The History of Cohiba Cigars

The History of Cohiba Cigars – From Cuba to Today

The history of Cohiba cigars ranges back several decades, and is intermingled with the cultural and historic tapestry of Cuba. The story of Cohiba first begins in the 1960s when revolutionary leader of Cuba, Fidel Castro, requested a blend of cigars crafted exclusively for him. These cigars were the first Cohibas. Though, of course, they were eventually offered to the public.

Cohiba’s Cuban Origins

The name “Cohiba” comes from the Taino word for tobacco – a simple name for a brand that has gone on to become one of the world’s most recognized cigar names. The unique blend of tobaccos used in Cohiba, and the rigorous quality control and leaf selection, quickly set them apart and this, combined with their exclusivity, made the cigars a symbol of luxury.

In 1966, Cohiba was officially established as a consumer-facing brand by the Cuban government, and they began producing the cigars regularly at the El Laguito factory in Havana, Cuba. The brand, while ostensibly available to everyone, was very hard to get – many of the cigars were reserved for diplomatic gifts and “official” government use. Perhaps this hard-to-find nature is part of what added to the allure of the brand so many years ago. It wasn’t until almost twenty years later that Cohiba cigars finally became truly available to the public.

Traditional Cuban Cohibas included leaves from the Vuelta Abajo region of Cuba – one of the most renowned growing regions the country has to offer. The soil and climate of this region have a very earthy, distinct flavor profile that helped to set Cohiba apart as a particularly unique cigar.

In addition to the unique flavor profile, Cohiba is perhaps best known for the band that sits atop each cigar. Elegant, simple, and understated, the traditional Cohiba band features the logo and a black, white, and gold color scheme. Today, you can still find variations on this original band on many Cohiba cigars on the market.

Non-Cuban Cohibas

Eventually, the Cohiba brand name was picked up by General Cigar Company, who began producing non-Cuban Cohiba cigars for the American market. These cigars are produced in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua and are the cigars you are likely most familiar with if you’re living in the US.

Perhaps the best known Cohiba cigar is the Cohiba Red Dot – this mellow to medium-bodied blend is one of the best-selling cigars in the world, and is found in almost every cigar store across the country. You’ll find a rich, creamy profile with notes of wood and cedar within each cigar, and some hints of spice. Many cigar enthusiasts began their journey with a cigar like a Cohiba Red Dot on the golf course.

Additionally, Cohiba has offered some fuller-bodied experiences with cigars like the Cohiba Black. This Connecticut Broadleaf wrapped maduro booms forth with notes of espresso and cocoa, earthy undertones, and a smooth finish, making it a great “next step” cigar for those who want to explore something with a little more body.

Cohiba Today

Today, the Cohiba brand continues to be one of the most sought-after in the world. Every year, tens of thousands of Americans search for the original Cuban versions on their vacations abroad (though, many of these are fake cigars… but that’s a whole different article). Additionally, Cohiba continues to push its dominance as a premier luxury brand in America with releases like the Cohiba Royale.

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