Cohiba is a brand for two kinds of premium cigar, one produced in Cuba for Habanos S.A., the Cuban state-owned tobacco company, and the other produced in the Dominican Republic for US-based General Cigar Company. The name cohíba derives from the Taíno word for “tobacco.”
The Cuban brand is filled with tobacco that comes from the Vuelta Abajo region of Cuba which has undergone an extra fermentation process. Cuban Cohiba was established in 1966 as a limited production private brand supplied exclusively to Fidel Castro and high-level officials in the Communist Party of Cuba and Cuban government. Often given as diplomatic gifts, the Cohiba brand gradually developed a “cult” status. It was first released commercially for sale to the public in 1982. The Cohiba Siglo VI has received some of the highest scores in the line from blind reviews like a 93 from Cigar Aficionado and a 90 from Blind Man’s Puff.
The US Cohiba brand name was registered in the United States by the General Cigar Company in 1978 and cigars using that trademark have been produced for the American market in the Dominican Republic on a large scale from 1997. This Cohiba is related to the Cuban product in name only, containing no Cuban tobacco, and thus is the only “Cohiba” that can be sold legally in the United States.