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About Corylax18

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  1. Pretty shotty list. How do you include so many teams that were clearly not even the best in the given ear, let alone all time. People seem to forget that both the "Undefeated" (18 wins - 1 GIANT loss) '07 patriots and the '11 patriots lost in the superbowl. To the SAME TEAM. My vote goes for the '07 New York Giants, they were the best when it mattered most. I do have serious respect for what the patriots have done though. If it weren't for the other 2 time super bowl MVP Manning brother(and some other amazing players), the pats would only have 2 clean fingers left. The superbowl last year was one of the best, if not The best, NFL games ever.
  2. Every cigar (save regionals) should be cheaper at Cuban LCDHs. No freight, duties, or taxes (beyond that pesky 51%) but all will certainly not be available. Custom rolls are a great option and value as are the LCDH specials. RA Superiores jump out to me at 56 cuc compared to about $100 anywhere else. Upmann Noellas go for 122 cuc vs $300 plus off the island, jar included. I love my PLMCs at around 72 cuc vs about $100 plus off the island. The link below is to the 2017 price list. The price in all the LCDHs should match this list, if it doesnt somebody is pulling the wool over your eyes. I havent done the math on the highest % savings, but you will be getting a deal either way. Try to set a list, with prices, and go visit as many shops as possible. They all have different stock available so you may be able to find that special box tucked away somewhere.
  3. I believe JLPs are probably the best bang for your buck in the entire HSA line. I smoke Conservas all the time, I received a free '07 box back in 2014 as part of a vendors sale. I've been hooked since. JLP does have very similarly sized cigars in their range so its tough to tell exactly which that was, especially without measurements. My recommendation is to pick up a 5 er of any sizes you may interested in and decide for your self. I know a lot of people dog on the marca, but I really think they are a hidden gem.
  4. I happened to make friends with the Girlfriend of a bartender(and eventually the bartender) at El Litoral on my flight from Cancun to Havana last year. I had a couple unforgettable nights with them there and it will always hold a special place in my heart. Marcel (bartender) made about the same $40 USD per week the Rosa (Radiologist) made per month. Its impossible to know the reason it was shutdown, but unfortunate regardless.
  5. Come to Havana next year!! You get T-Shirts, Kerchiefs, all sorts of Swag.
  6. Yup, Straight Grey Market. I don't see anything to be concerned about. There a a number of "Trusted Vendors" that do this, it is to protect their supplier up the chain from them, who may not want people knowing exactly where all their cigars go. They usually do a cleaner job than that though, one swipe across with the side of a razor blade is all it takes. These smaller labels are easier as you don't have to knick all the micro prints as well. How have they tasted? I picked up a box of these in Havana last November (13 code like yours) and they have been great so far!
  7. Pretty much anything in the larger guages. 52 (pyramides) was the largest standard size for decades. Each cigar gets 1 wrapper leaf, 2 binders (in Cuba) and the rest seco/volado/ligero for filler. Ligero has the most flavor but doesnt burn well. Volado doesnt have much flavor but burns easily. For a 56 or 60 gauge cigar to burn they need to add more Volado, to ensure it burns correctly. They may add a bit more seco/ligero (its almost impossible to confirm) but you certainly dont get a 2nd wrapper or 3rd binder leaf. The larger in diameter a cigar gets the higher that Volado ratio gets (in theory). Its also much easier and cheaper to grow filler tobacco, so the more of that they can stuff into each wrapper leaf the better their margins look on each cigar. No matter how you look at things, the trends are going in the wrong direction. Someone with some business training (college) clearly moved into a decision making roll at Tabacuba when the merger happened. Their business decisions over that period have all been made with a single thought in mind. Profit. REs, LEs, Reservas, Grand reservas, etc. Are all FAR higher margin products than anything in regular production (even Cohiba) Nobody has ever stated any of these cigars has any different tobacco than regular production, just that its been aged longer. They have found a way to double or triple their profit margins using the same product, the same poorly trained rollers in the same crumbling buildings they've been using for years. They buy a fancier box and an extra band from the Dutch, triple the price and tell us its special. IT'S GENIUS. P.T. Barnum nailed it, another sucker is born every minute. Positioning yourself to take advantage of people with more money than brains is never a bad idea. Especially so when the economy is doing well. It will be a lot of fun to watch what happens when things take a turn and they have to rely on a far smaller customer base.
