Nicaraguan Cohiba Makes its Way to Market

There are myriad versions and varieties of the Cohiba brand, ranging from Cuban Cohibas to Dominican Cohibas with Cameroon wrappers. Now, there's a Cohiba from Nicaragua and it started hitting U.S. cigar-store shelves just last week.

Aptly named Cohiba Nicaragua, the new cigar was unveiled by General Cigar Co. at the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers trade show in Las Vegas. It's made in Nicaragua at the Scandinavian Tobacco Group Estelí S.A. factory, and contains all Nicaraguan tobacco, save for the wrapper, which is Honduran. Before production started on this brand, General made all of its Cohibas in the Dominican Republic.

"It was a laborious process to develop a Nicaraguan cigar to complement the existing Cohiba portfolio," said Jhonys Diaz, vice president of operations for General Cigar.

Cohiba Nicaragua consists of a Honduran sun-grown wrapper that the company classifies as Colorado oscuro in color. Underneath, a binder leaf from Nicaragua's Jalapa growing region holds together a blend of Nicaraguan tobacco from Estelí.

Cohiba Nicaragua cigars come in four sizes: N45 at 4 inches by 45 ring gauge ($9.99); N54, 5 1/2 by 54 ($13.99); N60, 6 by 60 ($14.99); and N50 En Crystale, a 5 by 50 cigar that comes in a glass tube ($12.99). All sizes are packaged in 16-count boxes, with the exception of the tubed N50 En Crystale, which comes in boxes of eight.

General Cigar joins the other large cigar companies that have recently made executive decisions to produce Nicaragaun versions of their well-established cigar lines. Davidoff of Geneva, a company that has worked almost exclusively with Dominican tobacco, released Davidoff Nicaragua in 2013, and Altadis U.S.A. Inc. created a Nicaraguan version of its Romeo y Julieta brand called the RyJ by Romeo y Julieta.

For a vertical brand tasting of Cohiba Nicaragua, see an upcoming issue of Cigar Insider.

"It will be interesting to see if General can come up with an interesting cigar with some body and complexity." —November 11, 2014 09:58 AM