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Cigar Review – Cohiba Black Pequeños

Today is probably one of the worst days I could’ve picked to review a cigar—according to, it’s a sweltering 95 degrees out (and it’s supposed to feel like 99 degrees, whatever that means). But that didn’t stop me from smoking one; it just stopped me from smoking something full-sized. Today I had the pleasure of smoking a Cohiba Black Pequeño, and despite the fact that I’m now dizzy and drenched with sweat, it was worth withstanding the heat.

These are not your typical small cigars. Not only are they handmade, unlike many of their similarly-sized peers, but they’re also made with long filler. This little stogie was firm from head to foot, and I had trouble finding seams in the wrapper. I snipped the cap with a Xikar Xi1 and took a few pre-light draws, and I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much time trying to pick out notes. The first draw was boozy; after that, I got some cocoa, and after about two minutes of dry puffing, I picked up a little bit of cedar.  It was finally time to light up.

As expected, this 36-ring-gauge stogie lit with virtually no effort. The draw was a little bit firm but very generous, allowing huge, thick plumes of smoke to come through. The cigar started out medium-to-full-bodied with notes of cocoa and black pepper. As I neared the second third, the chocolate morphed into a very strong, very pronounced espresso flavor.

An inch or so in, I started picking up a little bit of black cherry on the aftertaste, which lasted for another inch. Halfway through, this impressive little smoke produced a noticeable flavor of burnt caramel. This, along with some dark, dark cocoa flavor, gave the cigar a sweet, rich, dessert feel.

With just under two inches left in the smoke, I decided to retrohale a few times—while the smoke tasted predominantly leathery and peppery at this point, the retrohale was all chocolate. After a few retrohales, the spice started building on the nose, and I started tasting a little bit of oaky vanilla behind the leather. With around ¾ of an inch left, I decided to quit while I was ahead and set down the nub.

I have never smoked such a complex cigarillo. When I’m about to smoke a cigar this small, I’m always expecting it to turn harsh about halfway through, but the Cohiba Black Pequeño delivered from start to finish. I have to emphasize that this little stogie really lived up to its designation as a small cigar. If you’re looking for a quick smoke that is complex and actually satisfying (not to mention strong—my head is still swimming), this should be your go-to stogie.

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