I’ve had the the same conversation several times in the cigar shop recently. It starts of with someone asking me if I’ve tried that new Siglo cigar Altadis came out with. Invariably I ask them if they mean the latest Cuban Cohiba look-alike in the humidor. The response always seems to be some variant of “well, yeah, but it’s actually a pretty good cigar.” And finally, after a request came in for a review of this famous Cuban cigar impersonator, I broke down and picked some up.
Yeah, I know, I sound a little biased against this cigar. I’ve learned the hard way that if it looks like a Cuban Cohiba, is banded like a Cuban Cohiba, but wasn’t purchased from a certified Habanos S.A. retailer, it’s crap. (And sometimes, even if it is, it’s not much better than yesterday’s dog food.) But don’t worry, I plan to give the Siglo a fair review. And to be fair, side by side, the two bands are significantly different. The only people who will be fooled by it are the vacation smokers who light up one Cohiba a year while on a cruise through the Caribbean. (The chances are they’re smoking fakes anyway, so they’d actually be better off switching to the legally produced Siglo.)
Right about now I’d tell you a little about the cigar. Unfortunately, Altadis has not gotten around to adding Siglo information to their website, so I have no official information on this cigar. (Altadis, could you do that for us please? Thanks. Hugs & kisses.) Instead, I bring to you the results of extensive Googling. The word going around is that the Siglo is handmade in Nicaragua and was blended by Frank Llaneza, known for his prior work at Villazon & Co. The Siglo comes in seven vitolas, I, II, III, IV, VI, VII and X, and the name Siglo means “century”. With that it looks like it’s time to light up the 4th century. Constantine I and the Kama Sutra, it should make for a hot review!
Size: 5 x 54
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Cubano
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Smoking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Price: MSRP $6.00
Since we’ve already discussed the band, let’s get right to the wrapper leaf. I found it to be very rustic in appearance, with a your standard compost aroma. Two of the cigars I smoked for this review were nice and smooth, and had only a few fine veins. The other was very lumpy and had larger veins. I also noticed the lumpy stick had a small crack just below the band that I missed when I bought these cigars. (It’s always a good idea to examine your cigars before you buy them. Someday I’ll remember that.)
After executing the cranial screw cutting method with my Xikar scissors, I remembered to get a read on the cold taste. It was creamy and slightly sweet.
The Siglo starts burning beautifully. It’s even and has a nice light-colored solid ash for around the first third. But then things start to derail. Most of the time, that meant the burn started getting jagged and ash a bit flaky. Nothing that a touch up wouldn’t correct. In the one case, the lumpy cigar, the wrapper started splitting badly at both ends. It was smokeable, but only just. Leaving the band on as long as possible probably did a lot to keep me from getting a lap full of burning leaves.
One aspect of the burn that was never a problem is the draw. It was perfect even when everything else wasn’t.
Nothing illustrates the importance of the wrapper to the flavor of a cigar like losing a part of it early on in the smoke. Things started off with creamy, roasted nut and coffee flavors, but the lumpy cigar had an extra metallic element that lingered for the most of the first third. I suspect that was caused by the widening crack at the head of the cigar which brought the binder leaf and some of the filler in direct contact with my mouth. Some sweetness, butteriness, earth and faint pepper emerged as it the cigar progressed.
The second third introduced a somewhat abrupt addition of a grassy flavor. The sweetness remained and helped keep this new prominent vegetal flavor in check. And an earthy, mouth warming pepperiness started to take over the finish of this cigar. From time to time there were also creamy or buttery elements.
I didn’t notice a significant change in the final third, it was still that sweet grass with an earthy, peppery finish. The body did build at bit, and there was a little more bite to the cigar, but that’s about it.
I have no real complaints about the price. It’s on the high side of reasonable, perhaps.
In spite of the burn issues I had with that lumpy Siglo, I did enjoy this cigar. Like people kept telling me, it was a pretty good stick. Not overly complex, or particularly exciting, but one that’s worth smoking from time to time. In light of the wrapper issues, I’m thinking that it might be best to light it up at your local shop. That way, if your Siglo starts seriously misbehaving, you can get it replaced.
Another thing that helped swing my verdict in favor of the Siglo is that it went really well with a lager. Specifically, Full Sail Session Lager, (which I recommend), but I suspect that a Yuengling, a Heineken or other common lager will also do the trick.
Liked It: It was a pretty good stick
Buy It Again: Probably
Recommend It: Yes, especially if you’ve been buying fake Cohibas on a cruise ship
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.
26 thoughts on “Siglo Limited Reserve IV”
Nice review! I wonder if making the band very similar in appearance to the Cohiba hurts the brand more than it helps it. Anyway, that was some nasty-looking wrapper split going on there!
I read a lot of your reviews and agree with most but this one is a little off. I have smoked a good five pack of these and I have had all kids of burn and construction issues with all. From wrappers cracking to sticks being plugged. The flavor always started good but went south very quick. I would save your money and buy somthing better.
Nice review. It doesnt look very tightly wrapped from the foot picture. I see these and always have just turned away. Maybe I will snag a couple to try, just to see if I like em or not.
A very fair review; thanks Brian. I’ve not been impressed with anything from Altadis yet, but I haven’t tried this one. As always, the “Tower of Burn” tells the rest of the story!
