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This Superb Dominican Cigar Trumps a Cuban

The Cohiba Spectre features eight varietals of tobacco from five countries.

Cohiba Spectre cigar Photo: Cohiba

Cohiba, one of the world’s revered cigar names, paradoxically exists in both Dominican and Cuban versions—neither of which has any relationship to the other. And although the merits of the two are often debated among cigar aficionados, when it comes to complexity and price, the new Dominican-made Cohiba Spectre may have trumped the Havana version.

It’s priced at $90 a cigar—or $900 for a container of 10. Each 7.25 X  54 stick is encased in a red Plexiglas tube that hints at its silky Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper, which developed a unique reddish hue during the curing process. Eight bales of these upper primings were hand-selected and given an additional six months of fermentation to enhance their already exceptional flavor.

Although the Cohiba Spectre features eight varietals of tobacco from five countries, it’s the 1995-vintage Piloto Cubana filler at the core of the blend that was the inspiration. Discovered in a warehouse, where it had been aging for 23 years in airtight tercios, the rare Dominican tobacco is flanked by 2011- and 2014-vintage Nicaraguan leaves that were aged in Spanish sherry barrels. These, in turn, are surrounded by Honduran tobaccos from 2002 and 2011 and secured with a Connecticut broadleaf binder.

The result is a cigar that is massive in structure and rich in taste, with an aroma of saddle leather and rain forest entwined with sweet chocolate and ginger flavors. With only 180 boxes available, it’s a safe bet that the Spectre will soon vanish.

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