El Presidente

WINNER ANNOUNCED!! Potential Fakes in Cuba : your stories

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Following on from another thread about fakes at a Havana LCDH, I managed to get 3 PM's asking for confirmation :rolleyes:

Bottom line is that I don't get surprised anymore.  You will come across fakes when you least expect it. Now, 99% of the stores stock may be legitimate but from time to time you come across a box of cigars (and it is generally a box or two only) that make you stop and go ......."heeellloooo" :D

Tell your story of fakes in cuba and go into the draw for a custom sampler drawn Tuesday. Post it on this thread.

 

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El Faro, inside the El Morro castle. When we were there last November they had a small humidor full of ordinary regular production cigars that I'm sure were real (who fakes a Monte 4?).

At the counter is where things got interesting. Saran-wrapped 5-packs of higher-end cigars, selling for a reduced price. I have heard that if you buy any of the boxed singles there, they will replace them with the pre-wrapped 5ers after you pay.

But it was the Behikes that caught my eye. On the counter was a (non-Behike box) open box of Behike 56 singles, "on sale" at only 25 CUC each. From 10 feet away you could spot the veiny, dry, light-colored greying tan wrappers screaming "floor sweepings!" at the top of their lungs. And of course that price is laughable -- who'd put the world's most sought-after cigar on sale? Nobody. Never. Ever.

But upon close inspection... by myself and a local Habanos expert... the bands on these dog rockets were real! Genuine Behike bands with holos and microprint and the whole schmeer. If it wasn't for the price, and the Mummy's Revenge dryness of the wrapper, it would have been hard for ANYONE to tell these were Fauxhikes. Just think -- if they'd been MORE greedy and charged the full BHK56 price, they might have sold more!

Cruise lines would routinely disgorge heaps of hapless Habanos hounds into the fort, and tell them to buy cigars from that pirate. Sad to think how many potential new smokers were turned off of cigars by the mouse hairs and banana leaves they were greeted with when they returned to Miami and Akron and Des Moines.

 

Oh well. More for us.

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Of The Cuban Cigar Samplers that are sold at one of the tourist trap LCDH stores are undoubtedly Fauxhibas, too. They push them on rubes (like yours truly that bought one the very first time there). The drivers and shop act like there is only one left when they have a stack put together under the counter. I recently pulled out the last of the sampler which appeared to be a Siglo II. It was shorter than the ones I obtained here. The holograms all looked authentic but after closer comparison the inner head image was absent and the glue seemed excessive. Another mystery. 

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45 minutes ago, SenorPerfecto said:

El Faro, inside the El Morro castle. When we were there last November they had a small humidor full of ordinary regular production cigars that I'm sure were real (who fakes a Monte 4?).

 

Same place that was selling fake Monte 80th.   

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I've been told over and over that you run the risk of fakes if you buy singles.  There is a LCDH known for selling higher end singles, and they are mentioned the most for selling fakes.  I went down with a blacklight and hit up all of the cohibas they had and they all checked out.  The cigars looked great.  I bought some Monty 80th after checking them out (MC shows up out of nowhere with the blacklight) .  After talking with people afterwards they dismissed what I did and said that they can buy real bands and put them on fakes.  The cigars themselves are beautiful.  Some of the most oily cigars I've owned.   Construction is spot on.  It will be awhile before I can test them out and confirm one way or another.   I rarely buy singles, but I wanted to test this theory of singles out.   Monty 80th I figured was a cigar I wanted at a price I was loving to pay.  All this while being one of the most likely to be faked.  I bought all of the singles they had and during the week I was there, another box never magically reappeared.  All signs point to it being real.  We shall see if the rumors are true after 90 days of rest.

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So, El Faro is not the LCDH in the castle Cueto rolls at I take it?

And FWIW I believe I've never bought a fake in Cuba. Only full sealed boxes from people I have a relationship with or the rollers of the customs.

Plenty of offers, the most aggressive just outside the Partagas shop.

Can't say the same for trips to Puerto Rico and the like early on. Did spot the faked in Freeport, Cuaba parejo and all had the same serial number!

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I've stayed in a couple of Cuban resorts that have sold fakes from open boxes. Can be avoided if you buy unopened boxes, cartons or 3-packs of tubos.

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5 hours ago, Monterey said:

  We shall see if the rumors are true after 90 days of rest.

They are certainly not rumours. You only need to talk to those who have left. Not everything in terms of singles is fake or poor quality by any means. 

From the hip, The Trini A singles at the shop outside El Ajibe is a classic. from the same shop, the box of Cohiba sublimes that miraculously was offered as  a US client just cancelled and it had now became available. this was 5 years after they were released. 