Nice review, as always. Although I got a couple questions for you but if you don’t answer its OK cause i don’t think ill be buying any of these (i feel the same way as you about cohiba like labled cigars even legal ones are normally no better than rolled up newspaper.
OK now first off, I herd these were made using a sweetened glue or a sweetened cap for this cigar, is this true? Also I just wondered what happened to that cigar you have a picture of in the “BURN” section of the review as it certainly did not make it all the way for a tower of burn (which you should know we all LOVE you should patent it or something LOL.) so what happened to it did it just unravel?
Thanks and also thanks for taking one for the team you guys are great If i was as popular as you guys i would only review GREAT cigars but then I wouldn’t have a Great review site as you guys as almost every cigar i ever want to know about is reviewed here. Even the BAD BAD ones. Great job as usual is all i have to say I have gone way off topic now and will stop lol.
I’ve smoked a couple of these, and found them to be, well, junk. Harsh, burn poorly, a bad flavor.
I agree with MountChuck. The one I had tasted like it was soaked in amonia. I am pretty fair with all the cigars I smoke but I couldn’t tourture myself anymore and chucked it a quarter of the way in. I have had some bad smokes before and finished them to the end, but this one was easily no.1 in my worst cigar list.
$6 sounds like way too much for a splitting cigar!
I have seen these in my B& M and just walk by laughing. Now I may have to pick some up.
Thanks for all the comments guys. Sounds like these aren’t quite as popular as I thought. But I stand by my drinking pairing. LOL
Mount Chuck and Matt B,
Just out of curiosity, do you guys tend to be faster or slower smokers? I can see how smoking it quickly might result in a less pleasant experience.
I’m not such a big deal I won’t answer questions about my review! LOL Regarding the sweetened cap, I think you’re thinking of the other Cohiba knock-off I had the misfortune of reviewing. (Review here.) No sweetened cap this time and with any luck, I’ll avoid them in the future too.
Enoyed the review. Not something I’m in a hurry to try.
I generally tend to smoke on the slower side. I’ve been smoking a little faster lately, but that would bring me up to just an average pace I think.
Great review Brian!!
Im split with this cigar. On one hand i want to try it but on the other hand i dont. Im not a fan of the “look alike” label….i wish they would have done something differently with that.
Brian, I love your Tower of Burn man; I’m sure you get that alot. Great review, I’m going to have to get my hands on one of these to try. Thank you.
I think I may have to pick one or two of these up…
nice review brian…
So I had a couple things was that a real cohiba band I thought there was supposed to be 4 rows of squares I am just curious when I first got into cigars I wanted to get a box of Cuban cohiba and was reading how to spot a counterfeit. But anyway I have seen thaws siglo in everystore I have been in I don’t buy them for the simple fact that they are trying to piggy back on cohiba marketing with their unique easily reconizable band and I think it’s wrong . But a good smoke is a good smoke not that I would buy one but now at least I won’t make fun of people buying who buy these now
I’ve had a few of the 6×54 tubos. I’ve come to the conclusion that when it’s all said and done; it’s just a really good mundane cigar. It had a nice medium spice to it, but that’s all it really had. But maybe trying it in a different vitola will help make it better. And Rbotts, it’s a free-market so who cares. If your going to complain about that, then why not complain about the Dominican Cohiba having absolutely no relation to the Cuban Cohiba. That’s a way more blatant case of “piggy backing”. Who cares what the name is, where it’s from, or what the band looks like. If a cigar is good, fucking smoke it.
I just had a Siglo last night. Your review was right on. Not bad for a Cohiba look a like. I would definately smoke em in the future……………
I first had one of these in a sampler and liked it so I bought a box of number VIs. I’m smoking the first one now and I’m not disappointed. I notice though that the band has changed. Gone are the little black squares and the gold foil–now just yellow black and silver. I wonder if some sort of litigation was the reason.
I doubt that litigation would be the reason. Altadis owns 51% of the Cuban state tobacco monopoly, Habanos S.A., which makes the Cuban Cohiba.
Smoked one with a friend before softball practice……the Siglo V!.
We both thought it was a decent smoke.Construction was fine.Great draw.Nice ash.Smooth thoughout.A medium smoke,with decent transitions(1st third,2nd,3rd). I like a little more meat (ala Tattoo Pete,Cain,Black Markets,Liga Privada #9….CUBANAs….etc.Still,this is a smoke one can enjoy,and still putt with.
The packaging has changed(no checkered,knock-off appearence)and is quite elegant.
Got their sampler. So far I like them. Had one split late. The I was my favorite. Bad ass little general.
I just finished what I’d call a lancero, I guess siglo would term it the grand corona. Whatever the vitola I really enjoyed the stick. The first inch was almost all pepper. Sorta on the lines of Gurkha. But soon the pepper faded and it developed a creamy back note. All the while it left a clean palate. Something Gurkha needs to work on. the second third was still creamy but I caught the grassiness and even noticed a hint of berry. Final third the pepper began to return and I tossed it just inside the ring where the flavor burnt out. It was mid-full in intensity and quite joy ride for my palate. A very good stick I’d recommend to all but the beginners.
I tried one, the flavor was OK. The cigar was soft and spongy like it was under filled. I had to keep lighting it and it did not produce much smoke.
Is there anyone that can recommend a cigar that is similar to a real authentic Cuban…I have tried The Siglo and the Cohiba black…I’m not fond of the Siglo the Cohiba was OK…..I have smoked other cigars at a lower price that are much better than both of these…