Cohiba Royale | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Jalapa
Binder: Dominican Piloto Cubano
Filler: Honduran Jamastran, Nicaragua Jalapa and Estelí
Size: 6 x 50 Toro
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $28.99


Today we take a look at the Cohiba Royale.
Got samples from General Cigar two months ago.
Now you know how I feel about cigar prices. So, unless this blend provides an excruciatingly great smoke, it is crash and burn time brought to you by the katman.
Halfwheel and a couple others have already reviewed this cigar. Methinks, by their assessment…we’ve been had, brother smokers.
I smoked one before I got sick; maybe 6 weeks ago. This will be my second.

BACKGROUND:
From Halfwheel.com (5-10-2020)
“In April 2020, that group of premium Cohibas added another new release, the Cohiba Royale.

“The Royale features what General Cigar Co. describes as being Cohiba’s fullest-bodied expression to date. To do that, the company selected a Nicaraguan broadleaf wrapper from the country’s Jalapa valley, a Dominican piloto cubano binder and fillers from the Jamastran region of Honduras and Nicaragua’s Jalapa and Estelí regions. Additionally, each leaf has been aged for five to six years.

“The cigar is also notable for being the first Cohiba to come out of General Cigar Co.’s STG Danlí factory in Honduras. The line has generally been made at General Cigar Dominicana in Santiago, though the Silencio came from STG Estelí in Nicaragua.”

“Cohiba Royale was created with the cigar connoisseur in mind, bringing to life the microclimates and fertile soils of the Caribbean and Central America in a way that is unique to the brand,” said Williams via a press release. “All of the tobaccos that comprise Cohiba Royale are hand-selected and deeply aged, representing the best of the best tobacco growing regions in the world. The result is a cigar that is as bold as it is refined, befitting of the Cohiba name.”

SIZES AND PRICING:
Gran Royale 4.5 x 52 $23.99
Royale 5.5 x 54 $25.99
Toro 6 x 50 $28.99

APPEARANCE:
For a $30 stick, you’d think it would be prettier. It looks like a $6 Torano. Exposed seams. Distorted veinage everywhere. The cap is slightly caved in on one side…from rolling; not packaging. It looks like a dead tree you find when you are hiking.
The wrapper is paper bag brown in room light. With a little light on the subject, it is oily, toothy, and has hints of a rusty penny. The cigar is solid as a rock. And for $29, it should have a secondary cigar band that says: “Hey! I’m Smoking a $30 Cigar Here!”

SMELL THE GLOVE:
It smells delightful with a big schnoz full of dark, dark cocoa. There is a big fat fruitiness about it…no, I’m not talking about Dr. Rod. I smell grape juice, cantaloupe, and watermelon. Plenty of black pepper to go around. There are nice hints of malt, cedar, café au lait, caramel, and backyard.

The cold draw presents flavors of dark cocoa, black coffee, fruit, cedar, malt, and black pepper.
I should add there ain’t a whiff of air coming from the stick…which may have inhibited some of the essence of the cold draw.
I grab my trusty PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool and go to work. The plug goes just past the bottom of the cigar band. Voila, I can now smoke the bastard. For fuck’s sake…a $30 cigar that’s plugged.

FIRST THIRD:
First up is barnyard. Second up is a blast of black pepper. Hitting clean up is salt.
Wow, now I’m impressed.

The cigar isn’t rolled very well as I’m still having a draw issue.

Well, dear readers…you know where this is going. Damn. I expected this to be dyn-o-mite. At least…I hope to get some good blender’s intent.

The PR sheet I got says: “Each leaf of the blend has undergone intensive aging for 5-6 years before deemed worthy of inclusion in Cohiba Royale.” Yeah, right.
With that much aging, it should be ready to go 2 days after receipt. Maybe it was a typo and it meant to say “…5-6 minutes of aging…”

I don’t like salty blends. In some cigars, the appearance of salt and minerals is due to the fermentation process. I feel like I should be dipping the cigar in German mustard.

The burn immediately begins to suffer. Great. I’ve smoked 3/8” and I have a burn issue.
At the moment, it tastes like dirt. I’m sure it will upgrade to litter box quickly.

This is such bullshit. Five to six years of aging should make this cigar shine like yellow matter custard dripping from a dead dog’s eye.

I gotta have some water and fast. The reviewer for Halfwheel was kind and said this part of the cigar tasted funky. Now funky to me is Tower of Power.

I’m going to shrivel to a small hollowed out husk if this saltiness continues.
C’mon, baby Jesus, save the cigar from itself and let it spread its wings…and maybe get it circumcised.

