El Presidente

Are American Cigar Tastes Really That Different to International Cigar Tastes.

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Like a lot of people, I started out smoking NCs. Been smoking mostly CCs now for the past 4-5 years and find them to be more balanced. As for fuller, even the Bolis and Partys lack the punch of many of the full-bodied NCs. Gotta say, though, every now and then it's fun to light up an ass-kickin' Diesel or Opus!

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There are great cigars in NCs too but only people who actually could tell cigars apart from one another smoke them. I think you just don't have as many people show you real good cigars as much in the U.S. than internationally. I used to smoke the same NCs because they were rated high on CA. One day I went into my local B&M in the US and I tried a new cigar for a change and I randomly ran into a great cigar. I think it's all marketing.

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I find this totally surprising. Or maybe my experience is not indicative of the US market.

When I used to visit my local shop daily for an after lunch cigar and occasionally on a Saturday the one thing that struck me was that the guys who frequented the shop smoked much stronger cigars than what I liked or could smoke. I was always searching for medium, lighter wrapper cigars that I felt were affordable on a regular basis.

I do remember when new to cigars I went through a phrase lol3.gif where I smoked stronger/fuller cigars. But that has passed and I find it difficult finding NC's that fit my smoking profile now.

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I have never quite understood the reputation of Cuban Cigars as "strong"

I would really like to buy strong (and still complex) Cuban Cigars but they are very difficult to find.

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Like many of the people commenting here, my experience is that many Americans who smoke a lot of NCs prefer strong, big cigars. But the most common thing that I hear novice cigar smokers say is that they want to try something mild. So I think there is certainly a niche in the American market for people who want something light.

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I find it terribly hard to believe the American market is the lighter body market and the International market is the fuller body market. So many NC cigars are ligero bombs that would turn a seasoned CC smoker green I just find his strategy going counter to reality.

I agree, I feel we tend to really gravitate toward big and bold flavors. Look at our craft beer market. It's all about more IBUs and in your face flavors

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As others have already mentioned, I find this statement surprising. In my experience, a lot of NC are in your face pepper bombs. Your friend obviously knows his business better than I would, so perhaps the majority of cigars are marketed towards occasional smokers? Most of my smoking buddies want to be knocked over the head with flavor.

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I used to smoke cigarettes many moons ago and it was my opinion that U.S. cigarettes were much more full bodied and full flavoured than Canadian cigarettes.

I'm not sure about other country's taste for cigarettes but this would suggest to me that Americans in general might prefer their tobacco on the fuller side.

Of course comparing cigarette smokers to cigar smokers may very well be like comparing apples and oranges but I'm thinking there might be some minor correlation.

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Painted with a broad brush, it's the opposite to what was described, IMO - NC's are generally unbalanced powerhouses, definitely more so than Cubans, especially considering the last decade. I agree that there are differences, but strength plus-or-minus is really dependant on the individual marque. What Cuban cigars perhaps lack in powerhouse strength (although not to a detriment, IMO), they MORE than make up for in blend perfection, flavour profiles, evolving characteristics, and overall enjoyment of flavours.

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Sorry, but your friend is wrong. I don't care what kind of expert he says he is.. The current trend amongst many US. Cigar smokers is balls out strength and fullness. Ligero heavy smokes. In my opinion the majority of those of US smokers who enjoy Cubans, tend to be those who enjoy a more refined, medium profile. When Cubans become available, many smokers will not buy them, the allure will wear off and they will go back to smoking young opus x, and Cain ligero cigars. There are a select few brands however that I feel can and do hit a very nice balance of power and flavor. Some that even mimic the Cuban flavor profile.

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Interesting. I might be in the minority here as not being all that surprised. Now successful doesn't always mean smart. A successful business most likely looked at NC production, demand, and trends in the industry. If they are seeing trends in Europe which show a demand for a fuller bodied cigar, then they are making that cigar type to meet that demand. Same for within the states. If that's what the numbers show, then it is what it is. A smart business would understand it's in their greater interest to introduce each market to your entire cigar portfolio.

So based on your discussion, I would assume all of this was taken into consideration which is why they or going to produce the two different products.

What's also interesting is I believe the top cigarettes smoked in the U.S are Marlboro, Camel and Newport. 3 strong cigarettes.

This is nothing new of course. It happens in every industry to tailor your product to certain demographics.

Again, Interesting. Would love to know Mr. NC cigar maker.

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There's a dimension here that I think is being missed: market segmentation

It is true that there is a wave behind stronger and stronger NC cigars.

It is also true that some who smoke seek out mild and harmless (i.e., Macanudo Gold or Hyde Park)

What I think we're missing is how the industry and the individual manufacturers distribute their volume by strength. Although many "dedicated" or "enthusiast" NC smokers seek out the strong, this may be a proxy search for "flavorful." I say this in the analogous sense of those seeking out Bhut Jolokia for hot's sake as opposed to seeking richness, depth, and balance of flavor...which is quite a bit harder to create and demands more attention to enjoy.

what do you think?

Wilkey

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I would have guessed tastes to be opposite of what your friend describes, so this comes as a surprise to me.

Guess I would be considered international and I prefer cigars that lie somewhere in the medium range when it comes to body and flavour.

