Cohiba 1966 from Havana LCDH
Date Reviewed: April 7th, 2012
Cigar Date: August, 2011
I personally picked up this box from the LCDH at the Romeo y Julieta factory in Havana… so no questions of legitimacy with this one. I mention that, right off the bat, because the first time I reviewed this cigar was a “pre-release” stick that supposedly came from the factory on a Havana trip… but my source was later found to be peddling a combination of real and fake product across a wide spectrum of habanos. Fortunately, he refunded all money to all parties involved when deeply questioned… but it’s still undetermined as to the legitimacy of the cigar I first reviewed. The second review I did was from a much more reputable source and came back from the Festival… though some doubted even its origin, mostly because of the first source tainting opinions. In any case… this box is 100 percent legit and Hamlet, himself, sold me the box. We can finally call this cigar officially reviewed and posted!
Orangedog and I decided to get together and smoke/review this stick… and we did so as part of a gathering of 28 friends in Scottsdale, Arizona. We all began the night at a wine bar, but ended up moving over to a fantastic little Irish pub called the Skeptical Chymist (no, I didn’t spell that incorrectly). As we sat on the patio and prepared to light up, our next round of beers hit the table… so we decided to make it one of our cigar-beer-pairing reviews. Off we went, then.
The beer I had selected was a Grimbergen Dubbel. I just love Belgian ales (dubbels and tripels, in particular), and the pub had a really great selection. Starting with the beer, it was actually served in its proper glass (I love when a place does it right) and the aromas were sweeter than most dubbels – molasses maybe? Just like any dubbel, it had a great head and that typical rich, dark appearance. Looking at the cigar, it’s still difficult to ignore its beauty. It’s got a fantastic dark, oily wrapper and I’m a huge fan of the size – not to mention my overt love for pigtails. Predraw, the cigar left a tiny bit of bitterness on my lips… and had aromas of leather and a bit of earthiness that’s fairly typical of Cohiba, in general. So far, nothing really new.
As I lit up, the bitterness on my lips was drowned out pretty quickly (perhaps by my beverage choice), and replaced with a mild earthiness and a teeny tiny bit of pepper that was really only present in the back of my throat. We had originally agreed not to really talk about the smoke until we finished it (and our notes), but we ended up breaking protocol as we both commented how surprisingly mild it was at the start. For a dark, aged Cohiba… it just didn’t deliver any of the strength I continue to incorrectly expect from this cigar… and I think Orangedog agreed.
First tasting notes on the beer were almost the opposite, in general attitude. It was suprisingly delicious… and much sweeter than most dubbels! I wrote down notes like caramel, molasses, malt, and fruit – flavors that remained completely consistent throughout the entire pint. I was actually enjoying the beer more than the cigar. Shrug.
This is the point where I really wish I could write detailed descriptions of how complex the cigar was… and how it changed throughout the smoke. I want to tell you what changed in the first third versus the second… and how it finished off. To be honest… I can’t do that here. If I could pick a single term to describe this particular cigar, it would be “one-dimentional.” Toward the back end, it did open up a little bit and some sweet cedar came in… but that’s about it. For the most part, this stick just stayed fairly mild, smooth, and kept consistent flavors of leather, earth, and a tiny bit of spice.
I look forward to hearing what Orangedog has to write… and see if he disagrees!
The Cohiba 1966 is a good cigar… but not a great cigar. Given their price point, I guess I just expected a lot more. They’re much more mild than I expect from such a dark, oily, rich looking wrapper… and a Cohiba to boot. Their flavors are just consistently one-dimentional, too. With this young a cigar, I just hoped for a lot of complexity, boldness, and flavors that would blend and change over years of age. After smoking several of these and reviewing two (three?), I’m just left unimpressed… and will probably end up sluffing a couple boxes off on buddies.
Sadly, I’m just not really sure age is going to do fantastic things here. They do still have a little bit of spice… there’s a little bit of bitterness on the lips… so they’re probably worth laying down for a couple years and seeing what happens. That said, I’m not expecting magic. It’s a good cigar now and, if you prefer smooth consistency over bold complexity, just burn them up this year and you won’t be disappointed!