Cohiba Siglo 1 Descriptive Essay

Taste Test

Reviewed by Mihai (March 2004)

Cohiba Siglo I Manufactured: March 2003 Jesus Christ, people! Can't believe I'm starting by saying this, but here it is, we finally reached the age where the stifling political correctness slowly (but surely) kills every inch of legal decadence left. Cigars in this case! I wouldn't be surprised if one day the Dept. of Health turned up saying, that's it, you can't post these reviews no more, it's against tobacco "advertising" regulations!!

Jesus Christ, I say in HORROR, one more time! But simply to the point: The Siglo I was, for myself, a superb discovery. For such a short size, it's a power rocket of sheer indulgence and pleasure, all wrapped up in a stick of truly impeccable construction, with the easiest draw you ever dreamed of! Its milk chocolate wrapper was of superb smell and feel, slightly oily for its rather young age.

On the upper side of Medium, this cigar allows unhindered flavours of earth and young leathers, in a voluptuously reach aroma which lasts till the very end. The first inch was a delight of flavoursome cool smoke, woody spice but not overpowering (important!) as a Montecristo or even other Cohibas.

The second one became 'settled in', maintaining the same array of complex flavour with a touch of rich, dark chocolate this time (I have to say here that this is simply what it tasted like to me, it probably won't to you, which is why I am generally against reviews over-abundant in culinary-style descriptions of cigars).

This cigar never got bitter (as a matter of fact, most Cubans, if smoked properly - i.e. not drawn on heavily - shouldn't become bitter/harsh at all) and maintained a lingering aftertaste of unobtrusive earthy saltiness. The burn was reasonably uniform and I only parted with the cigar (with fashionably heavy heart), about 1 inch to the end. I managed to get between 20-30 minutes of enjoinment from my Siglo I, coupled with a glass of 10-year old Port.

Now, please don't get me wrong, I am by no means a "seasoned" or "experienced" cigar smoker, but this Cohiba did live up to its reputation in my eyes. My rating out of 5? 5 and a big half, please! I hope I managed not to bore you all to death here with a page-long review full of phantasmagoric remarks and post-modern monologues, spiced with self-reflections and inner meditation about a cigars. I thought these pages were just a touch too full of such creations.

Aside from 1/3 being a commentary on the reviewer's "seasoning" and anit-smoking laws, this was a good review to read. Gives a nice taste description of the cigar vitola [a nice bonus that he smoked two to compare] and some comparisons. Would have liked to see a few more notes and a little less on how he is not a 'cigar - chef' Reviewed by Michael L
Rating: 6.8/10

OK I'm not to sure where the reviewer is going at the beginning of this review, but once I got past the first paragraph, the review gets to the point. I would have liked to know a little more about each stage of the smoke, the look, feel, the pre-light and so on. Use the page to tell me more about the cigar, because the Siglo 1 has a lot to say Reviewed by Scotto.
Score 7/10

Excellent review. Clear concise and to the point. Concur with flavour and description and like the style of writing Reviewed by Smokeymo.
Score 9/10

OVERALL SCORE: 22.8/30



Reviewed by Rob Sunshine-Barinbaum (April 2003)

It just so happens that I had a Siglo I sitting in my humidor. A friend and avid cigar collector had given it to me and claimed it came from a wonderful production from 97

The appearance of the cigar had a very dark and extremely oily wrapper , so oily the label had turned dark orange. The construction seemed to have a contrast because it had a very flat cap but the body itself looked a bit bumpy and rough. Even though this was a smaller cigar, it glistened with the thoughts of a long smoke....it defiantly had my imagination going.

I was laying on the couch, a book in hand, jazz on the air waves and a glass of water on the coffee table. I was relaxed, and finally done dreaming of how this was going to play on my senses so I set the cigar to the flame. When I first lit it I was VERY disappointed because it had a very tight draw. The aroma was very distinct, but I was turning blue in the face and not really able to enjoy much more of the smoke. Once I got past the first quarter inch, I suddenly almost inhaled a huge thick cloud of smoke because it loosened up. Once I relaxed and stopped sweating there was not a single thing a could say negative against this smoke. It was very smooth and very earthy tasting, not peppery, but dark tasting. As I continued towards the last half, the spice suddenly kicked in and was fallowed by strong coffee flavors. While enjoying this, I wished I could have lived in a bubble containing only the smoke from this cigar because it was so aromatic and fragrant.

