View Full Version : Cuban vs Non-Cuban
I will soon have the oportunity to sample my first Cuban cigars. Don't ask me how or why. In particular I will be comparing Havana Romeo and Julieta's with those from the Dominican Republic. For those who are familiar with the Cubans: Are they THAT much better? I realize that this has historically been the rule, but according to people I know and articles I have read, that might not be the case any longer. I'll be sure to post some notes soon.
Jeff, I began diligently/enthusiastically smoking cigars in the late 80's...back before the big "craze" in the mid '90's. A friend of mine owns a shop, so I have been around them as well for quite some time. The thing I tell novice smokers or those you have smoked mild (usually dominican or connecticut shade leaf wrapper) is that Cuban may not be better for them. Aside, from the nice construction of Cuban rolled cigars, Cubans are very full flavored generally, and many times overwhelms some people. They trully can't appreciate the full flavor of the cigar, because for them....it is just too damn strong! http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif ...Just how I like them...and my bourbon! http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/laugh.gif The only real drawback for Cubans I've found are 1) Sometimes have a draw that is TOO tight, 2) Availability, 3) Price. FYI: Alot of fakes out there..Chances are: If the price was too good, probably not real! Anyway, there are alot of great cigars today that are affordable in many different strengths from Dominican, Honduran, Nicaraguan, etc.. See ya, H'wood http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/cool.gif
Ahh, Cubans. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/laugh.gif
Actually, I am not a cigar smoker, but I have a few in my time. I did have one for $20 Canadian in Toronto in the summer of 99 while at a sales meeting in the height of the Internet craze. Man, those were the days.
How was the cigar? Heck, I am a novice, but it was stronger than most I had smoked. Of course, I was drinking bourbon that night and with the cigar, I had quite a hard time getting out of bed the next morning (afternoon?). Of course, I know you are supposed to puff and not inhale, but that's hard for a novice putting down alot of bourbon while having one of the best parties of his life.
Jeff, Just another thought to my last post...Concerning the Romeo's you will be comparing...I have had many Romeo Cubans (most Churchills), and they have a great taste...and for a Cuban cigar they are medium+ as far as Cubans are concerned. A very nice cuban to try for the first time! http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif Good luck, and enjoy! See ya, H'wood http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/cool.gif P.S. Not a cuban, but if you find you like full bodied smokes, the Opus X by Fuente are excellant/and expensive.
I've never smoked a cuban or had a cuban on my person because they are illegal to have or buy in the US unless they are pre embargo cigars. With that being said http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif .... from the research I have conducted, you can get as many flavor profiles with cubans as you can of any other country of origin.
Some feel the price is a little high but I have found there is'nt much difference in a quality cuban smoke compared to any other cigar of similar quality. Some brands are very costly and unless your an experianced cigar smoker you most likely would'nt enjoy the flavor profile or appreciate the subtle flavors of the higher priced sticks.
From what I hear the aroma of a genuine habana might remind you of a leisurely walk around the barnyard. In comparasion to Dominicans, Hondurans and Nicaraquan cigars....I find that familar type of aroma to equal a pretty tastey flavorful experiance in non cuban cigars as well.
Its kind of like bourbon, drink what you like and like what you drink. Its your money. If the embargo was to end tomorrow I think I would probably try the Saint Luis Rey petit corona for an everyday smoke and maybe the Partegas series D # 4 for that evening smoke with a bourbon.
Of course this is just my oppinion and I am sure there will be many others posted here.
I've been bitten by the Havana bug. I've still not smoked a huge number, but I've had 20 or so different varieties, and have absolutely adored most. IMO, there's a richness of flavor (often referred to as "twang", though I don't find it twangy) in the Cubans that you just don't find in others. My personal favorite is the Punch Punch, followed by Bolivar Petit Coronas. Bolivar Belicoso Finos are also extremely nice, as are Cohiba Siglo IIs. I've only had one Cuban R&J, and was not terribly impressed with it....but it was also of slightly dubious origin, so may not have been the real thing. On the "bargain" Cuban end, Fonsecas are quite nice.
I also don't think of them so much as better, but as different. There's a definite Cuban flavor profile...think of it more like comparing Tennessee Whiskey to Bourbon. Different.
As much as I hate to admit it, I am not sophisticated enough to critically discriminate between good Cuban and good non-Cuban cigars. I sometimes get a nicotine buzz, from anything bigger than double corona with the Cubans and that doesn't happen with any others. I think there is an earthiness and balance of flavors that are not in the equivalent non-Cuban. I agree with others. If you like'm smoke'm. Try as many different profiles as you can, than pick a few favorites.
I haven't settled, but the R&J's are very good. I like the Cedros.
