Cohiba "red dot" cigars are made in the Dominican Republic by the General Cigar Company (a subsidiary of Swedish Match). The cigars have a unique band with a couple of obvious red dots, one inside the black letter 'O' in the name Cohiba, and another inside a black circle on the side of the band. This unique band with red dots helps distinguish the cigars from their Cuban counterparts, which are not legal the United States. The "red dot" Cohibas are made with aged Dominican filler tobaccos and Cameroon wrappers, and do not contain any Cuban tobacco. The Cohiba cigar brand originated in Cuba, and is one of the most recognized and respected names in the industry, which sometimes makes it the victim of counterfeiters. However, General Cigar vigorously defends their trademark to exclusively market the Dominican Cohiba brand of cigars in the U.S. The Robusto that I reviewed was five inches long with a ring gauge of 49.
I have smoked these cigars on several occasions in the past, and found them to be somewhat strong on my palate. In hopes of mellowing one out, I aged this particular Robusto in my humidor for almost three years. Although the taste did become less harsh with age, the flavor was still not as mellow as I would have liked. This was definitely a full flavored stick with very deep tobacco tastes. I would not recommend such a full bodied cigar to beginners, as this cigar should be enjoyed by serious cigar smokers, only.
Draw and Construction
The cigar was very well made, had an excellent draw, and did not require any relights. The cigar burned evenly and held a long ash. There were not any issues with the construction of the cigar to negatively impact my smoking experience.
When purchased in sampler packs or boxes of 25 cigars, Cohiba Robustos can cost around $9 per stick, but will cost more when purchased as singles. Full bodied cigars near the upper end of the flavor and strength spectrum are usually more expensive than milder stogies. In addition, distinguished brand names can command higher prices. However, these cigars would only be worth the price to veteran cigar enthusiasts who really enjoy full bodied cigars with very deep tobacco flavors. Beginners beware!