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  1. Nino has pictures of an early CE box here: The OPs pictures look correct to that box as far as I'm concerned. The Lanceros also look correct to the diplo box, without any of the obvious flaws most of the fakes have (uneven white border around the head and leaf being a very common one). Would need more pictures to get an exact read on the era, but it's at least pre-2000 based on the seal. They're nowhere near as rare and priceless as the CEs, but a 20+ year old diplo box of Lanceros is hardly valueless. Also,
  2. Yeah! I stumbled on it in Dans a few months ago and have been enjoying regularly ever since. When I first found it the 15 was on discount at about $70 and it is very good value at that price. It's still definitely worth a try even at the full freight which is around $100. IMO it is at least on par with other rums around that price point. The 7 is okay, but a marked step down from the 15. The price difference isn't big enough that I would ever buy it over the 15. I bought a bottle to try it but won't replace it when it's done. The 3 is a nice sweet cocktail rum. $5 cheaper than the Ha
  3. I think it would have been 2008 when we first met, Yossie. Crazy. And yes, fashion sense basically unchanged. Thanks all, CCW remains an honour and a pleasure. Thanks for the article Jorge, was fun. And Rob, Gino and Mitch for the kind words.
  4. If you click through on the names of cigars on CCW you get a more detailed page that includes either the official weight (courtesy of the table above - thanks Rob) or an estimated weight (mostly for discontinued or exotic sizes where the official weight is not known). The thing about the 30% variation in weights up or down, is that the "official weight" is not the "ideal weight" or the "perfect weight" or "average weight" or anything like that. I think they just picked a random example, weighed it, and wrote it down as the official weight. So the 30% variation applies within the official
  5. I agree with those ballparks. Total speculation: the percentage of figurados in the lines peaked at about 90% in the early 1930s and declined after that. Given that it is about 80% in the salesman case I'd say that's probably 1930s or early 40s. It's down to about 40% by the time of the display, so that's perhaps 50s somewhere. I have an old Hoyo catalogue here if anyone wants to try and identify things.
  6. The barcode scans as PARTAGAS MILLE FLEURS D-C-C/P-5-n-25. A serial number number beginning with 30 would be probably around 2016/2017 I would estimate, definitely not DIC 20. Aside from that and the stamp though, honestly they don't look too bad. I could definitely see a casual smoker being fooled.
  7. Bolivar Tubos No.3 was listed as discontinued on the 2019 5th Avenue list, which is generally the only cut list that is publicly released. I asked a contact at another distributor who seemed to confirm it ("seems legit" was basically the response). Rob gave a similar response. I would say that we're not out of the woods yet with that MAY 20 code - "one last batch" is very normal. It's in stock at 3/5 of the largest internet vendors right now and at a discount at one of them. No.2 I can find one box in stock after checking 20 or so vendors. When the cigar was cut, Cuba would have used ever
  8. The "Made in Havana-Cuba" stamp puts it pre-Rev or in the first couple of years after it. The foiling on the bands looks pretty flat and muddy, which to me is more characteristic of 70s-80s-90s than pre-Rev when things were held to a bit of a higher standard. The cigars look like a good fit for the box, so should be 44 x 145. Nothing else from Hoyo in this size and not much in other brands. What you can see of the heads look correctly bullet tipped. The colour across the row looks consistent. Based on the bands, my instinct is that the box is refilled, but the question is what i
  9. The CCW system (for those who don't know) is that individuals rate the cigars 1-5 in 6 categories (elegance, strength, balance, complexity, aftertaste, overall), and choose tasting notes from a list or add their own. They can use the ratings for their own reference, but as far as CCW is concerned the purpose of the reviews is that they contribute to a global rating. The idea was that CCW is an objective reference website so it doesn't show ratings biased by individual tastes... whenever the scores are displayed to the public it is an average of all ratings to two decimal places, and then
  10. I have the catalogue you're referencing unedited here. It's dated December 1971. I don't think it's intended to show the complete range... or at least, I also have a more elaborate 1972 Spanish market catalogue which lists a lot more cigars. Interestingly, the 1972 catalogue (which also isn't complete for all Habanos at that time, but might be for the Spanish market) doesn't list the Majestuosos or picture the barrel. So perhaps this was a short lived special edition type of thing. If you go through the the old catalogues in detail you will find quite a few cigars that don't app
  11. Yeah, they package diplo gifts in the old style, at least as recently as about 2015, presumably still today. Cigars are just regular production as far as I know. From what I've heard, they seem to be a fairly casual level of diplo gift where various government officials have a few of these on hand and might hand them out to visiting dignitaries of all forms. Story checks out as far as this goes: at an event there were some around, Castro grabbed one, signed it, and gave it to a journalist. This is as opposed to the other kind of diplo gift you hear about, which are elaborate humidors with
  12. Vote for the 3 dot. Came to me as a gift, but I believe the original source was Cigar Czar circa 2008.
  13. It is up to date as far as I am aware with everything that has been confirmed officially by HSA through one of their channels. If HSA don't announce it, then I usually wait until a number of distributors have mentioned it, there are sizes, pics etc, and it seems pretty firm. I really need at least an exact size before I can add anything, which makes even this cigar a bit tricky. Is it a robusto? Is it short filler? Not a lot I can find on the web about it and sources differ. I would rather not list something than list it incorrectly as CCW is used as a reference by a lot of plac
  14. The answer, according to an interview with Jose Ilario, is that is wasn't produced. In order to produce Medio Tiempo you leave the top couple of leaves on the plant for an extra two weeks after the regular ligero leaves are harvested. The extra time is what makes them into Medio Tiempo. The technique and classification has been around since the 1930s, but it wasn't commonly done until the BHK range. I have seen documentation that backs up at least the 1930s part. Whether that is marketing or not... well, you decide. But that's the official story.
  15. There's an interview with Ana Lopez (former HSA marketing director) where she talks about the process for creating the Serie E 2. She talks about the panel trying the prototypes and then rejecting them all, and then the master blender coming back with one which had the same proportions of ligero, seco and volado as before, but used a volado leaf from a higher part of the plant, and that's what they went with. So from that I get that the bundles of leaves that the rollers get are categorised into the standard seco, volado, ligero etc and then they roll with the proportions they are given,

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