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Old 05-05-2004   #1 (permalink)
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"Cuban" cigars?

An observation: The Cuban cigars I have bought in London have been excellent smokes, even my wife, a non-smoker, has enjoyed puffing on them. On the other hand, the ones I've bought in Mexico; at our AI in Puerto Vallerta and at a little shop on 5th Ave, were not good at all.
Were these fakes, or poorly stored, and is there a reputable shop in PDC to patronize on future trips? 10 1/2 months and dreaming of our return!

Last edited by Mexivoof; 05-05-2004 at 06:52 AM..
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Old 05-05-2004   #2 (permalink)
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Using the advanced search on the words "cuban cigars" yielded a number of previous threads that discuss this subject. Below are 3 to get you started --- simply click on the title to read the thread:

Cuban Cigars
Cuban Cigars
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Old 05-05-2004   #3 (permalink)
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Chances are that the ones that you bought in PDC were fakes. In my travels, I have found it very difficult to find real Cubans, and there are a number of ways to find out, but none of which are quick. I will say, however, in my experience that not all Cubans cigars are top of the line. That's like saying that all French wine or all German beer is the best made. So choose wisely, and even if you find a real one, it still may not be very good. But oh, the ones that are....

I made it a priority while in PDC to sniff out real Cubans. What I found was nearly every place I went sold what I would classify as "suspect"- places where Cubans were supposedly sold where their authenticity could not be verified. Often, the clerks had no idea of what was a Cuban and what wasn't, and had no idea about cigars in general. Clearly, they are hedging that you don't know enough about cigars to know the difference.

The one thing most important to look for while Cuban cigar hunting is an unbroken Government of Cuba seal. Generally, you will only find these on 3-packs or sealed boxes, but an unbroken seal is generally the best clue they are real. Secondly, no Cuban I have ever had is under $US15. Some of them go double that, easy. Prepare to pay. And as a rule, Cuban cigars are amongst the strongest cigars made. If you like your cigars mild, a Cuban will probably knock your socks off. Stick with a Te Amo if you like mild, they are a decent Mexican cigar and can be found in abundance in PDC.

One thing I wanted to do when I got back from PDC was plug the one place I went to get cigars every day after I found the real deal. I wish I would have run into them sooner! The place is called Casa Partagas and it was right on 5th, a block or so past Sur I think. There are 2 of these stores within about 2 blocks of each other, but it was the farthest north of all the cigar shops on 5th that I was impressed with. The lady was very knowledgable about cigars, spoke excellent English, and had an abundance of cigars that I could verify as real Cubans. They had all their Cubans in a large walk-in humidor. The shop was almost like a high-end boutique, and I knew not to even bother haggling. Her prices were as good on Cubans as I have seen.

I bought a Romeo y Julieta torpedo 3-pack for about $45, which I found to be a very good price for cigars of that caliber. I also had a couple of Montcristo #2's, the king of Cuban cigars, for about a good $5-6 cheaper than I found in Canada. I recommend this one very highly.

If you do your homework on what to look for, there are very good deals to be had on Cubans. Hope this helps.
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Old 05-05-2004   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Terrawolf
Clearly, they are hedging that you don't know enough about cigars to know the difference.
or, more clearly, they are the typical Mexican shop workers. Unempowered and have never smoked a cigar in their lives.

The shops that have been around a while sell real Cubans. (The fakes are Cubans too)

The biggest problem will be poor storage.
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