Habanos Blog: Cuban Cigars, Plain and Simple

Habanos Cigar Blog - The authority on Cuban Cigars. Dedicated to spreading One Man's passion and knowledge for Cuban Cigars and the good life.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Habanos Blog Needs Some Help

Now that I have more time to put into this little project I am starting to critique it all.

The first I want to change is the domain name, I have gone and registered
www.habanos-blog.com, and I hope to be getting hosting soon, probably the end of the month or early july. Then I can move ahead and start hosting the entire blog on a better platform that allows me some more flexibility. Blogspot is great but a little amaturish at times, and utterly lacking flexibility sometimes.

I hope to get some more graphics going up here soon, I got the OK from a photographer named Karl Grobl to post some of his pictures up here. I just need to figure out how to give him due credit with each one, and which to use.

I also added a cuban news feed from Havana Journal, but the feed looks like crap so I will have to try and improve that. It clutters my already cluttered site further!!

That's about all I have to say, but I wanted to let people know that I am dedicated to improving this site as much as I can. It's current state is very much a work in progress.

Any suggestions are of course welcome and appreciated.



Friday, May 26, 2006

Cuban vs. Dominican Cigars Part II

I have decided to expand on previous posts about the difference between cigars from Cuba and those from elsewhere (primarily Dominican Republic, because it is most popular 'other' country).

First of all, differences I might suggest are merely generalizations. They cannot be true for all cigars, cuban or not. That said, I think I have a segway to some myths....

MYTH #1 - Cuban Cigars are stronger. This is probably the most commonly accepted thing that clueless people think they know about cigars. While I will say that Cuban cigars are generally stronger, or more full bodied then non-cuban cigars, it simply isn't true of all of them. There are some Dominican smokes that completely put me on my ass if I'm not prepared to be smoking them. However there are others that I could smoke before breakfast because there is nothing to them.

*One DIFFERENCE in this regard is that just because cubans are strong doesn't mean they are not smooth. For the most part, I find terrible balance in some NCs. It is very rare that a NC is both full bodied and smooth smoking. With Cubans, some very flavourful cigars with a lot of power can be quite smooth and elegant - Like a well balanced and well aged Bordeaux.

MYTH #2 - Cubans are better. This is not true. They are not higher quality, or more consistent, in fact someimtes the opposite is true. I personally find that they are better tasting though, to me...and that is a generalization. I smoke 10 cubans to every 1 NC cigar. They suit my taste better than NC's do. But that doesn't make them better, you have to like them for them to be better. If you don't like them it really doesn't matter what I think. There are some NCs that I simply love to smoke, and would choose them over most Cubans anyday. But I devote no time to learning about them, they simply taste good. There is much more to a Cuban.

I find that the smoke from a Cuban cigar is much more elegant and rich than NC's. The smoke is full of depth and the taste evolves throughout the cigar. The tobacco is simply different than that of other Countries.

Some other differences that I believe are present are the following (all of which could be gone into with much more depth, perhaps on another post)

- There is no mystic to NC cigars. They are basically the exact same all the time. But the taste, wrappers, and overall experience of habanos cigars vary from box to box and year to year. Slight generalization here, but just look at the depth of content and analysis on most good forums; they show you how different and mysterious a cuban can be.

- Cubans are mystical. There is so much heresay, BS, folklore, and science to these cigars. One can devote their entire life to studying them and still not know everything. Part of this is of course that Cubatobacco, Habanos S.A. and the Cuban Government disclose little about their cigars.

- Cubans do not make Maduro cigars. Dominican smokers often look for cuban maduros, frankly I think Maduros are a marketing ploy anyway, they look great, but in a blind tasting I would say that they don't matter. My opinion. (Some cubans do have dark wrappers though)

- NCs are a product, Cubans are a living entity. Sounds cheesy, but thats why they are so sought after.

Stay tuned for more later. There are plenty more myths and plenty more facts.

Jump in Hits.....Habanos Popularity Surge?!? No....

So I have recieved far more hits in the last few days for some reason. All I know is that alot of people are coming from a link in the HabanoCrimeFamily forum, that I am not a part of. If so, welcome and enjoy my site. Hopefully the link is because people like what I am doing and not because they think I am a total wanker. Either way, inbound links are good for me!

Just for the record I am aware that there are some disagreements between a forum that I post on and the HCF forum, and others. I am also assuming the links to this blog are due to the fact that I mention the Cigar Syndicate in it. I will state that I have no intention of entering into any sort of arguement, mudslinging or what not, but only to discuss cigars and my passion for them. If anyone from either side has any intentions of coming to my blog for that it is not welcome.
- Just had to say that -

Otherwise, enjoy the site no matter where you are from.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Cuban Tourists - Selling Cuban Cigars in Canada

So a busy Carribbean tourist season is just wrapping up and in Canada that means people going to, and coming back from Cuba. Cuba is a wonderful place, I have been myself, and loved it. However I find it ironic that a communist country turns people into entrepreneurs. By this I mean that every able walleted man tries to bring cigars back and sell them at a profit. I don't know if this should irk me as much as it does, but it does none-the-less. Every few days I get a call at the shop from someone asking if we buy Cuban cigars. The answer of course is "YES..., but not from you!".

