Just a few thoughts on regular production vs REs and LEs


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Your points are valid & probably shared by many collectors (w/ sense). Stacking lots of reg prod for the future is not only economically sound, but also gives you the most volume of choices of what to smoke down the road.  Also, I remember Prez posting some BR stats- in effect saying that RP appreciation out-performs RE/LE by quite a margin. 

The only REs I really chase are LGCs, because my fave marca has so few options to smoke.  I'm willing to stomach the premium.

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43 minutes ago, gojira said:

This got me thinking. Will I really continue chasing REs and LEs? Especially REs.

I think this is what they call a red-pill moment. Welcome to the resistance--our dear leader @PigFish will show you around. We're serving McRib tonight. :jester:

The prices of ELs and ERs in the last 5-8 years have absolutely made them a rather risky choice. I've said it before--Some great, some bad and most mediocre for many multiples more than regular production.

I would do serious vetting before plunking down that kind of cash for any special production for smoking (investing is a different question). Of the 14 specials you listed, it seems you really liked 2. Pretty lousy batting average. Your batting average for the regular productions you listed appears much higher. Need I say more?

I've seen no evidence that the average special production cigar is better than the average regular production cigar. Yes, the ceiling can be a little higher on some special production but you run the same (and possibly greater) risk of getting a dud--and at many multiples the price. 

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Ugh. Ben Affleck. The male equivalent to Kristen Stewart. Emotionless. Expressionless. Charismaless. 

If you ever feel the need to work up a good irrational, wall-punching, primal-screaming rage, try to watch Personal Shopper. 

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8 hours ago, NSXCIGAR said:

I think this is what they call a red-pill moment. Welcome to the resistance--our dear leader @PigFish will show you around. We're serving McRib tonight. :jester:

The prices of ELs and ERs in the last 5-8 years have absolutely made them a rather risky choice. I've said it before--Some great, some bad and most mediocre for many multiples more than regular production.

I would do serious vetting before plunking down that kind of cash for any special production for smoking (investing is a different question). Of the 14 specials you listed, it seems you really liked 2. Pretty lousy batting average. Your batting average for the regular productions you listed appears much higher. Need I say more?

I've seen no evidence that the average special production cigar is better than the average regular production cigar. Yes, the ceiling can be a little higher on some special production but you run the same (and possibly greater) risk of getting a dud--and at many multiples the price. 

True. I will by no means completely stop buying REs but rather slow down drastically. One thing one can't take away from RE production is that they release a few vitolas that are very appealing to me, skinny cigars and 109s for example. But I will definitely up my regular production game (not that I'm not already buying more then I can smoke 🤣) and get rid of a few RE boxes to make a little more space for Corona Gordas and Double Coronas.

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I don't know all of the R/LEs listed but it seems to me that they are pretty young. My question would be whether these are comparable to the regular prods at a similar age? I feel that it's an unfair comparison if you compared avg-10-yo regs vs avg-5-yo R/LEs. 

Having said that, 

4 hours ago, NSXCIGAR said:

Some great, some bad and most mediocre

I feel that this basically sums up all CCs. Unfortunately we demand more when we pay more. 

I do still enjoy the hunt though.

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7 hours ago, Meklown said:

I don't know all of the R/LEs listed but it seems to me that they are pretty young. My question would be whether these are comparable to the regular prods at a similar age? I feel that it's an unfair comparison if you compared avg-10-yo regs vs avg-5-yo R/LEs. 

Having said that, 

I feel that this basically sums up all CCs. Unfortunately we demand more when we pay more. 

I do still enjoy the hunt though.

I wouldn't say that since 8 of the regular production cigars that I've smoked during those two months have boxing dates from 2013 to 2019. I would apply the same rule to older REs, I just don't smoke as many of those since I have less stock. I'm smoking a Punch Punch from 2016 as I'm typing this and it's better than 70% of the REs listed above. I'm not saying that all REs are crap. Most are good cigars, but just good. Do they deserve the price tag they sell for? My answer is no. There are REs that deserve the higher price tag and the hassle one has to go through to obtain them, it's just that they are vastly outnumbered by the REs that do not.

