Reviewed by Joe Gellman on 28th September 2002
It is time to start a few reviews on the Cohiba vitolas. In the past I have shied away from this brand because of a few personal prejudices. In addition, there are more "fake" Cohiba cigars on the world market than there are hairs on my head (not the best analogy).
The three standard smallest cigars produced in Cuba are the Laguito No. 3. Three are most familiar to smokers, the Flor de Rafael Gonzalez Marquez Cigaritto, the Montecristo Joyita, and the Cohiba Panatela. Each are 115mm x 10.32mm, weigh 2.81gr. They all are presented in a varnished semi boite, though the Cohiba's presentation is the classiest, while the Flor de Rafael Gonzalez Marquez is the least impressive, and, perhaps rather ugly. The Cohiba is sold in 50's, 25's, and packs of 5.
This vitola presents a problem for the blender. With a ring of 26, it is difficult to get much oomph from the smoke. Of the three, the Cohiba meets the challenge. It was shaping up to be a blazing end-of-Summer, in Los Angeles. Temperatures hit the high 80's and 90's, for several weeks, while the days gave up shadows to a far away fall. It was time for late afternoon coffee, pre-dinner chats, and girl watching before the skirts got longer and the blouses thicker. Excellent for a panatela.
The cigar looks dainty, but, as you all know, looks deceive. The cigar is little in size, only. It is amazing that Cohiba holds to its standard in producing these cigars. Each is perfect, in every respect.
As you hold this cigar and give it the once over (it is not big enough to give it a twice over), you will be reminded that Cohiba uses only the finest leaf. The color is a medium to dark brown without any red hues. The cigars are not firm, and should be handled gently. When smelling them I suggest not breathing too deeply for fear that the cigar will be lost in your nostril! There is a feint woody smell too the cigar and, when tasting it before lit, it lets you know that you are in for a spicy ride.
Using a Blazer to light the cigar is dangerous; you might burn a goodly part of the cigar in doing so, and you definitely do not want to lose any part of the cigar to anything other than your enjoyable smoke. It lights quickly and burns gently for the first half. The ash adheres to the body like wet sand on your legs; both must be shaken to drop. The ash has a rather ugly shape, not being composed of any substantial body. Not to worry, just flick it off and continue your smoke.
There are three dimensions to this tiny representative of the mansion in which the Cohiba headquarters are found. There is no mistaking the woody aroma and taste of the cigar. This does not wane and gets a bit harsh just before you burn your lips to take the last drag. A nice, rich, spiciness stays on your lips for the duration of the smoke, only to get bitter for the second before your last puff.
The cigar last just long enough to have an 8-oz. Cup of coffee. I prefer a strong brew with this smoke. If you have the time, I would venture a guess that you will light another one, not for the scarce nicotine, but for the delight of continuing to be around a very pleasant aroma and a most inviting taste.
There remains, a good 20 minutes after laying the stub down, an almost sweet, spicy, reminder on your lips, a reminder not to forget to keep a few boxes in your humidor.
Other than for the expected harsh finale of this mighty midget (trite phrase, but accurate), this cigar is a "10."
Found this Cohiba very strong and spicey! Very good for its price and brand. Couldnt relax with it and kept me on my toes, if you like a strong one then this is for you!Got a siglo 2 and a maduro 5 in the humidor so looking forward to them. If you want a strong short smoke, this is the one!
What a joy! These little cigars are sublime. Just had one with my morning cuppa, and thoroughly enjoyed every minute. Started off quite mild, but as it went along the flavours developed and by the end had some punch to it. Excellent burn and draw. They ain't cheap, but well worth it! Now do i buy a box?
Nothing else comes close at this size - believe me I've tried most alternatives now between £1 and £8 a stick and the Cohiba just blows the rest away. A proper grown up cigar: complex, smooth draw, even burn, tasty, satisfying, top quality throughout. They're not cheap but, as ever, you get what you pay for. Just bit the bullet and bought my first box of 25 - I'd rather smoke one of these a day than 2 Monte Joyitas or 4 Cohiba Clubs. I've treated myself to about 15 Lanceros in the last 2 months and have to say overall i prefer these.