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About uscmd310

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  1. Sounds like an amazing trip! Make sure and take notes. I'd love to hear about Trinidad. Find out which customs fit your palate early, then place a custom order and pick it up at the end. Let me how Reynaldo is at Conde. That's my goal in July when I visit.
  2. maique can get tours for you for el laguito. We didn't bother because the security is very strict there. Even at la corona it was very hard to buy cigars from the rollers anymore. There was a security guard (definitely army) that followed each group of tourists. I still managed two handfuls of monte #2 for 10 cuc.
  3. Family will be staying in playa del carmen in June. I'll probably be staring at cuba, which is an hour away, the whole trip. But this trip is for fathers sake. He wants to introduce the new girlfriend (who is younger than i am). What could go wrong eh?
  4. Wow thanks for this.just ordered in amazon. Now I can give back daughters pick up sticks
  5. Monsdale and Jorge's robusto largo should be 5 c.u., so for a bundle 125 c.u.
  6. I searched everywhere for Behike and my favorite Cohiba Robusto Suoremo. Maybe 15+ stores. Got lucky and found 2 boxes of Behike 52 for $262. I think they sell for $800 now. No way I would pay those prices. Crazy insane. I found a partial box of supremo at $27 per stick. Very difficult to find premium boxes now, let me know how it is in June? If you see ANY Behike - don't hesitate. Buy them.
  7. This was on the birthday of his grandfather Don Alejandro. Hirochi (on the left) brought out his private stash that he had rolled himself. 5 yr wrapper and filler. I was too embarassed to ask him how long these had aged in his humidor. I thought it was better than any Dunhill or Davidoff aged cuban. (On the right) Our guide Maique the ex-president of Habanos SA, creator of the Behike.
  8. Hirochi had two oxen that helped plant (and fertilize) the crop. They were named El Presidente. And Mentiroso. President and Liar.
  9. This was the Dec/Jan crop being aged at the Robaina farm. They had planted a 2nd crop because the output was so low. This was due to a lack of fertilizer. Sometimes things don't make sense - it's Cuba.
  10. VIP lounge at the LCDH at old Partagas Factory. La China joined us and rolled some customs for us.
  11. Casa used as a diversion. Pool and beach for the kids and womenfolk, so the guys could smoke and drink rum for 12 hours a day.
  12. Had to get another cabinet to fit custom rolls. Also to keep separated from my boxes in case of bugs. Always always freeze custom rolls. 100% they have beetles.
  13. I have no idea how to post pictures Do I need to reduce size and image quality?
  14. My first trip to Cuba - if you are considering it... don't wait, take the plunge. I'm going again in 2 months! Flight was an easy non-stop 4.5 flight from LAX to HAV $344 roundtrip on Alaska Air. Declare that you are person to person educational trip. It’s the easiest to qualify for as you state that you are learning about the culture, food, music, cigars etc through independent travel. I booked a casa particulares. This is a private owned home on Airbnb. The government has started to allow private business for Cuban home owners. This is cheaper than hotels because the hotels are state owned management that was charging $600+ for “a 5 star” which in Cuban terms is a 3.5 star. We paid $70 per night per room for a beautiful casa with a pool. (includes breakfast) Currency, US dollar has a 10% penalty as well as a 3% conversion charge to cuban convertible peso. So I bought Euro then changed to cuban. I lost 6% in conversion vs. 13% for US dollar.Rum: dirt cheap. Havana Club 7, Santiago 7, Legendario was $6.50 per bottle. These are quite decent and go for $40-60 here in the US. Santiago 11 and Havana Club Mastro was $40. Found 2 bottles of Barrel Proof for $100. I prefer Santiago. Smooth, hint of sweetness, caramel and woody. The Santiago 25 was amazing but I am a cheap bastage so I didn’t buy any bottles. $240. Cigars: This is where it gets long. We were blessed in our guide, the ex-president of Habanos SA. This guy new everything about everything about Cuban cigars. I learned more in a week than 27 years of smoking Cubans. This guy makes more working as a tour guide. He charges $150 per day which includes a car. Which is what you would pay anyway for an english speaking driver with car. But he made it VIP the whole week. He had all the master rollers on speed dial. We never paid for factory tours or farm tours. For example, we sat in all the VIP lounges while the managers and master rollers sat and smoked with us. Hirochi Robaina pulled up a chair in the middle of his work and brought out his private stash of personal cigars to smoke with us! Our first stop was the mecca of Cuban cigars, the old Partagas factory which is now shut down and just a La Casa Del Habanos. It felt like Olivanders wand shop. Just so beautiful it makes you want to cry. Met our first torcedor, La Chine. Torcedors are allowed to make extra money by custom rolling cigars which they split 50% with the state. $25 a month is average salary for a Cuban. I was abit disappointed in La Chine pyramides and robusto. Very light (refined taste?) but after 6 cigars that day I couldn’t taste them for shit they were so light. $5 per stick. Alex at the Comodoro Hotel, this guy is Michaelangelo. The youngest torcedor in present cuba at 31 years old. His cigars were incredibly amazing. He offered any size, and length. His canonazo was the best for me. 54 by 6. $5 per stick. And his behike 52. Also $5 Yolanda at the Melia Habana. Her robusto was amazing, but my tastes give Alex the slight edge. $5 . She was incredibly gracious. Definitely the queen of her domain, which includes the Comodoro and Melia Habana as she runs the place. She stayed and smoked a cigar with us, wanting to talk to foreigners. Jorge, took over for Enrique Mons. His Lonsdale was very good, but his other sizes were unimpressive for me. $7 stick. Cueto, his cigars have gone down in quality. Taste is still amazing to me but underfilled with less complexity than years past. $7-10. While talking with Hirochi, Tobacco leaf was supposed to be best harvest ever. Truth was leaf quality is good but output is at less than 50%. Large sizes and top boxes were nowhere to be found. Searched 10+ stores and no behike. Was told that top boxes will be scarce for at least 2 years now, so buy up what you can. Its only going to get worse. Obama removed import limits. Brought home 22.5 bundles and boxes. In excess of 600 sticks. Had to buy another cabinet humidor.10 bottles of rum. Santiago 11 and legendario. Trip was worth every penny. Already booked for return trip. Feel free to ask questions.
  15. 100 cigars and 0.75 litre of rum are the amounts which are duty free. As long as you pay the tax you can bring in unlimited cigars or rum as long as it is for personal use (Obama Oct2016). Last cuba trip I brought back 23 boxes/bundles of cigars and 8 bottles of rum. So I didnt have to pay tax on the first 100 cigars per person and the first 0.75 litre per person. I declared them correctly and paid $57 tax on the cigars and $24 on the rum. However the customs guy had no idea how to tax these items (it was his first time with cuban goods) and it seems like he was grasping to figure out how to correctly tax.

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