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Cigar brand Cohiba is very famous and popular both among cigar aficionado and novices all over the world. Not only it embodies the sign of richness, well-being and prosperity but it is also a flagship for Cuba and its absolute leader Fidel Castro. The latter is in fact the founder of this brand manufacturing. But let's start from the very beginning.

Once upon a time there lived a Cuban citizen named Bienvenido Perez, aka "Chicho". He was a cigar man but not a simple one. He served as Fidel Castro's bodyguard who himself was a passionate cigarette and cigar smoker. One fine day when Chicho was puffing a nice cigar in the backyard of the guarded castle, the legendary revolutionist approached him caught by the wonderful smell that stogie emitted. Castro was intrigued by the fact that his own worker possessed a cigar the comandante himself didn't have. From the conversation that started between them, the great Cuban leader has learned that the stogie has been presented to Chicho by a friend. The man, his name was Eduardo Rivera, was working at the La Corona factory in Havana at that time; he was rolling these cigars at home for his personal use.

After this short conversation, Castro himself went to this torcedor to ask him start rolling cigars for the Cuban leader's personal consumption. They even found a perfect place for future elite brand - El Laguito - an ex diplomatic house transformed into a famous cigar rolling factory. Thus Cohiba came into the world.

Much later than the events described here the factory became the first one served by women rollers only. Until that cigar rolling was considered to be strictly man's work.

As this brand has been manufactured for Fidel Castro personal purpose, the security here was on the top level and only certain officials and workers had the permission to enter this holy place.

The strict security matter had sense if taking into consideration how many countries, especially, USA would be glad to get rid off the famous Cuban leader.

It is evident that the mass market didn't have the access to the brand for a couple of decades. Only Castro, high officials and foreign politicians had the possibility to enjoy this piece of heaven. And only in 1982 Fidel decided that the cigars should be released to the market as well. The Cohiba of that time has greatly evolved during 3 decades almost. At first it had three vitolas only - the Panetela, the Corona Especial, and the Lancero. Several years later, in 1989, three more shapes were created - the Robusto, the Exquisito, and the Esplendido known as the Linea Clasica.

In the 1992 when Spanish-speaking countries celebrated the 500th anniversary of Columbus discovery of America, Habanos S.A. launched Cohiba Siglo series - 5 shapes meaning 5 eras from 1492 when the Discovery itself has been made. Later in 2002 Siglo VI has been added to this linea given start to the totally new epoch.

Besides classic lines and several other shapes, Cohiba is also known for constant Limited Edition releases timed to various anniversaries, such as the annual Habanos anniversary, different brand annuals and yearly Edicion Limitada launch of special vitolas of cigar brands.

In 2007, a new line has been released - Cohiba Maduro 5. It includes 3 vitolas: Genios, Magicos and Secretos. Wrapper leaves used in this line were aged for 5 years. All three vitolas already gained high rankings among aficionados.

Being created for Fidel Castro personally, the brand never lost its high quality after its mass market release and is highly appreciated by all connoisseurs. If a cigar smoker hadn't ever puffed any Cohiba in his life, he cannot be considered a true aficionado.

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Nice overview of the brand. Thanks for the info! I'm not very knowledgeable about Cubans yet, please post more articles like that!
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