LEs - pricing and value


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been looking at the concept of value and pricing for LEs. my thoughts were that in the early days, havana had no real idea whether it was all going to work or (a reason for them being unprepared in 2002) and they did not want a heap of unsold boxes of LEs on the shelves. so they went low. i have the price tag on a box of 2003 Hoyo Pyramides i got in Havana - US$130. mind you, the Monte Cs, for unknown reasons, seems to have been much more expensive.

any of the LEs these days value? what was the last box of LEs that seemed to be value? and yes, all relative. 

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You could snag the RA Club Allones in 2015 for around $115-120 per 10-box (and I bet significantly cheaper in Havana), those were really good after a year or so. Had a few in 2018 and I was disappointed, the ones I revisited had lost a lot but maybe it was just those specific ones. Regardless, if I could pay 12 a stick for how they smoked in late 2016, I wouldn't hesitate.

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Agree on the Club Allones, great value. And not LE's but the Spanish RE's are usually pretty decent price and I really liked the last two - La Gloria Cubana Serie D No.5 / Saint Luis Rey San Luis Tesoros. Both were priced at 75.

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For how good cigars can be for ~$10, it's hard to assign a value to a LE. For example, a Fonseca No. 1, roughly a $7 cigar, placed in my top 5 for the year 2018. A LE would have to smoke 300% better at least to be considered an equal value. To me, that's impossible. That Fonseca No. 1 was an hour and a half of bliss. Last year I also smoked a few Montecristo Dantes. Good cigars, but not better smoking experiences than the Fonseca, however they cost $22 per cigar.

There will always be a secondary market for LE's and you can always get your money back and then some, so there's a slice of solace in giving your arm and leg for a box, but value? That's hard to find.

 

edit: I guess that judgment was unfair. It's sort of like wine; $10 bottles can be great, but you can't expect a $30 bottle to be 3 times better. I guess it's all relative, but to me there's not much value in the LE's since a lot of regular production can be done significantly better. However, I must say I do buy ever LE aside from anything by Cohiba.

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Everything seems reasonably priced in Cuba.  Once everything makes it out to the secondary and third markets, prices seem to double, at least.  Like all prices, it seems pretty demand driven to me.  For example, remember the Cuaba LE and the H Upmann Mag 48?  They seemed to be around for ever and the prices were reasonable.  We all know what happened with the Cohiba Talisman.  Simple supply and demand equations at work, I suppose.

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To me, an indivdual LE is not something I'm going to smoke a lot of.  So the value proposition is slightly skewed due to new, different, limited.  I know exactly what the Fonseca #1 experience is going to give me, and I  love it, so I smoke a ton of them, but it's a different experience.

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As others mentioned, the Club Allones was a good value at first glance.  Unfortunately, as a lover of RASS, it only took one Club Allones to inform me that one box was more than sufficient.  I just don't like the EL offerings - they all taste like a Cuban/Nicaraguan hybrid at best.  At their worst, they are the RA Extras - dimensionless exercises in earthy boredom.

The wrappers tend to be so danged ugly - they look like binder leaf half the time.

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As with all things it depends. 

They have mostly been blended on the stronger side, so they tend to beneft from a nap. 

Currently smoking my HdM 2007 Regalos and RA 2011 Allones Extra and those pretty good ATM. 

I guess I smoke one or two to jusge their potential and them buy them and age them, checking in after 5 years to see how they have developed and if my initial assesment was correct. 

If my friends tell me they have come around sooner, I might move the box opening forward. 

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1 hour ago, Derboesekoenig said:

Are the RA Club Allones really that good? Because I've seen them as readily available still. As it is a 2015 release, why are they still out there? I feel like if they were indeed that great, they wouldn't be as accessible as they currently are. Which is the only reason I haven't bought a box

Seems a divisive cigar.  Plenty of people love them, but I am not one of them.  Had I tried a single before buying a box, I would not have bought the box.

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I'm no longer a fan of the program. I'd rather a Cohiba than a LE or RE. There are a few exceptions, I have enjoyed some of the Monte Cristo LEs, but in the last 10 years I have bought good quality regular production cigars that I know i like.

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