El Presidente

Cuban Cigars that could pass as Non Cuban?

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Smoked a RyJ cazadores they had some serious kick and flavor that I would associate with some NCs

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3 hours ago, havanaclub said:

I find a lot of NC smokers enjoy D4s, RASS and BBF.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Funny that. Shorts, RASCC and BPC were my crossover sticks....

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I've heard the RG88 because of how awful it allegedly is. I have a few boxes but because of the terrible reviews, have yet to try any 

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50 minutes ago, WABOOM said:

It frightens and confuses me that someone wants Cuban cigars that taste like Non Cubans. c9d4d363c8038d6d5f4320c9236fc7c4.jpg

 

 

I don't that is what the individual is looking for. They are probably looking for something that matches similar strength, body and flavor range. I enjoy both cc and nc. Since smoking cc I've been able to pinpoint what I enjoy in a cigar. Mild to medium strengths, medium to full body and flavor with a range of sweet, earthy, woody, savory and creamy flavors with balance. I don't like spicy peppery cigars or full strength. I think this is what the individual is looking for which they can find in most cc imho. I like most Illusione and I like most cc I've had. My suggestions would be RASS, HDMDC, HDM EPi 1, Party 898, just about any H. Upmann, Punch Punch, BBF, Monte 2, Fonseca 1...I can go on. There are a lot of cc that fit the above range. The only marca I've tried that I didn't enjoy was Cohiba, surprisingly. Just didn't hit my palette in a way that justifies its price point for me.

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Cigar smokers, especially if we consider the international, understand the strength of cigars in different ways. There is the concept of body - saturation and concentration of taste (wine term).
There is a concept of strenght - the amount of nicotine.
HSA claims that the number of ligero leaves is chosen so as to provide approximately the same strenght in all brands. Why does nicotine in some cases feel like hot air or boiling water in the mouth? At the same time, if the cigar has a good body, then nicotine is felt only when the body is weak. Good body gives a balance of taste, aroma and strenght.
With a lack of body and strenght we take a couple in the form of aged alcohol, compensating for the lack. Those who choose NC say that the taste is softer than Cuban. To pick up a cigar (no matter NC or CC) it is necessary to understand what the smoker likes, whether he usually uses alcoholic pairing.
It is also important to determine the type of wrapper the smoker prefers. For CC similarity with Nicaragua by the nature of taste will be in Maduro. For the Dominican light wrapper should try CC light wrapper. Dry light wrap young CC often gives a hard dry taste. Oily wrapper gives a juicy taste - increased saliva, as if in the mouth juicy fruit.
To recommend CC we need to learn more than the specific NC you like. Need to know what exactly like in cigars.

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My first experience with Partagas Shorts was a surprise, a lot of cigar in a small package. It smoked like a much larger cigar. I can see how it might not be for everyone or may not be the way to go right now.

I don't know any CCs 100% or 80% like NCs.  50% similarity at best in my limited experience.

I'd like to read what he likes about, and tasting notes for, the Don Carlos and Illusione.

I've had multiple Don Carlos LE Robustos and noticed:

Medium flavor, medium nicotine, ramping up at the last third. 

Construction: Tight draw, well compressed leaves in head and foot. Occasional cigars have a soft spot, easy enough to pinch with the fingers.

Core is a familiar Fuente taste (mild/medium signature terroir/dna) but clearer and more prominent, along with chocolate, cinnamon, wood, (and a bit peppery but only once in a while.) Occasional lingering sweetness on the finish.  Try a RASCC!

My own unique view of the Don Carlos LE Robusto's complexity. These are amalgamated notes of multiple cigars, in thirds: cedar, milk chocolate, mild sweetened cream coffee, graham cracker, maple syrup, sour tobacco, butter, vegetal, burning autumn leaves, cigarette, marzipan, cedar, white matchstick tar, cream, mild tobacco, pepper, acrid, honeydew, metal, red hots candy, cherry cordial foot smoke, peppery draws on tongue, 2nd third Hint of milk chocolate, cinnamon, matchstick tar, bread toast foot smoke, almond mildly sweet, toasted almond, kiwi foot smoke, coffee, maraschino cherry, bbq steak, nice smooth nic kick.  Some bitterness and bitter chocolate last third.

I'm not sure what to else to suggest, I'm a novice.  Maybe Montecristo mixed with HdM Epicure No.2 but I'm not aware of a single cigar with those traits.

Make sure CCs are smoked dryer than NCs.  Get a 58% boveda, or dry box, or read everyone's opinion online and decide what you want to try, etc.  Usually a good indicator, for me, is a loose band (which someone else suggested, not sure who, probably more than one person.)  As the cigars dry out and shrink, the bands become a loose. You can feel and see this with your fingers, we are talking a fraction of a millimeter, but it's obviously loose. 70% is too wet and it won't burn/taste like it can.
 

 

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Talking with a lot of older CC smokers that cut teeth on NC, and have settled in to preferring the taste of CC and not just the mantle of mystique, the biggest difference to 'get over' seems to be in general CC tobacco is much younger that almost everything touted as good at a USA B&M. Several BotL in my circle refuse to buy any boxes of CC without close inspection and refuse 4 of 5 boxes shown, so that puts them in the position of stocking Davidoff, Fuente etc as easy to acquire stock while waiting for what CC they do hold to age or whatever. Some people I know do more touching and looking than smoking...

Once you get to Fuente DC, every leaf is 5 years aged prerolled & aged at least another year before boxing; unless your local rolls inventory pretty fast on Fuente, you could easily have something 8-10 years from the fields. I regularly find sealed boxes of DC 2-5 years old freshly shipped from Fuente brokers. Most boutiques follow this general pattern as well, often one strata of the cigar will be 5-10 years and held for release for 6 months or a couple years. I only see HSA doing this on a few items as a habit, aged stock does not seem to be the norm. I'm sure I'd have a different view if distribution channels were at all similar.

