Brands to Avoid?

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eugenepark

Member
Dec 13, 2018
140
268
Oklahoma
Honestly, there aren't too many brands I'd advise writing off completely. Even some of the manufacturers that have a lot of misses have some hits as well. Maybe Gurkha is one I'd avoid, but hell, they probably have some decent cigars too, and I just haven't found them yet. If you see something that interests you, look it up and see if it's available at more than one retailer, or if it has people not affiliated with retailers recommending it, etc. Aside from some of the bottom-shelf discount sticks that are barely even trying, most of the premium, handmade cigars out there are at least decent in quality. Everything else is a matter of taste, mostly.

Gurkha... ugh too many bad memories of their sticks. I should have known there was something wrong when it seemed like Thompson Cigars was practically giving away bundles of them lol.

Plus they go way over the top with branding and designs... sort of a red flag.
 

Country Bladesmith

Preferred Member
May 2, 2020
2,973
12,725
Louisiana
Gurkha... ugh too many bad memories of their sticks. I should have known there was something wrong when it seemed like Thompson Cigars was practically giving away bundles of them lol.

Plus they go way over the top with branding and designs... sort of a red flag.
That’s funny. Only had one, I didn’t know they were known for being bad. Mine was so awful I couldn’t finish it. I threw it into my fire pit.
 

rajangan

Senior Member
Feb 14, 2018
491
1,276
Edmonton, AB
Avoid Davidoff Nicaragua. A local, panel, blind taste test concluded that Vega Fina's Nicaragua was better despite being half the price.

Fuente curly head. Garbage.
 
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rajangan

Senior Member
Feb 14, 2018
491
1,276
Edmonton, AB
+1 on this

A while back I did some research and made a list of all the cigar brands that are still family/independently owned. Here's the list, although this could be outdated by now:

la flor dominicana
oliva
padron
perdomo
davidoff
aj fernandez
arturo fuente
rocky patel
Casa Turrent is also family owned.
 
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jerseysam

Member
Mar 24, 2019
258
2,083
Liberty Township. OH
Gurkha... ugh too many bad memories of their sticks. I should have known there was something wrong when it seemed like Thompson Cigars was practically giving away bundles of them lol.

Plus they go way over the top with branding and designs... sort of a red flag.

Gurkha is (or was, I haven't paid attention them in a few years) the mall ninja brand of cigars. It always gave me a chuckle with their marketing, on the bid/volume sites you'd see something like:

Gurkha Ultimate G7 Penthouse Dragon-Soul. MSRP $300. Our price $9.99.

....and there would be cats crowing on the message boards like they landed a God Of Fire release. If the folks selling extended warranties and ballon down-payment lending didn't cross-mine the Gurkha audience, they missed a lucrative market.

...
 

eugenepark

Member
Dec 13, 2018
140
268
Oklahoma
Earlier this year (pre rona) I was in Jamaica and picked up some real cuban Cohibas for $18USD ea (had a resort credit to spend.. wouldn't have bought with my own money).

Did they smoke well? Yes
Were they any different than most other cigars? Nope

Since then I've pretty much been going with Drew Estate Acid or Drew Estate Java sticks. I figure they at least have to spend some money to apply that flavor and sweetener to these, so it's not just buying another plain cigar with a proprietary band design.
 

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danimalia

Preferred Member
Sep 2, 2015
2,740
10,780
38
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
Gurkha... ugh too many bad memories of their sticks. I should have known there was something wrong when it seemed like Thompson Cigars was practically giving away bundles of them lol.

Plus they go way over the top with branding and designs... sort of a red flag.
The Rolls Royce of cigars! When they're not playing up the tacky rich people shit, they're trying to rub up against the military, or at least some 14 year old boys idea of the military with their Black Ops lines and whatnot. Really, the retailers also deserve a shit ton of scorn for some of this too. I remember Gurkha Beauty being sold for $500 a box on CI while at the same time, on the same site, you could get them as part of a sampler for $3 a piece. Caveat emptor, a fool and his money, etc., etc., but seriously.... Consider the thought of someone new into cigars who reads the copy and believes what Gurkha and CI are selling... That he's buying a prestigious, top-of-the-market cigar at 5 bills a box... And the next day he sees them available for $3 a stick. Just awful business, IMO.
 

cshubhra

Preferred Member
May 11, 2017
4,984
30,170
1. Padron (More specifically 1926)
2. Oliva specially Serie V Melanio and Master Blends 3
3. La Aroma De Cuba
4. Caldwell - all offerings have been good so far
5. Sometimes Rocky Patel can be a miss but most of the time is a hit. I like the various vintage series
6. 601
7. I personally like light offerings from Monte Christo and Romeo y Julietta
8. Little experience with My Father but generally like what I have tasted so far. I have been unlucky as most had bad construction



Avoid Gurkha
 

highwaycobbery

Senior Member
Nov 14, 2015
412
670
North cacallaky
yeah the worst cigar I've had otherwise then that one Cuban (it was a gift from Castro that got regifted to me, my bosses wife was a congressman and loved that I have dirty tats and smoked cigars) has been enjoyable. Then again that's how I feel about the worst pipe tobacco I've smoked that wasn't Captain Black so maybe get out your salt pincher.
Oooo, dirty tats? I’m interested. I have plenty. Maybe a upcoming thread? Challenge.
 

saltedplug

Preferred Member
Aug 20, 2013
3,777
1,402
I founds Thompson greedy bastards and never made a return purchase.

In general any cigar less than $5.00 is likely a loser.

I read a lot of reviews, concentrating on independents. The retailers tell you anything to get you to buy.
 

anotherbob

Preferred Member
Oooo, dirty tats? I’m interested. I have plenty. Maybe a upcoming thread? Challenge.
well on my right forearm I got a kama sutra pose called the hanging position. A Betty Page on my calf as well as another "cheesecake" lady on the other side. And of course the Fox which isn't dirty but is still awesome. Didn't have the Austin Osman Spare art work on the ribs yet if I remember correctly.
 

odobenus

Preferred Member
Dec 15, 2018
565
1,750
Vermont
Totally subjective of course, but I avoid most anything by Drew Estate (except independent entities that they distribute, like Joya de Nicaragua), non-CC Punch, Camacho, Curivari, EP Carrillo, and Perdomo. And lately, I've been developing a stronger antipathy toward La Aurora, which I used to love.

That said, I'm a picky, mercurial bastard and have tried and rejected more My Fathers, Tatuajes, AJFs and Olivas than any of the following combined -- it's just that they also produce a few cigars I love.
 

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