Over all, my imagination did not let me down. The first sample of the smoke was tough because of the draw. Once I had it going, nothing was going to ruin that cigar. The cigar had so much flavors that started with subtle mushroom taste to the extreme spice of a true power house. Because of the taste and how good it looked, I never read more than a page from my book. I was enthralled by the smoke leaving the cigar and the rings from my mouth. As I watched it burn, it amazed me how much oil was coming to the surface of the cigar as it heated up. Whom ever the tobacco deities of the world are, they were looking down on me with a smile knowing what a treasure I was putting into my catacombs of great smokes.

Reviewed by Joe Gellman

I was about to grab a Pilsner Urquell from the fridge when I was reminded by my little mind-imp who always tells me when I have screwed up something, that I had promised to do a tasting on a Cohiba. Not my favorite brand due to the inability to get them at a decent price and, if I try to get them from an unknown source, most likely to get a fake. Of course, the fact that the real love of my life, the Lancero, always seems to be an iffy buy, does not help the situation.

I went to my study for a Siglo I and had to smile at the fact that these came by way of an unexpected gift. Bloom was evident on every cigar. As with most of the Siglo line, it ain't the prettiest skin in the lot. The robe always reminds me of an aged ingenue, too long in the sun and starlight. [Notice the double entendre'? The wrapper is also known as the robe, and that is what an ingenue would wear, n'est pas?]

The cigar is firm, a tad too venous looking for a beauty contest, and made to the perfection required by Cohiba. I cut the perilla with my handy chavetta and get the cedar matches ready. Quickly, I open the Pilsner, take a seat on my deck, and light the cigar. To much dramatic stuff? OK.

The cigar has a salty taste before lighting, and smells of sweet, old, wood. The cigar lights well and burns slowly. The first draw emits woodsy aromas with a hint of burning leaves. The ash is deep gray and is rather solid. Since the cigar is a Tres Petit Corona (Perla), I expect there to be little change in the flavors and aromas as I get to the first half of the cigar. Wrong, again, G-Man! Just a few minutes into the cigar I noticed a peppery flavor that melded well with the wood notes. The ash remained on the cigar for the first half, and after breaking it off, was brittle to the touch yet fully consumed.

The lightness begins to fade to medium strength just after the halfway marker. By now, I have finished the bottle of Czech beer and need another. I laid the cigar down and rushed to the kitchen for my second bottle, returning in time not to have lost the momentum of the smoke and not having to re-light the cigar. The bitterness of the original Pilsner brew blends well with this cigar. It is long enough for a slow beer or two 10 oz bottles. Either way, I think this beverage is the best compliment for the Siglo I.

The Cubans have a name for the way the cigar burns, it is "arder." The combustibility of the cigar is an essential quality which the Cohiba brand guarantees, as long as you buy from a legitimate source.

I am getting near the cabo and I notice the cigar has begun to release it's flavors, giving me an explosive (well, in the manner of a firecracker versus a stick of TNT) finish.

I suspect the age and bloom have added to the joy of the cigar. I never drink coffee or port with this cigar, preferring the crisp intertwining of the Pilsner and the tang of the spice to add to the event.

It is September 20, 2002, and I am of to New York to pick up my daughter, Tara, and drive back to LA It ought to be a grand trip. I plan to smoke a different cigar at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, each day. Since I only have 9 different cigars, I am going to try to make the trip in 3 days. Report to follow.

Wrapper: Cuban
Binder: Cuban
Filler: Cuban
Size: 5 x 42 “Marevas – Petit Corona”
Body: Medium
Price: $11.00

Today we take a look at the Cuban Cohiba Siglo II.
A big thanks to Bruce Cholka for gifting me this cigar.