General Cigar couldn’t have sent the 4.5 x 52 to reviewers…no, it had to send the big daddy. This is going to be a long review because if I have to suffer, so do you.
The burn is absolutely ridiculous.

Thank God General Cigar has never read a single review of mine or they would stop sending me cigars. Once in a while, they send winners.

Black pepper breaks on through to the other side and the saltiness either diminishes or my sunken cheeks have just become used to it.

I’ve hooked up an I.V. of saline to my arm. Don’t want to stroke out in the middle of a review. And I’ve put my home blood pressure cuff to my other arm…just to keep an eye on it.

Yeah, the cigar is filled to the brim with leaves…making it a slow roll. I could just stop smoking it and make up shit for the rest of the review…but I won’t.

The reviewers who tackled this ‘thing,’ were absolutely kind as all get out by only giving the cigar a rating in the mid 80’s. They are nice people. I’m not.

I’ve been humping this cigar’s leg for 15 minutes and I’ve only burned 1”. Lord…if you help me get through this, I will stop masturbating to pictures of fried bats and Dr. Rod.

I accidentally knocked the ash off…the most exciting thing about this venture so far.

I can tell there are other more subtle flavors in the background but are in solitary confinement because of the saltiness. Way to go Cohiba.

Oh my God…I just noticed that the PR says it is a regular production cigar. I betcha a buck it hits the clearance aisles in 8 months…and General Cigar will retreat from regular production.

Long aging is supposed to dispose of the leftover effects of fermentation. Maybe they started with tobacco grown in Wyoming.
Ooh…ooh…I tasted a hint of creaminess. Halle-fucking-lujah!

SECOND THIRD:
That was the longest first third I’ve endured. Luckily, I’m sitting here naked with the blinds up and a neighbor across the way is taking photos of me. I will go over and ask their name and find out their Instagram account so I can provide a link to those photos in my next review.

Normally, I would take care and make sure you don’t have to see a slobbery cap; but that would require that I respect the cigar.

No complexity. No transitions. The finish has caked my lips with dried salt. And no flavors.
This is such a joke. I bet other reviewers wait longer hoping a few more months might make this cigar smokeable. I’ve been doing this a long time and I can tell when the prospects are good.

I check the other reviews and they are perfect gentlemen. They basically describe the same experience without being disrespectful. Fuck that. If this was an inexpensive Cohiba, I might give it some slack. What was Cohiba and General Cigar thinking? People like salt licks the way a deer does?

And the cigar goes out. Great job, boys.
Strength is medium, I guess.

This is chicanery at its finest.

For the same dough, you can buy an incredible Casdagli blend. Or you can buy 3 fantastic Isabelas. Or get three incredible Southern Draw blends.

I re-light the cigar hoping it explodes in my face. I’m ready for an ambulance ride. “Why is he in here?” The paramedics tell the doc that I smoked a $30 Cohiba. The doc says, “Take him to ICU immediately.”

Any flavor…just anything will make me happy.

I lick Sammy the Cat’s ass to see what litter tastes like. I would never touch litter from the box because that’s disgusting. We have a match…litter and cat ass.

I’m reporting this cigar to The Hague.

Good…nicotine shows up. Why not hallucinate while I’m suffering?

I spoke to Amanda at Cbid yesterday. I won two My Father The Judge cigars. They sent me two Alec Bradley Nica Puros instead. She told me that she bought a couple $40 cigars for her boyfriend. And he thought putting them in the fridge would be a good idea. She has since ditched him.

Behind the salt is some savory. I don’t taste a bit of sweetness that the other reviewers tasted. What a lopsided blend.

The burn needs a major touch up. LMFAO.

Halfwheel reviewers must have been dying during their review. They have to keep it clean because they are Halfwheel. But I know what they were thinking…

I’m going to see if me having a bowel movement clears my palate. Be right back…

Strength is medium/full.

I dissect the PR sheet once again. Sean Williams says: “Cohiba Royale was created with the cigar connoisseur in mind, bringing to life the microclimates and fertile soils of the Caribbean and Central America in a way that is unique to the brand.” Oh lord, the man is doing shrooms.

The cigar leaps out of my ashtray next to me. I can’t find it. I understand completely. At least the cigar feels shame.

There is an earthiness to the blend. That’s positive…I guess.

The cat takes a dump in the litter box and then presents his ass to me. I tell him no thanks. He is crestfallen.

Between the saline and the 6 bottles of water consumed, I’m pissing like a racehorse. I insert an oversized catheter, so I don’t miss a moment of this fine cigar.
Is it tomorrow yet?

Creaminess returns in nano bites. Zero complexity. Transitions are salty to saltier.
I hope the Cohiba folks get a week’s worth of diarrhea.

The cigar goes out…finally, some consistency.

