Back From Cuba

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northernneil

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Jun 1, 2013
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Well, the girlfriend and I went to Cuba, Veradero, for a week long vacation last week. What an amazing trip. As far as I am concerned Cuba is a must visit for any luxuray tobacco connoisseur. Our hotel had a very well stocked walk-in humidor that was loaded with fine cigars. No pipes to be found, unfortunately, but I wasn't expecting to find any.
Nonetheless, we went to the cigar and rum bar every night after dinner. I would buy two cigars each night, one to smoke in the bar, and the other to enjoy at the evening show. Also, we got to take a tour of the Partaga's cigar factory in Havana. I was not overly impressed with the factory tour as I did not find it informative due to the size of the group. It was however, a real eye opener in the art of physically rolling a luxury cigar.
In the end I cam home with a good selection of new cigars all at a very good price. The best deal I found was on the Cohiba Siglo II. The best price I've been able to find on a box of these cigars was around the $450 range. I was able to get a box for $230! Next time I visit, I will have to make sure to save enough money to take full advantage of the quantity allowed to bring cigars through customs.
Anyways, it has been tough getting back into work mode with all the cold weather this week. And I am really missing my evening cigar and rum tastings!

 

papipeguy

Preferred Member
Jul 31, 2010
15,799
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Bethlehem, Pa.
Sounds interesting although I wonder what the locals pay for cigars. Maybe someday we'll get our heads straight and normalize relations with Cuba. Of course, that means they need to get their heads right too. Glad you enjoyed the trip. Any Montecristo #2's?

 

northernneil

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Jun 1, 2013
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@papipeguy, I did not try the montecristo #2, but I tried the #5 and the #3. I actually brought home a 5 pack of the #3's.
Sorry guys, not trying to rub it in hahaha. I'm still pretty excited and just need to talk about it, and I think the girlfriend might kill me if I bring it up with her again haha. She had to listen to me go on about it for a solid week.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
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I used to buy a couple of Cuban cigars when I was in London or Ireland. I think the aura of the "Cuban" in America is way over played. These days there are many Dominican's that are at least as good and some that surpass. It took a generation or so, but the difference, if any is negligible. What makes the Cuban enjoyable in America, I suspect, is not the tobacco, it's the idea that you are putting one over on the government. It's the illicitness of the act, not the cigar any more.
Skip over into Canada or Mexico and buy a good Havana, bring it home and put it up against a comparable grade Dominican. I suspect you will pleasurably surprised.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,998
1,702
It's been such a long disaffection between the U.S. and Cuba, I'm afraid when the political deep freeze (on both sides)

ever melts, there will be much exploitation and trouble instead of a mutually dignified re-engagement. Despite the

political oppression, the culture thrives and glows sub rosa. The U.S. misses much by not having a healthy, independent

Cuba.

 

latbomber

Preferred Member
May 10, 2013
570
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Cuba is my favorite place in the world to go for a relaxing vacation, and the siglo II is probably my fav cigar so good choice! Having spent a lot of time smoking cigars in the past I would definitely say that cubans are my favorite. They have a creamy, rich taste that isnt found in other countries. The aging process and experience of rollers is something to marvel at as well. Here is a pic of my last haul!


 

peckinpahhombre

Preferred Member
Dec 24, 2012
7,118
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I used to go quite a bit before the wife and I had kids. My favourite cuban is the Hoya double coronas. Beautiful stuff. Enjoy your stogies.

 

papipeguy

Preferred Member
Jul 31, 2010
15,799
7
Bethlehem, Pa.
Somewhat topic related: Kinky Friedman, the Texas raconteur, once offered Bill Clinton a Cuban cigar at a White House function. The President reminded Kinky that the cigars were illegal in the USA and Kinky responded, "Mr. President, don't look at it as contraband; think of it as burning their crops."

Brilliant in my book.

 

virginiacob

Senior Member
Dec 30, 2013
451
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I've never been a cigar smoker, but last year while on a cruise one of our ports of call was the Dominican Republic. My wife and I took an excursion to a tobacco plantation where the local farmers were hand rolling cigars. They had several small cigar samples you could try and that was my first experience smoking a cigar. It wasn't bad, but I still prefer my pipe. I found it interesting that while the tobacco inside their cigars were grown and cured right on the plantation, the tobacco leaf for wrapping the cigs came from the States! Apparently the U.S. tobacco leaves are larger than what they grow on the island and work the best for wrapping their cigars. I still have one of their labels, it reads "Punta Cana Premium Cigars".

 

piperl12

Preferred Member
Apr 7, 2012
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Wow, that means Siglo ii have gone up quite a bit in a year. I was in Cuba last year and bought a box of 25 from the factory in Havana for $173.00 CDN still all in all a good deal based on the price at home but just goes to show that they are catching on to how cheap they are selling them compared to what the mark up is in Canada.

 

onepyrotec

Preferred Member
Feb 20, 2013
661
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Nevada
Were you allowed to take pictures during the factory tour?
Cuba does have pipe tobacco, although it is not easily found nor is it worth finding unless you MUST try it to say you tried it. I tried it, now the rest will sit unsmoked for years until someone else wants to "try it". Best I can tell their pipe tobacco is nothing more than chopped cigar cuttings that don't marry the flavors well.

 

northernneil

Preferred Member
Jun 1, 2013
1,390
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@onepyrotec, they did not allow us to take pictures inside the factory, and I think I understand why. They basically parade you through the rolling area and you are clearly in the way. I can see the rollers getting very annoyed with the tours as they have a specific quota to meet every day, and stoping to answer questions does not get them paid. And I could only imagine how annoying it would be to have people taking pictures of you all day.
That being said, the wonderful aroma within the factory has imprinted a permanent picture in my mind. A cigar factory must offer one of the greatest scents in the world, at least in my opinion.

 

slownumbers39

Senior Member
Jul 29, 2012
371
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@northernneil, The wife & I are heading to Veradero,Cuba in a few weeks. Will be nice to go from about -30C to +30C and be rid of the snow for a week. I guess I may as well not bring a pipe and just smoke some cigars while there. Are you allowed to smoke in the bar etc? Guess I will be enjoying Cuban cigars, coffee and rum in the sun soon. Any tips you might have or useful links would be appreciated, PM if you like.
Cheers!

 

latbomber

Preferred Member
May 10, 2013
570
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You can smoke cigars pretty much everywhere. If you want to buy some I'd recommend only buying boxes from official government stores: there are several in Havana and one at the mall in Veradero which is very nice and will only be a short cab ride from your hotel. Some hotels have pretty decent in house shops for buying singles as well. Every night I would sit at the indoor/outdoor bar and try a new cigar, then at the end of the trip I bought boxes of my favorites.

 

skapunk1

Senior Member
Feb 20, 2013
495
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Cool man! I obviously missed this thread from last week. Ive been 4 times, various experiences.....but i must say I do like walking and/or sitting pretty much where i please and puffing on a nice pipe.
We're off to Mexico on Feb.27th, Moon Palace Golf and Spa. Won the trip through Shoppers Drug Mart, over $2000 per person for a week there.....
Glad you enjoyed it.
Warren

 
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