How often do you think you get a fake CC?


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Related to a comment by @Habana Mike in another thread...

How often do you think you get one, and how does that compare to any hard knowledge of how common they are? 

Especially interested in opinions of experienced smokers. I've smoked only about 1000 CCs, but I legitimately believe none of them have been fake. Maybe that means I'm careful, maybe it means I'm naive and have a terrible palate.

For most marcas I just can't see the economics of counterfeiting paying off. If you have convincing tobacco, rolls, wrappers, and packaging, why not just start your own cigar line? 

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I have no idea what percentage of the whole is fake cuban but the chances of getting a fake rise significantly depending on the source.  I've had plenty of fake Cohiba when I started but if I had been more aware of obvious signs I would have easily identified and avoided them.  All part of the learning curve that this forum helps accelerate.  I bought RyJ torpedos in the 90s from a guy on the beach in Punta Cana knowing they were most likely fake but just wanted some cigars to smoke.  Turns out they were repackaged Dominican cigars and were pretty damn good.  I recently bought and returned 2 boxes of fake Siglo VI GR from an online vendor that had a good reputation and that I had used many times with unquestionably good results.  At least they took them back and refunded me in whole but they did insist I was wrong - won't use them again.

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I bought one "Siglo VI" on purpose from the desk literally outside the LCDH door at the old Partagas factory by the capitol just to say I did.  I had walked over from the Saratoga and was 10 min early before opening, they closed up and moved the desk to a corner when it opened.  The two guys gave me shit for wasting my money in the store when I went in right after and then came out with 2 boxes.  Other than that and probably a couple quality Mexican resort fakes I believe it has been very rare.

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I believe with good confidence that the sources I’ve used have provided legitimate CCs. 

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We have bought fake singles from LCDH stores in the form of a “sampler pack” and straight off the rack of boxes. These were not at obvious discounted ‘steal’ prices, rather regular markup. Stores that won’t let you have the box with the balance are good for a 🤔 , punt and walk away.

Some from being new to the game and others from being entertained enough for the experience. Incidentally, the sample pack smoked ok but was clearly not what was (mis)represented.

Best bet for quality and authenticity is through a reputed source. 😉 😉 😉 

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I haven't had one since friends brought back one from their honeymoon a few decades ago.  I basically only purchase from here, and two other vendors.  I can say with 100 percent confidence the cigars purchased from those sources have not been counterfeit.

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5 hours ago, Chibearsv said:

bought RyJ torpedos in the 90s from a guy on the beach in Punta Cana knowing they were most likely fake but just wanted some cigars to smoke

Similarly, bought a monte 4 from a lady walking around with a tray along the restaurant stretch at South Beach in Miami because I wanted a cigar to smoke. Tasted fine to my inexperienced palate at that time (2-3 years into the hobby) but I know it's a good chance that was fake. 

As to the original question, my only source in the past 2 years + has been foh so I'm close to, if not 100% getting fakes these days 😂🙂

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Of the ones I bought myself, I can confidently say: never. I only buy from a few places that are either Habanos specialist stores or LCDH, of which we have plenty in The Netherlands. 

Now there have been some gifts from friends, that they brought back from their travels. Of those I can confidently say: all of them 😄

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With the prices of CC I believe the % of fakes in the market must be quite high, a lot of people think small vitloas are not faked since its not as profitable but surely that is just wishful thinking. I encountered plenty of doubtful small smokes that other botl deny are fakes.

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6 hours ago, Heels82 said:

What's your take on Baffert? @Chibearsv with the fake and taking away.  

I think the very best trainers give their horse every advantage available.  That means sometimes walking on an edge with medications and sometimes they go over the edge.  Even though I don't think anything really egregious was done in the case of Medina Spirit (the horse was legally dosed for California racing), it's up to the trainer to know the standards and the rules and abide by them.  All that said, the rules are the rules and the derby should be awarded to the 2nd place horse in accordance with the rules.  I'd be pretty pissed as an owner since the owner's share of the purse is around $2.3 million but at least they got the winner's circle photo.

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Never for me and I could guess most on here. Now, other people that just don’t know, probably quite high. I’m talking your occasional smoker, wife’s, or friends of cigar smokers that want to do a good deed but want to also do it cheap or on impulse. 

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18 minutes ago, Wolvan said:

I encountered plenty of doubtful small smokes that other botl deny are fakes.

I spend a lot of time in another discussion group that has thousands of posts discussing fakes.    I have not seen a petite corona or smaller vitola even discussed--so tell us more...you can post info in the "Suspect Cigar" forum here (though you cannot identify specific sources).

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I'm 100% Certain I've purchased 1 Fake. A CORO on the Malecon and it was 100% intentional. It looks good, except for the string hanging out of the foot. 🤣 I bought some customs rolls at a resort in Mexico about 12 years ago that were supposedly rolled with Cuban tobacco, but weren't really. They were perfectly acceptable cigars for the cost and situation, but not Cubans. Other than that, no, I dont think I've ever purchased fakes. Source is important.

