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Duty free cigars

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Hi guys!

I came back from the States yesterday and went to the duty free store on my way back to Canada. I saw some cigars, labelled Montecristo, selling for 7$. I decided to pick up two of them, even though I knew that this made no sense. First of all, I don't see how this store could sell cuban cigars with the embargo. Second of all, the price is much too cheap. Third of all, its not even written what Montecristo it is.

Now, does anybody have an experience with these cigars? Where do they really come from? Also, I am not a connaisseur at all, so are they even worth smoking? Most of the times I just smoke what I can find in my little town, which is Montecristo numero 2 or a Romeo y Julieta.
post #2 of 27
Montecristos in the States are Dominican, I think. They're not bad, can't give you much more detail than that. FWIW, MC #4 in European duty free places run under 4 euros.
post #3 of 27
The US ain't gonna sell you Cubans. Even if you go to a cigar bar and the manager suddenly "befriends" you and wants to "hook you up" with some fine Cubans, they're probably crap or fake. I've had that happen to me a few times before. That said, Montecristo, as well as R&J, are the two biggie brands that assemble cigars both in the DR (with parts coming from Nicaragua, Honduras, etc) and in Cuba. Partagas is another Cuban brand that went abroad after the 50s. In terms of quality, people tend to associate "Cuban" cigars with being the best, but many aficionados will tell you it's BS. Quality control has really gone down in years while other companies, such as AVO and C.A.O., have improved their quality overall, making the DR in many ways the "new Cuba." So for $7 are you going to get crap or not? As long as cigars are on an equal playing field (ie, they've been stored in a decent humidor), it's really like anything else: it's all about personal taste. Some people prefer cheapie flavored cigars for $5 over a spicier, dark $19 one. Since I'm abroad, it's actually easier for me to find Cuban cigars than ones from DR. R&J's and Montecristos tend to go for about the same price with my preference being R&J, which run around $14 USD. Not sure what part of Canada you're from but I recall some decent cigar places in Vancouver, Victoria, and Toronto. But of course, there's nothing quite like smoking a cigar in Havana while looking out at the malecon...
post #4 of 27
Histrion,
I doubt you'll be unhappy with the Montecristos you bought, but you can't buy Cuban cigars State-side, even the pre-embargo ones some shops claim to have. There are a few shops in Montreal I've been to (names are escaping me right now). Everytime my wife visits friends up north without me, I have her bring a few back.

I'm a big fan of Romeo y Julieta's Cedros De Luxe #3 (covered in cedar, those with the green bands are from Cuba, Histrion). Great daytime smoke. Picked up a box in Spain and wished I had more (now would be good).

Whodini, I wish I had the experience of cigars in Cuba, but since I work for the Federal Guv'ment, that probably won't happen anytime soon. I have had Cuban cigars in Barcelona, Madiera (Portugal), and on brisk winter walks in Montreal with my wife whenever we visit.

A side discussion: What is everyone smoking currently?
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by life_interrupts

Whodini, I wish I had the experience of cigars in Cuba, but since I work for the Federal Guv'ment, that probably won't happen anytime soon.

C'mon, don't you have some religious sporting event down there to raise money to build a school for the handicapped since you're of Cuban decent? ( I think that pretty much covers all the bases mandated...)

I actually have dual citizenship so for me it was quite a trip to be "american" and in a place I didn't belong. I've got some pretty interesting pictures of billboards Castro put out in front of US diplomatic offices in Havana if anyone's interested...

Still, enjoying a cigar in a place so legendary was quite the experience.

Right now, I stick with R&J #2 Cubans in a tube since they're the easiest to come by down here and match my tastes. Hoyo de Monterey, another Cuban, is probably the second most popular here but I've found the draw to be rather inconsistent. Back in the US, I usually stick with something by CAO or throw in a AVO #2 or a Macanudo. I like to change up cigars as my tastes change from a lighter body to a fuller one while the R&J has been the most versatile/reliable. FYI, the Costa Rican cigars I've had here are really, really bad. Like using a straw to suck orange juice out of an orange bad. It's a shame that other surrounding countries do such a better job.

