Some notes about Cuban cigars

CigSid

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The Cuban economy is in a bad state. Over the past five years it has been hit hard by the U.S. embargo of Venezuela (which undercuts Caracas’ ability to provide badly needed external support)

Although China has assumed a significant role in the Cuban economy through trade and investment and the forgiveness of USD $10 billion in debt, it has not demonstrated an appetite to bankroll Cuba’s dysfunctional system

China’s Venezuelan experience did not leave Beijing hungry for sinking large sums of money into another badly managed economy.

Beijing appears to have little interest and Russia cannot afford it.

Cuban tobacco takes between 18 and 24 months from harvest to production. So, if your box is stamped RAT 21, the tobacco inside is likely to have been plucked from the fields sometime around 2018


Cuban Cigars Crops

(2013–14, 2014–15 and 2015–16) were considered to be of mediocre quality with reduced quantities of tobacco.

2016, 2017, early 2018 boxes

2017 bad harvest... flooding was bad... try to avoid 2019 boxes

Late 2018 through the present, they went old school... because of the effects of the embargo, and the state of the economy, little fuel, pesticides, and fertilizer...

This is why the 21 and 22 boxes are so good, but very limited quantities.

These boxes just now showing up, and are really good... I can’t remember the last time I opened a box and smelled ammonia...


Five types of leaves: a leaf that is called ligero, which is the one that gives strength in the cigar; another leaf that is called seco, the one with the aroma; another leaf is called volado, which is in charge of the combustion inside the cigar. It is followed by the binder (viso) that wraps the ligero, seco, and volado. And the last leaf is the wrapper, which is a premium selection of seco. The fifth type of tobacco is medio tiempo, a rare leaf on the very top of the plant, which is used in ultra premium cigars such as the Behike.


D0EE7842-5012-4758-A013-9C5DE17D4A95.jpeg



The heartland of Cuban cigar production is in Pinar del Río, the westernmost province of the island, where 70% of premium cigar tobacco is grown.


It is the soil where it is grown, the climate of the region where it is grown, the manual labor, and the variety of black tobacco used, but mostly the “lack” of malic acid (the same organic compound that makes green apples taste sour) is what distinguishes Cuban cigars from the cigars from the rest of the world.
 
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kann

One Leg Of Fury.
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Apr 29, 2011
Messages
7,719
I was literally just explaining the malic acid thing to someone yesterday. I wish I would have remembered your green apple relationship -- it would have helped it make much more sense. Another great write up, Bill!
 

Darin

Well-Known Member
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Nov 21, 2021
Messages
390
Good info on the crop years ... thanks!
Just FYI, the Seco and Viso are switched in that picture.
 

robustojoe

New Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2022
Messages
4
The Cuban economy is in a bad state. Over the past five years it has been hit hard by the U.S. embargo of Venezuela (which undercuts Caracas’ ability to provide badly needed external support)

Although China has assumed a significant role in the Cuban economy through trade and investment and the forgiveness of USD $10 billion in debt, it has not demonstrated an appetite to bankroll Cuba’s dysfunctional system

China’s Venezuelan experience did not leave Beijing hungry for sinking large sums of money into another badly managed economy.

Beijing appears to have little interest and Russia cannot afford it.

Cuban tobacco takes between 18 and 24 months from harvest to production. So, if your box is stamped RAT 21, the tobacco inside is likely to have been plucked from the fields sometime around 2018


Cuban Cigars Crops

(2013–14, 2014–15 and 2015–16) were considered to be of mediocre quality with reduced quantities of tobacco.

2016, 2017, early 2018 boxes

2017 bad harvest... flooding was bad... try to avoid 2019 boxes

Late 2018 through the present, they went old school... because of the effects of the embargo, and the state of the economy, little fuel, pesticides, and fertilizer...

This is why the 21 and 22 boxes are so good, but very limited quantities.

These boxes just now showing up, and are really good... I can’t remember the last time I opened a box and smelled ammonia...


Five types of leaves: a leaf that is called ligero, which is the one that gives strength in the cigar; another leaf that is called seco, the one with the aroma; another leaf is called volado, which is in charge of the combustion inside the cigar. It is followed by the binder (viso) that wraps the ligero, seco, and volado. And the last leaf is the wrapper, which is a premium selection of seco. The fifth type of tobacco is medio tiempo, a rare leaf on the very top of the plant, which is used in ultra premium cigars such as the Behike.


View attachment 54765



The heartland of Cuban cigar production is in Pinar del Río, the westernmost province of the island, where 70% of premium cigar tobacco is grown.


It is the soil where it is grown, the climate of the region where it is grown, the manual labor, and the variety of black tobacco used, but mostly the “lack” of malic acid (the same organic compound that makes green apples taste sour) is what distinguishes Cuban cigars from the cigars from the rest of the world.
Thanks for the info. I'm probably just slow to understand but could you please clarify the relationship between harvest or crop year and box code? The way I read it a box code from '21 (good) would likely have been a harvest year around '19, which is not good. Thanks

Nevermind.... I reread closely and got it. thanks again.
 
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