April 4, 2012

Cigar Review: Cohiba Siglo VI


Cohiba
Crafted in 1966 for President Fidel Castro, the Cohiba brand is most likely one of the top three cigars brands known around the world; I would say the other two are Montecristo and Romeo Y Juliet. While those two lines have been around for many years, the Cohiba brand is one of the more recent brands, and was originally introduced as a private cigar. Originally created at the secretive factory of El Laguito, in order to protect the cigars from being poisoned, the cigars would not be given out to others in the Cuban Government until 1968. Following that, it was not until 1982 that the cigars eventually became released for commercial sales. Ten years after the commercial release of the Cohiba brand, Habanos S.A. released a new line within the brand, La Linea 1492 Series. The line was meant to honor five centuries since Columbus made his voyage, “discovery,” to America. The line would classify their cigars with the title Siglo, and there would be five sizes ranging from Siglo I to Siglo V. It was ten years later in 2002, ten years ago this year, that we would see the sixth installment in the line, honoring six centuries since the voyages of Columbus, the Siglo VI.

Nice Triple Cap
The Siglo VI has most likely become the more popular of Cuban cigar vitolas, and possibly bigger than the Cohiba Robusto. With cigar smokers preferring larger cigars, both in length and girth, the Siglo VI safely falls into that category. The Linea 1492 Series has been categorized as being lighter in strength to the standard Clasica line by Habanos S.A., but they still classify it as remaining medium in body. I feel the two lines show similarities that are classic to a Cuban Cohiba, but I would agree in the fact that the 1492 Series is slightly softer than the other. The tobacco leaves used for the Cohiba brand are the selection of the selection as Habanos would say, and are from the five best farms in the Vuelta Abajo region. The Siglvo VI is really one of the best vitolas on the market, and in the 1492 Series line, I would say it is the best followed by the Siglvo IV.
Nice Golden Brown Wrapper
The cigar vitola for the Siglo VI goes by the name Cañonazo in the cigar factories, and is classified as a robusto extra. Measuring 5 7/8” with a 52 ring gauge, the cigar is oily in hand and has a nice sheen in the light. The wrapper is this lovely light hay/khaki brown, and it definitely falls into the Natural coloring aspect. There are very few veins present in the wrapper, and it has a great triple cap as well. Holding the cigar in hand, it fits perfectly, and is very firm. The aroma at the foot of the cigar is that of hay, wood, spices, leather and coffee, and it is really showing those great Cohiba aromas. After cutting the head, the cigar has a full draw, and it is more open than most Habanos I have had. The cold draw is showing those same flavors from the aroma, and there is also this lemon taste as well. One interesting aspect is that Habanos typically have flat tops to their head. (picture below) I see this a lot with cigars as well by Gran Habano and Padron; just an interesting fact there. 
Flat Top
The cigar begins like most Cohibas, and begins very light in strength and flavorful. The flavors at first are subtle, showing bits of spices, coffee and wood, but as I get further into the first third there are a lot more flavors of leather, lemon peel and stone fruit. The flavors really cover a wide spectrum, and thus make the cigar very complex. It shows some characteristics of a cigar that is very rich, like a Bolivar, but at the same time is not. Starting out roughly medium in body, the cigar begins to gravitate towards the medium full side of things towards the beginning of the second third, and is also producing a solid burn line. The burn line isn't perfect, but it is near perfect and for a Habanos you can't ask for anything else. The ash is really a medium shade of gray with this slightly brown characteristic and it produces a nice amount of smoke.  

When I get into the second third of the cigar, the flavors are still going very strong, and it is also showing some more complexities to the cigar. There are still those spicy notes from the first third, really more Asian spices, and it is also showing those cedar and coffee notes as well. The lemon peel from the flavor in the first third is much more dominant in this third, and that is common to see in the Cohiba brand. I am beginning to pick up some earthy notes as well in this third, and they pair wonderfully with the subtle stone fruit flavors. It is still a very complex cigar, but also very balanced. I would say the strength has faded very slightly this in third, but it brings it back down somewhere between medium and medium full in body. The cigar is still burning very well in this third, and it is still producing a nice colored ash and a lot of smoke with rings. 
Smoking
I am in the final third of the cigar now and it is ending wonderfully. The flavors are really those dominating Cohiba  flavors of lemon peel, coffee, cedar, hay and spices, but I am still getting some earthy flavor profiles here and there. These cigars are just flavor bombs, and what I like about them is that they are a great length, and the ring gauge is perfect enough so you get lots of flavors from the fillers and wrapper. The cigar burns wonderfully throughout the final third, leaving a perfect burn line, and leaving a solid dark gray ash on the cigar. I would say the cigar smoked at the medium level throughout the final third of the cigar, and towards the end it gets slightly warm, nothing major though. I smoke the cigar down to the nub, where it is still a little warm, but still very flavorful and producing a lot of smoke. As I put the cigar down to let it rest, it is not hard to realize that this cigar performed very well.   

Quite possibly the best Cohiba ever made, and one of the best Habanos by Habanos S.A. on the market, the Siglo VI is an ultimate classic. The cigar possesses so many great flavors that are seen in the Cohiba brand, and is constructed wonderfully. I believe Habanos really puts a lot of time into these cigars, and because of that they are very rarely rushed. I have had several Siglo VIs throughout my years, and I can say that through 2008 and now they have been stellar. I would never give a Siglo VI under a 90, and it can only do better from there. The two I smoked for this review were fabulous in every department, slight burn issue in one, but nothing major and were cigars that made me want to take my time with and truly treasure. I give this smoke a 93; they are great to have around in your humidor, and if you don't want to buy a box then just buy a three pack of a box of ten. Like a Padron 1926, if you don't want to put the money into a 25 count box then buy a 10 count box, they are cigars to possess for those special occasions when something extraordinary is needed. 
Siglo VI

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