I'm by no means a regular smoker, perhaps every two months or so, and I see it as a reward more than anything. I've made a tradition of getting to the airport before I leave for the states an extra hour early to enjoy one before my flight at the bar. Feel like a champ for the next few hours.
post #6 of 27
On the occasions I do go for a smoke, I especially like Trinidad Fundadores. It was the first cigar to truly speak to me back when I was still hooked on cigarettes. I love the smoothness combined with the rich body of smoke. A very pleasant, mild, long-lasting smoke - I still get nictoine attacks at times from punchier cigars like Serie D No 4's. A friend who knows my preferences recently gave me some Upmann Coronas that have been serving me well as a weekend afternoon smoke.
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by whodini
Right now, I stick with R&J #2 Cubans in a tube since they're the easiest to come by down here and match my tastes. Hoyo de Monterey, another Cuban, is probably the second most popular here but I've found the draw to be rather inconsistent. Back in the US, I usually stick with something by CAO or throw in a AVO #2 or a Macanudo. I like to change up cigars as my tastes change from a lighter body to a fuller one while the R&J has been the most versatile/reliable. FYI, the Costa Rican cigars I've had here are really, really bad. Like using a straw to suck orange juice out of an orange bad. It's a shame that other surrounding countries do such a better job.

While I've never had a bad experience with Romeo & Julieta, I've recently started smoking Camacho Puros (Nicaragua). A very fine smoke. My favorite is Partagas Black Label Rothschild (Dominican Republic), but I'll sub out with a Hoyo de Monterrey or Punch (both from Honduras).

I'm a once-a-week smoker, maybe twice. I like being able to relax with one and your airport ritual sounds perfect. I usually enjoy mine on my porch, with either a beer or a manhattan. Occasionally, I'll have one in the morning with a cup of coffee.

I need to start working on that orphan/futbol/spiritual center fundraiser. . . .
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by life_interrupts
My favorite is Partagas Black Label Rothschild (Dominican Republic)

I'm a once-a-week smoker, maybe twice. I like being able to relax with one and your airport ritual sounds perfect.

I need to start working on that orphan/futbol/spiritual center fundraiser. . . .


I'll look up the Partagas in another month. I didn't try touching them in Havana since so many of them were fake. I was repeatedly told by locals that even certain stores would relabel brand-x cigars with a Partagas ring, let alone every street corner has a guy who has a cousin/brother/sister/father/friend/Castro working at the plant and can get boxes for $20 CUCs.

That airport ritual I got going is about the only thing that stops me from injuring the idiot kicking the seat behind me or from paying attention to latest teenage girl date movie playing. If anything, it's clear evidence that smoking clearly improves your health and the livelihood of those around you.

I think it's time for a smoke.
post #9 of 27
i smoked a ghurka legends pyramid the other night. it was decent but not amazing.
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by life_interrupts
A side discussion: What is everyone smoking currently?
Don't really have a go-to smoke, but lately I've found myself stocking more and more Avos and Bucaneros. Each of them are priced well and have consistent quality. Other than that, in the last couple weeks I've enjoyed a couple Ashton VSGs, an Ashton Puro Sol, a Padron Anaversario, and two R&J (forget which ones).
post #11 of 27
My favorite is a P.G. Maduro
post #12 of 27
I treated myself to a Padron 1964 and a Fuente OpusX. They're sitting in the humidor atm, as I'm saving them for when I really feel it.
post #13 of 27
smoked a dominican monte #2 last night from a box I was gifted by a VP at Altadis. I used to smoke 5x per week, but with the baby and work travel, if I get 1 a week, I am lucky. With that said, I have over 3,000 cigars at home and I keep buying more (boxes of padron anniv and cubans as well). My wife thinks I am obsessed. I hope my grandkids appreciate the sacrifices I am making for them! LOL.
post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 
If I were your grandkid, I'd appreciate.

The Montecristos I bought proved to be fine smokes. I am now a bit pissed that I didn't buy more at that time because I was wary. They are so much cheaper than the retail price of those here (who are Cubans though).
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirk diggler
smoked a dominican monte #2 last night from a box I was gifted by a VP at Altadis. I used to smoke 5x per week, but with the baby and work travel, if I get 1 a week, I am lucky. With that said, I have over 3,000 cigars at home and I keep buying more (boxes of padron anniv and cubans as well). My wife thinks I am obsessed. I hope my grandkids appreciate the sacrifices I am making for them! LOL.

3000 What do you use as a humidor?
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