Cuba willing to "talk"

pelirrojopelirrojo Farmington, NMPosts: 1,759 ✭✭✭
Interesting little story here. LINK

I have no intention of starting a political discussion here. I just thought this may be of interest to the cigar community.
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Comments

  • JDHJDH Posts: 2,107
    When I clicked on this link, it went to the JR Cigars website.
  • wwesternwwestern Posts: 1,397 ✭✭✭
    I'm a believer that a lift on the embargo will only hurt the quality of CCs, such an influx in demand could really do some damage to the quality we expect in some CC brands.
  • pelirrojopelirrojo Farmington, NMPosts: 1,759 ✭✭✭
    Thanks JDH. I just cut and pasted out of the "how to format posts" thread. I fixed it.
  • j0z3rj0z3r Posts: 9,403
    wwestern:
    I'm a believer that a lift on the embargo will only hurt the quality of CCs, such an influx in demand could really do some damage to the quality we expect in some CC brands.
    I agree...besides, Cuba has a hard enough time with QC as it is.
  • Ken_LightKen_Light Posts: 3,539 ✭✭✭
    wwestern:
    I'm a believer that a lift on the embargo will only hurt the quality of CCs, such an influx in demand could really do some damage to the quality we expect in some CC brands.
    Only at first, I'd assume. Of course, lots of people would lose the flavor boost they get by the thought of smoking something not everyone can get their hands on...
    ^Troll: DO NOT FEED.
  • phobicsquirrelphobicsquirrel Posts: 7,349
    There's not much political about Cuba, I mean china is a lot worse. The whole Cuban thing was stupid and made no sense. As dd the cold war. I do agree that there could be a huge QC issue with CC but then again they do have that right now.
  • ScramblerScrambler Posts: 746 ✭✭
    Hopefully, Cubatabaco would resist the urge to pump out massive quantities of inferior product. Prices would go up though if supply remained steady. Imagine all the counterfeit cigars you'll see though... Instead of flooding tourist areas in Latin America with fakes, the fakes will be offered all over the U.S.
  • camgfscamgfs Posts: 968
    Since I'm Canadian, I have smoked many a Cuban cigar. To be absolutely honest, I see just as much quality control issues or more with non-Cuban cigars. Yes, I've had a couple plugged Cubans, but I've also seen a lot of non-Cuban cigars that are plugged, hollow in the middle, won't burn worth a damn and are just plain un-smokable. I have a box of 5 Vegas Gold Maduros that are garbage! I have smoked 7 from the box, and not 1 will burn at all. Dry-boxing has not helped. I have Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 with hollow centres (yes, that's how we spell "center" in Canada, lol).

    I prefer the Cuban cigars, but I also buy RP, 5Vegas, Gurkha, Perdomo and others....all having their share of issues.
    Almost ALL of my non-Cuban cigars have come from cigar.com.

    In my opinion as a 30+ year cigar smoker, Cuban cigar quality control is on par or better than anything I have smoked from cigar.com, of any cigar maker/brand I have ever tried.

    Just my 2 cents worth, so don't hate me.
    I would love to see ISOM sticks available in the States, but I don't think it's a good thing because the counterfeit market will soar.

  • phobicsquirrelphobicsquirrel Posts: 7,349
    camgfs:
    Since I'm Canadian, I have smoked many a Cuban cigar. To be absolutely honest, I see just as much quality control issues or more with non-Cuban cigars. Yes, I've had a couple plugged Cubans, but I've also seen a lot of non-Cuban cigars that are plugged, hollow in the middle, won't burn worth a damn and are just plain un-smokable. I have a box of 5 Vegas Gold Maduros that are garbage! I have smoked 7 from the box, and not 1 will burn at all. Dry-boxing has not helped. I have Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 with hollow centres (yes, that's how we spell "center" in Canada, lol).

    I prefer the Cuban cigars, but I also buy RP, 5Vegas, Gurkha, Perdomo and others....all having their share of issues.
    Almost ALL of my non-Cuban cigars have come from cigar.com.

    In my opinion as a 30+ year cigar smoker, Cuban cigar quality control is on par or better than anything I have smoked from cigar.com, of any cigar maker/brand I have ever tried.