From a vendor's point of view we simply cannot do this. Most importantly the guy selling these probably has fakes. If he doesn't have fakes then he paid more for them then we will anyway, so he's SOL (As vendors we can get cigars for the same price as those who go to Cuba directly, sometimes cheaper. And since real cigars cannot be purchased for $25 a box like the guy on the beach is offering, the seller won't make any money off real boxes at the prices we would be willing to pay).

I say that he 'probably has fakes' because if he knows enough to get real smokes, he probably would want to keep all 50 that he is legally entitled to bring back into the country. Regardless, by purchasing cigars only from the one and only legitimate distributer in the country I can guarantee authenticity. This cannot be done if I buy from a tourist.

Secondly, it is a federal offence to sell tobacco this way. Tobacco has duties, and if those arent' paid you are cheating the tax man and the tax man doesn't like to be cheated. So we simply don't do it. The government doesn't like tobacco much as it is, so we try not to egg them on!

The moral of the rant is that you need not call reputable cigar stores with your offers. If you pick up cigars in Cuba, smoke them. That's what they are meant for. Or give them to friends (real cigars for good friends, give the fakes to people you don't really like!). If you are a real smoker you will save more money smoking them then you will make if you sell them.

Read my post on the authenticity of cuban cigars, and fake cubans. But, there is no substitute for knowledge and experience - that means no shortcuts dude.

No More Cigar Forum on Here

Ok I deleted the little forum I had on here. Frankly, no one was using it, and I figure why do something that someone else is doing way better. By that I mean www.cigarsyndicate.com, If you want a forum go there.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Cuban Cigar News - 2005 Harvest

Straight from the Horses' Mouth - (communist propaganda horse, but a horse non-the-less)


- Found this info from the Cigar Syndicate.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Cuban Cigar Box Codes

Recently I have become more concerned with the date of the cigars I am smoking as I learn more about the aging process and meet people who have smoked, and regularly smoke, vintage or aged product. If you are serious you must start to put some stuff away, as I am starting to do. I of course blame my lack of funds for prohibiting this so far!

Anyway, the point of this post is to offer a great site that has information on dating cigar boxes. If you already collect, you already know how to do this, but if you don't you need this info to get started. If you need more info, join www.cigarsyndicate.com and ask for help (the people to ask will become obvious). I post on that forum under the name AdamH, use me as a referral. Also, even if you buy singles from a shop, ask for aged product or ask to see the codes if the clerk doesn't know. They probably won't cost anymore, (They don't at my shop) and they will make a world of difference.

This is the site where I found some good box code info, (full link not shown)


No 'www.habanosblog.com' for me!!

Just realized some asshole has gone and registered www.habanosblog.com. Great!! So it looks like I am going to be sticking with this blogger.com action for a little while longer (maybe I will change the site name?). I don't mind it, but I would like to make the jump to a more professional independently hosted blog soon.

If you are that asshole that registered www.habanosblog.com please get a life, the name is worth less than you paid for it, you speculating piece of garbage. But thank you for taking the time to go out of your way and spend your money to prevent me from furthering my site and personal objectives. I am sure you will have Viagra ads up on there in no time. Good for you.



Friday, May 19, 2006

Cuban Cigar Reviews - Hoyo Du Prince

I have smoked 3 of these in the last week or 2, all from June 03. I've gotta say I am pretty amazed by these little guys. They are very smooth, but quite flavourful. I find them pleasantly woody and slightly fruity, (cherry?) they get slightly sweet and finish amazingly well. Great afternoon/coffee smoke - in fact, probably the best latte pairing i have had. All 3 burned perfectly too. A must try. I believe they are fairly difficult to encounter in Canada, as I understand that we have the purchased the last lot available here at Vancouver Cigar. But I might be wrong.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Cuban Cigar Reviews - Saint Luis Rey Regios

I just finished a SLR Regios from May/99. It was gorgeous, albeit alot lighter than I was expecting. I did not age it myself, as I just came across the box, so maybe it had dried out at one point and lost something? Either way, it did still have a tremendous amount of character, with some licorice and cocoa notes and the strength reached maybe a 3/5 towards the end. It burned perfectly, drew well and was super smooth. The after taste was mild, but towards the end kind of remind me of raking leaves, which I can't decide is a good thing or not! But a minor detail in the end....

Cigar Syndicate Forum

Hey all,

If you serious about your smoking go check out www.cigarsyndicate.com I just signed up myself and will be posting under the name AdamH. Real original, I know.

It seems to be a wondeful place to find a tonne of information about everything from how to light and cut a smoke, to artfully aging them like a true aficionado.

See ya there,