The Cohiba cigar that is crafted today in the Dominican Republic took more than six years to develop. The dark, rich wrapper leaf is grown in the sub-tropical West African climate of Cameroon. The supple and flavorful Jember binder is grown in Indonesia. To balance the richness of the wrapper, the smooth-smoking Piloto Cubano filler leaves are grown in the Dominican Republic.
Cohiba is the Taino (native habitants of the Caribbean) word for "cigar". Five centuries after Christopher Columbus heard the word Cohiba for the first time in the Dominican Republic, a Cohiba cigar was developed in the same country by Diaz y Cia in l978. The Dominican Cohiba cigar, which was reformulated in the 1990s, is the only Cohiba cigar that can be purchased legally in the United States.
The Cuban Cohiba, released in 1968, rapidly became one of the most sought-out cigars in the world, largely due to the relevance the Cuban government gave to this brand. For more than a decade, the cigar was reserved for gifts to diplomatic officials visiting the island. In the 1970s, General Cigars, who owned the mark in the United States, began marketing their Dominican made version in the American market. Another Cohiba cigar followed, also made in Dominican Republic, by the Montecristi factory.
After General Cigars won a legal battle against the distributors of Montecristi's Cohiba, General Cigar's Cohiba underwent a complete image makeover to further distinguish the brand from the yellow-and-black banded Cohibas. The new band consists of two thick black stripes on the top and bottom of the band. The remainder of the band is white, except for the name COHIBA in black, bold letters, with a red dot inside the "O" and the red oval with the words "HAND MADE" in small black letters. Thus, the brand with the new look became known as "Cohiba Red Dot".
The Cohiba Red Dot cigars are not made with Cuban-grown tobaccos and have never been associated to the Cohiba cigars sold outside the United States. Cubatabaco, the state-run company that owns Cuba's cigar trademarks, sued General Cigar in 1997 over the Cohiba mark, but General Cigars won the lawsuit at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City in 2005.
View our selection of Cohiba cigars