    Just my 2 cents worth, so don't hate me.
    I would love to see ISOM sticks available in the States, but I don't think it's a good thing because the counterfeit market will soar.

    that's good to know. I've only had some dozen or so, so I am in no way an expert. I know there probably isn't any cigar maker worse at QC as Gurkha but then again I don't pay what I pay for CCs.
  • j0z3rj0z3r Posts: 9,403
    I don't have 30+ years as a cigar smoker, but from my comparatively short tenure in the hobby and with Cuban cigars, I think there is a lot more quality control in the NC cigar producing countries in general. I've never had an entire box of Honduran, Nicaraguan or Dominican cigars that were unsmokeable, I purchased a box of H Upmann Magnum 46 last year and out of the entire box I had 1-2 cigars that were not messed up.

    The brands you listed are not exactly known to be the best examples of cigar production. And considering how many more brands and blends exist in the NC market compared to the Cuban market, it's easy to cherry pick a few examples, but they don't represent the whole.

    And I'm not even trying to talk bad about Cuban cigars, I have had some very good boxes and continue to enjoy them. I'm just pointing out what appears to me to be the biggest weakness in the Cuban cigar industry, and one that would be exacerbated by increased production to supply the US market.
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    I remember a couple of years ago I reported seeing a CBC Fifth Estate program about counterfeit CC's. In the program they reported that up to 80% of the Cuban cigars in Canada are fake. If they are legal here and we get that many fakes... the odds are good that most of the CC's in the US market are also fake.

    There are a ton of dealers out there selling CC's and willing to ship to US addresses. Makes me wonder.
  • j0z3rj0z3r Posts: 9,403
    laker1963:
    I remember a couple of years ago I reported seeing a CBC Fifth Estate program about counterfeit CC's. In the program they reported that up to 80% of the Cuban cigars in Canada are fake. If they are legal here and we get that many fakes... the odds are good that most of the CC's in the US market are also fake.

    There are a ton of dealers out there selling CC's and willing to ship to US addresses. Makes me wonder.
    Just to clarify...is this in response to my post or a general comment. Because I'm pretty confident that I have not been buying counterfeit cigars, I do my homework and buy from trusted sources.
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    In 5 years, I'd love to see what happens. For now, a bunch o morons would freak. Personally, I think it would put pressure on them to produce better quality. I doubt counterfeiting would hurt, as honestly...one their legal there is no need. I'd just really like to see what DPG or Kelner could do with it...nomnomnom.
  • ScramblerScrambler Posts: 746 ✭✭
    catfishbluezz:
    I doubt counterfeiting would hurt, as honestly...one their legal there is no need..
    They are perfectly legal to sell now in Mexico, Bahamas, Jamaica, etc, but the vast majority available on the market in these places are fakes. This could just be opportunism because uninformed tourists look for Cuban cigars when they travel, but I think it has more to do with demand exceeding supply.
    catfishbluezz:
    I'd just really like to see what DPG or Kelner could do with it...nomnomnom.
    I'm not sure Cubatabaco would sell Cuban grown leaf to other producers.
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    Scrambler:
    catfishbluezz:
    I doubt counterfeiting would hurt, as honestly...one their legal there is no need..
    They are perfectly legal to sell now in Mexico, Bahamas, Jamaica, etc, but the vast majority available on the market in these places are fakes. This could just be opportunism because uninformed tourists look for Cuban cigars when they travel, but I think it has more to do with demand exceeding supply.
    catfishbluezz:
    I'd just really like to see what DPG or Kelner could do with it...nomnomnom.
    I'm not sure Cubatabaco would sell Cuban grown leaf to other producers.
    As of now, the tobacco is not readily available to the US, and just like any other contraband, once it is the need to counterfeit will subside a bit as we are the biggest consumers of stuff we can't get. I'm not saying it will go away, but do you see fake Padron's, Davidoff's, etc...? I don't see why they wouldn't sell to guys like Kelner. From what I understand, the biz is all about who you know, mafia, politicians, etc... I'd don't see why it would be any harder then any of the other countries. Being that many of these cats spent time in Cuba or defected, I do not think they'd have a hard time establishing those lines of trade when the consumer demands it. I have a few cuban/nic blends that I am going to jump into the next week or so. I am extremely excited to see what they are like.
  • JDHJDH Posts: 2,107
    It is time to mend this fence. The well being of the Cuban people can only benefit from the normalization of relations with Cuba. If we can have "normalized" relations with Vietnam, we can also have normal relations with Cuba.

