Cohiba Black Corona

Before you get all excited, no, I’m not joining Jerry in sampling the forbidden fruit. To abuse a phrase from Star Wars, these are not the Cohibas you’re looking for. But I am taking a break from exploring the incredibly vast assortment of new, boutique cigars that keep appearing on store shelves to try out a stogie that’s comparatively old. Well a couple years older than new anyway.

I have had the opportunity to light up the original Dominican Cohiba, and while I didn’t dislike it, I wasn’t really impressed. But the idea of a fuller-bodied smoke sounded interesting. With a name like Cohiba, I figured I should at least form an opinion on the cigar. And yeah, I kinda like that the cigar is jet-black. So I rolled the dice and slapped down a bid for a fiver of the Extra Vigeroso (“XV”) and the Black. The Cohiba Black won. Or I won. I think. We’ll see in a minute.

The Cohiba black debuted back in 2006 at RTDA. Since it’s still around over two years later, it’s apparently a stick that has staying power. As I mentioned earlier, it’s billed to be fuller-bodied cigar created by General Cigar’s Daniel Nunez, the man who brought us the Partagas Black. Will it be as good as the Partagas Black, or merely mediocre attempt to cash in on the famous Cohiba name? I’ve heard both opinions, so now it’s time to form my own.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 5 1/2 x 42
Wrapper: Connecticut
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Smoking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Beverage: Water
Price: ~$10.50

The Pre-Smoke
It goes without saying that the dark, oscuro maduro wrapper is what really grabs the eyeballs. It is a pretty sharp looking stick, and looks just as good in real life as it does in the glossy cigar magazine ads. A closer look at the wrapper reveals that this isn’t merely a dyed leaf. The wrapper is actually comprised of a mottled assortments of darker browns and black. A lot of black.

The wrapper isn’t quite as smooth as it looks. The surface veins are very fine, but the dark shade of the leaf camouflages a pretty lumpy surface caused by some larger veins in the binder. The cigar is also consistently firm and seems to be well packed with tobacco.

The scent of the wrapper was intriguing. I spent some time enjoying the aroma as it seemed to develop once the cellophane was removed. The aroma settled on a minty chocolate with just a bit of compost. Initially, there was a bit of pepper, but that quickly faded.

The Burn
There really isn’t much bad to say about the burn. The burn line of each cigars was almost perfectly straight, the ash was solid and the light white color looks great next to that incredibly dark wrapper. The only things I could pick out as less than perfect characteristics of the burn were the slightly heavy smoke coming off the lit end of the cigar and there was a slightly unpleasant room aroma toward the end of the smoke.

The Flavor
I didn’t find this cigar to be particularly complex or exciting, but it did excel at providing a rich, dark chocolate and coffee or espresso flavor throughout. From time to time, it there did seem to be some sweetness and just a little bit of nuts. In the first third the cigar briefly tasted very much like these chocolate peanut butter malt balls my wife likes to pick up at Trader Joes. (To verify this, I had to eat a few. I didn’t want to, but it was for science after all.)

I found the coffee flavors to become more and more like espresso and darker mocha as the cigar final third, and even tasted a little bit of coconut in one cigar. Of course, I found this third, like the previous two to be predominantly chocolaty.

One of the selling points of this cigar is that it’s a fuller-bodied smoke than the original Dominican Cohiba. That statement is absolutely true. I did find the cigar to have a medium to full mouth feel. But don’t mistake that reading for power. I didn’t find this cigar to be particularly powerful.

The Price
Given the current economic environment, ten bucks and change is hard to swallow for a corona. But then, it sure beats the heck out of more than $16 for the churchill. Maybe General Cigar can throw us a bone and come out with a petite corona for eight bucks. All kidding aside, given the fierce competition of excellent smokes in the $5 to $10 range, a cigar has really got to pull out the stops to get my Hamiltons. And these days, it’s all about the Hamiltons.

The Verdict
After smoking the first cigar for this review, I found myself thinking it was pretty good, but nothing special. I mean it looks great, and burns very nicely and the flavors are enjoyable, if not particularly exciting. But then the next day, I found myself really looking forward to lighting up the next one. That was a bit surprising. The next smoking experience was identical to the first, leading me to think that I do like the cigar, but it’s not stick I’m adding to my top ten list.

I do have to say that I love the corona size and I suspect it worked to the cigar’s advantage. In addition to being a more expensive, the larger vitolas may have become a bit tiresome. By the end of this little corona, I was satisfied. Not too much chocolate and coffee, not too little. I may have to keep this in mind the next time I reach for a handful of smokes for a review!

Liked It: Yes, its a good cigar, but not a wow cigar.
Buy It Again: Maybe
Recommend It: If you have the funds and are looking for an attractive smoke with more body without the power, this might be the cigar for you.

Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.