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Cigar Review: Nat Cicco HHB 56

2 Jul 2013

If you’ve heard of Nat Cicco Cigars, it’s most likely for the “Rejects” value-oriented lines. Lately, though, the company has been moving into the more exclusive end of the market.

Nat-Cicco-HHBTheir most ambitious move to date is the Nat Cicco HHB, about which the company brags, “Just compare it… Especially to Cuba’s Cohiba Behike.” That’s quite a suggestion considering the Cohiba Behike is considered by many to be one of the finest cigars made, and it commands an astronomical $40 (or more) price.

At least before smoking one, there are plenty of similarities to the the most expensive widely distributed cigar in the world. Like the Cuban Behike, the HHB features a gold and black band, a black lacquer flip top box of ten, a high price (although the HHB only runs $14), and it comes in three sizes built around ring gauges of 52, 54, and 56. (Not to mention HHB is sufficiently similar to the BHK moniker Behike goes by.)

I smoked three of the 56-ring gauge variety for this review, which runs 6.25 inches in length and has a closed foot. Like the Behike, it has a pigtail cap and a Cuban triple-cap. The Ecuadorian wrapper, which surrounds Nicaraguan filler and binder tobaccos, is nearly flawless with shine, making for an excellent-looking cigar.

Enough about presentation. Fancy looks and packaging are easy to do when the price is more than a 3D movie ticket. The important question is: How does it smoke? The answer is pretty well. Pleasant, balanced, and mellow are all adjectives that come to mind. It’s not super complex, but it does feature mild- to medium-bodied roast peanut, cedar, and cream notes that stay uniform. And construction is flawless with an even burn, sturdy ash, and good draw. I could definitely see myself lighting one up on a weekend morning with the paper and a good cup of coffee.

Nat Cicco’s corporate owner Zander-Greg wants me to “just compare it” to Behike, so here goes: While there are some similarities, you won’t confuse this with the richer, more complex Cuban. What is similar is that, like the Behike, it’s a good cigar but hard to justify due to the price.

Despite the over-the-top comparisons, this is an admirable effort for a company not known for super-premium cigars. And while it would be easier to recommend if it was $5 cheaper, it still earns a most respectable rating of three and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]

-Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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