2001 Cohiba Lanceros--cardboard packs


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Hi all,

     I'm considering pulling the trigger on some 2001 Cohiba Lanceros in a 5x5 pack.  I did some searching around and saw a few other threads regarding aging CCs in cardboard vs dress boxes/cabs/etc.  I am not terribly concerned that the 5x5 itself is an issue with a 15 year old cigar.  My question is as follows: I would be buying these cigars blind from a source that has generally been good to me, however I was burned once on a 2008 box of Monte #3s that were almost entirely plugged.  The price on these sticks is relatively high, and I'm curious to know whether any of you have any experience with Lanceros of this year in 5x5 packaging.  Are they generally a safe bet?  Does the dreaded year 2001 mean I should be wary of such a purchase?  Any guidance or input would be greatly valued.  I've been searching for a box of Lanceros for a while--of any vintage--and if this would be a good buy I certainly don't want to pass it up.  As I'm sure you know, these sticks are not particularly easy to come by.

 

Thank you.

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I think ultimately your safest bet would be in person, hands on for an inspection. Even a great cigar, from a great factory that everyone back in 2001 raved about could be a shit smoke now if kept in poor conditions. Being that they are 2001 I would ask for its provenance. 

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My general thinking is normally anything from that time period that was worth buying has already been purchased long ago. Anything still available for a reasonable price is still available for a reason, just look how fast the current production stuff gets gobbled up on 24:24.

 

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I burned through a petaca of CoLa from 2001 and found them generally good with no plugs or lingering cardboard flavor. The guys I split them with had no complaints I've heard either. Keep in mind, these were rolled at EL. I'm not sure that EL had the same issues with young/inexperienced rollers that other factories did. Logic would dictate that HSA keep their most experienced rollers working on their flagship cigars.

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1 hour ago, Fugu said:

I know, this is not the answer you are looking for, but - and following the words of caution voiced by NSX - I'd strongly recommend getting a box of current '14-'16 production (MUO 15 as a standout for me, and see Rob's and Ken's review on '14 stock) instead and age for yourself (or even smoke now). That's a much safer bet - nothing better to be had for your money atm!

I absolutely would do this in a heartbeat if I could find them anywhere. 

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If they weren't petacas and the box was sealed, I'd say go for it. But since they are in petacas, they'll most likely be void of smell. Happens with very old petacas in my experience. I smoked through a box of 2001 CLE CoLa 4 years ago and they were absolute gems....but they came from a 25ct box. 

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I happen to like the '01 Lanceros. I bought a bunch of them when no one would touch them out of frightful myths, legends and rumors that regularly run amok on cigar boards. There is always a risk buying cigars...! I happen to like many cigars rolled in these years. At the time, the risk reward mix was worth taking.

Which brings me to an off-point. It is interesting that folks that will blindly assess a traditional cigar based on the year it was made, will blindly buy a cigar based on the additional band made for it... Quite a paradox as I see it.

I am not going to tell you to buy them, you have to assess why the purchase is important to you and judge the risk verses the reward. People are selling cigars all the time, and some are good and some are bad, and most of the advice above is just about playing the odds. Playing the odds is what you are left with when the company that makes the cigars will allow a mix of great, mediocre and garbage cigars with their name on them, into the market.

For me the answer is always about price. What are they worth in your mind?

While I read some of the posts and scanned though many of the rest, I have to fall back on what I almost always fall back on. What does the age of the cigar have to with the price when the cigar is still made? I happen to like @Fugu (Goo's) answer. If I were buying Lanceros today, I would look for a deal on current stock. And if age is important, I would provide it myself.

One other suggestion. Since these are cardboard packed, maybe the vendor would have better success in selling them in the 5 packs that they come in. Maybe he will sell you 5 and that will mitigate your risk and satisfy your curiosity.

Best of luck! -the Pig

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I personally would not buy them being 16 years old in cardboard plus the fact they are lanceros and 2001 is a risky year not so much for other sizes but the lancero especially, I would definitely as well go for newer boxes  or older!! (if it can be found) but if you are a gambling man then I say why not go for it

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Lots of good advice above.  

Echoing what has been said, I would steer clear of a full 5x5 if it cannot be verified to be intact and from El Laguito.

I have had a few CLE 2001 Lanceros from petacas that were excellent cigars, so they cannot be written off based on year and packaging alone.

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The CLE '01 25 box of Lancero were the bomb, at least the one I had was. One of the cigar exceptions to the rule about not buying those cigar boom years, 99-'01. I can't help but thing that stock from those years has been picked over big time. But hey, others her may know something I don't.

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13 hours ago, NSXCIGAR said:

I know exactly what cigars and vendor you're referring to. While I trust the vendor, and you can be sure you're getting authentic cigars, this is not a situation where I'd feel comfortable for several reasons. 