    I say, Mr. President, tear down this wall.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭
    im sure they would sell to other markets.
    income is income.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭
    JDH:
    It is time to mend this fence. The well being of the Cuban people can only benefit from the normalization of relations with Cuba. If we can have "normalized" relations with Vietnam,
    china, Brazil, Venezuela, many of the old soviet satellites, etc...
    JDH:
    we can also have normal relations with Cuba.

    I say, Mr. President, tear down this wall.



    fixed it for ya.
  • JDHJDH Posts: 2,107
    kuzi16:
    JDH:
    It is time to mend this fence. The well being of the Cuban people can only benefit from the normalization of relations with Cuba. If we can have "normalized" relations with Vietnam,
    china, Brazil, Venezuela, many of the old soviet satellites, etc...
    JDH:
    we can also have normal relations with Cuba.

    I say, Mr. President, tear down this wall.



    fixed it for ya.
    In the words of Josey Wales, "I recon so."
  • JDHJDH Posts: 2,107
    Can you imagine what a wonderful day that would be for all the exiles, for all those who were forced to leave Cuba?
  • ScramblerScrambler Posts: 746 ✭✭
    kuzi16:
    im sure they would sell to other markets.
    income is income.
    My reasoning for thinking they might not sell Cuban leaf to Nicaraguan or Dominican factories is 1) they would want to produce as many "Cuban" cigars as possible, to meet the new demand; and 2) their competitors would benefit more from marketing their cigars as contains Cuban tobacco, at the cost of the Cuban brands.

    But then I remember that Altadis owns half of Habanos S.A., so I dunno. Maybe they would sell Cuban leaf as a commodity, maybe they would share it within the company, maybe they would keep it just for puros.

    Would also be interesting to see what they do with their Dominican versions of classic Cuban brands, RyJ, Montecristo, H. Upmann, once those Cuban brands become available in the States.
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    Scrambler:
    kuzi16:
    im sure they would sell to other markets.
    income is income.
    My reasoning for thinking they might not sell Cuban leaf to Nicaraguan or Dominican factories is 1) they would want to produce as many "Cuban" cigars as possible, to meet the new demand; and 2) their competitors would benefit more from marketing their cigars as contains Cuban tobacco, at the cost of the Cuban brands.

    But then I remember that Altadis owns half of Habanos S.A., so I dunno. Maybe they would sell Cuban leaf as a commodity, maybe they would share it within the company, maybe they would keep it just for puros.

    Would also be interesting to see what they do with their Dominican versions of classic Cuban brands, RyJ, Montecristo, H. Upmann, once those Cuban brands become available in the States.
    It's only a commodity because it's illegal. I've had plenty of terrible ones as of late, more then the DC or NC's. Given the lack of age, I don't think you'd see the true blenders rushing to get thier product out. I'd also be willing I bet the American market that loves 60ga full bodied beasts wouldn't buy into the hype for long. Those consumers are not that savvy and would need to be educated.
  • ScramblerScrambler Posts: 746 ✭✭
    catfishbluezz:
    Given the lack of age, I don't think you'd see the true blenders rushing to get thier product out.
    I just looked back at when we had pretty much this same discussion here back in 2009, and I had posted that Rocky Patel told me at an event that he thought it would take at least a decade to get any decent tobacco he would want to use from Cuba, because the soil is so trashed, and the lack of age on what's available.
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    Scrambler:
    catfishbluezz:
    Given the lack of age, I don't think you'd see the true blenders rushing to get thier product out.
    I just looked back at when we had pretty much this same discussion here back in 2009, and I had posted that Rocky Patel told me at an event that he thought it would take at least a decade to get any decent tobacco he would want to use from Cuba, because the soil is so trashed, and the lack of age on what's available.
    Which is why I think the market for the puris would initially boom then fade until they catch up. Oddly enough, had a rookie smoker turn down an ISOM last night and told me he heard they aren't aged and suck. I chuckled a bit
  • Gaetano7890Gaetano7890 NYPosts: 800 ✭✭✭
    I think that in time the cc would get better. Imagine a lot of talented people left Cuba to produce cigars imagine if they collaborated. Also increase in pay would def help the cc and it's makers I think after the initial boom we could see great things. I know the few had have had the luxury of smoking a cc from the Batista days still talk about them. I guess we will see.
  • rzamanrzaman Posts: 2,650 ✭✭✭

