How good of a torcedor or torcedora do you have to be to have the privilege to roll cigars for Fidel Castro?? How accomplished must you be to have rolled all 4,000 original Cohiba Behike cigars.. Well, all we have to do is a bit of reading and poking around youtube in order to see Norma Fernendez Sastre in action. This woman rose to the top of her field and works in El Laguito in Havana as the head of quality control.
I just finished watching her roll a cigar at youtube and was amazed at the amount of care that went into her organizing the filler tobacco of the cigar she was rolling. It was all in how the filler felt in her hands as she kept squeezing the amount of tobacco she was holding and adding to before the made the commitment to roll it all into a binder leaf. As I watched this, I wondered if this was the most important part of the process because, although rolling the cigar in the final wrapper leaf and applying the cap is vital, without an even amount of filler leaves you’ll end up with a cigar that will burn unevenly and give you nothing but trouble.
See for yourself!!!
A few years back I had the good fortune to go on a military tour to Egypt and Israel. My job was to entertain troops and keeping up the ” morale” was very important to the troops. It still is to this day and thats why there is a lot of entertainers that go over to the middle east and anywhere where troops are stationed.
One evening in the Sinai after one of the shows we were invited to go over to, what I think was called, the “Beaver Lodge” for a party. Now if you’ve never been to an armed forces base and partied with soldiers you have no idea what you are missing. These guys really know how to have fun and letting off steam is something they do very very well. Did I mention that alcohol is very very cheap on these bases?? Oh yeah !! There was a band playing music made up of soldiers from Fiji and they were great singers. We were given a big welcome from the commanders of the Canadian troops in full desert costume and joined them to smoke wonderful apple and lemon flavored tobacco in water pipes.
The one thing I will never forget was later on in the evening I was invited over to a small balcony off of one of the buildings where one of the soldiers had a humidor and was known as a man with a big cigar problem.. Problem?? I saw no problem….. I was lucky enough to be handed a Cohiba and sadly I’m not exactly sure which member of the Cohiba family this cigar belonged to but I’m not sure that mattered to much to me at the time. He said that he had a few boxes sent to him and from time to time he would have fellow soldiers bring cigars to him from Dubai.
Someone had a stereo set up on the balcony and was playing music.. The Desert was cool but comfortable at night and I’m not sure if I had ever had a more memorable time smoking a cigar… Good friends talking about their families back home, more alcohol flowing and cigar smoke in the air. We civilians have no idea who the face of the military is. We see the uniforms but most of us don’t realize that these are great people doing a very hard job for all of the rest of us!!!!!
Reading about the fermentation process that takes place in Cuba makes me realize how precise the process must be in order to achieve the wonderful flavors that the Cohiba end up with in their cigars. The temperature is consistent and monitored so that the leaves do NOT get too hot in their bales as the chemical process takes place changing the tobacco into something special. Bales are taken apart, sometimes up to 10 times, if they get too warm so they do not get mouldy. That would destroy so many people’s efforts and be too costly.
In the production of the Maduro 5 Series of Cohiba cigars, we are talking about 5 years of fermentation and all of the things that can go wrong in that amount of time is staggering. What finally results are tobacco leaves that are perfect for the blending and rolling of those beautiful dark chocolate colored cigars. The sweetness that these cigars have is really quite something and have to be sampled to be believed. The extra time taken to produce the Maduro 5 has been a great success for Cohiba and the extra effort has paid off.
Well there’s no doubt that there is a push from Havana to combat the drop in cigar demand around the world. In my opinion, the best way to fight back would be to come out with a new cigar that…..well….. costs more! Cuba needs help and I believe that this is the perfect way to even things out and a part of me wonders what would have happened in Detroit if, instead of making cars cheaper, they would have made them BETTER..
From what I read from people who have smoked the Behike, I get the impression that this is a superlative cigar in many ways. First the medio tiempo leaf included in the filler should give this cigar a very interesting blend which will reflect in the taste. These leaves are rare because not every tobacco plant produces them… This will add to the price..
Getting to the price…….. finally!!!!!
What I’m finding off the net so far is that, and this is not an official price, the three different sizes of the Behike will be $36, $48 and $57. ( US dollars)
There are a few interesting points to keep in mind when buying this new packaging of the Cohiba minis. Although these small cigars, 3 1/4 inches with a ring gauge of 21, are machine made, they contain the same tobacco used in premium Cuban made Cohiba cigars. This tells me that running into construction problems and draw issues should probably be non-existent.
The fact that they are in their own tin also tells me that if you have the patience to hold on to them for a period of years, you’ll have a type of magic on your hands that could become legendary.
A great advantage to having a cigar of this small size is that the time needed to enjoy some of the best tobacco grown on the island of cuba is miniscule compared to almost anything else that comes from that country.
I keep writing about this fabulous little perla and, although some of you may be tired about me going on and on about them, today’s entry is for all of the other people… I just smoked another from my humidor and I can’t say enough about the wonderful complexity of this short entry from Cohiba.
