Well, here we have it. The donkey-cock LE extraordinaire!!!!
Damn this cigar is huge. Is it bad when, as a man, you’re starting to feel emasculated looking at a cigar like this hefty??? I love me a good Cohiba (especially when they’re super fresh, or nice and aged). Hell, going against the norm, I frequently like the EL releases. But this thing is ridiculous.
Go to a zen place.
Open up my mind to the possibilities.
Some of us were graciously gifted some of these when in Havana back in November for the Encuentros Partagas. Ironically, like is typical with Habanos S.A. lately, being that this cigar is a 2014 edicion limitada release, OF COURSE they wouldn’t actually have been available yet when we arrived in Havana at the tail end of November. But, a few mastercases of these were spotted in the last few days, and while I deleted (D’oh!) the picture from my iPhone upon my return to the frozen north, I believe the Sep 2014 UME code is what they were, with the mastercase showing number “X of 66” or so with that code. And, these have been starting to flow out to the worldwide markets the last few weeks finally. Yup – right on time, H S.A.
I’ve got a couple of these Cohiba EL RS’ though, and this’ll be my first one.
Please be gentle, EL’y, it’s my first time…
Reviewed Cigar: Cohiba Robustos Supremos EL 2014
Box Date: Sep 2014
Factory / Manufacture Code: Unk. (lost the damn code, but I think it was UME or something like that)
Packaging: Comes packaged in a varnished slide-lid box of 10-cigars
Price per cigar: Gawd awful (this sample was graciously gifted)
Length: 5″, or 127 mm
Ring Gauge: 58
Format: Frankenstein’s version of a magnificos / honkin’ fat robusto
Weight: 15 grams / 0.5 oz
Construction/Appearance & Pre-Light: This cigar…was damn right gorgeous. Dark, Colorado maduro wrapper. No veins, no imperfections. Stunningly marbled-looking wrapper with a lovely oily sheen.
An EXTREMELY flat head punctuated this cigar. Construction feel was quite nice. A pleasant firmness, with just an ever-so-slight soft spot at the foot.
The new Cohiba wrapper is sported on this guy, and with the double bands, there’s a lot of real estate taken up by shiny gold things. Also, the one construction flaw that I found (and I had to really look) was that the bands had just ever-so-slighty-too-much glue on them, and they were stuck fairly firmly onto the wrapper where the seams on the bands were.
After a cut and at cold, mmmmmm! Tones of those Dutch windmill cookies – they’re like a gingerbread cookie, with a healthy dose of nutmeg and other sweet spices in them. This cigar at cold was those. Though the draw at cold was definitely pretty free-flowing and not as restrictive as I would have liked it to be, the flavour at cold was wonderful.
What WASN’T wonderful was CUTTING THE FUCKING CIGAR!!!! Wow, what a clusterfuck that was. I like my Xikar double-guillotine cutters. Well, this cigar, with its giant 58 ring gauge did NOT want to get cut. I really needed a giant punch cutter for this thing. While I managed to do it without destroying the head of the cigar or my sanity, it was a bitch of a time to cut the giant flat head on this thing and not cut too much off, which would have made it a complete wind tunnel.
Opening Impressions: Quite nice. Faint wisps of smoke from the lit foot, just to let you know it’s burning, but then LOADS of mildly creamy smoke with each puff. A profile of EXTREMELY rich, toasted tobacco, with some sweet spices laying on the sidelines a bit.
First Third: Into the first third, I realized what a brute this thing was, in many ways…
First, on the draw, it is a REALLY awkward feeling to draw on it – you feel like you’re going to dislocate your jaw or accidentally bite your lip, or something stupid like that; it really is that uncomfortably strange feeling.
Secondly, even with my big mitts, this looks like a giant cigar in the hand, and has some definite heft to it. Hell, the bands seem like they were researched and strategically placed there by some engineering wizards, as holding this thing by the bands feel like a comfortable centre of gravity, and thereby ensuring you won’t sprain your wrist by simply holding this cigar aloft.
And lastly, this thing is powerful. Definitely medium-full, and with a spicy kick in there. Not necessarily a nicotine bomb, but definitely with all cylinders in overdrive.
Meaty, robust flavours continued. Rich tobacco, gingerbread-like windmill cookies, sweet spices. Some richly tanned leather in there too. Some coffee goodness on the fringes.
Second Third: Into the second third, and the crescendo kept building. A lot of the same flavours were still there, but adding in some rum cake almost. The burn was quite impeccable too, for how large a cigar this was, and how many variables can come into play to potentially lead to a wonky burn, especially in such a young cigar. The draw was nicely firmed back up, voluminous smoke, nicely creamy texture on the palate. Damn.
I started to think about how this reminded me of a cross between a 1966 and an RA Extra, two LE’s that I LOVE! However, I was also thinking of how uncomfortable it was to smoke – made me feel all “duckface” every time I took a puff. Gawd, my poor camera, LOL…
Final Third: Into the final third – finally! Wow. Chocolate and raisin tones come into play. No more coffee or leather.
Not a single note of youthful harshness to it. I know all the tobaccos used in the EL program have “been specially aged at least 2 years for fulfillment of the most discerning aficionados”, blah, blah, blah. But, this is probably the first time that I’ve smoked an EL cigar, with less than 6 months of “box age” to it, and there have been no youthful harshness to the cigar.
Finishing Comments / Overall Impression: This cigar, this blend, is just simply magnificent. It works so damn well. And I hate it, because it’s so damn uncomfortable to smoke!
Cohiba-esque, it is not. There’s no honey, lemongrass, hay, etc., etc. But it’s probably the best EL I’ve ever smoked with 6 months or less age on it. This was simply an amazing smoke.
I won’t be buying any. It’s just too uncomfortable to smoke. Hell, if this were another piramide or canonazo / 1966, I’d scoop up more boxes than my precious RA Extras that I enjoy so much. This could really REALLY turn into something with time. It’s SOOOOO damn smokable and approachable now, but I am curious to see the progression at 3 and 5 years from now.
Final Score: 94
Total Smoking Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes
Date & Time Smoked: January 4th, 2015; lit up at 6:15 pm, done at 7:55 pm
Paired Beverage: Huff Estates’ 2012 Pinot Gris white wine, and followed by Early Acres Estate Winery’s “All Night Long” 2008 Merlot / Cabernet Franc (VQA Ontario wines)
Last Meal: Medium chicken wings and cheesy garlic bread, 5:50 pm
Smoking Conditions: Warm and cosy in the heated garage “man cave”, 21 degrees Celsius, 87% RH
Thanks for reading my review. Hope you enjoyed it.