Can NC companies be trusted?


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57 minutes ago, canadianbeaver said:

In the past year I have been loading the investment side of my collection with my favorite NC, Opus X. Would say it now makes up 10% of my collection. Feel free to say big whoop.

When we travel, especially in the US of A, we get cigars in the lounge we visit. Padron, Ashton VSG, certain Davidoff, AF’s. We are picky, admit that.

If it was a desert island we would smoke Swisher Sweets. Just sayin.

CB

Swisher Sweets? Wouldn't they be for a dessert island?

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Not only No. But Hell No. I don't trust anyone trying to sell me something.

As far as cigars go. The only trust I have is in veteran smokers who share their experience, opinions and sometimes part of their collection, to guide me into new things to try. Then I trust my own judgement. That's why this forum is a great resource of accumulated knowledge and experience. Without it my cigar journey would be much less rewarding. 

Many of my smoking buddies love NC's and I'm happy for them. At the end of the day we all have opinions and preferences. You got to smoke what you like.

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I smoked almost all NCs for years so there are a few nasty NC "tricks" that have not been discussed so far in this thread:

--A respected quality boutique brand goes out of business.   The on-line retailers deeply discount the brand in bona fide "clearance" sales--all good so far.  Then a large on-line retailer (that shall not be named 🙂 ) buys the name and start producing mediocre or awful cigars using the same name--and newbies get fooled.

--A cigar company produces and markets one or two good cigars and gets a solid reputation.   Then they start buying and marketing inferior cigars under their name--lots of it.   Newbies get fooled--again.

--A large cigar company trades on the reputation of CC names (where it has the US copyright to the name) to produce mediocre cigars with the same name--I think we know who they are.    Newbies get fooled--over and over again.  🙂

--A cigar company keeps prices artificially high by establishing marketing channels to B & Ms.    Then, without warning or public announcement, they drastically cut the prices and allow on-line retailers to distribute.   This is a win for the on-line consumer, while those who bought the B & M overpriced stick were the victims here.

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To these I would add:

- Create a lot of hype for a special cigar made with an especially good harvest of tobacco, or some very aged leaf, etc. Then, when the demand soars, keep making the cigar even if you no longer have the same special harvest/very aged leaf and count on the fact that the cigar will keep selling because of the reputation it earned with the first release. 

This I believe to be true on both sides, but I noticed it a bit more often on the NC side. 

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21 minutes ago, Enduin said:

- Create a lot of hype for a special cigar made with an especially good harvest of tobacco, or some very aged leaf, etc. Then, when the demand soars, keep making the cigar even if you no longer have the same special harvest/very aged leaf and count on the fact that the cigar will keep selling because of the reputation it earned with the first release. 

Good add.

The whole "name" is a big NC issue.

A specific example of this (that newbies would have _no_ clue about) is the Diesel brand.

The original Diesel cigar was a Nic brand about fifteen years ago.     It was brutal--totally unsmokeable, strong, harsh--the worst of the worst.....

but....it turned out that it just needed a lot of age....and after about five years or so a couple of the NC blogs starting saying it was a really good smoke.

I remember I had a few buried deep in the coolerdor (hoping for a miracle 🙂 ) and they turned out to be outstanding.

Of course, by then they were Unicorns--totally unavailable anywhere.

....and that probably should have been the end of the story.

But--an online retailer must have read the blogs and decided to buy the name....

and started producing a zillion blends, shapes, sized all called "Diesel"--which ran the full gamut from rather good to pretty bad--no pattern whatsoever.

Some were strong and some were mild.

They had all kinds of different blends--a hopeless minefield to wade through....

They keep putting out new ones....I have long since given up trying to keep track of them.  🙂 

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30 minutes ago, Cairo said:

Good add.

The whole "name" is a big NC issue.

A specific example of this (that newbies would have _no_ clue about) is the Diesel brand.

The original Diesel cigar was a Nic brand about fifteen years ago.     It was brutal--totally unsmokeable, strong, harsh--the worst of the worst.....

but....it turned out that it just needed a lot of age....and after about five years or so a couple of the NC blogs starting saying it was a really good smoke.

I remember I had a few buried deep in the coolerdor (hoping for a miracle 🙂 ) and they turned out to be outstanding.

Of course, by then they were Unicorns--totally unavailable anywhere.

....and that probably should have been the end of the story.

But--an online retailer must have read the blogs and decided to buy the name....

and started producing a zillion blends, shapes, sized all called "Diesel"--which ran the full gamut from rather good to pretty bad--no pattern whatsoever.

Some were strong and some were mild.

They had all kinds of different blends--a hopeless minefield to wade through....