It will start off with the grassy signature Cohiba flavor but then hang on…. This one will take you on a very exciting ride of Cohiba flavors that include cedar, coffee, chocolate and also a hint of vanilla. The construction is totally Cohiba quality and I’ve NEVER ran into any problems with the burn… NEVER !!!!
Another plus here is that the price of these little cigars is considerably less than what you’d expect to pay for a cigar of this calibre, making it the buy of the year, in my opinion.. Take my advice and pick up a box of them… Smoking them right away is just fine and aging them….. WOW !!!!!!!
The revolution in Cuba was a time of extreme change for many walks of life that were either ready for it or not. On one hand the change brought great opportunity for some and for others, a way of life was instantly eliminated.. For, Eduardo Rivero, a 23 year old cigar roller with 6 years experience, the revolution and his new relationship with Fidel Castro, not only improved young Eduardo’s lot in life but brought about the brand that is most revered by today’s smokers.
THere is one bit of information that has not been either proven or made false. Apparently, since the revolution opened the door for women to roll cigars in El Laguito but we hear from sources that up to 200 prostitutes were given the opportunity to ( turn over a new leaf ) and change professions with the blessing of the Island’s new leader. If anyone out there has any information about this, I’d love it if you left a comment and tell us more about this story. Thanks!
Spent the day helping out a friend paint his new house and a very long, hard day it was. As I sit here I’m seeing that I need to shower and scrub all of this tan-gray paint off my hands, out of my hair and off my face but before I do I had to run up to the computer to rant and rave about the cigar I just finished..
For the last hour and a half I’ve been sitting on my couch and smoking a Limited Edition Piramides 2006. I smoked a few last year and they were great but tonight as I watched Donald Trump and the Celebrity Apprentice, ( I’m a sucker for his show ) I was dumfounded with the quality and smoothness of this cigar. I think I had forgotten how good this cigar was. This one had the most stubborn whitest ash I had ever run into in a Cuban cigar and the flavors were sweet, round and very very smooth. I kept thinking that I couldn’t remember the last time I had tasted such incredible smooth edged round milk chocolate in a Cuban. This might have been the best Cuban cigar I have ever smoked
I paired this cigar with 2 shots of Oban Scotch and I think it was the perfect marriage. This cigar was an hour and a half of complete perfection.. I have a few more and I’m thinking that I’m going to wait another year to smoke the next and another year for that last. Wow !!!! If you have a few of these, smoke one now and wait a wile for the next….. I feel very very lucky that I was able to experience what I just smoked!!!!! Incredible!!!!
A tad shorter than a Robusto at 4 1/2 inches and a ring gauge of 52 we find the Magicos from Cohiba an interesting size and slightly different flavor because of the 5 year aged maduro wrapper. I love the fact that the flavor differs from the regular Cohiba line and, although I belong to a slightly smaller tribe of Cohiba smokers who may be a bit more traditional in their needs, I think that it is the sweetness that keeps me coming back to this magicos
Initially you will run into a toasty flavor mixed with a slight chocolate note that will stay with you throughout the first third. As the cigar progresses it gets a bit more complex, revealing a subtle creaminess but I can’t stress enough that this is a cigar with a very subtle delivery. New smokers will undoubtedly enjoy these as they are getting to know the whole Cuban cigar smoking experience and why not, Cohiba has a reputation for producing the best cigars and I believe if you are reading this you’ll probably agree with that last fact.
I picked up a few cigars today since my humidor has been getting beaten up in the last few weeks and for some reason included in today’s purchase I opted for a few Siglo V’s.. Normally I don’t smoke dalias because I’ve run into a few with draw issues but after dinner tonight I thought I’d light one of these. I paired this evening’s cigar after dinner with a Shiraz from Australia and at first I wasn’t sure if I was making the right choice but we had lamb for dinner and I wanted to finish off the bottle..
At first the two weren’t marrying at all but then I thought that having a glass of water with the cigar and wine and everything started working out just fine. There’s something about keeping your palate clear when smoking a cigar that, more often than not, requires something clear and refreshing and, in my experience, water always does the trick. The first few draws from this Cohiba revealed, as usual, a bit of a testy, rather powerful toasted tobacco and then it became a rich creamy smoke that started to reveal slight bean flavors. This isn’t your average Cohiba, I believe that the creamy coffee you get from this cigar is considerably milder and takes a bit of concentration to detect the subtle nuances this one has to offer.
After the first third of the Siglo I decided to take the wine I had left and drink it all in one gulp.. Maybe the water was all I needed to be able to detect all that this cigar had to offer. As I entered into the second third I was really quite pleased to find that it became a bit more powerful and developed into a very satisfying experience I was hoping to find when I bought them today.
I always say to myself, whenever I buy cigars, that they are going to sit in my humidor for a year or two and that I’ll get to them when the time is right but, alas, I think that I know myself better than that and I’ll probably keep going back and picking these Siglos and continuing my search for that ideal moment of smoking perfection…. Sometimes I hit it right… Sometimes not……. Hey, I gotta keep trying!