BACKGROUND:
Factory: El Laguito
This cigar was introduced in November 1992 and introduced to the international market in 1994, commemorating the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Columbus to the New World.
Made from Vuelta Abajo tobacco.
All of Cohiba’s cigars are known to go through an exclusive third fermentation that gives it its unique taste.
That’s all I got folks.

DESCRIPTION:
For some reason, the rollers on these Cohiba blends didn’t take a lot of time rolling them. They are very lumpy and bumpy. Big tree trunk veins with lots of small veins. But a perfectly applied flat triple cap. The cigar is an oily, amber/light brown color that is very smooth to the touch.
All of these cigars are a bit soft to the touch. Not really a solid cigar but not a spongy one either. Somewhere in between.

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell the strong floral notes and barnyard that this cigar is famous for.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I can smell chocolate, grass, and vanilla. All flavors that this cigar is known for.
The cold draw presents flavors of grass, chocolate, vanilla, sweetness, and ginger.

FIRST HALF:
I use my new lighting technique and am rewarded with a perfect burn line and big, immediate flavors of cocoa, vanilla, grass, ginger, wood, and honey.
Big plumes of smoke arise from this little cigar.

And then in a flash, the cigar burn line goes wild on me so I do a minor correction and put it down to cool. I have to admit that I’ve had this kind of trouble before with Cubans. Real Cubans. Not the fakes.
I let the cigar rest for 5 minutes and the near canoe has rectified itself without help from me. That cooling down method is something I should have thought of years ago. Your Uncle Katman ain’t that bright.

Strength is mild/medium.

Some spice shows up in the form of black pepper. Creaminess appears for the first time. Very nice cigar. I now see why it is so many smokers’ favorite.

Most Cubans are overrated. Bad crops. Lousy weather. Emigrants to Central America or the U.S. have depleted the very best of Cuban’s journeyman. But they are still very good at a lot of brands/blends. This is one. RASS is another. I have to be honest here. I have been screwed more than my share buying fake Cubans so I rarely get them and basically only review one when it is a gift.

El Laguito Factory did not put its best rollers on this cigar. I continue to have minor imperfections in the burn.
Caramel is up next. Very sweet. But then either honey or honeysuckle really hammers home. There is also a very sweet buttery element.
The ash is very delicate and doesn’t last more than half an inch.

Strength is medium body.

Here they are: Chocolate, vanilla, grass, spice, honey, wood, ginger, creaminess, floral notes, and caramel.
Clearly, this is not a jam packed cigar. It feels like it is smoking too quickly. Or it is my mind playing tricks. This is such a wonderful blend that time whizzes by.

I apologize for the photos. I’ve got some tremors this morning and I can’t hold the camera still. I have a tripod but it is an inexpensive one and won’t allow me to get the angle I need for my shots.

This is a special little cigar. The Cuban Cohiba Siglo II packs a lot of punch in a small package.
Flavors are big and bold. And the blend has been complex since the first inch kicked in.
There is a very nice balance and a long finish.
Clearly, this ain’t no fake Cuban.

I want to thank Joey at Summit Cigars for the nice care package I received yesterday. Hi Joey. Thanks brother.
And the same happened from Ana Cuenca. She loaded the care package til it couldn’t breathe. And both sent very nice, compassionate notes.

Back to the Cuban Cohiba Siglo II. Sweet Spot 1.9.
This blend is a killer. I would love to smoke it in one of the bigger sizes. This one goes by so fast I can barely keep up.

SECOND HALF:
Smoke time is 35 minutes.
Cigar band comes off but way too much glue and I nearly destroy it.

The Cuban Cohiba Siglo II is blasting away at bold and rich flavors: Chocolate, creaminess, spice, coffee, vanilla, caramel, honey, grass, wood, ginger, and lovely floral notes.
This is the complete package.

I love the RASS but the Cuban Cohiba Siglo II is giving it a run for its money.
What a treat.

As you can tell by now, I’m having trouble searching for words. My vocabulary has taken a big hit.
I don’t know what else I can say about this cigar I haven’t already said.

Transitions. A constant spinning disco ball and light show with laser pin point action.

