Connoisseur's Corner: Honoring 50 Years Of Cohiba

Cohiba Lancero (1982)

Plucked from a white box from the early commercial days of Cohiba, this well-aged smoke surprised me with its bold start. The decades have been kind, leaving the slim cigar with a robust earthy quality and a distinct minerality. The burn is nearly perfect. Austere at first, a honeyed sweetness emerges later, with a backbone of roasted coffee beans and a chalky note on the finish. A classic smoke from Cuba’s most famous cigar brand. —David Savona

Cohiba Millennium Reserve (2000)

This special-edition Cohiba, in a torpedo shape, still packs quite a punch. It has a central core of earth and leather, with a long earthy finish and a bit of pepper on the mid-palate. With more than 15 years of age, this cigar still offers a complete package, with a good balance of flavors and intensity. —Gordon Mott

Juan Lopez Selección No. 2 (1995)

After spending more than 20 years in a cabinet, there are still plenty of oils left on the wrapper of this robusto. It’s become very toasty and rich with a dried fruit and fig paste sweetness. Picks up a nuttiness redolent of chestnuts and pecans. An elegant smoke that’s been sweetened with time. —Gregory Mottola

Quai d’Orsay Imperiales (1988)

This big cigar from one of Cuba’s lesser-known brands has a zippy start, showing some honeyed wood and a touch of spice, despite it being nearly 30 years old. It mellows as it is puffed, taking on notes of slate and gritty earth. A cedary note emerges, along with some hints of graham cracker. Pleasant and medium bodied. —David Savona

Ramon Allones Specially Selected (1995)

A chunky, toothy cigar with a pleasantly dark wrapper taken from a dress box of 25. It has a full, opulent draw and a robust earthy character to start. There’s a faint, earthy sweetness smacking of raisin, with a dry-wood finish. The dry note persists, while the sweetness doesn’t grow, but nevertheless it’s a pleasant smoke with a medium body. —David Savona

Punch Royal Selección No. 11 ( (1995)

This slim, unbanded Punch, taken from a cabinet of 25, has a rather mellow and somewhat lackluster start. It’s quite dry, with a big minerality, some earthy qualities and a dry-wood character. The cigar has a smooth, effortless draw, and is very well made, but it never takes on the big flavors one expects from the Punch brand. —David Savona