Singles of Siglo II at the nacional that looked like peso cigars and tasted worse.  Gifted a 56 at the Melia which was the right length but a 52 gauge.  there are literally 40-50 examples over the years that i could run through. 

You get paid 20 CUC a month. Is anyone really surprised :D

 

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4 hours ago, SenorPerfecto said:

El Faro, inside the El Morro castle. When we were there last November they had a small humidor full of ordinary regular production cigars that I'm sure were real (who fakes a Monte 4?).

At the counter is where things got interesting. Saran-wrapped 5-packs of higher-end cigars, selling for a reduced price. I have heard that if you buy any of the boxed singles there, they will replace them with the pre-wrapped 5ers after you pay.

But it was the Behikes that caught my eye. On the counter was a (non-Behike box) open box of Behike 56 singles, "on sale" at only 25 CUC each. From 10 feet away you could spot the veiny, dry, light-colored greying tan wrappers screaming "floor sweepings!" at the top of their lungs. And of course that price is laughable -- who'd put the world's most sought-after cigar on sale? Nobody. Never. Ever.

But upon close inspection... by myself and a local Habanos expert... the bands on these dog rockets were real! Genuine Behike bands with holos and microprint and the whole schmeer. If it wasn't for the price, and the Mummy's Revenge dryness of the wrapper, it would have been hard for ANYONE to tell these were Fauxhikes. Just think -- if they'd been MORE greedy and charged the full BHK56 price, they might have sold more!

Cruise lines would routinely disgorge heaps of hapless Habanos hounds into the fort, and tell them to buy cigars from that pirate. Sad to think how many potential new smokers were turned off of cigars by the mouse hairs and banana leaves they were greeted with when they returned to Miami and Akron and Des Moines.

 

Oh well. More for us.

Yep, saw those on my last 2 trips to El Morro. Anything out on the counter wrapped in plastic is a no go.

3 hours ago, El Presidente said:

Same place that was selling fake Monte 80th.   

Back in 2016 Poochie and I were at El Morro looking at the Monte 80th box in the humidor. Looked pretty legit... but then again, what the fudge do I know?

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@ninoOK, the melted condoms as cheese on Pizza is very disturbing.😝 My guy instincts always told me to avoid Pizza in Cuba.  I could have sworn there was an article about one restaurant deep frying rats and passing it off as chicken?  I really hope that is a hoax.

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At the libre LCDH and bought a bunch of singles to smoke while down there. Had to pay for a behike and Rio de Seco in cash while everything else was ok to go on a credit card. Should've tipped me off but I didn't think too much of it. The two paid in cash were fakes, tasted like any fake cohiba you'd get on the street. Everything else was fine though. 

The bands were real, so I guess they just swapped them onto fakes. Oh well, lesson learned :). Only issue I've had with fakes from a LCDH, though. 

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17 hours ago, Habana Mike said:

So, El Faro is not the LCDH in the castle Cueto rolls at I take it?

 

No, Cueto is up on the hill. God help you if you get there when the boat people do.

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27 minutes ago, SenorPerfecto said:

No, Cueto is up on the hill. God help you if you get there when the boat people do.

Right.

Funny Cueto is mentioned ( or rather the La Cabaña - La Triada Casa del Tabaco ) as it was there I also had a scam alarm a few years back.

Problem was that Cueto was NOT there ...

"Weeks before my trip I had ordered custom rolled cigars for Canadian friends of mine to be picked up later next month by them in Havana from well known rollers.

I passed by all the Casas del Tabaco / LCDH where I ordered the cigars to confirm the order and pick-up date and all was well until I hit the CdT at La Cabaña, La Triada, where I was told that the cigars were already rolled and I could have them or they would be sold to other customers.

Now, Cueto, the well-known roller, was off to Italy and the Partagas meeting at Matelica and I had just seen him and other friends like La China off a few days back.

I re-ordered the cigars for my friends and told the staff to hold the bundles as I would be interested in having some before my departure.

When I returned to pick up the cigars a few “strange” and very “un-orthodox” things happened …

First : The cigars, especially the Diademas, were of sub-standard quality, very bad wrapper colours, stains, see pictures.

Second : I was told by Daniel, the guy in charge that he would give me a “better” price if I would also take the Diademas.

I would pay only 10 CUC for them instead of 12 and 8 CUC for the Salomones instead of 10.

Funny, as the first prices quoted are the official prices – he was not giving me a better price, in fact he would have over-charged me with the higher prices.

Third : I could not pay with Credit Card.

OK, this might have been true if the machine was down as it often occurs in HAV, but the reason given was BS : custom rolled cigars cannot be paid with a CC. I had done just that a few times that week at other Casas.

