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First time Cuban smoker

I've been lucky enough to travel to Europe a few times this year and dig a bit deeper into Cubans.

Rather go into some massive tome, here are my impressions of the 5-8 I smoked when I was there recently, and probably no astounding revelations to anybody who's really or more experienced than I am:

1) Cubans do have their own flavor. The tend to be very rich and sweet and complex. However, yes, you can get the occasional average smoke. However, I never got the "strong" people talk about. Nt even close to a Maduro or Oscuro strong either.

2) The brands we on North American sites are very hard to find. If you do find them they are expensive. Many of the popular non-Cubans aren't carried not just in tourist spots, but small locals-only villages and Tabac shops.

3) 90-95% of any retail humidor will be Cubans. A top non-Cuban versions was Arturo Fuentes and some Aurora's.

4) This isn't to say all Cubans are superior or vice versa. I love Sun Grown, Maduros, and still find them satisfying and delicious, but they just aren't Cubans...like Bolivar I had was absolutely amazing as was a Punch.

5) All the crazy shapes and ring sizes aren't really available. No knuckles (Nubs), Lanceros, torpedoes, etc. Mostly Corona and Robusto.

That said, I think we get some amazing cigars from Dominican and Nicaragua and Honduras (my fav), but also think we have a lot of gimmicks and marketing too. To each their own, smoke what makes you mellow...tobacco of course ;^)

Comments

  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    gsound:
    1) Cubans do have their own flavor. The tend to be very rich and sweet and complex. However, yes, you can get the occasional average smoke. However, I never got the "strong" people talk about.
    most cubans are not strong. the non cuban market is pushing to stronger cigars while the cuban tradition is medium in body by todays non cuban standards. the assumption that cuban cigars are strong is a myth.
    gsound:
    Not even close to a Maduro or Oscuro strong either.
    the same leaf, if made to a maduro will be weaker. Oscuro can be either direction depending on fermentation. Color of a cigar is no indication of the power it may or may not have.
    gsound:
    5) All the crazy shapes and ring sizes aren't really available. No knuckles (Nubs), Lanceros, torpedoes, etc. Mostly Corona and Robusto.
    again this goes back to the cuban tradition. the new sizes are not traditional sizes but the market for non cubans has been demanding larger rings.

  • DiamondogDiamondog Posts: 4,169
    I use to extensively smoke NC's because I enjoyed the really really strong stuff, for the last year + I have smoked amost exclusively Cuban, NC's just don't cut it for me anymore....one thing I will say is my palate completely readjusted as well as strength perception. When I smoked strong NC's the Cuban strength wasn't there but since shifting to amost all Cubans I find that I do find the strength now in Cubans because it is what I am accustomed too....Cubans focus more on balance of strength and flavor as opposed to a lot of NC's that blow you out with power.
  • mmccartneydcmmccartneydc Posts: 3,407 ✭✭✭
    I picked up a few Trinidad Double Robusto's and looking forward to trying the first this weekend. How important is it to dry box one before smoking it?
  • rzamanrzaman Posts: 2,650 ✭✭✭

    Diamonddog said it all and he is right. Day by day, my NC list is shrinking because few of them can deliver the complex and unique flavor of a fine Cuban puro.

    Cubans traditionally use a half or quarter, of a leaf of ligero in a cigar that could have as many as three to five filler leaves in the blend. The ligero is the elemental strength and flavor, much like a chef uses black pepper in his/her, signature dish. It is important not to over use pepper in cooking as well as in a cigar blend. This is why most factories do not make a ligero-only cigar. Some well-known Cuban cigars actually use no ligero in their blends. Hoyo de Monterrey Double Corona is one of them. Dion Giolito of Illusione cigars follow the same Cuban method. His Eperney line has no ligero in it. Mother nature simply given Cuba that unique flavor that is not possible to replicate. Just like the best white truffle comes from the Piedmont region in northern Italy.

    I mentioned this before, there are two group of people say bad things about CC. First, they have business interest and second they haven't had good Cuban cigar. Last couple years Cuba improved a lot of their quality and construction issue they used to have. Of course there are some good NC but very limited like some Funete, Padron, Viaje Oro reserva and few DPG.

    I think flavor and balance have more to do with a great cigar than just power. Power doesn't allow us to enjoy the delicate taste of a balanced cigar.
    Diamondog:
    I use to extensively smoke NC's because I enjoyed the really really strong stuff, for the last year + I have smoked amost exclusively Cuban, NC's just don't cut it for me anymore....one thing I will say is my palate completely readjusted as well as strength perception. When I smoked strong NC's the Cuban strength wasn't there but since shifting to amost all Cubans I find that I do find the strength now in Cubans because it is what I am accustomed too....Cubans focus more on balance of strength and flavor as opposed to a lot of NC's that blow you out with power.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    rzaman:

    I mentioned this before, there are two group of people say bad things about CC. First, they have business interest and second they haven't had good Cuban cigar. Last couple years Cuba improved a lot of their quality and construction issue they used to have. Of course there are some good NC but very limited like some Funete, Padron, Viaje Oro reserva and few DPG.
    i have had quite a few cuban cigars. i still like Davidoff and LFD and JdN better. thats not to say i dont like cuban cigars. they just dont contain the profile i look for. i have never tasted the musk of a Davidoff in a Cuban. I have never had the full and round body that is as refined as LDF in a cuban. i have never had the licorice and spice of a JdN celebracion in a cuban cigar.
    that being said, i have never had the sharp earth flavor that i get in a cuban out of anything that was not from cuba.

    it is all opinion. i do realize that you are not saying that only cuba makes good cigars, you are just saying that you prefer the cuban profile more than others.

    i do think cuba makes some damn fine smokes; i just do not believe that they are the end all of the cigar world.
    rzaman:

    I think flavor and balance have more to do with a great cigar than just power. Power doesn't allow us to enjoy the delicate taste of a balanced cigar.
    this is EXACTLY how i feel.
    there are very few ultra full cigars out there that i feel have decent balance. this is exactly why i like Daidoff. i love the Kelner musk and the complexity that those cigars bring. ive been complaining about the ultra full fad for quite some time. im glad that there is a small growing movement that is interested in milder cigars.


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