When it's not alright to pass a "Cuban" cigar

Ginseng

Banned
Fellow CigarPass members, I've recently become aware of an increase in the transmission of counterfeit Cuban cigars. Fakes are being passed in trades, sales, and bombs. In all the cases that have been brought to my attention, those passing the fakes were new members or members with little critical experience with Cuban cigars. One bright spot is that in none of the cases was there apparent ill intent.

Is the number of fakes in circulation actually increasing? Or could this simply be a consequence of better detection and awareness? It's likely to be a little of both. However, I think that there is a strong possibility that this is a real effect especially as compared to 10 or even 5 years ago. The growing number of internet retailers peddling fakes is the most likely reason behind an increase in the number of counterfeits in the hands of the unwary.

Now in regard to the question posed in the title of this post, let me offer this guideline for discussion and debate.

When is it NOT alright to give out a "Cuban" cigar?
1. When you do not know without a doubt that the cigars in question are authentic Cuban cigars. The risk is higher if:

1a. You don't don't know what that particular Cuban cigar should look like or taste like.
1b. You have not verified the authenticity by smoking (if you have experience with the genuine article.)
1c. You bought it from a vendor that you have not confirmed is trustworthy by consulting several experienced members.
1d. You received it in trade or in a bomb and the giver cannot or will not satisfactorily verify their authenticity or provenance.

If any of the above conditions apply or if you have even the slightest doubt or concern, DO NOT SEND THE STICK OUT.

Moki recently posted this related and informative thread, Advice for Cuban Cigar Buyers and I'd suggest that all of those new to the world of Cuban cigars visit there for more complete guidance on sourcing or rather non-sourcing.

Wilkey
 

coyote_5

New Member
If you are going to delve into this arena, the members on this site are great resources, use them.
I don't doubt that a bit :) But I have to say, every post I've seen asking about cubans is shot down but quickly.... just sayin. And I totally understand because it's always noobs (like me) who aren't known from Adam.

Anyway, my only point is that I don't question the vast knowledge of the great members here, but the advice doesn't seem to easy to come by.

Hell, I'm just trying to get through all the NC's I accumulated since I got here. heh. :laugh:
 

drew_goring

Big Bad Mother F*cker!
If you are going to delve into this arena, the members on this site are great resources, use them.
I don't doubt that a bit :) But I have to say, every post I've seen asking about cubans is shot down but quickly.... just sayin. And I totally understand because it's always noobs (like me) who aren't known from Adam.

Anyway, my only point is that I don't question the vast knowledge of the great members here, but the advice doesn't seem to easy to come by.

Hell, I'm just trying to get through all the NC's I accumulated since I got here. heh. :laugh:
It is the site's policy not to OPENLY discuss cuban sources. :rolleyes:
 

Infinity

Infinity - *Unbounded space, time, or quantity*
If you are going to delve into this arena, the members on this site are great resources, use them.
I don't doubt that a bit :) But I have to say, every post I've seen asking about cubans is shot down but quickly.... just sayin. And I totally understand because it's always noobs (like me) who aren't known from Adam.

Anyway, my only point is that I don't question the vast knowledge of the great members here, but the advice doesn't seem to easy to come by.

Hell, I'm just trying to get through all the NC's I accumulated since I got here. heh. :laugh:
Nice to see someone asking and answering their own posts (in the same post) ;) :laugh:

Brian
 

AngryFishH

Official Big Fish
So please send all of your "supposed" cubans to Wilkey immediately for examination and inspection.

I will personally volunteer to one of his remote taste testers to see if the butts were real or just a dog rocket in disguise. It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it. :D

Fish
 
If you are going to delve into this arena, the members on this site are great resources, use them.
I don't doubt that a bit :) But I have to say, every post I've seen asking about cubans is shot down but quickly.... just sayin. And I totally understand because it's always noobs (like me) who aren't known from Adam.

Anyway, my only point is that I don't question the vast knowledge of the great members here, but the advice doesn't seem to easy to come by.

Hell, I'm just trying to get through all the NC's I accumulated since I got here. heh. :laugh:
Just because the information about where to get Cubans doesn't mean that there isn't good info on spotting and avoiding fakes. There are several members here who have a vast knowledge of many of these cigars and often with patience, politeness, and just a smidgen of humility, they feel very comfortable with spreading it in order to help others out. The help is there. :thumbs:
 

Swissy

R.I.P. big guy.... see you over the bridge
well said Wilkey!

And fully agreed with. It's amazing what you can learn here by 1) reading (search is your friend...) and 2) PM'ing with established members. Until I found my home here at CP I wondered what all the fuss was about... until I realized all those fancy 'Coobans' I smoked while on vacation overseas were in fact fakes.
 

PSU OpusX

Member
I thank Wilkey for his time and dedication into helping us all out when it comes to eductation us about Cubans.
Next time you're in the Philadelphia area, please let me know. I would love for you to come over and perform and audit of my stock. I just hope I don't break down a cry if it is found that I have fakes. :laugh:
 

coyote_5

New Member
If you are going to delve into this arena, the members on this site are great resources, use them.
I don't doubt that a bit :) But I have to say, every post I've seen asking about cubans is shot down but quickly.... just sayin. And I totally understand because it's always noobs (like me) who aren't known from Adam.

Anyway, my only point is that I don't question the vast knowledge of the great members here, but the advice doesn't seem to easy to come by.