Now for the strange, scammy & unorthodox part :

When I asked for a receipt the guy went deaf.

Asked again he started making himself a cafecito.

Asked again he called the cashier and asked her.

She had taken my money and placed it in a paper sheet “guaranteed to be passed on upon his return”.

Now she started telling me that no receipt could be given for custom rolled cigars.

When I insisted, she told me that “there has never been a receipt given for custom rolled cigars”.

Insisting again and telling her about the receipts I had received from other Casas that week she kept telling me that no receipts had ever been issued for custom rolled cigars and started a diversion about receipts for boxes – a different thingy all-together madam.

When I kept insisting and telling her I didn’t care where the money went as long as I got my receipt, she started sweating, the money started to burn in her hands and she couldn’t return it fast enough back to me  saying that I should keep my money and they would keep the cigars.

Guess she realized I not just spoke Spanish but understood unspoken Cuban ….

By then I already knew that it was a very fishy rotten scam.

The cat was away, the mice were in charge and that money would go out the back door."

http://flyingcigar.de/startseite/the-cigars-i-didnt-buy-scam-warning/

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4 hours ago, nino said:

 to using melted condoms as fake cheese on top of a pizza

2 hours ago, bundwallah said:

the melted condoms as cheese on Pizza is very disturbing.

What do they make the fake condoms out of ?....  :lookaround:

 

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8 minutes ago, Colt45 said:

What do they make the fake condoms out of ?....  :lookaround:

 

Real condoms ( Vietnamese and hopefully unused ) = real rubber = fake cheese :teacher:

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Not related to fakes, but on our trip earlier this year a few folks in our party got shook down by airport security going through the scanners on the way home. One guy for two boxes of sealed cigars and one guy with a humidor purchased at the open air market near the port. They actually said the humidor could be used as a weapon.🙄 Nobody paid up, but I have read if you decide to play ball they take you into a bathroom and empty your wallet in exchange for getting your goods back. 

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31 minutes ago, nino said:

Real condoms ( Vietnamese and hopefully unused )

Pizza Alfredo !!

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50 minutes ago, GinFizzLove said:

Not related to fakes, but on our trip earlier this year a few folks in our party got shook down by airport security going through the scanners on the way home. One guy for two boxes of sealed cigars and one guy with a humidor purchased at the open air market near the port. They actually said the humidor could be used as a weapon.🙄 Nobody paid up, but I have read if you decide to play ball they take you into a bathroom and empty your wallet in exchange for getting your goods back. 

Can confirm the bathroom experience, was 10 CUC - I had a heavy Hotel Nacional ashtray in my carry-on that was deemed a "deadly weapon". ...
Wish the guy had told me earlier and I could have gone up to the smoking lounge instead of wasting an hour negotiating about the damm ashtray.

 

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2 hours ago, GinFizzLove said:

Not related to fakes, but on our trip earlier this year a few folks in our party got shook down by airport security going through the scanners on the way home. One guy for two boxes of sealed cigars and one guy with a humidor purchased at the open air market near the port. They actually said the humidor could be used as a weapon.🙄 Nobody paid up, but I have read if you decide to play ball they take you into a bathroom and empty your wallet in exchange for getting your goods back. 

3 weeks ago I found myself in the stall getting shook down for 10 dollars so that I could take my weapon (aka hotel nacional ashtray) with me.  They also asked for my fracturas, when I produced them, they were mad.  They were hoping to shake me down for my fractura less cigars.

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10 minutes ago, Monterey said:

3 weeks ago I found myself in the stall getting shook down for 10 dollars so that I could take my weapon (aka hotel nacional ashtray) with me.  They also asked for my fracturas, when I produced them, they were mad.  They were hoping to shake me down for my fractura less cigars.

Wow! These are not encouraging stories for someone hoping to visit the island for the first time. 😬

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5 hours ago, jhalischuk said:

At the libre LCDH and bought a bunch of singles to smoke while down there. Had to pay for a behike and Rio de Seco in cash while everything else was ok to go on a credit card. Should've tipped me off but I didn't think too much of it. The two paid in cash were fakes, tasted like any fake cohiba you'd get on the street. Everything else was fine though. 

The bands were real, so I guess they just swapped them onto fakes. Oh well, lesson learned :). Only issue I've had with fakes from a LCDH, though. 

Beware of singles at the Libre.  

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1 hour ago, nino said:

Can confirm the bathroom experience, was 10 CUC - I had a heavy Hotel Nacional ashtray in my carry-on that was deemed a "deadly weapon". ...
Wish the guy had told me earlier and I could have gone up to the smoking lounge instead of wasting an hour negotiating about the damm ashtray.

 

WHAT SMOKING LOUNGE

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