Cohiba Nicaragua N54 | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Honduran Sun Grown Colorado Oscuro
Binder: Nicaraguan (Jalapa)
Filler: Nicaraguan (Esteli & Jalapa)
Size: 5.5 x 54 “Robusto Extra-N54”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $14.00 MSRP (Can be had for $11.19 on Cbid at “Quick Buy”)

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Today we take a look at the Cohiba Nicaragua N54.
Thanks to an anonymous donor for the pair.

First I’d like to address something that happened yesterday after I published the Sobremesa Robusto Largo Cigar Review.
Steve Saka sent me a very nice email in which he joked, “Where do I send the check?” Now anyone with an I.Q. over 60 knows this was Steve saying thank you. No money changed hands. He didn’t send me samples. Miguel Castro sent me the samples. I’ve never received a single cigar from Steve Saka. And he has no immediate plans for a new blend.
Plus, he is running short on stock as he didn’t expect such a rush on his Sobremesa. Try to find them now is nearly impossible. So he isn’t sending me those cigars; or any cigars.

These assholes on Face Book accused me of being a “Shill” after Steve posted a link to my review on his personal FB page and his Dunbarton & Trust FB page. The jerks; Ted O. and Don Julian C., both accused me and Steve of being in collusion.
Well, that pissed me off. I denied this in the comment section. And so did Steve; in a funny manner. Steve held himself above the fray and remained a gentleman and maintained his dignity by not being reduced to the level of those morons. Steve is pure class.
Note to Steve: I got more hits, in one day, on that review than of any other cigar. A total of 1043 hits. Wow. And still counting today. If you go to Steve Saka’s FB page, you can read the comments.

BACKGROUND:
Debuted at the 2014 IPCPR trade show.
Regular production.
Factory: Scandinavian Tobacco Group Estelí S.A.
Release Date: October 2014

From the Cigar Aficionado web site:
“There are Cuban Cohibas, Dominican Cohibas and even Cohibas with Cameroon and broadleaf wrappers, but for the first time in the brand’s history, there will be a Cohiba from Nicaragua this fall.

“Aptly named Cohiba Nicaragua, the new cigar was unveiled by General Cigar Co. at last week’s 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 mostly Nicaraguan tobacco. 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.

“The blend starts with 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 will be packaged in 16-count boxes, save for the tubed N50 En Crystale, which will come in boxes of eight.”

DESCRIPTION:
This is a stout cigar. Big and hefty. But seams are not tight. Lots of, both, big and small veins. A nice triple cap. One stick has a tree trunk vein running down the entire length of the cigar.
The wrapper is an oily, dark coffee bean brown with hints of red. Solid. No soft spots.
Classy cigar band of just black and copper. And very smooth to the touch.

SIZES AND PRICING:
N45: 4 x 45 $9.99 MSRP
N50 En Crystale (Tubo): 5 x 50 $12.99 MSRP
N54: 5.5 x 54 $13.99 MSRP
N60: 6 x 60 $14.99 MSRP

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell exotic spices, chocolate, red pepper, cinnamon, heavy cream, coffee, and nuts.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell dark bittersweet chocolate, spice, coffee, barnyard, exotic spices, cinnamon, and raisins.
The cold draw presents flavors of dark cocoa, nuts, coffee, spice, sweetness, cinnamon, and malt.

FIRST THIRD:
For such a packed cigar, the draw is spot on.
First flavors: Red pepper, heavy on a variety of malts, strong espresso, a wonderful chocolate from a boutique chocolatier, raisins, nuts, sweetness in the form of fruit preserves, cedar, and creaminess.
Very nice start. I’ve had this cigar resting in my humidor for nearly two months. I still feared that it might not be enough. After all, it is a Cohiba. Old school.
Strength hits medium/full from the beginning.

The fruit preserves are defined now: Figs, peaches, and orange marmalade. I love those fruit sweetened preserves; especially the French ones. They aren’t cheap but I find them online for a decent price. All of them are more chunks of fruit than pectin. It’s not uncommon for me to have a toasted bagel or a couple slices of Jewish rye toast with preserves for lunch. If I remember to eat.
The foot goes awry on me. I am flummoxed. I torch it and then put it down to let it cool and hope that the run goes out on the cigar.