P'Cycle, Speaking of R&J's, I just opened my UPS package containing a box of Romeo churchills, and a box of LaGloria churchills...Not my favorites, but tasty never the less! http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif I ordered these 50 to fill my "new" humidor from X-mas. It holds approximately 300 churchills http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/laugh.gif ...I have three other humidors holding about 40-50 apiece...they weren't getting the job done, and besides I've always wanted one of those "Big A__" humidors where you could really age some sticks! I do have a few of the cedros you spoke of in one of my smaller boxes...they do have a nice flavor. See ya, H'wood http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/cool.gif
Cigars are like rabbits. You gotta have ones for today and ones for next month and ones for next year. They just keep multiplying. The good news is that they're worth at least as much as when I bought them (instead of buying some now worthless .com stock) I should have bought more back then.
One word Ed. Padron. Cuban cigars shudder when they hear that name. Padron Ambassadors. Maduro. If you like Cuban Montecristo's you'll love Padrons. From Nicaragua. Lay down the Curchills and back away! - Linn
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(instead of buying some now worthless .com stock) I should have bought more back then
No kidding. I am taking the final loss on my 5K investment in technology on this years returns. When I think of the cigars and bourbon I could have had with that money...On the bright side, watching my money disappear has greatly contributed to my bourbon consumption. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif
Cuban cigars are regional flavor. They tend to be heavier smokes. The soil in cuba is bright red, that indicates very heavy mineral content. It gives the cuban wrappers a certain distinct flavor, that says, "I am a cuban!." I loved havanas, whenever I had them, but many times a conneticut wrapper was good enough. Enjoy your cuban stash!
Took your advice and raided the humidor at Liquor Barn for a couple of Padrons. For the price, I like the the 5000M. For overall quality, I was blown away by Anniversarie edition belicosa. Thanks for the lead. Paired these with Weller Centennial and Old Fitz 1843 late last night.
ACK! You paired Padrons with wheaters???? http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/confused.gif Oh! The humanity! Glad you like 'em Ed. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/cool.gif - Linn
This is an old thread, but let me clear some confusion. The cuban cigars have not gone down, since the embargo. They are just as good as ever. Bar none, no other area of production have been able to match the cuban creamy feel and intense flavor. For those, who smoke cubans often. No other cigars can compare. I find Nic and Hon to be dry, when they are smooth, but when not dry they are harsh. Only Dominicans are as smooth, but lack the intense flavor. There are ways to get real habanos in the US. But that is a private matter, not to be discussed on an open forum. The only cigars, that I smoke are habanos and dominicans. 'Just like cubans' come on! And the glory of cuba is passed. Not from what I'm tasting. Even the Punch Rare Corojo is flat and just heavy on my palate. For lighter flavor, I smoke dominicans http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif, but for some substance, always a cuban! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif E-mail for any help.
I think it all depends on the brand + the cigar. You can get Bolivar Belicoso Finos for MUCH less than you can get an OpusX Perfection #2...and if you ask me the BBF is the better smoke. Overall, I find Dominicans to be much more consistent year to year...but man, oh man, if you get a good year for Habanos (like 1998 or 2002, even 2003 it looks to me!), they will beat out a Dominican every time!
Wow! There is some serious misinformation on this thread. Brian and Racer have kind of cleared it up.
First of all, no Cuban shudders in their boots when they hear the word Padron. One dimensional smokes with cooked wrappers appeal to very few people.
Cuban cigars are just like our cigars, but there is a very distinctive taste to them--an earthy mustiness. That said some of the mildest cigars I have ever smoked have been Cuban. This myth of Cubans being strong is far overblown. They have their subdued creamy woody styles and their robust chewy heavy styles. This cannot be narrowed to a brand. Hoyo de Monterrey tends to be a light brand, however, Epicure #1 and #2 tend to be more full bodied. Most of these myths are perpetuated by people who have never smoked the real deal.
Just a little insight into the black market in the US. If a guy tells you he has a friend that flys from Miami to Cuba--he is lying. If a guy tells you that a dishwasher that works in his restaurant has a Cuban wife that is allowed to go to Cuba regularly--he is lying. If a guy tells you that his sister's husband's friend's boss's lover lives in Canada and will send him Cubans all the time--he is lying. Don't ever buy from Mexico or the Islands if you are a US citizen--you will get fakes (unless at "La Casa del Habanos") Don't ever buy cigars off the street anywhere. If you must mailorder, avoid Panama and Canada like the plague. You will get taken. Stick to Swiss, Spanish or English sites.
The Cuban Cigar black market in the US is a full-fledged, multi-million dollar (I have seen estimates approach 1 billion) a year operation. Most of these are fakes. Be careful.
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