 

As I mentioned in a post above, I will not leave the RE game, just reduce my purchases drastically. I'm actually looking forward quite a bit to some of the upcoming ones.

And I do regret not jumping on some of the past REs such as the Eshmoun when I had the chance to buy a box at a correct price.

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22 minutes ago, Meklown said:

Some great, some bad and most mediocre

I feel that this basically sums up all CCs. Unfortunately we demand more when we pay more. 

I do still enjoy the hunt though.

Is this really true though? To me it feels like something a CC smoker says because that's what people expect you to say. I would say that most of the cigars I smoke are good. One in ten I'd say is mediocre and maybe one in fifthteen is bad. I honestly don't feel like I have to "hunt" for good cigars. 

 

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10 minutes ago, Cubadust said:

Is this really true though? To me it feels like something a CC smoker says because that's what people expect you to say. I would say that most of the cigars I smoke are good. One in ten I'd say is mediocre and maybe one in fifthteen is bad. I honestly don't feel like I have to "hunt" for good cigars. 

 

I'd have to agree, although at best I only have a couple a week, it's been about 100 CC since there was one that I had to pitch. 

 

6 hours ago, gojira said:

Quai d'Orsay Capitolio: loved them fresh, now: MEH

This makes me feel good. I had sourced several boxes and had a line for more which evaporated after I let what was on hand go. I've been kicking myself so ill stop now....

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48 minutes ago, Cubadust said:

Is this really true though? To me it feels like something a CC smoker says because that's what people expect you to say. I would say that most of the cigars I smoke are good. One in ten I'd say is mediocre and maybe one in fifthteen is bad. I honestly don't feel like I have to "hunt" for good cigars. 

 

hmm, correction: some great, most average, some poor.

And when I say "average" I really mean "good", if that makes some kind of sense. 😆 "poor" would be comprised 80% of poor construction, while only 20% of the "poors" are down to taste. Right, I have just confused myself.

thanks for catching me out!

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3 hours ago, Ginseng said:

I have had more consistent satisfaction over the years with regular releases. Some of this must be attributable to the perception of value. 

I think you really hit the nail on the head. Every time I smoke a $15+ I expect something very good, with a $7 the bar for satisfaction/disappointment is noticeably lower. This doesn't mean that there aren't objective flaws in LE/REs but I believe the above plays a pretty big role. 

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2 hours ago, Ginseng said:

Ugh. Ben Affleck. The male equivalent to Kristen Stewart. Emotionless. Expressionless. Charismaless. 

If you ever feel the need to work up a good irrational, wall-punching, primal-screaming rage, try to watch Personal Shopper. 

Just an aside on Ben. True, he made some terrible movies after the success of Good Will Hunting. But in my mind he redeemed him self with Argo, Which he directed and for which he received a best picture academy award as a producer. I also thought The Town and The Accountant were pretty damn good. He remains the youngest writer (at age 25) to ever win an Oscar for screenwriting. That in itself is a stunning achievement.  BTW, he was 2004 California State Poker Champion. 

Just sticking up for the Boston guys.

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There have been a few good REs and Els in my humidor but for the most part I had to admit that they ones I had were either bad or I just didn't like them. Since I came into the hobby in like '99 the Els were just coming into the market and I had some of the very early ones. I got sick of buying cigars that were supposed to be great that were not to my taste.  Its a while now but I eventually sold all of the special production cigars in my box. I bought some Cohibas with the proceeds and have continued buy, store and smoke regular production Cuban cigars.

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1 hour ago, Markspring1978 said:

For me, no interest whatsoever for ELs. Blends are frankly, bizarre. They don’t age all that well, overpriced, very little price appreciation potential. 

REs are another story. I find some really interesting vitolas that are generally unavailable. The 109s, Lonsdales, dropped head, skinnies, etc. seem to only be available in a RE. Those I chase.

However, all the fatties and warmed over robustos, someone else can have, I don’t chase those at all. On some occasions I will pick the uninteresting robusto in a box of ten up when I am traveling internationally. In those cases the secondary pricing isn’t prohibitive, and they make a nice travel souvenir.  