4

I’ve given the Cohiba Nicaragua N54 sufficient time to cool down and let the unburned wrapper time to catch up to the run. Fingers crossed.
I’m getting some orange/lime citrus now. I feel the need for a Margarita. No salt.
A very smoky cigar in terms of output.
Also, a slow smoke. This baby is going to push 2 hours.

As I always rant and rave, if you are going to pay $14.00 for a cigar, a blow job should come with it. Pardon the pun.

So far, the Cohiba Nicaragua N54 seems to be earning its stripes. But then who are we kidding? I smoked a Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sobremesa Robusto Largo yesterday and it retailed for $13.00 and worth more based on today’s standards.
The Cohiba Nicaragua N54, while very good, is in no proximity to the DT&T blend.

5

Sweet Spot 1.5. Just a delicious, delectable blend flavor profile.
You should know the malts by now if you were interested. It has them all.
New flavor of sweet caramel.

I’ve noticed that some reviewers spend too much time describing the draw and the burn. Paragraphs full of this shit. Do you really care that the draw differs as you travel down the shaft of the cigar? Or that the burn is fine but blah, blah, blah? I don’t.

I’m also annoyed by reviewers who are even more repetitive than me. If they have nothing to say, smoke the cigar too soon, aren’t interested, or lastly; don’t have a very good palate they ramble on much worse than me. At least be entertaining. So many are like copywriters. Stay awake, stay awake. But then there are some very good reviewers out there that have their shit tied in one sack. A few are the Big Guys and a few are the lesser known reviewers. I’m always delighted what comes from the twisted brain of Kaplowitz. Hey Kap. How’s it hangin’?

The Cohiba Nicaragua N54 needs another touch up at the foot. There is no excuse for this. You shouldn’t worry about a $14.00 cigar’s construction. Cohiba should be ashamed of themselves. It ain’t me babe. The cigar got plenty of humi time and I gave it 36 hours of dry boxing.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is 35 minutes.
The Cohiba Nicaragua N54 is now very complex. Great balance. Wonderful finish.
Charlotte leaves for work and on comes the music. And we start off with “White Room” by Cream. Damn.
I tried accessing the Cohiba web site yesterday but it was down. I tried again minutes ago and was duly impressed. A very classy site. But little info on this cigar. A short paragraph of PR. That’s it.

6third

The char line is finally behaving.
The Cohiba Nicaragua N54 is a very relaxing cigar. The medium/full body is uber smooth. Flavors are spinning like a disco ball above my head.
Here they are once again: Chocolate, spice, creaminess, espresso, malts, citrus, fruit preserves, cedar, and raisins. This is not a kitchen sink profile but each and every flavor is well defined.

This is the perfect size for a review as it takes all morning and provides a good start to my day.
A sip of water and flavors explode.

I’m not sure if I’m ready to say the Cohiba Nicaragua N54 is worth $14.00 but I am allowing the thought to ruminate in my puny brain.
I have given up. Sure there are lots of inexpensive cigars in the CI catalog. Some very good. But as your palate gains experience, your palate wants only the most interesting blends. A natural occurrence I believe.
Thank God for a handful of readers that keep their Uncle Katman happy.
“Lady Madonna.” Yeah baby.

7

Still not close to the halfway point and the cigar flavor profile hits the ball out of the park like Mark McGwire. And breaks the Jumbo-Tron.
Massive flavors. The malts are now playing an important, integral part to the flavor.
Another big touch up is needed. This is going to fuck up its final rating. This is too bad because it is one flavorful stick.

Sophisticated palates are going to go ape shit over the Cohiba Nicaragua. This is masterful blending. This is, by far, the best Cohiba blend I’ve tasted. By a mile. Although, I’ve never tasted the Comador. Or the special limited editions.

David Bowie is playing. A funny story. Years ago, I ran into a music producer I had known for a long time. Only worked with the top rock acts. We were at a club so we schmoozed for a while. He told me of this time he was doing a Bowie session.
The music had already been laid down. It was just Bowie sitting on a stool in the recording area and doing his vocals. It was an emotional song. He only needed one take. Unheard of. When he finished, he began to cry.

My buddy told a production assistant to run and grab some Kleenex for him. Moments later, the PA went in and only had half a roll of toilet paper and threw it across the room at Bowie and hit him in the head.
Obviously, everyone was shocked. And of course, the PA was fired on the spot. I thought it was pretty funny since I wasn’t there. I wish I could remember little vignettes like that. But the memory is fading quickly.

