Cohiba Royale Cigar Review

August 31, 2020

You would be hard-pressed to find a more recognizable and respected name in the cigar industry then Cohiba. From their origins in Cuba to their current role as a luxury, Dominican smoke, Cohiba is known the world over as one of the finest cigar brands in existence.  Even their start, as the private label to Fidel Castro himself, is filled with a rich history and a ceratin exclusive status.

General Cigar has continued that lineage of excellence with its take on the Cohiba brand.  From their best selling core lands, such as the Cohiba Black or Connecticut, to a more limited release, like the highly sought after Cohiba Spectre, this brand continues to wow cigar smokers everywhere.

Earlier this year, it was announced that Cohiba would be releasing their newest line to date.  It was said to have the pricing and availability of their core lines, but with a blend and look similar to their highly lauded limited editions.  The result of months of blend testing and prep work resulted in a stunning cigar that has all the characteristics of a top-notch, high-end premium product.  Even its name, the Cohiba Royale, shows that this cigar is special, unique, and luxurious.

Before we dive into the actual smoking experience, let’s discuss the components and characteristics of this cigar.  The Royale is hand-rolled at the general cigar factory based in Honduras, known as STG Danli.  It uses a blend of tobaccos from three different countries to achieve a complex yet blanched profile.  It is rolled with three different filler tobaccos: Honduran tobaccos from Jamastran and Nicaraguan tobaccos from Jalapa and Esteli.  The binder is a flavorful Piloto Cubano leaf from the Dominican Republic. The finishing touch is an oily and dark brown Nicaraguan wrapper from the Jalapa region.

In terms of its appearance, the Cohiba Royale is stunning.  Its wrapper has a few veins but is still smooth to the touch.  It has just the right amount of oil and has a good weight to it.  It has a medium sponginess, so it has been humidified to my liking.  The glossy band is shiny and well put together and is very reminiscent of the recent Cohiba Spectre, the fabled $90 cigar that sold out almost instantly.  I feel they were going for that look and feel in this blend.

Cold draw flavors were mostly as I expected.  It had some richness to it as well as a dash of sweetness and I will say a surprising amount of pepper.  It wasn’t overly peppery, but more then I would have anticipated from the look.  The draw was nice and open with a great amount of airflow, so thus far construction seems like it won’t be an issue.

The Cohiba Royale cigar’s taste upon lighting, I am hit with a solid amount of pepper, but by the next few puffs that were balanced out with some smooth notes of coffee and cream. I began to pick up on some nice dried fruit notes as well, while the aroma was almost like a baked brownie.  The spice dies down throughout the 1st third but remains noticeable.  The burn was solid, requiring no touch-ups, and the ash was a medium white color with a solid texture.

We continue into the 2nd third, the crux of the cigar, the spice hasn’t picked up, but is still apparent.  What has picked up, however, is the darker rich notes.  Espresso, caramel, and cream have become much more apparent while a touch of cinnamon has also slowly crept its way up.  The burn did get a bit wonky, but it was easily fixed.  The draw has remained solid and as well as the ash.  The one thing I will say is I did expect more nicotine strength, but it has remained at around a medium-full.  I like that but I did think it would be stronger.

As we arrive in the final third, this is where a cigar can go from good to great.  The spice did creep back up again, but still in a subtle way.  I also began to get some nice floral notes, which shows the complexity you get from using so many different tobaccos.  The burn again required a touch-up or two but nothing major.  The key to this final portion of the Cohiba Royale was that it stayed smooth throughout.  The issue I run into from time to time with a more flavorful cigar is that the flavors will get too intense and muddle by the end.  That is not what we have here.  Also, the band was removed with great ease, which is always a plus for me.

Overall, I would say this is the most complex and flavorful of the Cohiba core lines.  While it doesn’t reach the insanity of flavor and smoothness you will find in the Spectre, it gets pretty darn close.  Considering this cigar is ⅓ of the price of the Spectre and was released in a much larger number, I would say it is a success.  This is definitely worthy of picking up several singles to test out and then picking up a box.

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