The Cohiba brand is a relative newcomer because it was introduced in 1968, at the start developed as a cigar for presentation only by officials of the Cuban government. In 1982 it became on the market for the world to appreciate. This brand could be quite rightly known the flagship of the Cuban style of cigar. The most effective leaves from ten farms of the Vuelta Abajo region supply Cohiba, the only brand to use three fermentations! This cigar is very expensive, but until you have tried "the Cohiba" you may not perceive the multi-stratified, velvety nuances of flavour that are possible. Aromatic, rich but never overpowering. Cohiba remains the “King of the Cubans”.
The Flavors of Cohiba Cigars
Cohiba Cuban cigars have one of the most refined flavors and distinctively smooth aroma of all the Havana cigars. The tobacco used in Cohiba cigars is some of the finest grown in Cuba. The tobacco are taken from finest plantations in the San Luis and San Juan region, in the Pinar del Rio province.
A very unique feature about Cohiba is the tobacco used to make the cigars undergoes through 3 fermentation processes. While this method may be costly and time-consuming, it provides the tobacco leaves with a very soft texture and unique flavor. It is this 3 fermentation process that gives Cohiba cigars their refinement and finesse.
Cohiba began with the cigars smoked by a bodyguard of Fidel Castro's named Bienvenido "Chicho" Perez. Castro noticed he often smoked a "very perfumed, very nice" cigar. When asked by Fidel Castro what brand he smoked, he replied that it had been rolled by a friend of his who would give him some of these special cigars as gifts.
The man in question was a cigar roller named Eduardo Rivera, he was working at the La Corona factory in Havana. Fidel Castro approached Rivera about rolling cigars for him personally and set him up with five other rollers in a former diplomatic mansion in a suburb of Havana known as El Laguito ("the little lake" in Spanish). Ulterior, the factory became the primary cigar factory to be staffed entirely by women torcedoras.
The cigars were reserved for Fidel Castro himself and other high-ranking Cuban officials, these cigars were commonly presented to foreign dignitaries as gifts. Fidel Castro himself is reputed to have been particularly fond of the long, skinny cigars rolled for him, especially the sizes that would become the Lancero and Corona Especial.
To coincide with the 1982 World Cup being held in Spain, Fidel Castro decided to release his personal cigars as a premium cigar brand for public consumption. The Cohíba marque was first launched in 1982 and consisted of 3 vitolas or sizes: the Lancero, the Corona Especial, and the Panetela. In 1989, three more vitolas were added (the Exquisito, the Espléndido and the Robusto) and together with the first three vitolas are referred to as the Línea Clásica.
In 1992, in comemoration of Christopher Columbus and his voyage to the Americas, Habanos SA to gave currency to the first sizes in what it calls the Linea 1492, with each size called for a century that has passed since Columbus' discovery. The initial launch enclosed the Siglo I, Siglo II, Siglo III, Siglo IV, and Siglo V, and a Siglo VI added in 2002. It seems that the original Linea 1492 was a replacement for the Davidoff marque that recently ceased production in Cuba (as each of the first five "Siglos" relates to a size in the Davidoff line-up).
Besides of the regular production lineup, Habanos SA systematically releases limited release Cohíba cigars for such events as the annual Habanos Festival, brand anniversaries, and their annual Edición Limitada release of limited edition special sizes of their various cigar brands wrapped in a darker vintage leaf.
Cohíba also produces 2 machine-made cigarillos: the Club and the Mini.
Habanos SA also leveraged the famed Cohiba brand name throughout the years and have produced Extra Cohiba Cognac since 1999 and Cohiba cigarettes since 1987. As these days 2006, Cohíba has released 4 completely different Edición Limitada Cohíbas: the Pirámide in 2001, the Double Corona in 2003, the Sublime in 2004, and a remake of the Pirámide in 2006.