Something Dotty going on ........The CSR mystery.


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38 minutes ago, nKostyan said:

The four dots were always fake.
Cuban quality control? These Bands are printed in Europe.
Printing error? You can make a mistake when cutting the bands, but can not print a additional number of dots.

Well this was the first batch of bands they could have been specified incorrectly to the printer. Also what is above the 3 dots when you cut is it plain black or plain white above where the cut is to be made or is there another row of dots, which would result in an extra row if cut too high.

The question to ask is why on this particular release? Two possible answers: 1) it was the first release with these bands and they messed up the order for one set of bands, 2) this was a widely faked release.

I hear that it was widely faked in Spain but then you have to ask why fake a release that didn't sell well. And this would have to be back a fair bit. Because they were still available at retail until 2010 and that picture I found above of @Lotusguy with a 4 row piramides from the daily thread is from 2012.

Another datapoint is that auction site had 6 or 7 2003 siglo VI boxes and none had the extra row of dots. One from ABR 03 had the old 2 row band, and one as early as FEB 03 had the new 3 row band. Is Siglo VI faked less often?

Unless 4 dot bands are common in other fakes, I think it's odd that they pop up on CSRs so much, and generally only on one specific factory code (ARA). If they are common elsewhere then I would lean towards fakes.

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Vote for the 3 dot. Came to me as a gift, but I believe the original source was Cigar Czar circa 2008.

"It's always three dots above the COHIBA print on the Reserva seleccion bands!" The below online image sums it up well.  The image originates from member Maverickdrinker. Cheers Art   

1 hour ago, nKostyan said:

The four dots were always fake.
Cuban quality control? These Bands are printed in Europe.
Printing error? You can make a mistake when cutting the bands, but can not print a additional number of dots.

It looks like a cutting error. The 4 row bands do look a little longer than the 3 row. 

Even a high QC European operation could miss something like this on a first few thousand of a brand new design, which this was. And how many 4 row bands do we really have between all the Cohiba SR? 100 maybe? Could easily have been one sheet miscut and stuck in the middle never seeing daylight until being put on at El Laguito.

5 hours ago, avaldes said:

I am coming down on the side of very skeptical. At that time, they switched from the old bands to the new ones (Band C to Band D in Cuban Cigar Site's nomenclature). There was lots of conversation about how the new bands had 3 dots instead of the old two. I seriously don't remember anyone talking about 4 dots, and people scrutinized bands HEAVILY back then.

But these seem to be relegated to this specific release which is not a release most people would ever have laid eyes on. Pics on the internet were pretty uncommon in those days. 99.9% of the CC community would never have seen them. And it appears most do have 3 rows. And we have many pics of boxes now with a mix of 3 and 4. So, either the same counterfeiters are doing all these Cohiba SR making the same error of mostly 3 row with one or two 4 row or the common link is the band manufacturer. 

It's the perfect storm. New band design, first run. And the Cohiba RS box itself also lends itself to missing the difference. There are only 2 and 3 cigars per space and are loosely packed making it more difficult than a standard row of 13 cigars to see something off. You can see in most of those pics of other boxes the cigars aren't very snug and the bands are sliding all over the place. 

I still think it's very possible these could be legitimate. Need more pics with unquestionable provenance. 

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31 minutes ago, nKostyan said:

In any case, legitimizing these cigars with someone else's photos is a big risk. It would be more correct to make an official request to Habanos S. A.

If they did miss this in QC and all the examples they might still have on the island have only 3 rows then of course they'd say they're not genuine. If they made it out the door it's safe to assume they didn't catch it. And if they didn't catch it they don't know about it. So a statement from HSA wouldn't necessarily be definitive unless of course they are aware of it and they confirm both bands on that release are genuine.

I just find it highly unlikely that multiple boxes of a very high-end release sold many years apart from people all over the world were faked by the same counterfeiters, and only a small percentage of those counterfeiters' fake bands had the wrong number of dot rows. And instead of discarding the small number of incorrect row bands and using the correct-looking band they interspersed them all together. And that counterfeiting ring was able to acquire at least half a dozen authentic boxes and packaging of this release, at least several almost immediately after release.

With the highly illogical situation that would have to exist if these were counterfeit and these other pics surfacing of many boxes with 4 rows I don't think it's even close to concluding one way or the other at this point.

Keep in mind--the only indication we have that these aren't authentic is a few bands with an extra row of dots. With all the context and many pics showing this OP box in question is likely not isolated I think there is still a very good chance these could ultimately be legitimate.

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2 hours ago, El Presidente said:

I think we are still awaiting a member with a 4 dot model originally purchased from a gold standard vendor to come forward. 

Fox doesn't have one in the vault? 

I would say an example that hasn't changed hands at all would be definitive. I'm not sure we know how many boxes of these were ever produced. It seems there have been quite a few floating around out there over the years. I'd guess maybe 500 boxes?

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2 minutes ago, NSXCIGAR said:

Fox doesn't have one in the vault? 

