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  1. Well, they've had several Andorra releases and there's only 76,000 people there so anything's possible. Greenland has 56,000 people for goodness sake. Fun fact--Habanos Nordic is Greenland's distributor. Amazingly, you can buy Habanos there although outdoor smoking is probably a recipe for frostbite. Always found it odd they've have separate Great Britain and UK releases...I guess someone's sticking it to Northern Ireland?
  2. Or they could just scale up the Seleccion series by 5. Wouldn't be a horrible idea, but I don't know if it would be popular. The 5 cigar Seleccion format seems to work for them, and is convenient and good for gifts. No one who is a regular smoker would ever buy it, so it's obviously geared toward the generic Cuban cigar gift-giver.
  3. Of late, the only cigars the company has consistently been able to release on schedule has been Edición Limitadas. Uh, not quite--the only 17 EL released in 17 was the Cohiba Talisman. ...potentially new brands. Interesting...very interesting And I'll add several of the 2017 ERs are still unavailable such as the LGC Britanicas Extra and Punch Preferidos. Maybe looking at 2020 for the 18 releases?
  4. Seems like HSA is in the Half Corona mindset for the global brands, so sure. Any new vitola less than 50 RG has my interest. Just price it closer to the HUHC than the RyJ PR and I'm game.
  5. "Young" being less than 2 years I suppose, I'd say almost all of the current PC offerings (HUPC included) are very smokeable. I can't think of any that really more than 2 years to be very good, when they are good of course. Typically Cohiba performs better with time, but I had a NOV 16 Siglo II early this year that was just stellar. I guess I'd have to say the PLPC is probably the only PC that might be a bit hampered with less. Many like them young, but those rounded caramel flavors really take a few years to come on strong with them.
  6. I once found a very small beetle hole in a Partagas Chicos. Very rare though as I've smoked thousands Chicos in my life. And since these are cellophaned at the factory, it's very unlikely. But it did happen to me once. Basically, I don't think it's anything to worry about but I would be interested in ICT's process.
  7. I think individual humans are just more simple in terms of taste than it appears. I think it's more a function of the amount and quality of data able to be collected and sold these days--TV shows watched, online purchases made, internet searches--the algorithms for isolating these patterns are fairly straightforward. I think if a human were up to it, it could probably make these determinations with enough time--at least for one person. Now, real AI, when the so-called singularity is reached (AI more intelligent than the most intelligent human) is an interesting concept that's decades away. But only decades. I think most of us will live to see it. And it's also interesting that some very, very bright people are afraid of it. I've given it some thought, but not a lot. One would think the developers of such AI would realize it's risks and take measures to protect us from it. An entity with such incredible intelligence is a fascinating concept. It's so intelligent it can increase it's own intelligence. We're talking about virtually unlimited intelligence, and practical sentience. I think perhaps it will result in either the destruction of humanity or the exponential advancement of humanity. And it could only be 20-30 years away. Whoa.
  8. New Quintero Band

    Yes, I suppose this is true, but why must the band be lame just because the cigar is cheap? There's no reason all cigars can't have nice bands. I suppose certain looks require additional materials that could raise the price so perhaps limit colors and gold and embossing for a cheaper marca, but even with those limitations a nicer, crisper and more appealing band can be designed. The way I see it, it's a nice gift to those who buy Quintero. Just because you smoke a cheap cigar doesn't mean you want it to have a lame presentation. Just because someone drives a cheap car doesn't mean they don't want it to look good, or at least to not look ugly. The two aren't mutually exclusive. And something like band design is a one-and-done effort with little cost. Just email the file over to Vrijdag and they print 'em up. HSA has them print up limited numbers of bands all the time for ERs, and that's only for 30,000-60,000 bands. This band is for 20+ years. And believe me, the profit margin on Quintero is pretty high in my estimation. Seconds wrappers only usable for Quintero or JLP, and judging from the recent Quinteros I've smoked very little Vuelta Abajo leaf. Selling for $2.50-3.50/stick with a ton of volume. And don't forget, they did spruce up the JLP bands for the 1996 re-launch. I agree though--no reason to alter the classic Quintero font. Could have kept that.
  9. New Quintero Band

    Eh, I don't know that there's that much gold--at least not any more than most other brands. It's certainly not a QdO-level revision which I could understand people being turned off by. I don't know, this one just seems fine to me. More of a facelift than a total revision. Personally, I'm not one who really longs for "classic design" bands. I'm actually quite surprised by the amount of folks here who are adamantly against any band updates. My take is that there have been so many variations on bands within marcas over the decades that I don't even consider band design to be something "traditional". Bands regularly changed or had multiple variations until the 1960s-70s, so I have a hard time feeling too sentimental about them. And some of them were just terrible. Pre-03 Monte bands are just garbage--not fit to grace a cigar of that caliber. Bands like that may have been acceptable in the 1930s, but times, tastes and printing methods change. Of course, some bands are timeless and still look fresh today. The Partagas Serie bands are fine, but also they are the original, unchanged band for that line, so that means something. The Hoyo DC band is fine. Most of the band updates of the last 15 years really just brought the bands closer to their original levels of detail. The designs were largely fine. As a former regular buyer of unbanded cabs I'm not hung up on bands anyway, but if they're there I suppose I'd like them as classy and nicely-designed as possible. Bands are artwork as is the rest of the packaging formats. Make them great to look at--that's all I care about.
  10. New Quintero Band

    I like it. The old band looked quite cheap IMO. This is a well-done update. Unfortunately the last Quinteros I had tasted like rolled hay.
  11. Yes, I think they are. Last date I can find for La Corona is MAY 17 and LGR picks up at JUN 17.
  12. As long as Cubatabaco exists this won't happen. Cuban tobacco production would need to be completely privatized for raw leaf to be sold to private parties. Interestingly, the vast majority of the cigars sold in the US pre-embargo were US-rolled with Cuban leaf. The US market for Cuban puros was very limited. Cuba sold most of its leaf to the US. The US was working hard to find a substitute for Cuban wrapper as it it's the most expensive part and after 1900 much of the leaf used was Sumatra and Connecticut. If the industry was completely privatized it would be very interesting to see what happens though. Obviously the production infrastructure in the US has vanished and moved to Central America. Technically true, but the volume of smoke ingested is much smaller in a joint than it is in a cigarette. One or two hits of a joint vs. 15-20 in a cigarette, and multiply that by however many cigarettes one smokes in a day. And there are also harmful chemicals used in processing the cigarette tobacco that aren't found in marijuana. One can also use a vaporizer for marijuana to avoid smoke intake.
  13. Never a bad one, but many medicore ones. In fact, I found the 898 handed out at the last Partagas Festival to be thoroughly uninspiring.
  14. Edicion Regional Corea de Norte? Model would be...Dictadores. And you had better like it or else.
  15. Connie A Cuaba Distinguidos JL2 RASCC Honorable mentions: RAS, Punch Punch, Connie 1, PLMC, Monte 1, Siglo II.

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