Reviewed by Russell Wren (June 2001)
I am thrilled to be "on staff" here at Cigars LTD as a cigar reviewer; I know it's a tough job reviewing Havanas but somebody's gotta do it! I have done this for SMOKE Magazine for the past 3 years so there is some experience in my corner. Normally I review cigars blind, however in this instance the cigars are banded and identified. This lends some interesting angles to the review as far as comparison (to prior vintage) goes. I have smoked many Cohiba Siglo IV s over the past few years and find them to be a very enjoyable vitola if procured at the right price, allowed to mature fully and smoked during just the right moment of the day. Mitchell sent me three cigars to review, the results are broken down into several catagories.
ASTHETICS....the wrappers were a medium Colorado shade, I'd call it chestnut brown...typical Cohiba color...they had very little evidence of oils and almost felt dry. These sticks did have a few spongey soft spots as this seems typical of recent Cohibas. This past winter I had the opportunity to observe several tobacconists in Geneva inspecting some Siglos and Esplendidos who made similar comments about the fill of this brand. Not a beautiful cigar, but certainly not a Henry Clay either!
BODY....When I think of a cigar's body, I first consider it's smoke quality. The Siglo IV truly excels in this category, as do most of the Cohiba range. The smoke is rich and chewey. It has an extremely woody depth to it. The wood seems to linger on the palate. The best description of the smoke produced by the Sig IV is CREAMY...the richness of this vitola makes it obvious that quality Havana tobacco is present within this cigar. There is also a very high smoke volume with each puff.
FLAVOR....this blend is one that lends itself to aging. There is nothing quite like a carefully matured Cohiba. I'm sure the folks at C.GARS LTD realize this cigar would have benefitted from the hands of time as it was obvious that this was a recent vintage. The flavor was still very complex within the wood/spice spectrum. The typical Cohiba gentle sweetness was also evident. The aroma, which is closely related to the flavor, is also sweet and pungent. Cedar, wood and spice fill the air with a wonderful bouquet, a magnificent blend of tobacco. I found this cigar to work well when accompanied by a smooth latte as the spice becomes accentuated. However my advice to consumers would be to purchase this cigar as an "investment" cigar...put it in the humidor and break it out during a special occasion a few years down the road.
STRENGTH...The Cohiba Siglo IV lies somewhere between the Bolivar Coronas Extra/Punch Super and the Saint Luis Rey/Magnum 46 marks on the scale. The nicotine content place this stick in the middle to high strength range. For someone who primarily smokes Havana cigars, this might suit as an after lunch companion. If you are not a regular to the Island range, you would certainly enjoy this one after a fine evening meal. I always smoke a Siglo IV on Christmas morning after a huge breakfast...I enjoy the creamy richness and moderate strength balance of this vitola.
OVERALL RATING....as stated before, this cigar becomes a masterpiece if properly nurtured. The one aspect that comes into the light when discussing the Cohiba line is price. The quality of this cigar is high, so is the price. You have to consider the ratio of quality to price when deciding on purchasing this cigar. Yes, I have a few of these in my humidors (waiting for Dec 25th!) however as a regular, everyday Havana Corona Gorda, I might opt to go with the H Upmann Magnum 46, Punch Super Selection #2 or Royal Selection #11. All age as beautifully as the Sig IV as all are cabinet selections . They are similar in strength and intensity yet somewhat easier on the wallet.