Good points about Robustos/Dukes/Montescos....like the world needs more $30+ of any of these lol

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I like the dual discussion that has evolved here, with both focused on levels of mediocrity and value. Who knew Ben Affleck and RE/EL’s have something in common?:lol3:

I’ve certainly been chasing some RE’s lately, but mainly to have interesting options with some age, while the rest of my humidor gathers some age of its own, so I agree with most of what’s been said so far. And I know I’m in the minority with this, but I’m not afraid to say that one of my favorite vitolas is sublimes, or anything in that range. I’m a rather large fellow, so they don’t seem “huge” to me, and they present a 2 hr smoke that seems to never have construction issues. A lot of RE’s fit the bill.

Now, about Ben Affleck....

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7 minutes ago, Islandboy said:

I like the dual discussion that has evolved here, with both focused on levels of mediocrity and value. Who knew Ben Affleck and RE/EL’s have something in common?:lol3:

I’ve certainly been chasing some RE’s lately, but mainly to have interesting options with some age, while the rest of my humidor gathers some age of its own, so I agree with most of what’s been said so far. And I know I’m in the minority with this, but I’m not afraid to say that one of my favorite vitolas is sublimes, or anything in that range. I’m a rather large fellow, so they don’t seem “huge” to me, and they present a 2 hr smoke that seems to never have construction issues. A lot of RE’s fit the bill.

Now, about Ben Affleck....

I like a Sublimes from time to time too. It's my favorite big RG cigar. There will be a ERdM in France this year, will certainly give it a try.

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5 hours ago, Çnote said:

I'd have to agree, although at best I only have a couple a week, it's been about 100 CC since there was one that I had to pitch. 

 

This makes me feel good. I had sourced several boxes and had a line for more which evaporated after I let what was on hand go. I've been kicking myself so ill stop now....

We saw these boxes on the pallet in 2019 and have yet to see them available in the wild. Would like to get hands on at least one for the QdO fiend. 

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3 hours ago, Islandboy said:

I like the dual discussion that has evolved here, with both focused on levels of mediocrity and value. Who knew Ben Affleck and RE/EL’s have something in common?:lol3:

Now, about Ben Affleck....

Blame @JohnS, definitely definitely all his fault... 😜 

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7 hours ago, Cubadust said:

Is this really true though? To me it feels like something a CC smoker says because that's what people expect you to say. I would say that most of the cigars I smoke are good. One in ten I'd say is mediocre and maybe one in fifthteen is bad. I honestly don't feel like I have to "hunt" for good cigars. 

By mediocre perhaps I should have used "good". I'm certainly not using the term mediocre in a disparaging way. I consider a mediocre cigar to be the baseline of a cigar I would buy. As is the case with just about everything, there's a bell curve. Most CCs are in the middle. 

6 hours ago, Enduin said:

I think you really hit the nail on the head. Every time I smoke a $15+ I expect something very good, with a $7 the bar for satisfaction/disappointment is noticeably lower. This doesn't mean that there aren't objective flaws in LE/REs but I believe the above plays a pretty big role. 

Most people forget special production pricing was much more in line with regular production until about 2011. The original ELs and ERs were quite low priced. HSA had no idea whether it could work since they were basically selling seconds leaf and just happy to blow it out the door. As far as the ERs, they came along in 05 with far less production numbers than today (30,000 sticks was a big run compared to today's 60,000 stick minimums). Online sales weren't a big thing yet so the retailers were stuck with having to move most in-region. Priced had to be kept somewhat down.

People, including myself, were able to evaluate the early special productions without the expectations created by a higher price, and the opinions were generally unfavorable. I would try a single from time to time at the LCDH between 03-8 but never would I buy a box of specials. I did but a few boxes of ERs for both smoking and investment between 08-10 and that worked out fine, but again, the prices were very reasonable. I paid $185 for RA Celestiales Finos and $400 for Boli Especiales No. 2. 

Shortly after, special production really shot up in price. Since 03 when I had bought some boxes of ELs and was disappointed, I have not, to this day, purchased a box of ELs. I try them from time to time at the LCDH and not one has ever caught my fancy to the point where I want to pay more than a box of Sir Winston for them.

I will still snag a reasonably priced 10-box of ERs like the LGC D5 or LFDC Magicos just for kicks. But the days of $10/stick ERs are likely quickly fading.

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