I’m smoking the Cuban Cohiba Siglo II very slowly to make it last. This is, by far, one of the best blends I’ve smoked in ages.
The char line issues disappeared in the first half. Dead nuts perfect now. Without any help from me.
Strength jumped to medium/full. No nicotine yet.
I think I’m tripping.

A certain online cigar store had a post in which a well-known cigar personality wrote about how reviewers go overboard with their descriptions. He basically wrote a humorous article but went too far. He reduced the amount of flavors you find in a blend to only 7 elements.

Now, we all know there can be much more than that.
There were lots of comments. About half of them took issue with his theory. I added my own comment. And shortly after, all the comments were removed. LOL. I mentioned that the Ezra Zion All My Ex’s was a highly exotic cigar with a huge flavor profile. And how I got an email from owner Kyle Hoover telling me I was spot on with the flavors. I posted his email to the review later. In fact, my review was so full of descriptive flavors that none of the other reviewers took a whack at it. I believe I am the only reviewer of this cigar. Maybe a couple other smaller reviewers took it on.

The Cuban Cohiba Siglo II is the perfect blend of flavors, nuance, subtleties, boldness, balance, finish, and character for my palate.
A box of these wouldn’t last long in my humidor.

The Cuban Cohiba Siglo II finishes beautifully. No harshness. No heat. No bitterness.
Clearly, I highly recommend this cigar. But then you already knew that as I am probably the last smoker on the planet to have smoked this cigar for the first time.

RATING: 95

PRICE POINT:
Prices vary quite a bit but the $11.00 range was the most common.
Worth every nickel.
I am in Bruce Cholka’s debt.

SUMMATION:
What’s to say? For me, a perfect blend. The only thing keeping me from rating it higher is the burn issues at the start.

And now for something different:
I don’t have Alzheimer’s disease.
I’ve been diagnosed with one of two different types of dementia. Both rare and untreatable.

The first is Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration.
The second is Niemann-Pick Disease. There are Types A, B, and C.

Both diseases are sometimes confused with the other during diagnosis so further tests are needed. In fact, both are very hard to diagnose. Period.

The second type of dementia I may have has been shown in high numbers of Ashkenazi Jews. I am an Ashkenazi Jew.
I will need further tests to distinguish between the two.

Based on my doctors, and research, there is no clear treatment for either. Anti-depressants seem to be about as much as they can offer.

I have no idea what life expectancy is on either. They really don’t know due to the difficulty in diagnosing the disease; and when it really starts. It could be life-long and only show up later in life.

I could live another 30 years or I could drop dead next year. I vote for 30 years.

Regardless, my doctor visit on Thursday was a real kick to the stomach which resulted in a near sleepless night. I was a mess the next day. I spent months going through a lot of testing. And not knowing was almost as bad as knowing.

One always thinks something like this happens to other people. Other than the results of my skydiving accident and diabetes, I’ve never had a serious illness. The only surgeries I’ve had in my life were taking my tonsils out at age 4 and implanting an electric stimulator in my back a year ago to help with the pain. That’s it.

So I feel I’ve been blessed. If you are a regular reader, you know I’ve led an extraordinary life. So lucky.

I feel that my body of work is somehow a part of the legacy I leave my wife and daughter. My only family. I’m glad I strayed from the pack and inserted myself into my reviews. It has caused a lot of detractors that don’t take me seriously. But then there are the very smart readers who understand what I’m doing. I’m not a cookie cutter writer of reviews.
Unfortunately, the blog server that hosted my first web site has wiped out my reviews. I had thousands of them. From 2009-2012.

Reviewing makes me happy. Like you, cigars are my passion. Writing in the morning is the highlight of my day.
But the wonderful comments you’ve made and emails you have sent me have cheered me up immensely.
And to those special people who have helped me with donations will always be close to my heart.

And the many, many readers that have kept me in cigars while we struggle to pay our bills are in my will.

I love you all. Even those I’ve nearly come to blows with over the years. None of that B.S. is important, or relevant, in the bigger scheme of things and I apologize for pissing people off. It’s just life.


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