existing Cohiba portfolio. This cigar is layered and sophisticated. It delivers the complexity and strength of Nicaragua, with a bold and balanced flavor not achieved by any Nicaraguan puro on the market.
There will be four different vitolas of the Cohiba Nicaragua at launch.
- Cohiba Nicaragua N45 (4 x 45)— $9.99 (Box of 16, $159.84)
- Cohiba Nicaragua N50 en Crystale (5 x 50)— $12.99 (Box of 8, $103.92)
- Cohiba Nicaragua N54 (5 x 54)— $13.99 (Box of 16, $223.84)
- Cohiba Nicaragua N60 (6 x 60)— $14.99 (Box of 16, $239.84)
- Cigar Reviewed: Cohiba Nicaragua N54
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: STG Estelí
- Wrapper: Honduran Jamastran Colorado oscuro
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 5 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 54
- Vitola: Robusto Extra
- MSRP: $13.99 (Box of 16, $223.84)
- Release Date: October 2014
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3
The Cohiba Nicaragua is covered in a red mocha brown wrapper that is silky smooth to the touch, but also sporting quite a few veins running up and down its length. There is a bit of oil noticeable and it has an appropriate amount of give when squeezed. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of strong dark cocoa, barnyard, sweet molasses and pepper with a touch of leather thrown in, while the cold draw is straightforward leather and earth.
The Cohiba N54 starts out the first third with a strong and very distinct combination of bitter espresso bean, leather and hay along with some slight spice on the tongue. There is an aggressive black pepper note on the retohale from the start that does not seem to be receding very quickly, as well as a very nice cotton candy sweetness on the finish that surprises me with how well it combines with the rest of the profile. Smoke production is copious, the strength only reaches a spot just below the medium mark by the end of the first third. Construction-wise, the Cohiba Nicaragua has a very good burn so far, but the draw is just a tad open for my tastes, albeit well within normal limits.
A very interesting tart citrus note starts to invade the profile around the start of the second third of the Cohiba Nicaragua, replacing the leather note almost totally. Other flavors of espresso bean, hay, dark cocoa and cedar flit in and out as the cigar burns down. The sweetness from the first third has morphed into a woody maple note that is quite strong at times, but is still underneath the rest of the profile. Smoke production has increased noticeably, but the strength has refused to budge for the most part, staying in a gray area just shy of the medium mark. The draw has tightened up nicely by the end of the second third, and the burn remains quite good.
The final third of the N54 sees another shift in the profile with a nice creamy nutty flavor becoming dominant, replacing the tart citrus taste from the second third. Other flavors of slight leather, dark cocoa, wood, hay, espresso bean and a very nice floral note become noticeable at different points and the maple sweetness has been noticeably reduced, although still strong enough to affect the rest of the profile. The construction remains excellent until the end of the cigar, and while the strength does finally make it to the medium mark, it stalls out there, never threatening to go over. I am able to smoke the cigar down to just less than an inch without it getting hot at all.
- I do find it quite odd that a blend that has been named Cohiba Nicaragua is covered with a Honduran wrapper, although the Jamastran Valley is divided from the Nicaraguan Jalapa region only by a fence.
- There have been a couple of recent releases that incorporate the name Nicaragua in the cigar name. The Kuuts Nicaragua — which also uses a non-Nicaraguan wrapper — was also released at the IPCPR show this year, and the Davidoff Nicaragua that debuted last year is a Nicaraguan puro, but the tobacco is shipped to Davidoff’s factory in the Dominican Republic to be rolled.
- Along with the above, the similarities between the launch details between the Cohiba Nicaragua and the Davidoff Nicaragua cannot be denied. Aside from the name, three of the sizes — as well as the prices of each — at launch are extremely close to each other, and each of the lines have a 5 x 50 robusto that are being sold in tubes (albeit a crystal tube in the case of the Cohiba).
- The finish on the Cohiba Nicaragua is creamy, nutty and lingers on the palate nicely.
- This will be one of three new Cohiba brands released this year following the already-released Comador and the Cohiba Luxury Selection.
- In June, the United Sates Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacated a ruling made by the USPTO Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) in the 16-year-old battle between Cubatabaco, the state-run tobacco company for Cuba, and General Cigar Co. regarding the Cohiba trademark. You can read more about it here.
- We spent quite a bit of time talking with General Cigar at the IPCPR show this year, and you can see the info for all of their releases here.
- The final smoking time for all three samples was quite long for a cigar of this size, averaging one hour and 35 minutes.
- The cigars smoked for this review were provided to halfwheel by General Cigar Co. at the IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas.
- Site sponsor Atlantic Cigar is a General Cigar Co. dealer, and will have the Cohiba Nicaragua when it is released late this year.
To say the Cohiba Nicaragua surprised me would be a fairly large understatement. The profile is rich, balanced and complex with evolving thirds and a wonderful sweetness that evolves over lingers on the palate for most of the smoke. The construction on every sample I smoked was excellent, and the strength was well balanced with the flavors themselves. Yes, the price is a bit high for my tastes, but anyone who judges this cigar without tasting it is going to miss out on a wonderful blend.