Try Cohiba…… Choose The Best

A few of us who smoke a fair number of Cuban cigars each year tend to smoke as many different brands as we can get out hands on and also try to stay up to date with the Cuban Limited Editions and Regional Editions.  A lot can be learned by having an open mind and the willingness to smoke many different Cuban brands in many varying sizes with great surprises being revealed from time to time.

Those new to this passion will find something they like and stick to what they know, which is comforting and very enjoyable, but I’m always reminded that cigars are always evolving in a humidor and on a good day, even a cigar that may not be your favorite, will explode with flavors that will surprise you and make you rethink your daily or weekly choices.

Montecristo , Partagas, Romeo y Julieta and H. Upmann, which are old reliable brands,  are all very very popular, and for very good reason, but if you want to taste, what most agree, is the top of the heap, the king of them all, then try a Cohiba.  This brand gets first pick of the finest tobacco leaves in Cuba, extra aging and extra care when rolling of these leaves giving these cigars a consistency and a beauty that has given them the distinction of being the best brand Cuba has to offer.

The Esplendidos, which is the most counterfeited cigar in the world, has won the praises of aficionados world wide and many devoted Cohiba smokers always have their humidors stocked with these long and elegant works of art.  The Siglo Series won over many new smokers when this line came out in 2002 with the Siglo VI being a standard set when wanting something special.

In 2007 the Maduro 5 line was introduced with 3 sizes that came in wrappers that have been through a 5 year aging process.  These, although tasting differently from the original Cohibas, have rich dark chocolate notes that please a whole community of Maduro cigar smokers world wide.

2010 saw the hugely anticipated release of one of the finest cigars Cohiba has produced to date, in the Behike.  3 sizes ranging from 52, 54 and 56 ring gauges have caused more of a stir in the cigar world than any other cigar has been able to accomplish.  The wonderful construction and the added extra rare “Medio Tiempo” leaves, from the top of the tobacco plant, sparsely added to the blend give this cigar a whole new smoking experience for seasoned aficionados.  These were very hard to get cigars this year and something tells me that nothing about that is going to be changing soon.

Taking the time to get to know all of the different cigars that Cuba produces can be very exciting, educational and tasty but when an occasion deserves the very best, you’ll want to pick a Cohiba.

Cohiba Piramides 2006 EL

I’ve mentioned this cigar before and, have to admit that it is one of the best cigars I’ve smoked.  It feels great in the hand and is perfectly constructed but once you’ve had it lit for only a short time, you get an adventure in flavors that can only come from a Cohiba of this stature.  Wonderful chocolates, both bitter and sweet come forth and all are accompanied by that cedar and grass taste that Cohiba normally offers.

I smoked this in a tent on Christmas day in the Pacific NorthWest and have to mention that this was a heated tent and although it was Christmas day, I felt warm and comfortable and thought that Christmas day deserved a Cigar that I would remember.

What I found so amazing was that Trevor from “The Vancouver Cigar Company”, had a nice number of these cigars for sale just before Christmas and I thought I’d better pick up a few while they were available.  From what I understand, he still has a few of these and any serious collector or a lover of superlative stogies should drop him a line and try to pick up a few.  I’m not sure how long he’ll have them but I’m pleased as punch that I took a few…..

I have enough for 4 more Christmases.. Can’t wait!

Ramon Allones Gordito ..Canadian RE 2010

This year Havana House has delivered on their promise to provide the Canadian Aficionado with 2 new Regional Editions, the Bolivar B2 and the Ramon Allones Gordito.  It was nice to see two hefty cigars come into our Canadian cigar stores, the B2 being a 6.1 inch 52 ring gauge Piramides and the Ramon Allones Gordito ( pictured above ) is a 50 ring gauge, 5.5 inch long Gordito.

When you compare the Gordito with the, very popular, Ramon  Allones Specially Selected you are getting the same ring gauge and just under an inch of extra smoking time.  For a slow smoker that can be a somewhat considerable bonus.  I purchased a few of these cigars in the early autumn, by Vancouver standards, and I feel that letting this cigar rest for a short while longer would probably give me a lot more smoking pleasure by the time I light it up.

From what I’ve learned so far, cigars when young, change in flavor quite dramatically with every few months that go by in their first year of life.. Let a cigar rest in your humidor for 3 years and a few more months won’t really be that much different in taste.  At that point, increments of 6 months are probably required to reveal the changes we taste in their flavor profile as they continue to ferment and age.

I don’t think that this one in the picture will make it through the Christmas season…… I’ll let you know how the story ends !

Jose L. Piedra …Another Great Gift

I have many friends who smoke cigars, some know a lot more than I do on the subject, some really love cigars but are just learning the in’s and outs and some smoke now and then.. The middle group is what I’ll be aiming my focus on today because although most of my friends smoke only now and then, I seem to have very good friends that see a lot of value in a cigar like Jose L. Piedra.  This is a cigar that is perfect for the winter for a few different reasons..

First the price.. Very affordable and anyone wanting to give a good friend more than one or two cigars for Christmas would do well to pick up a few boxes.  Another reason I like these cigars in the winter is that they don’t take as long to smoke, due to the smaller sizes and still offer fine Cuban flavors.

I have smoked the Conservas, the Brevas and the Cazadores.  If you would ask me which were my favorites, I’d have a difficult time giving you an honest answer because I’ve found that they have pretty much the same flavor profile but if you can get your hands on a box that is a few years old, you’ll definitely see an improvement in the smoking experience.