Share your journey from NC to CC


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Here's something I posted from a discussion a couple of years back which kind of fits the bill (sorry for the length) :

"I guess I started smoking cigars, on and off, about twenty five years ago, give or take. I don't really recall how or why I was drawn to them, what made me want to try them. Early on, specifics were unimportant - producer, country of origin, where the tobacco came from, etc. Having a few drinks with friends, get the urge, run up to the drug store for some Candela Garcia y Vegas..... (knowing, even then, that they weren't tops).

Cuban cigars were never really on my radar. As I became more interested in cigars, I'd do some research, try some things, find what I liked, what I cared less for, become more aware of differences, as well as similarities - understand hype versus reality, at least subjectively for me personally.

So you start to hear and read about Cuban cigars - how much different can they really be? More reading, more research. I'm still not overly interested, but begin to consider it, and regardless, enjoy the process of finding out about something new.

I begin to research Cuban cigars in earnest, still feeling that there cannot really be that much of a difference, and not taking as gospel what I read. But if so many extoll their virtues, there must be something to it.....

So I spend countless hours reading, researching, on my own - what to believe, who to trust. I find a few sites online..... One of them is Cigar Czar. This was before our forum as we all know it today - before Rob had a forum.

I'd read with a smile about cigar dinners, slow race horses, beetle infestations, etc. That site changed and became Club Czar - cigars, watches, pens..... At this point, I've already spent, literally, a few years filling shopping carts, from a couple of sites, but never pulling the trigger - afraid for a few reasons.

A friend gives me a few Montecristo No. 5. They stay in the humidor for months - they can't be that great, can they? (reverse snobbery, as my mom called it). When I finally spark one up, I can sense there is something....
"

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So you start to hear and read about Cuban cigars - how much different can they really be? More reading, more research. I'm still not overly interested, but begin to consider it, and regardless, enjoy the process of finding out about something new.

I begin to research Cuban cigars in earnest, still feeling that there cannot really be that much of a difference, and not taking as gospel what I read. But if so many extoll their virtues, there must be something to it.....

So I spend countless hours reading, researching, on my own - what to believe, who to trust. I find a few sites online..... One of them is Cigar Czar. This was before our forum as we all know it today - before Rob had a forum.

This really kind of sums it up for me also. It was ultimately Cigar Aficionado that drove me to CC's. No matter how far off they may be in the top 25, there were still too many CC's in the highest spots that I couldn't try. Rob and Ken's reviews is where my confidence grew. And it didn't happen over night. I swore it wouldn't happen, but it did, my tastes have apparently changed.

Maybe it's not that much different than food. Those of us in the U.S. may know of a couple chain restaurants, Olive Garden and Red Lobster, especially those of us in the midwest...used to think they were kind of special back about 25 years ago. Moved to the west coast in the early 90's, had fresh seafood and wonderful Italian food, couldn't go back to the chains.

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Smoked NC's off and on from late 1990's til 2000. Started smoking NC's weekly in 2000 through 2005 getting to daily in 2005. Smoked my first CC in 2006 (strangely romantically coincidentally was from the stock of the woman I would later marry)......it was a HdM DC. Ordered my first boxes online from another good vendor that same year. (didn't find FOH until after 2011 or so). Still smoked mostly NC through 2010 but maybe 15% CC. Started smoking almost exclusively CC when the wife and I finally got off our asses and started dating (although after four years together there are still things in her collection that are off limits for me) and I got access to her stock. Continued after heading to mexico and working at the cigar shop. Continued after moving to Cayman and except for the odd gift haven't smoked a NC in 4 years. Some minor exceptions when traveling in the US and I frequent a B&M and will pick up the odd tatuaje or the like.

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Started on NC and for a few months explored them whilst I bought a my first desktop humidor filled it etc...

Then heard about Cubans so went searching...

I finally found the only Cuban cigar shop here and it was near where I lived so I went in and purchased the most expensive cigar they had, which just happened to be a Cohiba 1966 EL 2011

Something wonderful happened !!!

I fire sold all my NC sticks on the local forum which really pissed off the NC shop owner and was guided to *****INT and FOH by a good friend and experienced smoker.

Needless to say I never looked back and smoke CC exclusively

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Not the usual conversion stories I read about, but fun none-the-less, so here's mine: As a very occasional smoker I did not discriminate between NC and CC cigars, although I was conscious that Cubans had a special cachet. At the time I was happy enough to treat it as hype. I gravitated to the lighter flavoured NC, believing that they were on par with CC, just different. As I became a more regular smoker the NC world offered a great variety of pretty bands, and particularly important, a tax free availability on forays to the US. I started a modest collection.

The awakening to CC came as I capped a rather boozy night with a Bolivar Corona Extra purchased at a local B&M; deep, dark, rich flavours that I could still taste well into the next day. To my dismay, the more CC I smoked, the more fault I found with my NC. At first it was the draw, 'comparatively loose' began to feel like a wind tunnel. Then the complexity, or lack thereof became evident, as did boredom by the mid-point. Finally taste, what our host called 'dirty' in an early video review. My taste conversion was not so much an epiphany, more of a progression, a rather quick one.

