Around thew world, even people who don’t smoke cigars know the name Cohiba. A few months ago, Cohiba released the Cohiba Royale. General Cigar, parent company of Cohiba, touted the release as the fullest and strongest of any cigar to ever carry the Cohiba name. It is also the first Cohiba to not be made at the General Cigar factory in Santiago, Dominican Republic. The Royale is made in Danli, Honduras at the STG Factory. Matt and Garret each smoked a few, and here are the results.
In addition to the Toro reviewed here, the Cohiba Royale is also available in a 5.5 x 54 Royale and a 4.5 x 52 Gran Royale. Each size is presented in 10-count boxes.
Cohiba Royale Toro
Size: 6 x 50
Origin: STG Danli (Danli, Honduras)
Wrapper: Nicaragua (Jalapa)
Binder: Piloto Cubano (Dominican Republic)
Filler: Nicaraguan and Honduran
It’s a cigar that looks like a dark chocolate bar. The wrapper in very oily and has a pronounced toothy texture. It is cleanly rolled with a well applied cap. The smell is musty and earthy, with some peppery aromas at the foot. The cold draw is like a mix of dark molasses and black pepper with some hints of a savory note like soy sauce.
There is a great sheen on the wrapper. I get light aromas of barnyard at the foot. A cold draw reveals a great draw and sweet raw flavors. I used a V cut and toasted with a single jet.
The first light brings a lot of black pepper and earthiness. It’s a dry earthiness like limestone or chalk. As the cigar warms up, some hints of dark roast coffee and cocoa emerge. There is also some saltiness and a musty aroma that reminds me of mushrooms. The retrohale is extremely spicy, almost to the point of bitterness.
I used a V cut and toasted with a single jet. The first few pulls surprise me with a black pepper spice and a nice tingle through the finish. After the first inch the spice mellows quite a bit and it only hits on the front of the draw followed by a dark sweetness. The ash is flaky but holds together in 2 inch chunks and the burn is even. This cigar wants to be smoked at a tempo a bit faster than I typically smoke, but not an issue and no bitterness as a result.
The core flavors are still earth, pepper, and mustiness. A hint of sweetness woks well with the bitter coffee. There is also an interesting frontal note that reminds me of citrus and ginger. The smoke is turning a little harsh and is really starting to dry out my palate. The retrohale is still very spicy and earthy.
Nearing the halfway point the burn gets a bit wonky but a quick touch up brings it back on track. The spice continues to dwindle but it’s still present on the front end. The flavors at the mid point are mostly the same but not as dark. I wouldn’t say it’s smoothing out, but the flavors are becoming more subtle and a base or earthiness seems to finish it out.
It’s still characterized by black pepper, dry earth, and mustiness. A little bit of the cocoa and dark coffee from earlier has returned, but it just can’t compete with the main flavors. There’s still some bright, almost sour citrus mixed with campfire and a meaty saltiness. I am definitely getting the dry chalkiness and just a faint aroma of leather. The retrohale is pure black pepper, and strength is noticeable in the chest.
Heading into the final section of the cigar the strength is now ramping up and the spice reaches through the finish. Despite the strength, the flavors are still a bit muted, but I do find myself going back like a bowl of peanuts that holds my attention. The addition of coffee and cacao came through from late in the first until the band.
It’s a cigar that I really wanted to love. While it shows signs of a solid profile from time to time, the samples I smoked were all too dominated by dryness and pepper. Every sample burned really well and had tons of smoke output, but my palate was fatigued after smoking these. I will say, I think this cigar would go nicely as a closing after a heavy and spicy meal, but on a clean palate for review it was always a bit too heavy.
In the end, the spice makes a bold resurgence that ramps up to the nub. I really like the spice throughout this cigar, especially at the end when the tingle lasts well after the finish. In a later review sample, nuisances that were missed the first time around could have been due to what I was drinking, or that it just needed a bit of extra time to get properly settled into it’s desired RH and temp. Another example to not smoke it off the truck. A lesson you’d think I’d learn.
Cohiba Royale Toro – How Bout That Cigar?
Garret-Rating: How Bout a Box?
Matt-Rating: How Bout a 5er?
Overall Score: 90
PAD: Garret gave a PAD of +0.0, and Matt gave a PAD of -2.0 (What is PAD?)
Matt-Flavor Summary: Black Pepper, Dry Earth, Mustiness, Dark Coffee
Garret-Flavor Summary: Spice, Coffee, Cacao, Dark Sweetness
Strength Assessment: Medium-Full
Source: Cigars for this review were provided by General Cigar