They keep putting out new ones....I have long since given up trying to keep track of them.  🙂 

A.J. Fenandez owns Diesel and originally marketed through Cigars International. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._J._Fernandez_Cigars

You can still find the stout "Unholy Cocktail Blend"  I wonder if it goes as fast or quicker than some CC's upon release. https://www.cigarsinternational.com/p/diesel-cigars/1466870/

"Note: The original Diesel blend is also available in a special 6"x60 Double Perfecto. This full-throttle blend is rolled in limited quantities and is offered only in packs of 20 or packs of 5."

 

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There are a few different kinds of cigar makers in the NC world:

1- Family owned, named, branded, and ran.  Have own factory.  Eg. Padron, Garcia, EP Carrillo.   A large majority of the factory’s production is for the owner’s brands.   Blending, sales, marketing, etc are in-house entities   Almost everything except distribution.

2- Simple factory owner.  Might have a brand or a few, but lot’s of surplus production capability that is available to the next category. Eg Miami cigar & co, Aganorsa Leaf/Casa Fernandez.   Some of these also have farms and significant tobacco inventory.

3- Outside cigar seller.   A guy/company whose real job is selling cigars.  It is up to him to develop the brand, market, travel, and make a business of it.  This can be a retail store and/or internet merchant that have brands.   Or a guy who loves cigars and has an agreement with one of the above type of makers to make his branded cigars.   He usually has blended them himself which is a big reason he’s in the game.  Eg Tatuaje, Illusione, Warped.

4- Another is what I’ll call the conglomerate.  This is a large company that has bought brands and facilities.   The head company has dealings in pipe tobacco, machine-made cigars, cigarettes, chewing tobaccos, etc. and premium cigars are a branch.   Eg General, Altadis.

In my opinion, the folks in categories 1 & 3 make the best cigars.  They are the most passionate about cigars.  They have the most skin in the game with their finances, family reputation, and the like.  While of course they are happy whomever buys their cigars, they target the enthusiast.

In my opinion, category 4 is a “tread carefully.”   This is where the guys Enduin mentioned reside.   Eg. CAO, a General brand, usually has some good initial releases with heavy marketing.   After a year and the brand is established, significant changes for the worse.  Then a few years after that, discount bin.   In this case, the blender(s) for CAO sold/left and became a category 3.   This sort of thing is common.   This is also the category where more unnatural hanky panky is likely to happen.  These guys bend much more to masses than the enthusiast from what I can tell.   I mean, Montecristo Nicaragua?  Wtf is that?

This is by no means complete.  It could also be dated and open to correction with the examples.  I haven’t kept up as much lately as I’ve shifted energy to CCs.  Hence being here.

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I think ther is confusion between "trust"  and "opinions". Any man and his dog has an opinion. If someone says something then it doesnt make it true nor is it trustworthy. 

I mean, if you were making a product in a flooded market with lots of competitors and a small specific customer base... would you tell the entire world eactly what you plant, how you plant, etc? I sure as hell wouldn't.

Mystique is a fact of cigars, NC or CC. If you cant deal with the unknown then perhaps a new hobby is in order.

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On 3/14/2021 at 1:59 PM, La_Tigre said:

We only smoke rosado werewolf tampons thank you very much...

The Maduro ones may have been used improperly...

22 hours ago, Cairo said:

 It was brutal--totally unsmokeable, strong, harsh--the worst of the worst.....

This is exactly what I would expect a cigar called Diesel to taste like. :yes:

Side note--I have not had a Diplomaticos Ammunition, but I'm thinking black powder and lead.

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If Cuba is in democracy like most of us now, they won't have single manufacturer, and we'll have so many rumors and details to confuse too.

Ways they explain how they roll those cigars are just like those manufacturers making chips/sodas, you choose what you like to hear, and the flavor.

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I never understand where this concern comes from.

Tobacco causes cancer and we still love it.

Now people worry about its flavoring, its color painting?

If people really do, quit smoking. If people don't really do, go enjoy the ones they love.

Be it Padron, Liga Privada, Acid or Cubans!

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On 3/14/2021 at 12:57 PM, LordAnubis said:

I think ther is confusion between "trust"  and "opinions". Any man and his dog has an opinion. If someone says something then it doesnt make it true nor is it trustworthy. 

I mean, if you were making a product in a flooded market with lots of competitors and a small specific customer base... would you tell the entire world eactly what you plant, how you plant, etc? I sure as hell wouldn't.

Mystique is a fact of cigars, NC or CC. If you cant deal with the unknown then perhaps a new hobby is in order.

This. I trust only my palate, and its ability to recognize artisanal talent that resonates with me. I embrace the mystique within. I couldn’t care less about the purported integrity of the origins of raw materials involved. 

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