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Cuban Cigars


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#1 rambus

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 06:49 PM

Hello Fellow Absinthe'rs!

I'm heading to Cuba in February and, I must admit I'm rather uneducated about Cigars. Beyond hunting down Hemmingway haunts for absinthe I was hoping to head to a few Cigar factories. What Cuban brands would you recommend checking out during my trip? And what brands do you think are worth picking up (price wise) while I'm there?

Thanks a bunch.
"Got tight last night on absinthe and did knife tricks" -Ernest Hemingway

#2 Brian Robinson

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 07:00 PM

Cigar Afficionado ranked the following Cuban cigars as some of the best of 2008:

Juan Lopez Seleccion 2 - Robusto
San Cristobal De La Habana - Corona gorda
Romeo Y Julieta Short Churchill - Robusto
H. Upmann Sir Winston - Churchill
Bolivar Belicoso Fino - Figurado

And don't forget Montecristo as well. Although none of theirs made the top 25 cigars of 2008, they are a perennial powerhouse of good sticks.
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#3 elfnmagik

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 04:46 AM

And remember, jest 'cause your in Kooba, doesn't mean you can't get ripped off with fakes. Be wary of street sales, especially near the rolling rooms.
"I really like depriving myself of things. It's fun! Very monastic." - Kosmo

#4 elfnmagik

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 05:24 AM

Here's some info, and here. There used to be an "Ultimate Primer", but it seems the links are broken and it's gone.

General tips are:

1. If they're being sold out the back door, even by a torcedor, more than likely they're fakes.

2. If they are cheap, they're fakes. Real Cohiba Esplendidos can go for around $350-$400. This still doesn't necessarily guarantee they're real though.

3. Do some homework (a lot) and familiarize yourself with what to look for. It's about the only assurance you can have and then there's still no gaurantee. Fakes in Cuba is BIG business.
"I really like depriving myself of things. It's fun! Very monastic." - Kosmo

#5 Butch Onufrak

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 05:40 AM

I like the Romeos a lot, they are very good.
The few real Cohibas I have had were awesome but
to me not worth the big bucks they are bringing.

#6 elfnmagik

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 08:08 AM

Romeos are in the same boat.
"I really like depriving myself of things. It's fun! Very monastic." - Kosmo

#7 Mat B.

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 08:42 AM

Worse to worse, I know a guy who can get them for you. He is an importer and deals in boxes of cigars, but he'll get em to you with no trouble. PM me if interested. He's a good guy and I use him a lot. Good for Cuban coffee as well ;)
"I will show you something different from either Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you; I will show you fear in a handful of dust."
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“…and it’s appropriate to serve them, as long as you serve them appropriately.”
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#8 rambus

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 12:12 PM

Worse to worse, I know a guy who can get them for you. He is an importer and deals in boxes of cigars, but he'll get em to you with no trouble. PM me if interested. He's a good guy and I use him a lot. Good for Cuban coffee as well ;)


I'm a Canadian so no need to be sneaky :) (that is buying Cuban cigars here is legal)

I've read about the issues of fake cigars (and rum) sold to unwitting tourists, my hope was to go to the rolling factories of a couple producers and buy them direct. I've also heard that prices are drastically lower then buying them in Canada.

familiarize yourself with what to look for.


Right, I think thats great advice. I will take a good deep look the links you provided

@Brian Robinson - That seems like a great list to work from, I will take a look at the locations of those factories in relation to where I'm staying :)

Thanks for all the great advice already!
"Got tight last night on absinthe and did knife tricks" -Ernest Hemingway

#9 elfnmagik

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 12:29 PM

my hope was to go to the rolling factories of a couple producers and buy them direct.


Not a good idea, IMO. Goverment stores are though.
"I really like depriving myself of things. It's fun! Very monastic." - Kosmo

#10 rambus

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 11:41 PM

What is wrong with buying them from the companies rolling factories? I would image that would have the very least chance of getting stuck with cheap fakes.
"Got tight last night on absinthe and did knife tricks" -Ernest Hemingway

#11 elfnmagik

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 05:31 AM

Most of the scams are right out the back door by the rollers (torcedors).
"I really like depriving myself of things. It's fun! Very monastic." - Kosmo

#12 rambus

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 11:36 AM

After I did some research the back door roller 'scams' are usually cigar 2nds- which cannot be exported.

I ended up buying my sticks from government stores and now I'm a happy camper.

Edit:

Cuban Rum is my new mistress.
"Got tight last night on absinthe and did knife tricks" -Ernest Hemingway

#13 Brian Robinson

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 11:45 AM

Which rums you get to try?
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#14 rambus

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 12:03 PM

I brought many of the bottles home with me :)

I don't know the names off of the top of my head (and I'm in my office right now). I'll post a list of the Rums I brought back when I get home.

..Of course I tried: White, 3, 7 and 15 year Havana club among many others
"Got tight last night on absinthe and did knife tricks" -Ernest Hemingway

#15 tayker

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 03:37 PM

The Cuban Monte Cristos are pretty good. Picked some up in Dubai, UAE years ago.
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#16 techdiver

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 03:53 PM

Might want to check this out. Trinidad Robusto Extra is current high rated Cuban.

#17 pt447

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 04:16 PM

I've only had one Cuban. It was a few years back and I don't remember the brand. All I know is it was a gorgeous night in Maryland. I was fishing at night with some friends. And the cigar lasted upwards of an hour and a half! It was the smoothest, most delicious cigar I've had except for Rocky Patel 12s!
Life is moist and stinky


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