  8. This while the quality of the product continues to dwindle. They know how to increase prices but seem to have forgotten how to roll cigars with any sort of regularity or consistency. They didn't get us for as much as they planned with their new "tourism plan" so now on to the next "plan." A never ending cycle of incompetency. You would have thought about 23 years ago, but they do introduce fancy new bands more often than the other marcas......
  9. 1. Architect - Realized there was too much Math. 2. Engineer - See above. 3. Lawyer I graduated High School without a clue about what I wanted to study or do for a living. My first summer job after school was finishing basements. (framing, drywall, concrete, HVAC) I took to it like a duck to water. I went from driving the garbage truck to managing a framing crew that first summer and never looked back. I ended up graduating college with a construction management degree (still too much damn math) and still use things I learned that first summer today. I have quite a few friends with law degrees and its something I am still very interested in acquiring myself. Construction litigation can involve huge sums of money and be tremendously complex, which is actually a draw for me.
  10. Habanos SA. We can debate Marca specific flavors all day, but production wise, they are all the same. There is no debate left there. Upmanns being rolled at El Laguito, REs and ELs being rolled at Provincial factories, nothing is sacred anymore. I expect to have roughly 3-7 duds a box (construction or flavorwise) and that number is pretty consistent ragardless of Marca. Oh wait, you said just one Marca. I'll say Monte, but they've always been that way, only knock on the Marca in my opinion. Far and away the most consistent marca In my experience is Jose L Piedra. It really defines Cuba to me, if you cant meet expectations, just lower the expectations.
  11. Nailed It.
  12. Ive been twice. Once when I was 11 or 12. It enjoyed thoroughly, but didn't really fell the need to go back. The second time was about 2 years ago, in February for a conference/trade show. I stayed in the compound, but a bit away from the parks themselves at the Grand Coronado something or other. This was also a very good experience, very different though. No kids, only went into the theme park itself for dinner one night, plenty of adult beverages and cigars, Sarah Palin.
  13. There are some cigars only available in tubes (Monte Tubos, Upmann Corona Major, Hoyo Coronations), some cigars just have tubes as a packaging option, and some tubed cigars are by all appearances different than their same sized brethern. (Monte 4 vs. petite tubo). So you certainly shouldn't disregard all as copies of untubed versions. I happen to love all three of the cigars I mentioned above that only come in tubes. I am more than happy to pay a slight "premium" for them. (actually the complete opposite case with the hoyo coronations vs. the smaller du prince) I also enjoy the convenience of Tubes for short term storage/transportation. The whole "tubos get more mold" thing is a bit of a misconception. Tubes will often arrive from long/overseas shipments with a spattering of mold, but if stored properly the tubes don't cause mold growth. The mold generated during shipping is caused by the huge temperature swings that the cigars see during this time. These swings cause moisture to condense. In a dress box or SLB there is ambient air and a poor seal that allow this moisture to be absorbed more quickly. The tubes trap this condensed water against the surface of the cigar, which provides a ripe environment for the spores to grow. If your in home storage is even marginally stable, recurring mold in tubed cigars should not be an issue.
  14. We seem to be ignoring the new strains that began gradual commercial introduction 5-7 years ago. Both the Criollo 2010 and Corojo 2012 have been "approved" by the Cuban Tobacco Research Institute for commercial growth. Its pretty much impossible to know who is growing these new strains, and if they are, doing it in any appreciable volume. The link below is to a previous thread discussing this. My point is, the tobacco in these cigars wasn't necessarily pilfered from any current production. It would make a lot more sense to introduce new strains in LE/RE/Limited production lines with no long standing flavor profile that needs to be matched. It seems it would be much more difficult to blend these new strains into existing blends while maintaining the that same profile. I will make a note to ask about these strains in November. Somebody down there has to have more current info.
  15. After a huge disappointment from the first cigar I was really looking forward to this 2nd one. I have smoked both cigars of this size before and enjoy each quite a bit. Unfortunately this cigar was a complete waste of the 2 minutes I tried smoking it. The wrapper looked like it had acne, and multiple large green water spots. Solid as a rock for the majority of the cigar, cold draw yields no flavors as the cigar is completely plugged. Essentially no smoke production. I attempt to work through the worst of the plug with a draw poker through the head, which causes the wrapper to split almost half way up the cigar. A resounding 0-2 so far, truly the bottom of the barrel in terms of quality. Just like the first cigar I will be taking a blind guess based on size.

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