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Cohiba Behikes are Back

Sep 29, 2016 | By Gordon Mott
Cohiba Behikes are Back

The long wait is apparently over.

Cigar shop owners and distributors tell Cigar Aficionado that all three sizes of Behike—Cohiba's ultra-luxury, highly rated and greatly desired cigar brand—are returning to retailer shelves after roughly an 18-month hiatus.

In a recent interview, Fernando Domínguez, the director of premium brands for Imperial Brands, the partner with Habanos S.A., Cuba's tobacco monopoly, said: "We will see Cohiba Behikes in the marketplace very soon." His prediction has come to pass.

We surveyed leading Casas del Habanos around the world, from London to the Middle East, from Hong Kong to Havana. Only two major shops surveyed didn't have the cigars in stock, the Casa del Habano in Hamburg, Germany and the Casa in Cancún, Mexico, but the owner of that store said the cigars should be reaching there soon.

The Behike BHK line was launched in early 2010 and quickly gained wide acclaim among cigar connoisseurs around the world. Collectors snapped up the new cigar almost as quickly as it became available. The first question often asked upon entering a cigar shop was, "Do you have any Behikes?"

An assortment of esoteric Opuses
Cohiba's Behike BHK line, from left to right: BHK56 (6 1/2 inches by 56 ring gauge), BHK54 (5 3/4 by 54), BHK52 (4 3/4 inches by 52).

The BHK 52 is the smallest of the three sizes in the line at 4 3/4 inches by 52 ring gauge.The BHK 52 earned Cigar Aficionado's Cigar of the Year for 2010, with a score of 97 points. The other sizes are the BHK 54 (5 3/4 inches long by 54 ring) and BHK 56 (6 1/2 by 56).

Dominguez confirmed that poor tobacco harvests over the last few years had led to the shortages of Behikes. "It's about the crop. Tobacco, at the end of the day, is an agricultural product. It's subject to the weather. The weather conditions—the climate—has not been very good over the past few years."

Dominguez also confirmed that "One of the characteristics of Behike is a new leaf that we added, medio tiempo. It comes from the two top leaves of the plant, that are more difficult to get. That's the reason that explains the flavor, the taste and the scarcity in the raw material. That explains the limited quantities."

If Dominguez's explanation is accurate, the Cubans should be credited with holding Behikes off the market instead of trying to meet demand with less special tobaccos.

Don't expect to get any of the Behikes on the cheap. In Dubai duty-free, the Behike BHK 52 sells for $35 and in London for $67.33. In Havana, the 52 size goes for an almost affordable $25.

Cuban Cohiba
"I was pleasantly surprised when I gazed upon the BHK 52 in a cigar shop last January in Edinburgh, Scotland. I bought 2 for about $70 US. The flavor was great and they smoked really nicely. A very memorable opportunity that was unexpected." —October 11, 2016 23:13 PM
"They can keep them, I've moved on to Byron or Atabey and won't look back." —October 6, 2016 22:17 PM
"I've had a box of 52s & 56s in my humidor for several years. The 52 I smoked has only been equalled by the newer Cohiba piramide. Both have a slight hint of sweetness. Not a Cohiba fan (I'm a Bolivar guy), but these two cigars were the best I've ever smoked." —October 3, 2016 16:11 PM
"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" —October 1, 2016 10:53 AM
"I have a Behike sitting in my humidor, which I purchased in Barcelona in April, cant wait to light it up and see for myself.. looking forward for more. Hopefully a good review! " —September 30, 2016 17:14 PM
"The "medio tiempo question" will only be truly answered when veteran smokers start burning these. So, what say you, BHK aficionados?" —September 29, 2016 21:23 PM
"Glad they held back as the last releases were lackluster. Let's hope the Behikes return to their 2010 glory. Thanks for the story Gordon, I'm sure it'll be poached soon. " —September 29, 2016 19:03 PM

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