We are supposed to get our first snow this afternoon. But at the moment, it is cold but very sunny so I don my ball cap to minimize the glare coming through the window while I type.
I make it to the halfway point. Smoke time is over an hour.

8half

This creates a true cigar experience. Unlike the Leccia Luchador El Gringo that took less than an hour to smoke a Churchill.
Flavors are just so perfectly balanced that I’m beginning to think that the Cohiba Nicaragua N54 may just be worth this ridiculous price. But as I said, they can be had for $11 on Cbid with their Quick Buy app. Currently, they have 20 available for $11.19. That is an incredible deal for this quality.

The Band’s “The Weight.” Does it get any better?

Carter Tinsley sent me a cigar I didn’t recognize. Now I know. It is the new Rocky Patel Hamlet Tabaquero. A medium bodied blend in the $8 range. I shall review it tomorrow.
From the CI web site:
“Hamlet Paredes was one of Cuba’s most sought after cigar rollers, often traveling internationally to do in-store rolling demonstrations. Rocky Patel aided Hamlet and his family in escaping Cuba and coming to the US, and now Hamlet is releasing his first cigar for Rocky, Tabaquero by Hamlet Paredes.”
I’m looking forward to this review.

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Back to the Cohiba Nicaragua N54.
The list of flavors has not changed an iota. Same order just stronger. The spiciness is stronger as well. I like that.

I just checked the Cigar Aficionado web site and they rated all four sizes. Ratings were between 87-89. Not impressive. They only gave the Cohiba Nicaragua N54 an 87. I just don’t agree.
Halfwheel.com gives this size a 90. I’m more in tune with Halfwheel than CA.

The Cohiba Nicaragua N54 goes out.
When I relight it, the creaminess takes over. And new flavors emerge: caramel (which had been absent since early on), it is so complex, I must smack my lips to discern what they are…buttery toast, floral notes, and Crème brûlée (a dessert consisting of a rich custard base topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel and a nice dose of vanilla bean).

With 2-1/2” to go, the Cohiba Nicaragua N54 becomes a flavor bomb. I’m glad I waited two months before reviewing this cigar. I doubt I would have received half the flavors if I’d reviewed it a week earlier.

10

I cannot believe I am about to say this…but the Cohiba Nicaragua N54 is worth the $14.00. But why spend $14 when you can pay only $11.19 on Cbid. Now that’s a deal.
I can’t believe I said that.

For a cigar only 5.5” long, it must be the slowest stick I’ve smoked. Of course, the 54 ring gauge helps.

I was contacted by Vivalo Cigars and they are sending me samples. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this brand. Patrick Vivalo contacted me himself. Vivalo is a brand new company started in September of 2014. Patrick spent years (since 2002) with Rocky Patel as their best sales executive and in charge of in-house sales. Check out the Vivalo web site. He’s gotten nothing but rave reviews. Looking forward to my own review.

vivalocigars

The Cohiba Nicaragua N54 lives up to all the hype. This is one fantastic blend and I do believe I will rate it higher than anyone else. I think the folks at CA are jaded when it comes to rating cigars.

LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is one hour 40 minutes.
This cigar makes me happy coming on the heels of the Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sobremesa. Anything would have been a letdown after that cigar. But the Cohiba Nicaragua N54 can hold its own. Strength hits full body.

11third

I highly recommend you amble over to Cbid and snag some while the getting’ is good. You will thank your Uncle Katman.
I’ve been sitting in front of my laptop for over 3 hours. Will need a nap.
The last third sees another uptick in flavor intensity. Unbelievable. I thought it had nowhere to go. But it continues to impress.
I’m going to stop writing now and just sit back and finish the Cohiba Nicaragua N54.
Final smoke time is two hours 5 minutes.

RATING: 92

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3 replies

  1. Hope all is well and the Cbid is a great place to get some great smokes, if you are patient enough to look for them. Great reviews and Happy Smoking..

  2. Phil, you’re palate is way more trustworthy to me than the the people who do ratings for CA, I’ve had several of these sticks, and your review is spot on, as usual. Thank you for continuing your work — I have benefited greatly from it!