Regarding Illusione, they make so many cigars that if you tried them all you'll find one you love. I've never had a 'bad' Illusione or Tabernacle.

I had exactly the same experience with Partagas Short coming from daily NC. It seemed harsh and gusty. 1) a less than 1y old party short is not apples and apples with say a fresh DDT TLD half churchill or a Warped Corto, which in my mind are very Cuban taste DNA and about same size. 2) humidity of NC v CC. A 69% NC burns well. A 69% CC barely burns. 3) overall, i would be of the opinion construction of NC combined with lounge culture leads to 'aggressive' smoking habits which overheat tobacco. NC to me can take a beating with regard to smoking style; CC never rewards anything but gentle patience.

Another apples v apples situation i see regularly is vitola crossing. In NC, I don't think size matters nearly as much to flavor as CC, so a churchill smoker can step to a PC to try a new brand at 1/2 the investment and time as a novelty and still have some basis to make the decision on stepping up to their prefered size. So, a DC#4 would have some of profile of a DC Presidente. With my admittedly limited experience, I would say there's a huge difference between RASS and RASSC, partagas short and D4 and E2 and P2, esp when compounded with a 2 year short is kinda ready and a 2y e2 needs 2-5 more years.

What i have found most accepted by NC smokers as 'wow' - 

Monte #2 & #4, partagas D4 - ppl love to recognize something and these are popular for a reason 

San Cristobal Principes (could be that I personally tout these hard and give them out exactly like tootsie rolls, so many more rolls of the dice)

Bolivar anything

Sancho Panza non-plus - passed out a handful of these last week to occassional smokers as I mispacked and surprised by the unambiguous 'wow' response. Big flavor: easy to like.

Misses

RyJ anything - hard to explain, I would guess a bitter sourness which is not present in the Altadis USA marques.

Cohiba Siglo I-III - the heavy hitters work on novice palates, but newer little blends have nuances and delicacy that may take a touch of training to detect and appreciate.

~

My personal big takeaway on taste -

It's yours and it changes. Revisit things. Not liking something now doesn't mean a thing, whether wine, whiskey or cigars. You may like it later. You may always like Jack and White Owls. You may aspire to LXIII and 1966's. Just enjoy what you have a share what you can!

 

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The only contender I have for a CC thats tastes like and NC is   RA Extra.......still sends shivers of blehhhh! down my spine.  

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1 hour ago, 99call said:

The only contender I have for a CC thats tastes like and NC is   RA Extra.......still sends shivers of blehhhh! down my spine.  

One of my all time favorites. Interesting!

7 hours ago, ohbob976 said:

 

Smoked a RyJ cazadores they had some serious kick and flavor that I would associate with some NCs

 

My favorite and only RyJ in my humi.

Also that a cc could be too strong when an expensive Padron Maduro could sometimes make your eyes buckle.

My fave nc is Opus X. Strong and more expensive than many cc’s too, so I’ll just stay here.

CB

 

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10 hours ago, JoeyBones777 said:

The original or Havana seed Tabernacle? 

It was the original Toro. 

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14 hours ago, CaptainQuintero said:

On topic- the illusione CG:4 is very close to the Upmann Mag46 imo 

Agreed here. I've found The CG:4 to have a spoonful of slightly sweet, slightly nutty cream added in to the blend that could easily place it as a distant cousin of The 46. 

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San Cristobal Principes is what I usually offer those who are new to CCs and not heavy smokers of NCs.

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14 hours ago, Shelby07 said:

Not what you asked for but another factor to consider is humidity. A Cuban smoked at a typical 68-70Rh is going to be much harsher than one smoked at a dryer Rh. Most folks prefer Cuban cigars at around 60-62% Rh. Try some of the cigars suggested in this thread but try them a a lower Rh. Search for threads about dry boxing and discussions on humidity.  

If one can even get a cc wrapper to burn at 70%. Probably due to a leak or whatever, my tupperdor and desktop both register 64% very consistently with 69% boveda 60g packs in them. They burn wonderfully at this RH.

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The only time I thought the Cuban blenders must have had a little experiment with Nicaraguan-style flavours was with the 2015 Club Allones... but in the end I find all NC’s miss something at their core. Their so-called strength is always on the outside , whereas CC’s strength are on the inside IMO

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19 hours ago, WABOOM said:

It frightens and confuses me that someone wants Cuban cigars that taste like Non Cubans. c9d4d363c8038d6d5f4320c9236fc7c4.jpg

 

 

      *It is a tad like wanting a prime rib steak that tastes like a balogne sandwich** :blink:

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It’s been a while but I’ve smoked a fair amount of don carlos, mostly #2. I remember tobacco, honey, graham cracker, and wood. Never had a CC with all of those flavors but to me HDM, RyJ, Upmann, and the Cohibas I’ve had are in the same ballpark in terms of being a mild to medium smoke that might hit a few of those notes. 

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1 hour ago, Boxer1 said:

It’s been a while but I’ve smoked a fair amount of don carlos, mostly #2. I remember tobacco, honey, graham cracker, and wood. Never had a CC with all of those flavors but to me HDM, RyJ, Upmann, and the Cohibas I’ve had are in the same ballpark in terms of being a mild to medium smoke that might hit a few of those notes. 

   *Don Carlos is a WONDERFUL smoke! I'll take them over any Fuente Opus X ANYTIME! :cigar:

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Had a Veguero Tapado that would have passed as a Nicaraguan.  But for the most part cc seem to be much smoother than nc cigars. Especially if you are used to smoking nc cigars. Now there are some Dominicans that can be pretty mild.

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