The Most Illegal Cohiba Isn’t A Cigar

It’s a brandy. And it’s incredible. 

The most illegal Cohiba product isn’t a cigar. International partnerships between Castro’s private label and France’s premiere brandy region actually stumbled onto something even more restricted a few years ago — and it’s amazing.  

It goes by a few names depending on who is advertising it. Cognac company Martell, which produces the product, calls it Martell Cohiba, but it’s occasionally referred to as Extra Cohiba Cognac. It’s a brandy made from a selection of 40-50 year old blends, but instead of the delicate flavors and velvety textures of most cognacs, it has bold notes of berries and toasted nuts as well as the spicy, darker flavor profile you’d expect from a rye whiskey. It mingles with the smoke of a cigar in transformative ways.

But it’s nearly impossible to find. Why? Well, since its done in partnership with the Cuban Cohiba brand (and labeled more prominently with their trademark) it falls under the list of embargoed products. It’s even difficult to find abroad — many European countries ban products like liquor with tobacco as part of their anti-tobacco legislation.

It is possible to track it down, however. Your best bet are resale sites like  thewhiskyexchange or wine-searcher, which will likely sell it for somewhere within the  $400 and $600 range. And unless you’re buying up cases of the stuff, the highest penalty you’re likely to face is confiscation. If you’re one to play by the books, search it out the next time you’re in an overseas cigar bar. It’s well worth the trouble.