Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Cigar Review: Cohiba Coronas Especiales (2004)

In 1964, Cohiba was born. Actually it was not Cohiba then, it was unnamed and would not be named Cohiba until 1966, but in 1964 the brand was first created and created in one size. That size was the Laguito No. 1 or Lanceros, and it was a cigar specifically created for Fidel Castro. The cigar would be made for him and only him for sometime, but eventually the brand would be expanded and would be offered to foreign dignitaries and given out as gifts. One of two additional vitolas added in 1967 to the Laguito No. 1 was the Laguito No. 2 or Coronas Especiales. That Habano, along with the Laguito No. 1 and Laguito No. 3 would remain the only Cohibas made for 22 years, and would remain as gifts and not for sale. Eventually in 1989 the brand would become available to the market and be able to be purchased by consumers. From there the brand took off and additional lines would be added. While I do not have one of the Coronas Especiales from the late 60's to early 80's, I am going to pay tribute to one of the three original vitolas in the Cohiba brand, and review the Coronas Especiales. The samples for this review are 11 years old now and should be aged and ready to smoke. Enough of the introductions though, let's light this Cohiba up.

The Coronas Especiales is one of the oldest Cohibas in production and can be considered the second Cohiba to be made with the name, Laguito No. 2. It is a Panetelas - T, and it measures 152 mm (6.0") with a 38 ring gauge. It is made at El Laguito Factory just outside of Habana, and is composed premium Vuelta Abajo tobacco with the filler tobacco receiving additional fermentation. It has a nice pigtail cap, and is one of five to be finished with that style cap in the Cohiba brand. The Habano has a light colored wrapper, and it has some Colorado qualities with some Natural aspects being dominant. There are some veins present throughout, and it is silky in texture with a few bumps present here and there. It is firm from head to foot, and there is an aroma of hay, tobacco, and cedar present on the wrapper. The foot is showing some additional notes, and I am picking up some berry and honey notes there along with the tobacco and hay aromas.

The Coronas Especiales begins by showing some amazing cream and honey notes, and there are touches of sweet spices present with the cigar as well. I am picking up some tobacco notes on top of that, and it is showing some subtle cedar and sweet dough qualities on the finish. It is incredibly smooth, complex, and aged, and this is what a great Cohiba tastes like. The construction on the Habano is perfect and it is delivering an effortless draw that is giving off a great bit of smoke. The burn line on the end of the Habano is nearly perfect, and it has a firm ash on the end. The ash has a solid charcoal coloring,and it is showing some tooth present there as well. I would classify the Habano as being medium in body right now, and with the age I would say this is smoking around a mild-medium level. I could smoke this all day, and this is a Habano that I would have loved to see when young, as I am sure it has come a long way.

I am in the second third of the Habano now and it is growing overall and showing some nice transitioning notes. I am not getting that dominant cream flavor in this third, but it is still present and an additional note to the spice notes which are showing some soft pepper and cinnamon qualities. I am picking up sweet graham cracker flavors, and it is showing honey, wheat, and tobacco notes. It is a smooth Cohiba and the age has done so much for the Habano overall. With the terrific flavors, I would say that the body and strength are right around a medium level, and everything is pairing with one another perfectly. The construction remains top notch in this third as well, and it is showing a nice burn line with a lovely charcoal ash on the end. The ash is holding on firmly and the Habano is smoking cool throughout.

When I get into the final third of the Habano I find that the flavor profile shows some additional transitioning and it is spicier and bolder now. I am picking up some noticeable cedar and tobacco flavors, and the flavors are paired with a nice pepper quality. There is a slight bit of cream present on the finish, and it is paired with some hay and barnyard qualities. Overall, a nice bit of growth as the Coronas Especiales has progressed and it is a flavor profile that is to my liking. As I said earlier, this is a Habano I could smoke back to back if the opportunity presented itself, and I would definitely recommend aging these for a minimum of ten years to get these qualities. The construction is simply fantastic and the Cohiba smokes cool all the way to the nub, producing a nice cool finish. I would classify the Habano as being medium-full in the end, and it is a great finish.

Possibly one of my favorite Cohibas, the Coronas Especiales is a magnificent Habano. It is easily my favorite offering in the Lineas Clasica line/range, and it delivers one of the best flavor profiles of the vitolas offered in that line. Yes, this Habano is aged, but it is with age that you determine how great a Cohiba is. Linea Clasica is one of the stronger lines in the brand after the Behike, and it is a line I typically do not gravitate towards when choosing between one of the vitolas and a vitola in the Linea 1492 line. The Cornas Especiales delivered excellent construction from beginning to end, and with that was tremendous flavors that were complex, smooth, and simply delicious. Because of the size, I can see hesitation in speculation in terms of consistency, but I can tell you with what I smoked that there was no question regarding its greatness. I am giving this Habano a rating between 94 and 96 right now, and if I had more I would be a happy man.

Young Rating: Inconclusive
With Age Rating: 94 - 96