1 hour ago, Chibearsv said:

I think the very best trainers give their horse every advantage available.  That means sometimes walking on an edge with medications and sometimes they go over the edge.  Even though I don't think anything really egregious was done in the case of Medina Spirit (the horse was legally dosed for California racing), it's up to the trainer to know the standards and the rules and abide by them.  All that said, the rules are the rules and the derby should be awarded to the 2nd place horse in accordance with the rules.  I'd be pretty pissed as an owner since the owner's share of the purse is around $2.3 million but at least they got the winner's circle photo.

In general, I agree. My cousin has actually ridden for Bob Hundreds of times, she's retired from the Jockey game now, but is still a trainer. I talked to her about this at length and she would still be comfortable riding for him today. I posted her pre Derby interview with Bob below, they literally call the race before it happens. 

Horse racing as a sport could eliminate these issues, if they really wanted to. Imagine if the NFL or NHL Had a different set of rules for every state/province a team was located in. You're still expected to know the rules, but "cheating" would be viewed in a different light. He hasn't won 6 Derby's by by just sitting back and hoping. He pushes the envelope, all the best do. F1, American Football, whatever the sport. The best are always on a razors edge.  

 

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1 hour ago, Cairo said:

I spend a lot of time in another discussion group that has thousands of posts discussing fakes.    I have not seen a petite corona or smaller vitola even discussed--so tell us more...you can post info in the "Suspect Cigar" forum here (though you cannot identify specific sources).

I've seen fake Monte 4 fist hand. Think they're relatively common in some places.

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I’d imagine as the former best selling Cuban cigar, there would be lots of fake Monte 4s  around. I’ve actually got one left from a bunch a friend got.  Didn’t know at the time they’re fakes, but looking at the bands now they’re definitely fakes.  

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20 hours ago, El Presidente said:

The really good guys do pre embargo and LE. They are artists. Criminals, but artists.

Interesting. Anybody have a rough guess what share of the internet supply for these things is real? Assume we're talking about the average "reputable" internet retailer for this -- not trying to swindle you, but not trying to protect you either. 

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On 6/13/2021 at 1:13 PM, Vitola Corleone said:

Interesting. Anybody have a rough guess what share of the internet supply for these things is real? Assume we're talking about the average "reputable" internet retailer for this -- not trying to swindle you, but not trying to protect you either. 

Real pre embargo?   Very very low. 1 in 10 maybe?  That might be generous.  I am not including Clear Havana's in that. 

Fake LE's through reputeable dealers? I haven't seen it in a long time.  Fake LE throughout secondary retail stores, plenty everywhere. 

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If you're offered CCs on the streets in Cuba, or in Miami, either on the streets or in cigar shop, I am 100% certain they are fakes. The island fakes probably have some Cuban tobacco, though. The fakes you typically find around Miami are often real tobacco, probably Nic or Hond tobacco. I haven't had any of these in many years, but virtually all the ones I tasted over the years were crap, very peppery and harsh as I recall.

Some fakes I had decades ago, or at least what I believed to be fakes, were damn good cigars, I wish I had been able to get box loads. Most of these were brought back from the island by Cuban friends. I never could figure out who rolled them or where, but the flavor profile was as good as any I had ever had from the island. But fakes back then were most likely to be farm rolled with real tobacco, or at least tobacco trimmings. One or two that I dissected were actually long leaf, and expertly rolled. Nowadays, it is much more sketchy.

When I went to Cuba a few years ago, right before travel routes were shut down again, I was mauled by counterfeiters trying to sell fakes in the alleys nearby the port. They had some really great looking cigars, some of which rival the quality of authentic cigars as far as aesthetics. Of course, there is no way to know what you will find inside them, they could be banana leaves, grass trimming, condoms, newspaper, oh and probably some tobacco of sorts, who the heck knows? I thought about getting some just to dissect them, but the crooks would only sell box quantity, and I wasn't about to throw away $100 to find out. 

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On 6/12/2021 at 11:40 AM, La_Tigre said:

We have bought fake singles from LCDH stores in the form of a “sampler pack” and straight off the rack of boxes. These were not at obvious discounted ‘steal’ prices, rather regular markup. Stores that won’t let you have the box with the balance are good for a 🤔 , punt and walk away.

Some from being new to the game and others from being entertained enough for the experience. Incidentally, the sample pack smoked ok but was clearly not what was (mis)represented.

Best bet for quality and authenticity is through a reputed source. 😉 😉 😉 

I am convinced the LCDH in several Mexico tourist areas, and for that matter on any Carib. islands, are almost all fakes. Any non LCDH merchants, or any of the folks walking around with cigars on any of the Carib islands are guaranteed to be 100% fake. in fact, any cigar shops around the world selling CCs except Spain, France and Switzerland I would be very suspicious, and even then I would stick to reputable merchants. There are some LCDH shops in some of the duty free zones that may be legit, but few and far between. 

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33 minutes ago, Philc2001 said:

I am convinced the LCDH in several Mexico tourist areas, and for that matter on any Carib. islands, are almost all fakes.

It is also possible that employees in those locations are "switching" fakes for real smokes without the knowledge of the bosses (particularly on high end smokes)--would be a great way to make some walking around money.    Tourists are easy marks (for the most part).

The worker could show the real smokes, sell the fakes, and pocket the cash--and the inventory and cash would line up at the end of the day.    Obviously this would only work on cash transactions.

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