    You hit the nail on the head. So many unfair negetive information about the Cuban cigars to promote many(again, not all) non- Cuban garbage. I am an American live overseas(Nicaragua- a cigar producing country). I have first hand and close relationship with the local cigar industry. I smoke cigars from all over the world. I am not as experienced as you are like 30 years but smoked more or less everything. Except Padron, Arturo Fuente, LFD and few small batch producers, few cigar can come close to a well constructed Ciban cigar. The aromatic Cuban flavor is simply unique. Latley, i smoke more Cuban than non- Cuban. As you mentioned that cigars from every producing country has construction issues and I completely agree with you. However, a well constructed Cuban cigar is a gem. Once someone develop and get families with good Cuban it is difficult to smoke non- Cuabn except few cigar brands like Padron and few other.

    Your two cents with 30 years of smoking experience can say lot more than many of us here. I travel a lot and always try to explore local cigar lounges. Outside the United States, most of the cigar lounges offer Cuban cigars and few non-Cuban all over the world. I just hope one day Cuban cigar will be available in the U.S. and people can enjoy the unique taste without any legal hassle. I really enjoyed your post and thanks for sharing you experience with us.
    camgfs:
    Since I'm Canadian, I have smoked many a Cuban cigar. To be absolutely honest, I see just as much quality control issues or more with non-Cuban cigars. Yes, I've had a couple plugged Cubans, but I've also seen a lot of non-Cuban cigars that are plugged, hollow in the middle, won't burn worth a damn and are just plain un-smokable. I have a box of 5 Vegas Gold Maduros that are garbage! I have smoked 7 from the box, and not 1 will burn at all. Dry-boxing has not helped. I have Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 with hollow centres (yes, that's how we spell "center" in Canada, lol).

    I prefer the Cuban cigars, but I also buy RP, 5Vegas, Gurkha, Perdomo and others....all having their share of issues.
    Almost ALL of my non-Cuban cigars have come from cigar.com.

    In my opinion as a 30+ year cigar smoker, Cuban cigar quality control is on par or better than anything I have smoked from cigar.com, of any cigar maker/brand I have ever tried.

    Just my 2 cents worth, so don't hate me.
    I would love to see ISOM sticks available in the States, but I don't think it's a good thing because the counterfeit market will soar.

  • rzamanrzaman Posts: 2,650 ✭✭✭
    Rocky said that because he wants the smoker in the US to feel that they are getting more taste quality from his cigar. This is a commercial statement so people buy his non-Cuban cigar. I have no problem if any cigar maker say, my cigar has some unique flavor and aroma compares to Cuban. On top of that even if he wants he can not get Cuban tobacco. I have been in Nicaragua three and half years and many blenders and cigar makers expressed their frustration for not having Cuban tobacco. Cuba has come long way and use aged tobaccos. On top of that Rocky never been to Ponar Del Rio or tried tobacco from there. I would say, his information is trash. Each cigar producing country offer us certain unique flavor and aroma. However, Cuban cigars are not less than any other country. On top of that some of them are far supirior than many over hyped non- Cuban brands.
    Scrambler:
    catfishbluezz:
    Given the lack of age, I don't think you'd see the true blenders rushing to get thier product out.
    I just looked back at when we had pretty much this same discussion here back in 2009, and I had posted that Rocky Patel told me at an event that he thought it would take at least a decade to get any decent tobacco he would want to use from Cuba, because the soil is so trashed, and the lack of age on what's available.
  • blurrblurr Posts: 962
    This above. There are great and poor cigars from EVERY country. All have their gems, & all have their duds. I hate when these discussions turn into the guys who clearly favor cubans biased towards them, and the guys who favor NC's clearly biased for them. Every smoker will have a different palate and enjoy different cigars, and lots of us on here are EXTREMELY stubborn & think we are more informed or smoke better cigars. SMoke what you like, like what you smoke, and don't fall into the trap of thinking you are smoking better and therefore more elite than other smokers. On the topic, I think initially all the non-smokers here would try to buy if the embargo lifted. It would initially overwhelm the demand. You would see many many fakes pop up. Then after a few years it would settle.
    Its not going to happen in my opinion, what will happen is not a declaration of an ended embargo more of a look the other way customs attitude towards incoming shipments. I'm not optimistic this will happen in anything less than 10-20 yrs.
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    j0z3r:
    laker1963:
    I remember a couple of years ago I reported seeing a CBC Fifth Estate program about counterfeit CC's. In the program they reported that up to 80% of the Cuban cigars in Canada are fake. If they are legal here and we get that many fakes... the odds are good that most of the CC's in the US market are also fake.

