From Castro’s Favourite to a Legendary Brand: In 1963, Chicho, Fidel Castro’s chief bodyguard, introduced him to a fuma made by Eduardo Rivera. This cigar instantly captivated Castro, leading to the birth of the post-revolution Cohiba. Rapidly, these cigars gained legendary status, embodying the spirit of the post-revolution era.
Diplomatic Gifts and Brand Formation: By 1964, these unique cigars began their journey as prestigious diplomatic gifts. Despite lacking a formal name or unique band, these post-revolution Cohiba cigars were already making a mark. A small factory, repurposed from a country club in 1964, started dedicating its efforts to these special cigars.
Naming and Branding the Cohiba: The name ‘Cohiba’ came to life in 1966, thanks to Eduardo Rivera’s assistant, Celia Sanchez. She drew inspiration from the indigenous term for cigars during Columbus’s era. In 1967, the brand found a new home at El Laguito Factory, enhancing the legacy of the post-revolution Cohiba.
Iconic Cigar Bands and Global Recognition: From the mid-1960s to 1969, the cigar bands evolved, featuring unique designs for different recipients. The Cohiba brand further solidified its identity in 1969 with its own cigar band, coinciding with the launch of the Davidoff brand.
The Cohiba Brand Today: Cohiba, as a brand, stands as the pinnacle of Habanos S.A.’s offerings. It has been leading the Cuban cigar industry since its global launch in 1982, renowned for its unique fermentation process and exceptional quality.
The Cohiba Experience
Unique Fermentation Process: Each post-revolution Cohiba cigar undergoes a distinctive third fermentation, aging the tobacco in cedar barrels for eighteen months. This process is unique to the raw tobacco, not the finished cigar, creating a distinct flavor profile.
Recommendations for Enjoyment: Cohiba cigars, known for their strength and richness, are best suited for experienced smokers. The Siglo Series, albeit milder, still packs a medium punch. For optimal enjoyment, these cigars should age for at least five years, allowing their complex flavors to fully develop.
Continuing Legacy: Cohiba remains a symbol of innovation and excellence in the cigar world. It continues to captivate cigar lovers globally, maintaining its status as a leader in the industry.
Raul Julia’s insight encapsulates the Cohiba essence perfectly: “To fully enjoy a Cohiba, you need the right atmosphere and mood.”