Fakes, seconds or what?

Neal

New Member
#1
my daughter just came back from Cuba and brought me back a couple of boxes of cigars. I had asked her for R&J wide Churchill’s and monte 2’s.Before she left I told her to buy only at LCDH-and nowhere else. But alas, she was in a “gift shop” in Cifuentes that was selling many different types of cigars for 200 cuc’s per box and bought a box each of what she thought were wide Churchill’s and monte 2’s.

Neither box was dated nor coded; the seals on both boxes had not been broken; the colors of the cigars in both boxes were not as consistent as they should be but not dramatically so; there were slight blemishes here and there; not all the bands were lined up; and the caps on many of the cigars (all of which were pyramids) had slight bulges. The R&J logo covered only 1/3 of the cover and the rest was white; the monte2 printing looked good.

The R&J’s of course were not wide Churchill’s as they were pyramid shaped, and were too long and wide to be belicosos. They were however the exact size as the R&J Anejados that I have in my humidor. The monte 2’s were more consistent except for the bulges in the cap.

Upon smoking them, I was stunned at not only at how good they were, but how consistent they were with the “real” thing as I did a comparison with those in my humidor. The only difference I could detect was that the Anejado shaped R&J’s did not have that full aged nutty taste. Otherwise they fit the profile very well as did the monte 2’s.

Obviously theses are not ‘regular” production. Normally I would think they were seconds, but I didn’t think there were Cuban seconds.

Any thoughts?
 

CigSid

Love this place...
#2
You answered your own question... they are obviously fakes. The good thing is... you enjoyed them!

They were purchased in Cuba, so most likely Cuban tobacco. They “could” have hair, rat feces or other undesirable contents rolled with the tobacco. (Very common for factory workers to sweep up the floors and keep the scraps and everything else that was in the trash) What I would do? Cut up a few from each box and carefully examine the contents. If it is just tobacco, smoke away... if you see any nasties, then throw away :)
 

jfields

Where did all my money go?
#4
Bill pretty well covered it Neal. Any chance you can post any pictures? You have my curiosity piqued.

I’ve disposed of the majority of my fake Cuban cigars, but I did keep one box. They smoke pretty damn well and the tobacco was not garbage from what I could see when I dissected a couple. I really enjoy them when I’m out in the yard, want a good smoke, but don’t want to feel guilty about being wasteful.
 

BlindedByScience

Proud Father of a brave U.S. Marine
#5
Bill covered the subject perfectly. Only thing I'll add is some Cuban "fakes" are actually pretty darn good farm rolled smokes, while some have unmentionable filth contained inside. Bill nailed it; cut a couple open and examine the contents. If it looks reasonable, enjoy them for what they are....which is a pretty good smoke.
 

Neal

New Member
#6
Took up CigSid on his advice to cut a few open and examine. The good news is they were all “clean” of foreign substances. However, the “R&J’s”were all made with short fillers. The “monte 2’s were all made with long fillers.
 

EricDriscoll

CRA Ambassador # 175966
#7
It's tough with all the fakes running around Cuba however I'd agree that most rolled would be scraps or lesser tobacco. The only time I've bought non brand "Farm" cigars is at a farm where they were rolling the cigars on site. Still to question if tobacco was at said farm however you can inspect firsthand at least. Also blends are what they are so you get good and bad. Price was well worth the venture and smoking farms cigars from Havana is fun.
 

zeemanb

Well-Known Member
#8
HEY GUYS! My buddies have a friend who knows a guy in Havana that sends him these boxes. He gets them before they even leave the factory....check out the sticker and tax stamp so you know you aren't being ripped off! No box code compared to my Monte 4's...who wants to advertise what factory is giving them such a deal? Unheard of connection for this sweet of a setup...

But seriously, the funniest thing about it is the guy gifting them is a pretty infamous fellow in the local "construction" industry. Nice guy, loves my friends restaurants, and they will continue to accept these genuine Cubans very graciously even though they apparently smoke like the ones awaiting you whenever your cruise ship docs. I'm sure as hell not going to be the one to go Antiques Roadshow on him and deconstruct his gems.

The embellishments in the 1st paragraph are mine...when they sent me the photos my brain just automatically filled in the backstory.

IMG_29251.jpg IMG_29351.jpg
 

CigSid

Love this place...
#13
Very good if thats the case...
@CigSid have you ever seen anything this good?
Paul, I have seen just about every fake there is, and have purchased my fair share in the past... these are pretty good fakes. I would run the serial number to see what you get, and maybe cut up a few cigars to make sure these are not from the rolling room floors (with hair, rat and mice feces and other nasties)
 

zeemanb

Well-Known Member
#14
Paul, I have seen just about every fake there is, and have purchased my fair share in the past... these are pretty good fakes. I would run the serial number to see what you get, and maybe cut up a few cigars to make sure these are not from the rolling room floors (with hair, rat and mice feces and other nasties)
I do wish they'd taken my advice and sacrificed at least one to cut it open for inspection. I haven't had time to get down there and check them out myself, but I've got them accustomed enough to decent cigars to know when they have a bad one. I don't know if they were hair and poop-level bad, but were not pleasant. The cigars themselves were what really threw me at first in the photos, pretty nice looking.
 

zeemanb

Well-Known Member
#15
So my friends received their 3rd gift box of the same Monte 2's last night, and I did get the serial number and checked it on the Habanos site. The serial number definitely comes up, but is associated with a box of RyJ Mille Fleurs. So now I'm curious to see if subsequent boxes have an identical number because they're all copies, or if they're just labels that have been stolen for reuse at some point. Every single box is the same...no box code, and the seals/labels are all placed inside the box with the paper backing. Planning to grab a couple later this week, one to dissect and one to smoke unless I find Jimmy Hoffa's bones in the first stick.
 
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