Over the past couple of years, Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG) has done a series of collaborations with the Buffalo Trace Distillery. The brands from Buffalo Trace that STG has collaborated with include Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, Fireball Cinnamon, and Weller. The first collaboration between STG and Weller was the release of the Weller by Cohiba in 2021. The goal of the Weller by Cohiba was to provide a cigar that could complement Weller Bourbon. For those who don’t follow the spirits world, Weller refers to a line of premium bourbons sold under the W.L. Weller brand. W.L. Weller stands for William Larue Weller (1825–1899). He was a distiller who supposedly was the first to produce straight bourbon using wheat instead of rye in the mash bill. The following year there was another release featuring an all-new blend, appropriately called the Weller by Cohiba 2022. Today we take a closer at this cigar.
While the blends between the 2021 and 2022 Weller by Cohiba releases are completely different, there is also another fundamental difference between these two cigars. The 2021 Weller by Cohiba was a blend that was developed to complement Weller Bourbon, but did not contain any bourbon barrel-aged tobacco. The 2022 goes a step further where the binder leaf is actually aged in authentic Weller Bourbon barrels. We have seen the technique of aging the binder leaf in a barrel from the distillery before with the Diesel Brand, and more recently with the Buffalo Trace Special F.
For now, let’s turn our attention back to the Weller by Cohiba 2022.
Blend and Origin
The Weller by Cohiba 2022 features a five-country multi-national blend. This includes an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, a U.S. Connecticut Broadleaf binder, and a combination of fillers of Dominican, Nicaraguan, and Honduran tobaccos. As mentioned, it is the Connecticut Broadleaf binder that was aged in bourbon barrels. Production for the Weller by Cohiba 2022 comes from the General Cigar Dominicana factory.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf, Bourbon Barrel Aged
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan (Estelí), and Honduran (La Entrada, Jamastran and Olancho San Agustin)
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: General Cigar Dominicana
The 2022 Weller by Cohiba comes in one size – a 6 x 50 Toro housed in an aluminum tube. The cigars/tubes are packaged in ten-count boxes.
The Weller by Cohiba 2022 had a dark Sumatra wrapper that had a milk chocolate look to it. The color of the wrapper also had a slight rosado tint to it. The surface of the wrapper had a slight amount of toothiness to it as well as some mottling on the surface. The wrapper did not have much in the way of oils on it. There were some visible veins and visible wrapper seams. The wrapper itself also had somewhat of a rugged look to it.
A straight cut was used to remove the cap of the Weller by Cohiba 2022. Once the cap was removed, it was time to commence with the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered notes of coffee bean, some dried fruit, and a vegetal note. Overall this was a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point, it was time to toast the footer of the Weller by Cohiba 2022 and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Weller by Cohiba 2022 opened up with coffee bean, earth, citrus, and vegetal notes. It didn’t take long for the coffee bean notes to emerge as the primary note. The earth, citrus, and vegetal notes settled into the background. The retro-hale had some citrus sweetness on it as well. During the middle of the first third, a meat-like note surfaced in the background.
As the Weller by Cohiba 2022 moved into the second third, the coffee bean notes remained primary. The earth, citrus, meaty, and vegetal notes remained in the background. As the cigar progressed through the second third, some black pepper emerged on both the tongue and the retro-hale. The pepper began to increase in intensity. Later in the second third, the pepper was more prominent on the tongue and the retro-hale.
There wasn’t much change in the last third. The coffee bean notes remained primary. The earth, citrus, meaty, vegetal, and pepper notes remained in the background. As the cigar experience came to a close, the pepper was the most prominent secondary note, but it still wasn’t a pepper bomb. The end of the cigar featured a soft, cool nub.
Overall the Weller by Cohiba 2022 did require frequent touch-ups to maintain a straight burn path and burn line. While the touch-ups did the trick to keep things on track, there were more touch-ups than I would prefer. The resulting ash had a mix of light and medium gray to it. This was an ash that wasn’t overly firm, but it wasn’t loose nor flaky either. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both were ideal.
Normally I like a little resistance on a draw. In this case, the Weller by Cohiba 2022 had an open draw. While this was an open draw, it was not a loose draw. In the end, the open draw didn’t have any adverse effects on the smoking experience.
Strength and Body
The Weller by Cohiba 2022 started out with mild to medium strength and mild to medium-bodied flavors. The intensity levels of both attributes almost immediately increased in intensity. By the midway point of the first third, the cigar had moved into medium-strength and medium-bodied territory. Both attributes continued to increase through the smoking experience. The body increased at a slightly higher pace and by the midway point, the flavors were in medium to full-bodied territory. The strength remained medium.
BANDING AND PACKAGING NOTES
There are two bands on the Weller by Cohiba 2022. The primary band is a black and gold variant of the Cohiba red-dot band. The secondary band is a black and gold band with the Weller logo on it. Both bands look very nice against the dark Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.
The aluminum tube is mostly black and gold along with the Cohiba red dot logo. The cigars are packaged in cellophane inside the tube – this is something I like as opposed to the wrapper leaning up against the tube. A side note, one problem I had with the Weller by Cohiba 2021 was the glass tubes that the cigar came in were quite fragile and were prone to cracking. The move to the aluminum tubes was quite welcome.
Overall the Cohiba by Weller 2022 was a fantastic sequel to the original Cohiba by 2021. I really liked the move to including the binder tobacco aged in the Weller barrels. Surprisingly, the cigar really didn’t have any bourbon-style flavors. Instead, there was an underlying savoriness with the meaty and vegetal notes. The Weller by Cohiba 2022 delivered some very unique flavors, but more importantly it delivered some very good flavors. This is a cigar I would recommend to a seasoned cigar enthusiast, but I wouldn’t discourage a novice from trying. As for myself, this is a cigar I would buy and smoke again. Coming in at 90 points, the Weller by Cohiba 2022 earns a Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence.
Key Flavors: Coffee Bean, Earth, Citrus, Pepper, Vegetal Notes, Meaty Notes
Burn: Very Good
Draw: Very Good
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy One
Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop
Originally posted on April 28, 2023 @ 7:17 pm