Date Reviewed: March 10th, 2011
Cigar Date: April 2004
On my last trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, I took a visit to the La Casa del Habano franchise called J&J Habanos (named after the husband-and-wife owners, Jose and Julieta). Not only were the owners and their employees extremely gracious, conversational, knowledgeable and made the absolute best Havana Club mojitos I’ve ever tasted in my entire life… Jose’s back-room collection was astounding! Among his supply was this box of Cohiba Siglo VI from 2004. I remember this era of Cohibas as being particularly tasty… and the Sig VIs (admittedly my favorite regular production habano) had only been in the marketplace for a year and a half by April, 2004 (date on the box)… so I had to have ‘em!
A little over 3 weeks, in one of my humidors at home, and I was ready to set one ablaze! Wrapper color, on this particular specimen, is a bit on the lighter side for the ones that always make my favorites list… but it smelled like a sort of sweet earthiness and a ton of cedar tingled my nose… so much so that it smelled like I was taking a whiff inside a humidor just stocked with Cohiba! It’s so wrong that us habanophiles get excited before we even light something up, sometimes, isn’t it? Drawing before lighting definitely showed those cedar notes coming through the earthiness I already expected… and just a little bit of sweetness was there on my lips.
As a beer choice (another warm day outside), I grabbed a Warsteiner Premium Verum. The beer had a super floral nose with a honey backing… attacked with a ton of light carboonation and had a very sweet and crisp finish. As it breathed a little bit, the carbonation toned down and those honey notes really came through! Now… I know this isn’t a beer review…… but I bring it up because this was actually NOT the best choice for a cigar paring. That finish really stayed in the jowls too long and the first puff back on the cigar always kept too much of the beer characteristics and the cigar flavors had to wait for the follow up puff-puff to make itself known on the palate. Anyway…… note to self: not a good choice for future smoking.
As I lit up, that sweetness on the lips made itself more known as an obvious sweeter cedar quality… and that signature Cohiba earthiness really came through (which is what you want as a Cohiba lover, right?). There was just a tiny bit of spice on the tongue, but it was definitely taking a backseat to cedar and earthiness… and I was okay with that!
Retrohaling brought on a TON of cedar notes and allowed just a bit more of that spice into play… but the first inch was just mostly just a well-balance mix of earth and wood. The smoke seemed a bit leather-filled to the smell… but it was a very cool smoke and didn’t produce huge volumes of billowing black at all.
Past about an inch and a half or so… some of the cedar tapered off and more earthiness came through than anything at all…… but just past half way is when I would call this cigar as having hit its “sweet spot.” It was right then that I actually smiled and that Cohiba earthiness and leather reared its head and I knew, again, why I would definitely label myself as a Cohiba-guy. The leather, earth and cedar notes were all blending extremely well right then… and even took over on my lips and in the retrohale. Just…… mmmm….
All the way to the nub, she stayed extremely well balanced. With this particular stick, I didn’t really catch any of those underlying coffee notes I usually attribute Cohibas as having in the wings… but it’s possible that could be chalked up to my lousy choice in beer pairings…… I’m not sure… so I’ll certainly have to revisit these with just some cool still water or something sweeter with a clean finish, ya know?
Final Notes: The construction was firm and draw was perfect. Aromas of leather were most prevalent, but the tastes were super earthy and cedary with leather just in the background. Believe it or not… I actually felt like the whole thing was blanketed in creaminess the whole time… and it was soft, cool and smooth all the way to the nub! I thouroughly enjoyed this smoke! Was it the BEST Siglo VI I’ve ever had? Eh… I don’t think so…… but it was a very fine specimen and I definitely look forward to pounding through more of these over time!
Aging Notes: While I would say these are ready today… with almost 7 years on them… I still think a little of that complexity has the potential to refine into even more deliciousness than it already has! I may have to set aside a couple to be savored in a few years…… but that might be a hard task as much as I love Cohiba and as tasty as they already are. If you have the chance to find some Sig VIs with 5-8 years right now… I say POUNCE!