Picking Out the Imposters…
It is widely known Cuban cigars are the most popular of all cigars, famous for their smooth, rich flavors and taste. Cuban cigars are so popular and sought after that many shady people will try to make some money selling fake Cuban cigars to eager buyers. So, how do you know if what you are getting is real or fake? The first step is to always make sure you are buying from legitimate retailers. It is always best to stick to your local tobacco store or smoke shop. Some mail order services also have a good reputation for selling authentic products as well.
But to ensure don’t buy fake Cuban cigars and if you find yourself in a position to purchase an alleged box of Cuban cigars, take some time to carefully inspect the contents of the box before forking over the cash. Below are a few extra tips to help you tell the difference between the imitations and the real deal.
The first, and most important, thing to look at is the actual box the cigars come in. If the box is an authentic Cuban cigar box, there is a green and white warranty seal on the front, left side of the box. This seal contains a symbol bearing the picture of a shield and a hat. Take a look at the upper right hand corner of the box, a diagonal sticker containing the word ‘Habanos’ should be there. Overall the box should look clean, neat, and presentable. If you see any damage, smudges, frayed ends, or marks don’t waste your time. The color should be sharp not dull. If the box is in bad shape, there is a good chance the cigars have been damaged in transit. The green and white warranty seal is located on the right hand side of the box for Cohiba, Trinidad, and Q’dorsay cigar brands.
Flip the box over and you should see the word ‘Habons’, burnt into the wood. If you suspect a rubber stamp or paper label has been used, they are not real. There should also be a code stamp from the factory on the bottom stamped in green, blue, or black ink indicated the city and date the cigars were rolled.
If allowed, open up the box and smell the tobacco. Cuban cigars have a distinct smell to them; deep and rich a true cigar enthusiast would know instantly. If the smell is weak or smells off, you probably are not holding authentic Cuban cigars. Every cigar needs to face the same direction and the top row may appear flattened which is normal. All the caps should be the same and each foot should have a smooth cut. The rings on each cigar should all look alike and arranged to all face the same direction. If you are able, press on each cigar, feeling for hard or soft spots. Each cigar should give a little, but be mainly firm.