    There are a ton of dealers out there selling CC's and willing to ship to US addresses. Makes me wonder.
    Just to clarify...is this in response to my post or a general comment. Because I'm pretty confident that I have not been buying counterfeit cigars, I do my homework and buy from trusted sources.
    Sorry for the delay in response Joe. This is a general comment which I hoped would add to the discussion. However except for your comment nobody else seemed to even notice it.

    If the report I saw is accurate however then it means you, me and likely everybody else who thought they were getting Cubans weren't, at least at sometime in your purchasing history.

    It's funny in a way because I think that the reaction I got from that statement is pretty normal... one person (you in this case) takes it in a way that seesm to upset them. Others just ignore it was even said because then they don't have to deal with it. The bury your head in the sand tactic, which the sheeple of the world are doing quite a lot of these days.

    In any case Joe, I was NOT saying you buy fake Cuban cigars. The report that I watched says that 80% of the Cuban cigars in the Canadian market are fake, If we have that level of fakes here and they are legal...
  • j0z3rj0z3r Posts: 9,403
    laker1963:
    j0z3r:
    laker1963:
    I remember a couple of years ago I reported seeing a CBC Fifth Estate program about counterfeit CC's. In the program they reported that up to 80% of the Cuban cigars in Canada are fake. If they are legal here and we get that many fakes... the odds are good that most of the CC's in the US market are also fake.

    There are a ton of dealers out there selling CC's and willing to ship to US addresses. Makes me wonder.
    Just to clarify...is this in response to my post or a general comment. Because I'm pretty confident that I have not been buying counterfeit cigars, I do my homework and buy from trusted sources.
    Sorry for the delay in response Joe. This is a general comment which I hoped would add to the discussion. However except for your comment nobody else seemed to even notice it.

    If the report I saw is accurate however then it means you, me and likely everybody else who thought they were getting Cubans weren't, at least at sometime in your purchasing history.

    It's funny in a way because I think that the reaction I got from that statement is pretty normal... one person (you in this case) takes it in a way that seesm to upset them. Others just ignore it was even said because then they don't have to deal with it. The bury your head in the sand tactic, which the sheeple of the world are doing quite a lot of these days.

    In any case Joe, I was NOT saying you buy fake Cuban cigars. The report that I watched says that 80% of the Cuban cigars in the Canadian market are fake, If we have that level of fakes here and they are legal...
    Gotcha. It would piss me off to no end if I somehow found that I'd been buying fakes all along. Earlier on in my foray into Cubans, I would say it is more likely that I'd have run across a box of fakes, but now I do my homework and buy from sources that are trusted by a large segment of the cigar community...that doesn't mean they can't be counterfeit, but I like my chances. I've seen articles where people talk about the number of fakes compared to the number of authentic Cubans in the US, but what I want to know is how do they determine these numbers. I think Steve Saka of Drew Estates wrote an article to that effect, and it seems to me like he's pulling information out of his ass, but he's a respected industry guy so people take his word as gold.

    I can absolutely confirm that I've bought fakes once...in Mexico, from a vendor who sold me a glass top, five count box of "Cohiba" robustos. At that time, I had smoked one cigar in my life, and boy were those "cubans" good. haha
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