Thursday, March 6, 2014

Cigar Review: Cohiba Siglo VI

The Cohiba brand is most likely one of the top three cigars brands known around the world. I would say the other two are Montecristo and Romeo Y Julieta, but those are brands that have been around since the 19th Century. The difference between the three is that Cohiba was originally introduced as a private cigar for Fidel Castro in the 1960's. Since its creation, the Cohiba brand has been created at El Laguito, and for a period of time its location was kept secret in order to protect the cigars from being poisoned. In 1982 the cigars eventually became released for commercial sales, but in between those years the cigars were given as gifts to foreign states state individuals and reserved for senior political officials. Ten years after the commercial release of the Cohiba brand in 1982 a new line within the brand was released and it was the Linea 1492 Series. The brand/line was meant to honor five centuries since Columbus made his voyage, “discovery,” to America, and would be composed of five cigars. The line would classify their cigars with the title Siglo, and there would be five sizes ranging from Siglo I to Siglo V. It was ten years later in 2002 that we would see the sixth installment in the line, the Siglo VI, and Habanos S.A. has not added to the line since then.

The Siglo VI has most likely become the more popular of Cuban cigar vitolas, and possibly bigger than the Cohiba Robusto. With cigar smokers preferring larger cigars, both in length and girth, the Siglo VI safely falls into that category. The Linea 1492 Series has been categorized as being lighter in strength to the standard Linea Clasica  by Habanos S.A., but they still classify it as remaining medium in body. I feel the two lines show similarities that are classic to a Cuban Cohiba, but I would agree in the fact that the 1492 Series is slightly softer than the other. The tobacco leaves used for the Cohiba brand are the selection of the selection as Habanos would say, and are from the five best farms in the Vuelta Abajo region. The Siglvo VI is really one of the best vitolas on the market and in the 1492 Series line I would say it is the best followed by the Siglvo IV.

The cigar vitola for the Siglo VI goes by the name Cañonazo in the cigar factories, and is classified as a robusto extra. Measuring 150 mm (5 7/8”) with a 52 ring gauge, the cigar is oily in hand and has a nice sheen in the light. The wrapper is this lovely light hay/khaki brown, and it definitely falls into the Natural coloring aspect. There are very few veins present in the wrapper, and it has a great triple cap as well. Holding the cigar in hand, it fits perfectly, and is very firm. The aroma at the foot of the cigar is that of hay, wood, spices, leather and coffee, and it is really showing those great Cohiba aromas. After cutting the head, the cigar has a full draw, and it is more open than most Habanos I have had. The cold draw is showing those same flavors from the aroma, and there is also this lemon taste as well. One interesting aspect is that Habanos typically have flat tops to their head. (Picture below)

The cigar begins like most Cohibas and begins very light in strength but flavorful. The flavors at first are subtle, showing bits of spices, coffee and wood, but as I get further into the first third there are a lot more flavors of leather, lemon peel and stone fruit. The flavors really cover a wide spectrum, and thus make the cigar very complex. There is no other Cohiba that offers what this one does. It shows some characteristics of a cigar that is very rich, like a Bolivar, but at the same time is not that powerful. Starting out roughly medium in body, the cigar begins to gravitate towards the medium full side of things towards the beginning of the second third. The burn line isn't perfect, but it is near perfect and for a Habanos you can't ask for anything else. The ash is really a medium shade of gray with this slightly brown characteristic and it produces a nice amount of smoke. Overall this is a terrific start to the cigar.

When I get into the second third of the cigar the flavors are still going very strong and it is also showing some more complexities to the cigar. There are still those spicy notes from the first third, really more Asian spices, and it is also showing those cedar and coffee notes as well. The lemon peel from flavor in the first third is much more dominant now, and that is common to see in the Cohiba brand. I am beginning to pick up some earthy notes as well in this third, and they pair wonderfully with the subtle stone fruit flavors that have been present throughout. It is still a very complex cigar, but also very balanced and I would say the strength has faded very slightly this in third, but it brings it back down somewhere between medium and medium full in body. In terms of construction the cigar has improved and I am seeing a terrific burn line with a lovely charcoal ash that is holding on firmly. The cigar produces a good amount of smoke and with that some nice smoke rings.

I am in the final third of the cigar now and it is ending wonderfully. The flavors are really those dominating Cohiba flavors of lemon peel, coffee, cedar, hay and spices, but I am still getting some earthy flavor profiles here and there. These cigars are just flavor bombs, and what I like about them is that they are a great length, and the ring gauge is perfect enough so you get lots of flavors from the fillers and wrapper. The cigar burns wonderfully throughout the final third, leaving a perfect burn line, and leaving a solid dark gray ash on the cigar. I would say the cigar smoked at the medium level throughout the final third of the cigar, and towards the end it gets slightly warm, nothing major though. I smoke the cigar down to the nub, where it is still a little warm, but still very flavorful and producing a lot of smoke. As I put the cigar down to let it rest, it is not hard to realize that this cigar performed very well.

Easily the best  regular production Cohiba ever made, and one of the best habanos by Habanos S.A. on the market, the Siglo VI is a classic. The cigar shows so many great flavors that are seen in the Cohiba brand, and is rolled perfectly. I believe Habanos really puts a lot of time into these cigars, and because of that they are very rarely rushed. Of all their cigars, this is probably the cream of the crop after the Behikes. I have had tons of Siglo VIs throughout my years, and I can say that through 2008 and now they have been stellar. I would never give a Siglo VI under a 90, and it can only do better from there. Whether they are young or have tons of age, they are refined and truly incredible. The two I smoked for this review were fabulous in every department, slight burn issue in one, but nothing major and were cigars that made me want to take my time with and truly treasure. Both were from different vintages, and the older one smoked amazing. If you don't want to buy a box then, just buy a three pack of a box of ten. Yes, these are expensive cigars, but then again all Cohiba smokes are pricey, at least this one is high quality

Young Rating: 90-92 

With Age Rating: 94-96