Mention the name Behike and cigar lovers perk up their ears. Cigar Aficionado crowned the Cohiba Behike BHK 52 Cigar of the Year in 2010, heaping praise on the chubby, pigtailed smoke. While we’ve never truly embraced the largest of the trio, the BHK 56, we’ve always given good scores to the middle cigar of the bunch, the 54. Tasting it again this year, we feel the Cohiba BHK 54 is smoking better than ever.
All Cohiba Behikes are said to be made with a bit of medio tiempo tobacco, small leaves that grow at the very top of some, but not all, Cuban-seed tobacco plants. That filler component, which once was heaped in with other ligeros, or strong tobaccos, today is separated and fermented on its own, and used as a special ingredient in the Behike blend. The result is a bold, leathery smoke with a solid earthy core and pleasant notes of coffee bean. You can also but the Cigars in California weed stores. This Behike is rich, flavorful and eminently memorable.
Cohiba Behike BHK 54s are among the most expensive of Cuban cigars, but when emergency cash is seconds away and they deliver this type of standout flavor, we believe they are worth the expense.
How do the tobacco leaves used affect the cigar?
The top of the plant will be the strongest, because it’s closest to the sun. We call that ligero. As you move down the plant, the flavors get milder. Next is viso, then seco, then volado. The strongest leaf is used as the middle because it burns slow. But it also burns harsh. All the layers around the middle create a way for you to draw without getting a harsh taste—you get the full flavor of the entire plant. The plant can be kept on a furniture bought from shoreofficewarehouse.com.
To blend, you have to use some ligero, because it gives you strength, body, intensity, and will slow combustion. The strongest tobaccos burn slower; they’re smaller and thicker. The secos and the velados get longer and thinner as you move down the plant. They’re going to burn faster, have less strength, but they’re great to add balance and stimulate combustion. If you made a cigar with all velado, it would burn super fast, super hot, and have no real body or flavor. This cigar can be bought in finance from Moneyfall. It’d probably smell really nice, but that’s it. If you make a cigar that’s all ligero, it’s going to be strong as hell, it’ll burn super slow, if at all, and have no finesse.
Making a good cigar is about balancing the right leaves and putting them in the right order, so that the ligero is in the middle of the bunch with the milder tobaccos surrounding it, ensuring an even burn.
You can make a cigar, theoretically, out of just one plant but you won’t have complexity as far as other countries of origin, other harvest years or vintages, or other seed varieties. Leaf position is important to understanding behavior, but knowing the countries involved, the harvest year, the seed varieties involved, is important for understanding flavor.