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Fascinating Facts About Cohiba

Cohiba was created in 1968 as a private brand for Fidel Castro, however it quickly became one of the most sought-after cigar brands around the world. Cohiba often score very highly in Cigar Aficionado blind tastings, with the Behike BHK 52 being named Cigar of the Year in 2010!

Here are some facts about Cohiba that you may find fascinating:

Cohiba means Tobacco
Pronounced Co-hee-ba, it is the word for tobacco in Taino - which was the native language of Cuba's indigenous Arawak people before the Spanish conquest.

Cohiba happened by accident
Cohiba cigars were originally made for Fidel Castro’s chief bodyguard, after trying one, Castro fell in love with the smoke and ordered more, making it his personal cigar of choice.

You couldn’t buy Cohiba cigars
For many years, the only way you could enjoy a Cohiba was if Castro gave you one himself. They were given out as diplomatic gifts to dignitaries, heads of state or anyone Castro felt deserved one. They only came in one vitola too, the Lancero.

Finally they became available for purchase
Cohibas didn’t become available to the public until 1982, and even then, you could only buy them in Spain. They released three sizes - Lancero, Coronas Especiales and Panetela. Larger vitolas like the Robustos, Esplendidos and Exquisitos didn't exist until 1989.

Cohiba now comes in four lines
Moving on from the limited production, Cohiba now has four series -

The core line, known as Linea Clasica;

The Siglo Series, known as Linea 1492;

The Maduro line, known as the Maduro 5;

The Behikes, named the Cohiba Behike BHK Series. 

The Siglo Series was created to fill a gap left by Davidoff
Back in 1946 Davidoff was a Cuban cigar brand, but once they moved production to the Dominican Republic in 1991 a gap needed to be filled, so Cohiba created the Siglo Series in 1992. Officially called the Linea 1492, the cigars matched some of the sizes Davidoff created.

The Siglo I is the same size as the former Davidoff Château Haut Brion,

The Siglo II is similar to the Château Margaux.

The Siglo III mirrors the Château Mouton-Rothschild.

The Siglo IV, is the same as the Davidoff 5000.

However the Siglo V and VI are their own sizes.

The Tobacco Plantations are secret
Not many tobacco plantations in Cuba produce tobacco worthy of the Cohiba brand, and Habanos won’t say which farms are good enough - all we know is they’re in the Pinar del Rio region, but so are plenty of other farms! Some farmers even claim that their tobacco is used for Cohiba, however, the only way to find out is to be employed by Habanos.

There are plenty of fakes out there
Many brands have fakes available, Rolex, Louis Vuitton and many more have been counterfeited - So has Cohiba. They are also a luxury product which has been imitated, more than any other cigar brand in the world. Many Cohibas sold in the streets of Cuba as well as other street offerings tend to be fake. Even those who claim to work in the factory and are able to sneak them out of the door tend to supply fake Cohibas.

The band design has changed a lot
The original design has gone from simple dots and letters to an anti-counterfeit hologram. Over the short lifespan of Cohiba, they have had to constantly change the band to avoid them being impersonated, with each newer version being more difficult to fake. Now the bands are printed with top to bottom holograms, which are difficult to duplicate.

It’s Cuba’s most expensive brand
Cohibas are by far the most expensive regular-production cigars sold around the world. Discount Cohibas do not exist! The demand is greater than the supply and the wholesale costs are too high for anyone to offer them at a low price. If you find that they are cheaper than usual, more than likely they are fake. The best way to find real Cohibas at a great price is by looking through our website!

Click here to explore the world of Cohiba

Written by Oliver Partington