The only thing keeping me from going downstairs with my Mossberg and wiping out the squirrel population is I have the Blues Guitar Legends channel on.

I spoke to my old friend Elliot the other day after I published my last review. Thanks to Collin being diligent in finding him, we were able to discuss events that occurred over 50 years ago when we played in the same rock band in high school. He can’t remember smoking weed in high school. Uh-huh. He did admit to doing heavy amounts of bad acid though. Probably led him to becoming an iconic professor at several colleges in SoCal. His 32-year-old son just got his doctorate in music from Cambridge University. His main interest is Japanese music. He has lived in Japan for years. His specialty is kabuki. I could hear the desperation in Elliot’s voice.

I hit the halfway point. What’s it been? 6 hours? I lost track of time just like you do when you drop good acid.

Charlotte asked me where the stink of salt was coming from? I played dumb. So, she split to go visit our daughter and grandson. They will social distance themselves in the backyard and no hugging or kissing. I wish I could go. I wish I hadn’t started this review.

A touch of complexity is dangled in front of my palate. How could this be? Is it salt poisoning? I stand up and do the Hully Gully and then The Jerk to the music.

The cigar is actually getting better. Low bar of course.
I change out saline bags.
I add a bag of Demerol and Fentanyl. That’s better.

I haven’t made up my mind what numerical rating this cigar will deserve. Probably something in the high teens.

God love the reviewers tied so heavily to the cigar industry. I’m sure they were blackmailed into reviewing this cigar. My heart aches for them.

I’m dying to report some sort of progress. But linear is linear. Maybe if I light up a bowl…nah…I don’t smoke flower during the day.

The Demerol and Fentanyl kick in. Wow. The cigar is fucking great!!

The ghost of my mother appears next to me…shaking her head in disapproval…tells me she expected more from me.

I believe I’m at 22,000 words now.

My father’s ghost appears just long enough to cold cock me.

The damn cigar doesn’t seem capable of getting past the halfway point. I believe it is growing back. If I bury it…maybe I can get a giant beanstalk.

Finally…some sweetness appears in the form of rabbit droppings and head cheese.

I had thought of reviewing the Room 101 Farce but it never would have gotten the things coming out of my brain the way it is happening now.

I swear. I will convert to Catholicism if this cigar will just do something.
I will stop bothering you now and wait til it gets to the last third. Say grace for me.

LAST THIRD:
Elliot and I went to the same college: CSULB. And we never ran into each other. Elliot told me that he avoided engineering students at all cost. I hear ya El.

The cap is coated in dry salt.

I inject heroin into my optic nerve. Gotta hold real still when you do that.

I’ve got three Cohiba Royales left. I think I will have a contest. The filthiest comment will get $90 worth of cigars for free.
This is a great cigar to give to your mooch friends.

By this time, you probably have gotten the gist of my reactions to this fine blend.
For almost the same price, you can buy the Isabela Cigars C-19 Survival Kit with 13 cigars. Promo code: Katman Free Katpack.
Or you can go to Small Batch Cigar and buy a fiver of Basilica C#1 Toro Maduro LE by Bespoke Cigars. Promo code: Katman
Or go anywhere and buy some Southern Draw Lustrums.

I’m crushing up some Prozac and Cialis pills to snort.
Led Zep is on…”I Cant Quit You Baby.”
Yes I can…I’m done. Should have tossed this cigar after 15 minutes.

RATING: 3.14159265359

And now for something completely different:

Continuation of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer, Hal Blaine…
I have so many fun stories associated with Hal; it is hard to choose.

Let’s see….Hal invited me to lunch on his yacht. Along with some other session player friends of his. I don’t remember their names. A nice bunch of Jewish boys. So, Hal ordered from Canter’s Deli on Fairfax.

We had a smorgasbord of Jewish comfort food. I refuse to list them because I live in Milwaukee where there is not a single Jewish deli. Well…not one that should be allowed to call itself Jewish. All crap. I must go to Chicago to indulge…90 miles away. Just like Cuba and Florida.

We lit up a doob before we ate. And stories were told. I was amongst the big league of L.A. musicians. So, I mostly listened until Hal told them I played with Stew Copeland of The Police. But we laughed so loud and hard we thought someone would complain and call the cops. Does pot make you paranoid?

For fuck’s sake, we were on a docked yacht in Marina Del Rey. Who the hell is going to complain?

I’m one of those guys that loves to hear stories. You have no idea how many musicians I knew that got jealous when hearing them and got all shitty. Not me. I loved listening to bits of history. I loved music since I was a little guy.

Again, I cannot remember names, but one guy asked if wanted to see his new studio?