Hell, I'm just trying to get through all the NC's I accumulated since I got here. heh. :laugh:
Nice to see someone asking and answering their own posts (in the same post) ;) :laugh:

Brian
:p Asked and answered! I reckon I shoulda been a lawyer ;)
 

mmburtch

Sleep deprived and cranky
So, this thread and a couple of other things got me to thinking about my abilities. When I had joined this Forum, I was fairly new to buying Cuban Cigars, and still am. I was still of the mindset that the Cubans produced the best cigars in the world, with impeccable quality. The quality of the cigars I had, sure didn't match up with the research I had done, which it turns out was dated. I have since learned that the quality is no longer what it had been cracked up to be. One of the first things I did here as a noob was to ask a FOG to validate my source. Fortunately, I was told that the source I had used was legit.

Yesterday, I smoked a Cuaba. As I smoked it, I found myself enjoying that flavor that only Cuban cigars have, and realizing that I could identify it.

So, today, I pulled out a known fake that I had been gifted (Cohiba 35th). Now, I knew it was a fake, which I'm sure tainted my experience, but I tried to ignore hearsay and concentrate on the facts. The band was wrong and the bunching seemed concentric, but not enough so that I would have instantly been suspicious. If I didn't know ahead of time I would have been likely to believe it was real. The big give aways were in smell and flavor. When I opened the baggie, there was an ammonia smell that just wasn't right. Next came the trial by fire. The first couple of draws were nasty. After that, the flavor wasn't horrible, I've had worse cigars. What wasn't there however was the flavor of a Cuban. There were moments, when I thought maybe there was Cuban tobacco in the mix, but I'm pretty sure it was just my mind playing tricks on me. I stopped after about an inch, having had enough, and dissected the remains.



The wrapper and binder were of decent quality. The bunching was mostly concentric, with mostly long filler. There was some short filler towards the center. The big yuck was a couple of long filler leaves in the center that were nearly black. I could see the black leaves in the head, but don't recal seeing them in the foot.

I cleansed my pallet with a PSD4 and instantly experienced that flavor that I was looking for, and knew I hadn't found it in the fake.

In conclusion, I know that I don't have the skills to visually identify a fake. I have a fairly good ability to discern the proper flavor in Cuban tobacco, but that doesn't necessarily help if it is a fake made with Cuban tobacco. Thus I know just enough to be dangerous.

I strongly recommend to the other noobs out there, KNOW YOUR SOURCE. There are plenty of sources out there on the World Wide Web, some legit and many not. When you consider that at the very least these companies are willing to ship contraband into the US, it's not a huge leap to see them bending elsewhere. Make yourself known here, then ask nicely, and privately to have your source verified. Very few people on this board will respond to "where can I buy", but most will give a thumbs up or down to someone who is actively participating in the forum.
 

AngryFishH

Official Big Fish
So, this thread and a couple of other things got me to thinking about my abilities. When I had joined this Forum, I was fairly new to buying Cuban Cigars, and still am. I was still of the mindset that the Cubans produced the best cigars in the world, with impeccable quality. The quality of the cigars I had, sure didn't match up with the research I had done, which it turns out was dated. I have since learned that the quality is no longer what it had been cracked up to be. One of the first things I did here as a noob was to ask a FOG to validate my source. Fortunately, I was told that the source I had used was legit.

Yesterday, I smoked a Cuaba. As I smoked it, I found myself enjoying that flavor that only Cuban cigars have, and realizing that I could identify it.

So, today, I pulled out a known fake that I had been gifted (Cohiba 35th). Now, I knew it was a fake, which I'm sure tainted my experience, but I tried to ignore hearsay and concentrate on the facts. The band was wrong and the bunching seemed concentric, but not enough so that I would have instantly been suspicious. If I didn't know ahead of time I would have been likely to believe it was real. The big give aways were in smell and flavor. When I opened the baggie, there was an ammonia smell that just wasn't right. Next came the trial by fire. The first couple of draws were nasty. After that, the flavor wasn't horrible, I've had worse cigars. What wasn't there however was the flavor of a Cuban. There were moments, when I thought maybe there was Cuban tobacco in the mix, but I'm pretty sure it was just my mind playing tricks on me. I stopped after about an inch, having had enough, and dissected the remains.



The wrapper and binder were of decent quality. The bunching was mostly concentric, with mostly long filler. There was some short filler towards the center. The big yuck was a couple of long filler leaves in the center that were nearly black. I could see the black leaves in the head, but don't recal seeing them in the foot.

I cleansed my pallet with a PSD4 and instantly experienced that flavor that I was looking for, and knew I hadn't found it in the fake.

In conclusion, I know that I don't have the skills to visually identify a fake. I have a fairly good ability to discern the proper flavor in Cuban tobacco, but that doesn't necessarily help if it is a fake made with Cuban tobacco. Thus I know just enough to be dangerous.

I strongly recommend to the other noobs out there, KNOW YOUR SOURCE. There are plenty of sources out there on the World Wide Web, some legit and many not. When you consider that at the very least these companies are willing to ship contraband into the US, it's not a huge leap to see them bending elsewhere. Make yourself known here, then ask nicely, and privately to have your source verified. Very few people on this board will respond to "where can I buy", but most will give a thumbs up or down to someone who is actively participating in the forum.
Great write-up!
 

Burnt Tongue

No Tastebuds...
I don't think they should be passed as gifts or in bombs, or for that matter in passes that occur in the US. Because they are illeagal there are some in the US who would prefer to not have them in their humidors.

They should be acquired by those who want them and not given to those you are not sure want them. For some people the law is the law and they don't bend the rules even for cigars. This may seem a little trite to some but where do you draw the line on laws? Cheat a little on your taxes? Purchase fireworks where they're illeagal? Take pens, pencils and paper home from work for you personal use? Take a towel from the hotel?

I am not saying I am perfect and don't make an occasional slip of discression. I just thought I would put down a different position as food for thought.
 

jfields

Where did all my money go?
Thought with all the recent newbs joining since spring, that this might be a good time to bump Wilkeys thread.
 
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