This 100 times. I'm honestly shocked that Americans taste is not "fuller". Seems most enjoy the darkest strongest cigars they can get.

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I think it just depends on what you have grown up with and got accustomed to. Take food for example. If you have grown up with a particular food or cuisine then you are far more likely to enjoy that cuisine that if you were introduced to it later in life.

Most of the time, NCs are all that Americans know. A NC is like the national cuisine of the US. Why develop a cuban style cigar for a market has been accustomed to and grown to love the taste of NCs. It would be too different and not in line with what they expect a good cigar to taste like.

Isn't a great cigar a great cigar be it Cuban, Nic, Honduran or Martian?

Well no, not really. A great cigar is the cigar that you or I personally think is a great cigar.

This forum is also not a very good place to ask this question as there is an obvious bias towards cuban cigars. The majority of US cigar smokers would not be smoking cubans regularly, or even at all.

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There's a dimension here that I think is being missed: market segmentation

It is true that there is a wave behind stronger and stronger NC cigars.

It is also true that some who smoke seek out mild and harmless (i.e., Macanudo Gold or Hyde Park)

What I think we're missing is how the industry and the individual manufacturers distribute their volume by strength. Although many "dedicated" or "enthusiast" NC smokers seek out the strong, this may be a proxy search for "flavorful." I say this in the analogous sense of those seeking out Bhut Jolokia for hot's sake as opposed to seeking richness, depth, and balance of flavor...which is quite a bit harder to create and demands more attention to enjoy.

what do you think?

Wilkey

Wilkey kind of beat me to the punch here. The American market is not homogenous. There are a wide and deep variety of cigars available, and all of them sell to one degree or another. If you look on the forums you'll get a bunch of people talking about the latest NIC power bomb, but they are not a representative lot necessarily. Tons of people smoke nice DOM cigars with mild Conn wrappers, etc. For some reason they just don't congregate on the boards.

BTW in my experience this NIC phenomenon is relatively "new." When I started smoking in 2006/7, there were very few Nicaraguan brands and most if not all were crappy as hell -- at least from the standpoint of your average man on the street, B&M shopper.

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There's a dimension here that I think is being missed: market segmentation

what do you think?

To be brief, I agree that there's nothing wrong with providing various blends to accomodate different tastes. I disagree with a blanket statement that attemps to pigeonhole any large group.

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I think the major difference between American tastes (or make that "non-cuban" tastes) is not the flavours per se, but the finish. I think the non Cuban market prefers cigars with longer finishes while the Cuban market likes the shorter and milder finishes to their smokes.

The wider cigars that I have tried seem to show me that. While smoking the cigar the flavours are mild as one would expect with the a big ring gauge, but the lingering finish just keeps on going and going.

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Americans, that smoke cigars for the true value of smoking cigars, procure and smoke Cuban cigars. The mass market is completely different.

If you want to make money, your mate sounds like he knows what he's talking about.

However, a true artist doesn't cater to what he thinks will sell.

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However, a true artist doesn't cater to what he thinks will sell.

Sent from my iPhone

And that's why most artists die penniless!

Someone earlier hit the nail on the head for me when they mentioned that NCs confuse harshness for strength.

I certainly wouldn't like to be trying to produce NCs....it a highly competitive market and we all know you have to spend a fortune advertising in cigar magazines to stand any chance of getting a rating over 90 :P

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And that's why most artists die penniless!

Someone earlier hit the nail on the head for me when they mentioned that NCs confuse harshness for strength.

I certainly wouldn't like to be trying to produce NCs....it a highly competitive market and we all know you have to spend a fortune advertising in cigar magazines to stand any chance of getting a rating over 90 :P

Golden. Nail on the head.

Sent from my iPhone

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And that's why most artists die penniless!

Someone earlier hit the nail on the head for me when they mentioned that NCs confuse harshness for strength.

I certainly wouldn't like to be trying to produce NCs....it a highly competitive market and we all know you have to spend a fortune advertising in cigar magazines to stand any chance of getting a rating over 90 :P

But a true artist lives forever, right?

Sent from my iPhone

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Rob...most of the BOTL's that I trade with are looking for medium to full bodied cigars. More than 50% want them SAF. I think that has a lot to do with age or smoking experience. At some point the strength is not as important (I would say when the BOTL is somewhere in the 40-50's) and enjoys more light to medium cigars. At that point they are looking for more subtle flavor changes. Flavors that come and go. The "Tembas" are the ones with more disposable income and are willing to try more new products as they are like to experiment. As they are worn out by marketing and pretty packaging they seem to settle back to lighter to medium cigars. Not saying this is the norm, but what I have seen over the years. John

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Not sure if this was said yet, but I can see where the manufacturer is coming from. On one hand I don't agree with him because in my opinion, many of the American cigar smokers that are up to date and current with the latest and greatest, boutique brands etc prefer the full bodied cigars that many of us associate with Nicaraguan and other non-Cuban cigars.

Where I do agree with him is the majority of American cigar smokers come in play... there are way more casual cigar smokers that will go into a shop and buy a very mild Macanudo or similar garbage cigar. Same goes with walking into a 7-11 convenience store... they get the mild/cheap crap. There are way more American buyers of this type than the "educated" cigar smoker. I can see this manufacturer wanting to make a quality mild cigar to appeal to the masses.

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