Cuban cigars are the most coveted sticks for smokers, and they are popular for their rich flavor and smoothness. But with popularity is also associated the business of fake products. You never know that the prized stick you are holding between your fingers is a real one or a fake one. The best you can do is to buy from a reputed and legitimate dealer. Your local tobacconist may help you spot a fake box and spare you from forking out a huge amount on it. If you want to spot a real Cuban cigar from the fake one, then here are some tips for you.
Cuban cigars are packed in specially sealed boxes, the examination of which will ensure you puff the real sticks. Authenticated Cuban cigar boxes contain a white and green warranty seal. This can be found on the left front corner of the box. However, if you have gone for a Trinidad, Q’dorsay or a Cohiba, the seal appears on the right face of the box. In the seal, you will find an insignia which contains the picture of a hat and a shield.
Move to the upper right corner of the box and you should come across a white sticker placed diagonally. The sticker displays ‘Habanos’ on it.
General cleanliness of the box
When buying, go for a neat and clean box. If you are supplied with smudged, damaged, marked or a frayed box, ask for a replacement. Don’t buy a box that looks dull. It does not necessarily mean that the cigars inside are fake, but it surely means that the product is damaged; maybe during the transportation.
The bottom of the box of authentic Cuban cigars should display ‘Habanos’ as a heat stamp. It is mandatory that the heat stamp appears at the bottom of the box. Fake manufacturers often use paper labels or rubber stamps to imprint the words.
A factory code should also appear at the bottom of an authentic box and the numbers should be in blue, green or black. This gives you an idea of the date and place of manufacturing.
Smell of the tobacco
When you have completed the examination of the box, open it and smell the tobacco before lighting it. Cigar aficionados will instantly recognize a real Cuban product. Cuban cigars have a rich and deep aroma, which is unique to it. In case there is no smell or the smell is weak, chances are that you are holding fake cigars. Often artificial aroma is applied to the tobacco but it doesn’t wholly replace the true flavor.
Arrangement of the sticks
The cigars are meant to be found facing the same direction with the top row giving a slightly flat appearance. The cigar bases should be neatly cleaned and each should look identical from the topmost point to base of the cigar. The bands of all the cigars should be at the same level.
General feel of the sticks
You may also know a good product by the feel of the stick with varying soft and hard patches. Run your fingers through the entire length. The sticks should be firm yet they would feel pliable.
When everything seems right, put the stick between your lips and light it!