Cohiba Behike 56

behike-gold

Cohiba’s release of the Behike line last year was easily the most anticipated event for ANYONE who has ever tasted and loved cigars from Cuba.  The 52, which is a sweet and balanced cigar, thrilled the powers that be in Cigar Aficionado, enough so to see them vote it the cigar of the year in 2010.  I loved that cigar when I first tried it and believe that it must have been a very difficult task when they have so many cigars to choose from.

The Cohiba Behike 54 had a more powerful approach than the 52 with it’s complex profile of milk chocolates and coffees but still had something subtle about it that made me wonder about the Medio Tiempo leaf used in it’s filler and exactly what it does to the taste.  The medio tiempo leaf which appears, sporadically, was used up until the early 1960’s in regular Cuban cigar production but hasn’t been seen until this new Cohiba line was introduced.  I would love to A/B the same cigar first WITH the leaf and then WITHOUT.. That would be a fantastic test to participate in some day…

Yesterday was my first experience with the Behike 56 and it was a whole different ball game compared to the two smaller sizes.  First of all the sheer size of the cigar is impressive, with its big ring gauge, and flawless construction.  A gorgeous caramel wrapper that had a slight oily sheen had me feeling that this was going to be an event to remember for months to come.  The pre-light draw had flavors of hay and moist earth with a slight barnyard taste.. It was time to reach for the matches.

This cigar’s size introduces a whole new way to smoke a cigar.  More air is needed to move through more tobacco and so the amount of suction required to keep the flame even is maybe more suited to someone with more size.  It is a large man’s cigar, plain and simple.  Nothing wrong with that, there are many men with dimensions that are quite suited to a stogie of this size.  I say, go for it!!

The first few puffs were mild but I could tell that the sweetness I remember from the Behike 52 and 54 were present, so there were some fine flavors of the other two cigars coming through right from the start.  It didn’t take long to see the complexity that so many people speak about when they review this cigar, the first third’s profile revealed, hay, sweet milk chocolate, slight amounts of cedar and sweet creamy coffee.  It was a great complex cigar that revealed balance and building strength.

behike-bluegold

This cigar was smoked during a drive from Banff, Alberta to Vancouver.. We had hours to spend in the car as we gleefully drove down the road, smoking many Cuban cigars.  More reviews will follow this post.

The Behike 56’s second third built in strength and showed the flavors changing, in a subtle manner, from sweet coffees and chocolates to a more intense experience that revealed darker and richer chocolate with stronger hay notes and more wood.  This is a roller-coaster cigar in that it will give you more than most Cuban cigars are capable of, it simply has more tobacco rolled in it’s filler, the finest wrapper that Cuba has to offer and an approach to a cigar’s blend that stands alone in the Cuban cigar industry.

The final third was enjoyable and powerful but the nicotine tingling on my lips told me that this is still a young cigar that needs more time to age and settle down.  Does that mean that I’m recommending that you don’t smoke it yet?  No, not at all !  To experience ALL that a cigar has to offer is what I believe we’re all after with this passion and the Cohiba 56 should be smoked and enjoyed at every stage of it’s life !

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