We were stuffed to the gills with some of the heaviest food on the planet. And Hal had 20 years on us. And then the same fella brought out dessert: Colombian marching powder. Wham! I was no longer lethargic.

Off we went. This guy owned a studio…or should I say STUDIO!!
It was in the Hollywood Hills surrounded by homes of musicians and movie stars. The view was to die for.

To make a long story short, we all sat down and grabbed an instrument. Luckily, I was the only bassist.
We started jamming on “Sugar, Sugar,” by the Archies. LMAO. We were all high and laughing hysterically. One of the guys had actually played on the record. There was no Archies. Totally a conglomeration of studio cats.

We played for about an hour. And the in walked Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley…The Righteous Brothers. Hal had called them from his Rolls Royce on the way to the studio.
I almost shit myself. I had met them once before when I interviewed them for my PBS TV show in 1982.

The drummer had lit up another doob and Bill walked over and took it from him. And then laughed a huge belly laugh. After a few drags, he handed it to Bobby.

I knew what was coming and I did not know a single song in their catalog. Oh fuck!

I took the studio owner aside and asked if he had one of those giant music books with 1000 songs in them? He did and it had all the boys’ songs. Whew.

Unfortunately, it was a piano book with the bass lines for the left hand of the piano. So, I did some wood shedding when we began to play.

Bobby and Bill made it absolutely clear that no recording will go on. They were very stern about this. They didn’t want any boot legs showing up. I thought that here was my only chance to play with these guys and I’d have no record of it…so to speak.

The first hour, we jammed on a bunch of R & B tunes that everyone knew. They said they were in no hurry to sing their songs. And besides, we weren’t paying them. LOL.

Little Latin Lupe Lu was a mind fuck of an experience. This was the most fun song of the session. It lasted at least 30 minutes.
And then the sun set around 8pm on the California summer day. And guys were talking about getting home before their wives beat them. That was OK. We had played for 5 hours. And I was adrenaline soaked.

Hal drove us all back to his boat where our cars were parked.

A few months later, Hal called me and gave me Bill’s phone number. Their bass player was sick and couldn’t play Friday and Saturday at their own club in Orange County. Been there many times and occasionally, they showed up to perform.

I called Bill and he asked me if I wanted the gig? $&KUE$%&((*%#@%*_?????!!!!
“Yes, sir.”
“You know our songs, right?”
“Yes, sir.”
Times were arranged and for two glorious nights, I was in the Righteous Brother’s Band.
Son of a bitch.



Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS

Tags: , , ,

14 replies

  1. Phil,
    You’re back and funnier than ever. You had me cracking up on this one! Informative review.
    Got into casdagli because of your reviews. Thank you.
    Have you ever tried the cohiba Nicaraguan?

  2. Thanks for that review! I really needed to take a crap and that review did the trick!
    Now I’m going to light a Montecristo Espada Quillon. A Churchill no less.

  3. Again I’ll anyone this thing LMAO! Can’t be any worse the the $40 opus x I smoked last night.. The flavors were great but the entire wrapper just deteriorated in front of my eyes. As for the filthiest comment I’ll give it a shot…a young boy comes up to his dad and asks ” Dad what’s a vagina look like?” Dad says ” son before sex it look like a spring rose, beautiful with a Devine scent.” Boy asks ” what about after sex?” Dad ” (Redacted to keep me online)

  4. A cigar for … The Aristocrats

  5. Speaking of Isabella, those guys are insanely generous. I recently placed a order, for a decent but not huge amount, and used your code, and they threw in like a half dozen extra cigars. Great cigars, good prices and, again, extraordinary generosity. I almost feel guilty using the code. Almost. Whomever you’re blowing over there please keep doing so.

    • Hi Michael,
      Johnny is very generous. There is a reason for that…I have him locked in my basement closet that has a slit for food and water.
      I’ve staged a successful coup and taken over Isabela Cigar Co.
      He would thank you himself but he must have scurvy as I don’t feed him citrus fruits when he is bad…and some of his teeth are missing making him hard to understand.
      All the best,
      Phil
      P.S
      I read your comment to John and responded with: “Gabba gush geh loaf teef u elcome.”

  6. Picked up the Isabela C19 pack Katman. Didn’t see the Katman discount but don’t care. Let them know you sent me.

    • Hi Mark,
      Good move. I bought two of them. The humidity has been terrible with rain for a while, so I dry box my Isabelas for a couple days to make sure they smoke correctly. Lovely Wisconsin. I see another cheese curd on a menu, and I’m going postal.
      What I wouldn’t give for an In-N-Out Burger…and then die happily from a heart attack.
      All the best,
      Phil

  7. Man, why you do that to yourself Kat?

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