Cohiba 8 Year Old

Choiba dark rum

Product of:  Dominican Republic
8 years 
Price: $10 - $20
Alcohol: 40% ABV
Context:  Premium/Aged Rum
RG Rating:7.5 

Tasting Notes
A caramel-like golden brown color offers a fair impression of the aromas to follow, which are predominantly sweet like caramelized sugar and a bit syrupy, with dried sweet fruits (raison, prune) a slightly spicy mild clove, and mild alcohol.  On the tongue, the initial taste is not as sweet as the nose suggests, but a dry smokiness, with paraffin, wood, vanilla, and a curious asparagus texture make Cohiba interesting.  A medium-heavy body is a subtle surprise, leading to a medium-heavy, very smooth and sweet finish that remains on the tip of your tongue, with vanilla at mid palate, and just enough warmth in the throat to be interesting. 

Not to be confused with authentic Cuban-produced products, the overproof rum that forms the base of Cohiba was produced in the Dominican Republic, imported by partners Data Commodities Ltd of the Bahamas and Cohiba Caribbean’s Finest Inc. of Las Vegas, NV, and shipped to San Jose, California for diluting and bottling by Island Imports, Ltd.  The particular distillery (or distilleries) that produced the bulk rum in the DR is unclear.  This convoluted importing, bottling and branding scheme was effectively shut down by court order in 2008, and sued for damages by General Cigar company.  Not that General Cigar is genuinely Cuban, mind you.  But the brand names “Cohiba” and “Havana Club” have tremendous market cachet and are being hotly contested on the international stage (and courts) prior to the eventual opening of trade relations between Cuba and the USA.  Keep watching, it’s going to get interesting.  Apparently, what few bottles of Cohiba rum still gathering dust on store shelves are all that’s left. 

Cohiba has three things going for it. First, it is inexpensive, it’s been spotted as low as $8.99 on closeout. Bottles leftover from the pre-2008 production run can sometimes be found on the bottom shelf at low-volume liquor stores.  Second, and most importantly, it has sufficiently decent flavor to be recommended (and reviewed on this site).  Finally, it has a historic name, albeit one, er, borrowed from an historic Cuban cigar company.  Considering the sub-$10 price, it won’t hurt your wallet to have it on hand as a bargain mixer or the occasional sipper when you aren’t seeking anything complex.  But beware – the label reads “Caribbean’s Finest” – and that it ain’t.

Reviewed: February 2010 at the Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017