A wallop. That’s how I’d describe the Cohiba XV 6×60 cigar. The “XV” stands for Extra Vigoroso, or as I like putting it “extra, extra, extra, strong.” Do not underestimate this stogie, because I certainly did. Yet even with its strength, this cigar is one that full bodied stogie lovers will appreciate, provided that they’ve had a full meal. It’s certainly not for beginners, or even those who’ve had just a few robust sticks. This is a cigar that only those with established palates should attempt to try, after a large meal, at night, and when they are ready for it.
My first one of these left me literally shaking. I had it in the late morning, a few hours after a small breakfast, and turned the color green. While I enjoyed the taste, I didn’t like my head spinning, nor the experience of having myself “thrown to the floor, as if I had just ridden a mechanical bull.” Thankfully, this didn’t ruin me forever, but I vowed to have this under the ideal circumstances previously mentioned. A few weeks ago I had another chance with one of these, and I’m going to purchase a few more, even with their rather high price.
The 6×60 is certainly a large size, as that ring gauge is hard to find. Smoke volume is amazing the moment you light this up, but you will need a sharp cutter to get through this girth. If you have a punch style, expect a little more work than usual. A triple butane lighter had it fired up in under a minute, and the first thing again I noticed was “the immediate knock down power. While it did mellow a bit with cooling, its robust for the entire experience. I would recommend “cooling” for anyone smoking these, because that’s just a necessity. The ash hangs on for a couple of ashes, and the dark Sumatra wrapper provides an attractive appearance.
All Cohiba’s are attractive, but I like the sheen of this wrapper. It has a shiny look to it, with limited veins, and is smooth from cap down to the nub. The XV band distinguishes it from others of this brand, but it of course does have the famous “red dot” that guarantees you of getting the “genuine article.” According to a tobacco store owner I know, he said these are popular for counterfeiters, so make sure it has that famous identifier on it. This looks and is of course priced as an aristocratic cigar, and wouldn’t be considered an everyday smoke. Its for special ‘occasions, such as evening events, and should be paired with a strong bourbon whiskey. That makes it “just t-hat much better.
This refined, complex, and downright strong smoke is perfect for those who want such an experience. Its going to cost you, as each one of these is around $13-$15. I’d say its worth it, but under ideal conditions of course. They are available through a host of online retailers, but I usually just pick up a “single” from my local shop. If you purchase them as a box or in even higher numbers, there’s a decent amount of savings. In the future, I’m going to purchase a few of them, and age them for a year with mellower cigars, to see if it changes their properties a bit. I doubt it, as these are the fullest bodied smokes I’ve ever had, and I am willing to give them my full recommendation if you think you can handle them.