Published on January 23rd, 2019 | by Ken Gargett


Zenith Cohiba/Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Always been a big fan of the Woodford Reserve Bourbon and never really understood why it does not get more love around the traps. No matter. It is probably my go-to bourbon, partly to do with the fact that it has been readily available here for some time. 

I have mentioned in the past, for reasons I do not completely follow, I received a sample bottle of Batch 1, when it was first released (at the time, I was doing very little with spirits). And I will confess that though I’ve enjoyed bottles from a number of batches since then, that was something special – I have a theory that producers often offer something really above and beyond when a new spirit is released. It gets the attention and it is always easier to regress than crank things up later. Not that I believe it has regressed. By the way, I’m talking about the standard, rather than the Double Oaked and Masters Collection. 

The bottle involved was from Batch 101, but have a few from 156 in the cupboard. I love the citrus, caramel, stonefruit, chocolate and spice notes, the florals and the slight ginger touches, and it has always been a fine Bourbon for a cigar. Terrific texture and decent spirit. 

The cigar is an interesting one. I posted a while back about a couple of cigars very kindly sent to me by the editors of a watch site (Quill & Pad) for which I write. They had been given a nice cigar holder with a couple of Zenith Cohiba’s as part of a special watch release – don’t ask me about the watch, I know nothing. 

I asked if anyone knew anything about these cigars. The general consensus was that it was most likely a Coro with a special band. It was about the right size. I had one with the bourbon and showed the remaining one to Rob. He was quick to point out that it was actually marginally slimmer than the Coro – a 48 gauge. We had a chat and the feeling is that Havana might have sent them some ‘factory seconds’ or perhaps they (and both very nearly identical) were simply Coro’s that were not stellar? I would like to think that Cohiba would not offload seconds or substandards for a project celebrating their name, but as Rob says, this is Cuba. So who knows. We are a bit in the dark and love to have any further info, should anyone know more.

Members might recall that we did Coro’s for a video recently and I was a bit underwhelmed. Like most of us, I’ve had some stunning Coro’s, but that was not really one of them. 

This one, whatever it might be, could not have been more different. A real wow cigar. Lovely condition and even the slightest hint of russet in the colour. Fine draw (if I ever say a little firm, it is never, despite suggestions to the contrary, meant in a derogatory manner). It was a gorgeous cigar. A mix of caramel, honey, spice and florals. The cuddly caramel came in waves. Seductive soft texture. For me, a 96 (if they are making seconds like that, give me more). 

As a match, they both blossomed. That lovely caramel note common to both emerged beautifully. Individually, loved them both, but together, they lifted. Cracking match. 


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