While it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when the word Cohiba is mentioned, the notion of expensive generally comes to mind, and that regardless whether we’re talking the Cuban or non-Cuban version.
In the case of the latter, General Cigar Co. has been working to grow the brands reach diligently in the last year or so, bringing on Sean Williams as a brand ambassador—who has since added his own event-only Cohiba—and introducing the Cohiba Blue, a lower cost line that the company calls “an approachable, everyday cigar that will bring consumers into the Cohiba franchise at an affordable price point.”
One of the biggest changes with this Cohiba is the heavy use of Honduran tobacco. It was selected for the wrapper and binder, while also being used in the filler with Dominican Republic piloto cubano and Nicaraguan habano. While the blend is Honduran heavy, it’s made in the Dominican Republic at General Cigar Dominicana.
Also of note is that it is limited to brick-and-mortar retailers—though plenty of these retailers have an online presence, making it quite easy to find via your preferred digital device.
It’s offered in four fairly standard vitolas.
- Cohiba Blue Churchill (7 1/2 x 50, $11)
- Cohiba Blue Robusto (5 1/2 x 50, $10)
- Cohiba Blue Rothschild (4 1/2 x 50, $9)
- Cohiba Blue Toro (6 x 54, $10.50)
Here’s what I said about the Cohiba Blue Robusto cigar when I reviewed it in June 2017:
When I got the news of a new Cohiba coming to market, my initial reaction was a mix of skepticism and questioning, summed up in the thought “do we really need another Cohiba line? While the question hasn’t been completely answered, I have to admit that this is a quite good addition to the line, provided you like what Honduran tobacco has to offer. The Cohiba Blue offers a solid journey from start to finish in both flavor and strength, and while the profile might overstep at times, that’s about the only thing I have to complain about. Through most of the cigar the flavors are deep and rich, rarely leaving anything other than a wanting for that next puff, capped off by an outstanding technical performance. While I can’t promise that this will become your everyday, affordable Cohiba, I can say with confidence that if you try one, you’ll almost certainly be as impressed as I was.
- Cigar Reviewed: Cohiba Blue Robusto
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: General Cigar Dominicana
- Wrapper: Honduras
- Binder: Honduras
- Filler: Honduras, Dominican Republic (Piloto Cubano), Nicaragua
- Length: 5 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Robusto
- MSRP: $10 (Boxes of 20, $200)
- Release Date: April 2017
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1
The Cohiba Blue Robusto looks much the same as I remember it, though it still feels a bit lighter in color than what I think of most non-Cuban Cohibas, showing a hue that is a bit earthy as well as a bit like chocolate milk in spots. The blue band still looks familiar but like a new alternate color of an athletic team’s jersey. As for the roll, it’s firm with little in the way of give, though it’s not completely rock hard. The seams are clean and the cap fairly well applied, so much so that its seams disappear into the cigar’s head. The foot offers a sweet profile in the nose, suggesting a bit of caramel and toffee, while a bit of wheat keeps it from getting too sweet. The cold draw is smooth with just a bit of resistance, and shows a more nutty profile without any overt sweetness.
There’s an interesting mix of earthiness and nuttiness that starts off the Cohiba Blue Robusto, with just a bit of pepper to add some kick. The smoke also has a slightly oily texture to it, which is most noticeable after each puff as part of how it lingers on the tongue. There’s a bit of creaminess to the texture of the smoke, yet I don’t seem to be getting as much of the pure flavor; if anything it’s become tightly intertwined with the mixed nuts and turned into a coffee creamer flavor. One thing I will say is that the profile through the first inch is incredibly smooth and balanced on the palate, while the pepper gets just a bit more restrained black pepper to tingle the more sensitive olfactory nerves. The cigar holds fairly steady at a smooth, medium bodied flavor profile, and medium or just a tick below in terms of strength. Other than a briefly uneven burn line and a clump of ash that came off before I had it over the ashtray, the cigar has performed beautifully so far.
Once across the midpoint, the cigar begins a bit of a pivot in its flavor, picking up a bit more rocky earth and with it, some minerals, while the pepper becomes a bit more blunt and potent towards the back of the throat. What the nose gets via retrohales is a bit brighter than what it got in the first half, though it’s still on the fairly smooth end of the spectrum. The Cohiba Blue Robusto picks up the pace of the changes and shows more of what I would refer to as the Honduran terroir before the burn line is out of the second third; it’s earthier, a bit gruffer, woody and much more robust, all of which come at the expense of the smoothness I had praised in the first third. It’s not all bad, however, especially if you find that flavor profile agreeable. There’s no harshness to be found, and any increase in the heat can easily be mitigated by slowing down the puffs. The smoke has gotten noticeably warmer through the nose and is now more aromatic by way of some baking spices and campfire. The final two inches see the Cohiba Blue Robusto pick up a bit of a charred wood flavor, and the cigar is noticeably drier than it was earlier with none of the creaminess or any sweetness to be found. Each puff does an admirable job drying out the front half of my tongue and a bit of my lips, while leaving a peppery tingle on the tip of the tongue. It’s not as smooth of a finish as I would have hoped, but it’s not a bad way to bring the Cohiba Blue Robusto to a close after 90 minutes of smoking time.
I wasn't shy with my praise for the Cohiba Blue Robusto when I first smoked it, and I'm not going to be shy about it now. What's interesting is that a year of rest hasn't transformed the cigar drastically, but has further smoothed out the first half of the cigar, which continues to be its best half. The back half is still a bit on the gruff and robust side, but the two halves come together well to show off two congruent if fairly different profiles. I'm still on board with what the Cohiba Blue has to offer, both when right off the shelf and after a year of age, and maintain this is a cigar worth trying at least once to experience a different—and somewhat more affordable—take on the Cohiba portfolio.