I would say an example that hasn't changed hands at all would be definitive. I'm not sure we know how many boxes of these were ever produced. It seems there have been quite a few floating around out there over the years. I'd guess maybe 500 boxes?

None with 4 dots at least.  :D

Way more than 500. I am guessing between 2500 - 5000 

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What an amazing waste of time and stress. I'm happy I've never caught the "Cohiba Bug" These things are meant to be burned people!! 

There are plenty of explanations for why this could have happened. The printer, HSA, AND the final Vendor all missing QA/QC is NOT the most likely explanation.  

My guess? Someone in the packaging room swiped 3 or 4 bundles of the real bands and replaced them with some "new" cohiba bands sourced on the black market to keep the count square. A printing error on black market bands makes a lot more sense especially with a recently released band. Those bands trickled into whatever they where banding/boxing that day (probably only 1 or 2 vitolas) and the rest of the release got the official bands. 

The bands that where swiped where used on real fakes, probably sold to tourists. Or maybe one of the other 10 potential explanations is right. Either way, I wouldn't be buying these if they where $10 a stick. For the price these are going for, I wouldn't buy them with Your money. There are SO MANY amazing cigars being produced in Cuba right now, why waste your time with this crap? 

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3 hours ago, Corylax18 said:

I'm happy I've never caught the "Cohiba Bug"

This

Regardless of not enjoying the blend,  I just find everything about Cohiba depressing. Whenever I see the bands or boxes.   My first thought is not 'excellence' or 'prestige' etc etc.   it's much more mentally associated to people getting scammed,  anxiousness, and endless "my mate bought these in Costa Rica, I obviously know they're not real...............but are they real?" threads.

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This
Regardless of not enjoying the blend,  I just find everything about Cohiba depressing. Whenever I see the bands or boxes.   My first thought is not 'excellence' or 'prestige' etc etc.   it's much more mentally associated to people getting scammed,  anxiousness, and endless "my mate bought these in Costa Rica, I obviously know they're not real...............but are they real?" threads.
Agreed. But it's endlessly entertaining to me. Not a marca I find suits my taste of the few that I've had. I'm constantly amazed at the obsession some have with them and the prices they're willing to pay whilst claiming they've got a bargain. I often wonder if they'd have the same mothlike draw if the price halved. I doubt it.
Edit: Having said that I've an Esplendidos and a Siglo VI from FoH comps that I'm itching to try simply because of the rave reviews these things get....

Sent by spooky action at a distance


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On 3/6/2021 at 7:16 AM, 99call said:

This

Regardless of not enjoying the blend,  I just find everything about Cohiba depressing. Whenever I see the bands or boxes.   My first thought is not 'excellence' or 'prestige' etc etc.   it's much more mentally associated to people getting scammed,  anxiousness, and endless "my mate bought these in Costa Rica, I obviously know they're not real...............but are they real?" threads.

This is more a reflection of yourself Stefan than those who smoke and enjoy Cohiba ;)

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2 hours ago, Akela3rd said:

Agreed. But it's endlessly entertaining to me. Not a marca I find suits my taste of the few that I've had. I'm constantly amazed at the obsession some have with them and the prices they're willing to pay whilst claiming they've got a bargain. I often wonder if they'd have the same mothlike draw if the price halved. I doubt it.
Edit: Having said that I've an Esplendidos and a Siglo VI from FoH comps that I'm itching to try simply because of the rave reviews these things get....

Sent by spooky action at a distance

 

I do greatly enjoy a good Cohiba, and if money were no object Id smoke an awful lot of them. When they were cheaper, I did smoke a lot of them.  As they’ve increased in price astronomically my desire for them has dropped dramatically, as to me their value prop does not line up for me anymore.  I personally don’t think they are worth 2.5x as much as a Connie A, 2x a Sir Winston or Lucy, for example.  For me my premium of choice is Trinidad, always has been since early 2000s, but that’s just my palate.  Again this is me personally.  When you get a good Cohiba firing on all cylinders it’s tough to beat, but like any disposable luxury good, each of us will put a value on our experiences and choose to chase those more willingly than others.  I don’t fault anyone chasing the Sig VI, or Espy experience and willing to throw the money required at it, it’s just not for me anymore.  BUT, promise me a box of Sig VI that taste like they used to in 03-05, I’ll gladly splurge more often.    Until then I’m perfectly happy buying some CoRos, Sig III and IV now and then, but it’s almost always Trinis when I want my “special” stick nowadays.  

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Anyway, back to the subject at hand - who's counted all the black squares yet?

Sent by spooky action at a distance

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On 3/6/2021 at 9:38 PM, El Presidente said:

This is more a reflection of yourself Stefan than those who smoke and enjoy Cohiba ;)

No doubt.  It wasn't a dig at the brand or it's fans.  I think anyone who enjoys Cohiba who has half a brain, finds a legit vendor, pays the coin, and doesn't spend a single second in worry.....rather just enjoyment

I would say something like Louis Vuitton handbags would be a similar sort of item.  The odd state of affairs when a brand becomes more famous/synonymous for how good or bad the fakes are.......than the actual real thing.    

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