First, 2001 is the danger zone for quality. I know this vendor does not share box codes on regular stock, but perhaps you can get the code for their vintage stock. If they're not El Laguito (CLE), I would not even think about buying them. Also, if they are not sealed as Rob notes, I personally would not touch them.

Second, this is a highly desirable cigar with a lot of age and the price is only ~15% higher than recent production. Also, these cigars are basically right out on front street on the vendor's site. This is a very popular vendor, and thousands of people are looking at these every day, and no one is buying--even at that low price. I have purchased a fair amount of vintage cigars from various sources, including auctions, for 15 years. Invariably, when I've purchased vintage cigars that have sat in a vendor's published stock for a long time (1 year+) at a relatively low price, I have been very disappointed.

FYI, 2001 Jose Marti factory (ECA) Lanceros 5x5 packs went for $570 in 2015 and 2001 El Laguito Lanceros 25s went for $900 in early 2013 at a reputable auction. So these, if El Laguito, are certainly priced way under market. And I've seen them up for a long time--at least all of 2016. And I haven't thought about buying them one time.

And finally, this vendor really doesn't specialize in vintage stock. These cigars just appeared out of nowhere not that long ago, Cigars this old would probably not have been released in a distributor program. It just doesn't make any sense for a very popular vendor to sell these to the public at that price. Again, vintage Lanceros are generally highly sought after cigars. Surely someone connected to the vendor would have picked these up before they made it onto the site. And be sure, the vendor is acutely aware that this is a low price. Vintage Cohibas are not typically not a cigar that needs to be priced to move. 

Anyway, all signs on these point to disappointment IMO. What makes the most sense is that the vendor or someone close to the vendor sampled some of them and discovered they are indeed turds that no one would want from a year that is highly undesirable. And he's discovering that 2001 non-El Laguito Lanceros that may be unsealed and have questionable provenance are hard to move--and probably for good reason. 

Anyway, if they're sealed, and you have the money to roll the dice, it's not the end of the world of they suck. And the rest of us can avoid the mistake!

Funny you should bring this up--They were for sale for roughly 10% more by that vendor in November/December of last year, and sold out.  Now they're back for (like this post says) roughly 15% more than retail value for recent production. That gave me pause as well. 

 

Now if only I could find a box of recent production COLA for sale....

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22 minutes ago, dominattorney said:

Funny you should bring this up--They were for sale for roughly 10% more by that vendor in November/December of last year, and sold out.  Now they're back for (like this post says) roughly 15% more than retail value for recent production. That gave me pause as well. 

Well, there's been some positive feedback on the 01 packs here, and if the boxes are sealed, and you can confirm they're El Laguito, it's not a totally foolish proposition. I'd agree with Rob on the 70% chance of disappointment, however. 50/50 at best. So as long as you're OK with that, what the hell. And if they're great, well, you have yourself a great deal on additional purchases as it seems the vendor is fairly well stocked on these.

Personally, if I really had a hankering for some good Lanceros, I'd look for recent production (MUO/AMO) and let them sit for a couple of years. While 01 does have some positive feedback, I really don't think they're going to be superior to recent production with a few years of age. We're not talking about 1996 Lanceros here. There was nothing produced in 01 that hasn't been matched in quality at some point in the last 15 years, and by all accounts 13-15 Lanceros are smoking beautifully now. 

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Most aren't going for cardboard presentation on a fancy cigar like that; so at least you have that in your favor...  2001 was quite some time ago, so why are they still here for such a popular cigar?  That being said, the best lanceros (Trinidad or Cohiba) I have ever smoked have all been in cardboard of different vintages...

If this was 6-10 years ago I'd say go for it, but I have feeling the best cigars of that iffy era are long past sold/smoked.

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2 hours ago, alozano87 said:

Keep an eye on the 24:24's, I was in a similar boat, then I saw some come up and pulled the trigger immediately on a box of CoLa's. You have to be quick though because they sell out fast.

Rob had 2016 EL CoLa up on a 24:24 earlier this week. Was lucky enough to get a box. They do come up occasionally, but you must be quick! As for the '01 5x5s I'd pass and wait for them to pop up on a 24:24. Robs inspection is worth its weight in gold, particularly for pricy sticks, IMHO.

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I agree with everyone lucky enough to have snapped up a box on 24 24. Sadly, I'm usually in court when the sales pop up so I'm on average and hour late to the party. I should give my secretary a bonus and have her troll the site for me on the daily. 

 

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14 hours ago, dominattorney said:

I agree with everyone lucky enough to have snapped up a box on 24 24. Sadly, I'm usually in court when the sales pop up so I'm on average and hour late to the party. I should give my secretary a bonus and have her troll the site for me on the daily. 

 

I'd say get in touch with Rob.

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