A relatively new brand which was introduced only in 1968, Cohiba quickly became the flagship brand of the Cuban cigar industry. Developed initially as a medium bodied protocol cigar for presentation only by officials of the Cuban government, Cohiba was marketed widely beginning in 1982. The initial sizes were the Lancero, the Corona Especiale and the Panetela, with the Esplendido, Robusto and Exquisito added in 1989. The Cohiba series was initially made in the El Laguito factory in Havana, but production is now also in the Fernando Perez German factory.
Quite a few myths surround the Cohiba brand including one that relates directly to its name which was said to be the aboriginal Taino Indian word for "tobacco," but is now understood to have meant "cigar." The truth about Cohiba's origin is now offered by Emilia Tamayo, the Director at El Laguito. This charming and highly capable woman confirms that it all began in the mid-1960s when one of President Fidel Castro's bodyguards enjoyed a private supply of cigars from a local artisan. They so pleased the president that their creator, Eduardo Ribera, was asked to make cigars of his blend exclusively for Castro, under strict security in an Italianate mansion in the Havana suburb of El Laguito. At first, the brand had no name, then in 1968, under the name Cohiba, production began of three sizes, each a personal favorite of the President - the Lancero, the Corona Especiale, and the Panetela.
The Cohiba brand also is also produced in the Dominican Republic by two separate entities, General cigar, who owns the trademark for the name in the U.S., and by Monecristi de Tabacos, who holds Trademark for Cohiba in the Dominican Republic. Our panel preferred the selection offered by Monecristi and that's what you'll sample this month. So in a sense these smokes are somewhat contraband! These smoke generally retail in the $12-15 per stick range so we truly hope you enjoy this special Christmas bonus selection. Happy Holidays!