More Flavorful Smokes from Havana

The Cubans are rolling out some flavorful smokes with dark and oily wrappers, including a number wearing the Cohiba band.

I sat on a tasting panel a few weeks ago in the H. Upmann factory in Havana and savored the soon-to-be-released Cohiba Pyramide Edición Limitada. It was a bombshell! The 52 ring gauge by 6 1/8-inch torpedo delivered loads of coffee, cedar and tobacco character on the palate. It showed the balance and richness you expect in a Cohiba, but its dark and aged wrapper imparted a slightly nutty, earthy undertone.

The Cohiba Pyramide is one of the three Edición Limitadas for this year; the others are the Montecristo Robusto (50 ring gauge by 4 7/8 inches) and the Partagas Serie D No. 3 (46 by 5 2/3 inches). These three shapes have been made before, but are being reproduced to mark the fifth anniversary of the Edición Limitada range. All come in boxes of 25 cigars, and the Cohiba is also presented in dark varnished boxes of 10.

During my visit, I also smoked the new Montecristo Petit Edmundo. This is essentially the popular Edmundo Montecristo cut short. In other words, it’s 52 ring gauge by 4 1/3 inches long. I was smoking it in the office of the new manager of H. Upmann, Miguel Brown, and he enjoyed watching me looking a bit stoned after smoking the young cigar for a while.

“How do you like it?” he said, with a huge smile.

“It’s a bit young.” I said in my bad Spanish. “It is very strong.” Honestly, I thought my eyeglasses were a little foggy! It was strong as hell.

I think it’s going to be a great smoke, just like its big brother, the normal Edmundo. I remember when the latter first came out a few years ago and I thought it wasn’t that great, but it is a super smoke now. The Edmundos are made in Brown’s factory and the blending and care in making the smoke have really improved. You should try one, if you get the chance.

I also came across a document sitting on someone’s desk (I was looking at it upside down!) with information regarding a new line of Cohibas — the Cohiba maduros. Three new sizes with aged, dark wrappers are coming out very soon, and they will be some hefty smokes. The wrappers on these Cuban cigars are not the black shade of maduros you see from some other countries, but more like the wrappers on Cuba’s Limitada range. The sizes are: Genios, 52 ring by 5 1/2; Màgicos, 52 by 4 1/2; and Secretos, 40 x 4 1/3. They are all straight-sided smokes with rat-tail ends. Can’t wait to try them.

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