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About Fugu

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  1. Fugu

    Box press

    It is depending on age: Fresh cigars taken out of their box and stored as singles (within a year, perhaps two from date of boxing, as to my experience) can regain full roundness within a few months to a year, provided not stored overly dry. The younger, the quicker. Fairly aged sticks may rebound slightly but will never regain full roundness again.
  2. Fugu

    Box press

    You're sure talking about a complete box? Usually, in standard dress boxes sticks all come box-pressed (exceptions such as cedro-sleeved cigars, certain specials, such as eg. the brooch-clasp Monte520). But if they do, all of those would usually do. Even in Cuba there isn't that much play. I've never seen a non-pressed BCJ or Monte 1.... What may happen, once you dig in, due to the additional space available cigars expand and will lose some of their initial heavy box-press. In the 25ct sbn-boxes you mention (plain wooden, two layers), cigars indeed usually don't come box-pressed. But some again may do, like e.g. the Party LE 2012 (10ct), showing a very slight box-press. But, for the same vitola in identical packaging, the shape would normally be all the same. If you don't dig the press, go e.g. for SLBs, bn, sbn, 898, cedro, tubo, bundle, petaca... but you may miss out on great sticks that only come box-pressed.
  3. A nice lacquered bn boxing. Edit: and a nice vitola to boot.
  4. Apart from legal aspects (TM, as Rob said), if you wouldn't have the 'pedestrian', you couldn't set apart the 'premium'. Basically, certainly a tractable concept. But these here, RG, SP in particular, are to a larger part bought by regular smokers, not so much by collectors of specials. Those buyers don't want to need putting aside a 3-5-year's stock of their everyday smoke (as different to e.g. Sir Winnie or SLR DC, which have always been intermittent in production). Putting those in hiatus would eventually kill the product, as you rid the loyal customer base. But, hey all fine hsa, dress them up, put a second / wider shiny band on, inflate girth, smoke volume and pricing... - that's the way we move today.
  5. Fully non-judgmental, fully! For sure, neither implying an accusation, nor any allusion of "anti-something". Peace
  6. Yep, had those SLBs in mind, too. Same craziness....
  7. Not a fan. Particularly dislike any dressing up of a semi boite nature box, even in part. If you want a dress box - go and make a dress box! A sbn should come plain with iron branding - done. Same holding for the new Partagas or Monte ones, for that matter. And that including that uglifying halfsize-bofeton (you hear me voicing that in utter disgust... haha ), only for saving them the classic glassine & cedar sheet cover. And nothing like the old, wonderful matte monochrome bands (right there with the SP, RG and former Monte gang), With their narrower glueing section even having their pros when removing the band. So, for me it is more than just about design and understatement. On a positive note - the wrappers I am seeing lately appear divine.....
  8. Have to agree with that pedantism!
  9. Good to see you back, SC! A belated happy NY to you too!
  10. Haha, Rob, fella, all good indeed. But just briefly to put that straight - it has been you, quite funnily, insinuating that I were "accusing" the forum of being "anti EU/France". Your wording, not mine! Now it even reads "attacking". Dear me! - you really couldn't be farther off the mark! At times I got the feeling you want to see me in a corner where you'll never actually find me. All good, mate, all good on my part!
  11. Yup - that's the very effect I am talking about. They're making their sales anyway. Not dependent on Chinese tourists. B&Ms start doing the same, not wanting to risk losing their loyal customers.
  12. The fact that there is the leaf being rolled and consumed also in mainland China doesn't make it a country with a 'cigar culture' yet. There are quite a few smaller countries in Southeast Asia with a way more pronounced, long-standing cigar tradition. But that's just not the point. The point here is, folks are obviously perceiving what appears to them as being a sudden "dynamic", a somehow "new demand" in the French market. Likewise they are wondering as to why China might be coming in ('only') on rank three, behind the 'smallish' French market. That's simply missing historical facts and data. Suggesting that the latter is due to mainland China lacking a cigar culture (such as France or Spain,... or even Denmark...), despite its huge population, sparking excitement leaves me befuddled. If they had they clearly were No.1 by far. And in turn - indeed - because of that huge population, a relatively small but in absolute numbers large group of wealthy people is driving China to rank three by now. So, I am a bit lost as to which part of this might be difficult to get? @Corylax18 Chinese people clearing the shelves in Europe (not just France) of Cohiba, Monte (specials) and double-banders is just a very recent phenomenon. It sure may have an effect on overall sales, not dismissing that. But France has always been in top rankings for decades, without the kind "assistance" of China. Therefore - France in top ranking is anything but new. That's the only point I am making. There is no necessity in the reasoning to construct any 'wondrous' effects at work here. The surprise expressed here and by the bloke cited by Rob in his starting post comes completely unfounded. A further point to consider: The Chinese tourists are only buying what is highly prestigious (to them. Or what they are being instructed via skype would be...) and what's in high demand already anyway. Them snagging up Siglo6es, Espies & Co is not altering the figure for those vitolas in their respective European markets to any greater extent. Because were it not for the tourists, those cigars had been sold anyway. I once had to learn it the hard way myself, with a group of young Chinese folk just being quicker than me. But hadn't they bought it, I had done it - so, selling anyway. In my opinion, this "Chinese driving the European market" thingy in this thread is highly skewed. Would they start buying Sancho Panza, develop a sudden hunger for RGPCs, or would distributors suddenly struggle to keep up with their supply of D4s or perhaps JL2 and Monte1, now that would be another story.... Currently Chinese ex-patria demand might boost turnover, it may put pressure on local availability or even bump returns for certain novel shiny specials aimed at that group of buyers. But at the end of the day, there is only so much 'Coheeba' that can be sold.
  13. - @Rob: "accusing", "anti-EU" - seriously, man?
  14. Tourists? Now, this is funny, at least as far as France is concerned. That, and the original questions - "How is France the second largest habanos market in the world? What is the dynamics that created such demand" - are entirely ignorant of the fact that, historically it has always been, and to this day still is one of the strongest CC markets. "Created demand", "dynamics", seriously??! Really a strange perspective to take up when looking at France, which has ever been the biggest overall cigar market (all cigars) in the world behind the USA (with Germany and UK clocking in at +/- 3rd and fourth for decades, while Spain had always been strong for Cuban cigars, for quite obvious hist. reasons). Apart from the economic/legal bonding, and an at times love-hate relationship with Cuba and Cubatabaco (and having saved the Cuban cigar industry from collapsing during the crisis), Spain and France are the countries with the longest cigar tradition. Both holding a strong cigar heritage and tobacco culture in their home countries (as @JohnS already alluded to). Cigars are actually being "smoked" there. Granted, you may look far and wide for a "cigar poser's" habit there... The third, China, ok, file that under nouveau-riche. They don't have a cigar tradition (Hong Kong falls under PCC-distribution in this stat, so left unconsidered here) and still, only a small fraction of the population in mainland China can afford to smoke cigars. The fourth again, Germany, another country holding some of the strongest long-standing bonds to Havana. Behind Spain highly influential in the Cuban tobacco and cigar industry for centuries, and coming with a long-standing cigar smoking culture. Cuba at fifth - showing that this list indeed is about value, not volume. So, this list can really only come to the surprise of the uninitiated. The debate about the significance of France I really find amusing. Ever so slightly tinted perspective of this forum..... haha . A real shame that our knowledgeable members @Smallclub and @laficion are so rarely be heard of lately.

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