What’s Close to A Cuban Cohiba Cigar?
The now famous Cuban Cohiba cigars were created in 1966 solely as Fidel Castro’s very own personal blend that he reserved for himself and occasionally shared with important diplomats visiting his country. Therefore, when the ultra-premium Cuban Cohiba cigars were finally released to the public in 1982, it quickly became the most sought-after Cuban cigar on the planet. Unfortunately, being illegal in the USA, eager American smokers that were never lucky enough to travel abroad and experience one, often ask the question— “What’s Close to A Cuban Cohiba Cigar” that I can buy right here in the states?
Like all brands coming from Cuba, the Cuban Cohiba cigar is fashioned with only the best tobacco leaves grown in the famous Vuelta Abajo region of the country. Bordered by the Sierra de Los Organos mountains, Vuelta Abajo’s perfect climate and mineral-rich soil is renowned for growing the very best tobaccos in the world. So, if you are lucky enough to get your hands on a genuine Cuban Cohiba cigar you are in for a very special treat. The Cuban Cohiba cigar is full-bodied, yet delivers very smooth and well-refined flavors of white pepper, baking spices, cocoa, and earth, punctuated with a long-lasting creamy finish. This flavor and strength profile leave the door open for quite a few non-Cuban cigars that will offer an equally satisfying smoking experience. let ’s take a close-up look at a few that we think are the best in comparison, starting with Cohiba Nicaragua cigars, a brand easily found online, or at many local cigar shops everywhere from Maine to Alaska.
We chose the Cohiba Nicaragua cigars over the other Dominican blends in the brand portfolio as it boasts a bolder profile by using a Colorado Oscuro wrapper over perfectly aged Nicaraguan binder and long filler tobaccos. With almost spot on flavors of white pepper, spice, cocoa, and earth, found in its Cuban cousin, this full-bodied indulgence introduces a healthy dose of chocolate into the mix to add its own unique quality.
Made for Ashton by Arturo Fuente, VSG stands for Virgin Sun Grown, although the dark, oily sun-grown Ecuadorian wrappers come from a country that boasts almost perpetual cloud cover, which gives the tobaccos an earthy, nutty, spicy, and naturally sweet, full-bodied profile. The Ashton VSG Cabinet Selection’s impossibly smooth and creamy flavors come courtesy of five-year-old Dominican filler tobaccos harvested from the famous Chateau de la Fuente farm. After six months of cedar aging, the cigars are then aged for an additional two months, the same technique that was used to create the Cuban Cohiba cigars. The result is a decadent smoke that’s very close in character to the Cuban Cohiba.
The product of legendary cigar maker A.J. Fernandez, Punch Diablo cigars put AJ’s modern spin on this famous 19th-century Cuban heritage brand with a four-year-old Ecuadorian Sumatra Oscuro wrapper, a six-year-old Connecticut broadleaf binder, and four-year-old Nicaraguan and Honduran Ligero Habano fillers. This three vitola line also marks the first time that a non-Cuban Punch cigar has been made outside of Honduras, where the brand has been manufactured since the 1960s. Oozing with a mix of sweet and spicy flavors backed by notes of chocolate, earth, and leather, this full-bodied taste sensation will more than suffice if you can’t get your hands on a genuine Cuban Cohiba cigar.
Alec Bradley Prensado
Now, turning to the great nation of Honduras, Alec Bradley Prensado cigars is a top-rated, award-winning line of premium smokes that can give any Cuban brand, including the Cohiba, a serious run for the money! Handcrafted at the Alec Bradley factory in Danli, Honduras, the Prensado is an expert blend of Nicaraguan and Honduran long fillers and a Nicaraguan Jalapa binder, finished with a rare and stunning “Trojes” Corojo 2006 wrapper. This robust, savory combination creates a complex full-bodied feast of cocoa, chocolate, earth, cinnamon, and spice. Unique and captivating, the Prensado has named the best cigar of 2011 with an unprecedented 96-rating in Cigar Aficionado!
We think these four top-shelf brands are a great start in answering the million-dollar question of “What’s Close to A Cuban Cohiba Cigar”, but with so many high-end Cuban-style cigars on the market, experienced smokers that have somehow procured these forbidden premium pleasures can easily add a few more to this list.