The worst of the NC stock got tossed, some I smoked to the first third or half before setting them aside. I smoked the last of my NC about a month ago, an Ashton Classic Panatela mostly to the end, for sentimental reasons. I don't plan on closing the NC door completely, sometimes you have to be gracious when they are offered, sometimes there is nothing else at hand, but they will no longer have a place in my bin. The straight and narrow path of cigar enjoyment runs through Cuba.

Cheers,

Alan

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I started with NCs because that was the only thing readily available here. Then I tried the "forbidden fruit" and basically never looked back. I now have exactly 10 NC cigars left in my stash (which I gave up trying to sell) and only smoke them if I get one gifted or traded or when I am at a local cigar shop/lounge where I purchase one out of courtesy to the lounge owner. That is about 0.2% of my stash lookaround.gif

CCs essentially are cheaper for me than NCs and they taste vastly superior to me so why bother? Regarding Padrons, I just can't get over the consistently loose draw and the dry smoke. The last NC I enjoyed quite a bit was Herrera Esteli BTW.

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I finally found the only Cuban cigar shop here and it was near where I lived so I went in and purchased the most expensive cigar they had, which just happened to be a Cohiba 1966 EL 2011

Something wonderful happened !!!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I did the same thing :) but had to order out of Canada as hadn't found FOH yet...paid a lot!

CCs essentially are cheaper for me than NCs and they taste vastly superior to me so why bother?

This may have held me back a while, thinking they were more expensive. By the time I found FOH I was prepared to smoke less and pay more...but was very pleasantly surprised!!!

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I smoked my first cigar years before I started getting into the hobby. It was a NC RyJ. Then I started going to a local shop and buying a stick when I was in the mood. That led to a few sticks when I was in the mood and so on. Then I made the decision to become a "cigar smoking guy". Build myself a coolerdor and started buying samplers and 5packs off of sites in the US. Being that I live in the states, I didn't even know getting Cubans was possible.

Then while hanging out with some friends, a friend of a friend lit up a cigar. Being a new enthusiast, I immediately struck up conversation. He was smoking a Lusis. At this point in time I had come across sites selling CC, but never thought they were real. This new friend told me about this community and our host so I had to check it out.

I still have a lot of NC brands that I like, but I must say my experience with CC's has turned my off to a lot of the NC brands I used to smoke, and in turn has driven my taste of NC's to the expensive side of the market.

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NC VS CC is a bit similar to Old world VS New world wines (Cohiba Maduro being a new world style Bordeaux ;-) ). It's all a matter of preference. I personally like both types but prefer Cubans. With my parents being snowbirds (Canadians going to Florida for the winter), the opportunity is too great for me to quit NC. They have good stuff over there.

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Living in montreal, I started my cigar journey with Cuban cigars. Later on, i deceided to try non cuban cigars whenever i was in NYC or Philly. There are some NC's that i enjoy like some tatuaje's, Fuentes, Pepin's, and i'll get a few singles here and there when im in the states, but I dont see myself buying full boxes of NC's...Reason being simple. PRice. for the same money for a cab of Tatuaje Petit Cazadores reserva (prob my fav nc) i can get a Cab of Party Shorts. Easy choice.

Its like its been stated, its a matter of personal choice, cuban and non cuban cigars all have some exellent cigars out there. Some prefer the in your face strength of nc's...some prefer the complexity of a cuban. To each their own

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I'm just starting this transition so this is interesting for me to think about. Started smoking seriously and collecting about 3 yrs ago, exclusively NC. Still really enjoy some My Fathers, Tatuajes, and others, but joined some other forums and definitely got caught up in hype trains and savvy marketing.

CCs definitely had the forbidden fruit vibe for me, and seemed to be difficult, pricey, and risky to obtain. I acquired a few HdM Epi 2s in a trade. Smoked one last year and was so underwhelmed but I later realized it was probably just young and let it sit for a while. Smoked another a few months ago and HOLY ****. I instantly became obsessed with CCs. Did some research, found this place, and saw how relatively easy and cheap it is to acquire CCs. Now my stock is mostly NCs but starting to add in more and more CCs. Will definitely be interesting to see if my preferences shift to solely CCs or if I find myself smoking a mix. Can't wait for spring so I can start smoking more often again!

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I don't have time to smoke NC anymore. fuel.gif

Will definitely be interesting to see if my preferences shift to solely CCs or if I find myself smoking a mix. Can't wait for spring so I can start smoking more often again!

Be interested to hear an update from you guys in about six months!

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Started in on NC about 11 years ago with a coworker who liked a couple when fishing. I went online and found a place to get handmade a for what he was paying locally for machine made. Got on a few US forums kept getting conflicting story's on CCs. They're all hype, there not any better, you'll get fined thousands and so on. Same story from the local B&M.

So I went on enjoying fuente short story's and Anejos a few Opus X. Always liked the sweet smooth Maduro flavors.

I always wanted to try a CC and decide myself. On a cruise we stopped in Cozumel and I kept seeing all these places selling some neat little 5 packs with a clear cover... Hmmm just didn't seem right to me didn't pick any up.

Our next trip in May 2014 we were in Grand Cayman were a verified LCDH was. Picked up a box of BPC and haven't looked back!

Found this wonderful place when we got back and the credit card hasn't gotten a break since!

Too many new sticks to try to have any NC in the meantime.

Thanks to all that have helped here with the slide down that slippery slope!

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