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Gregory Mottola did a nice write up on some of the cigars that stood out at the recent 2019 trade show. 

https://www.cigaraficionado.com/article/standout-cigars-from-the-2019-trade-show

Is it simply that I haven't been paying enough attention or have NC prices gone through the roof as of late?

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I don't hold grudges  $12 a cigar or $300 a box brings a lot of very good Cuban cigars into play. 

I'm glad you posted this. So I tend to avoid most discussions about NC cigars on these forums. Primarily because it's a CC forum but also because the vast majority of people who comment do so wit

Villiger La Flor de Ynclan Lancero Especial Illusione Singularé 2018 Turin Caldwell Long Live the King MAD MF Corona Hit and Run Part Deux (Rip & Dip) Almost Robusto Sa

The prices on that list seem reasonable or at least on par with what I expect. Only a few of them over $15 a stick. Ashton VSG's (larger sizes), the Higher end/more limited Padrons, and plenty of others have been $25-$40 a stick (or more) for years now.  

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3 minutes ago, El Presidente said:

Cheers for that. 

I find it strange that people would grumble about a $25 Cohiba Siglo VI  let alone a $16 Connie B. A Juan Lopez 2/epi 2 at sub $7 would have to be the buy on the planet today. :rotfl:u

You're preaching to the Choir. One of the many reasons NC's have had such a long, hard slog gaining market share in the rest of the world.

@Monterey makes a great point too. Aside from the most popular stuff or brand new releases, there is no reason to pay MSRP. Especially if you are buying online, lower overhead than a B&M and less/no taxes to boot. 

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30 minutes ago, El Presidente said:

 

Gregory Mottola did a nice write up on some of the cigars that stood out at the recent 2019 trade show. 

https://www.cigaraficionado.com/article/standout-cigars-from-the-2019-trade-show

Is it simply that I haven't been paying enough attention or have NC prices gone through the roof as of late?

I've been covering the tradeshow for 7 years now, and I wouldn't say that the average price has gone up too much. Typical pricing for most brands is still between $7 - $10. We have witnessed more brands willing to put out 'ultra-premium' cigars in a $20+ price point, but those represent a very small fraction of releases.

My list of standouts from the show is a bit different. Off the top of my head:

  • RoMa Craft Baka - I'd imagine pricing for most sizes will be under $10.
  • Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sobremesa Brulee, Mi Querida Triqui Traca $12.45, $10.75 respectively
  • Royal Agio Paso Doble - $11.25
  • Alec Bradley Gatekeeper - $9 - $12
  • Agree on the La Coalicion
  • Oscar Valladares Superfly - $9
  • Southern Draw Rose of Sharon Desert Rose - $11.99
  • Henry Clay Warhawk Corona - $7

That's off the top of my head. It's difficult to gauge anything in Las Vegas given the temperature and humidity.

 

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I met a friend of a friend on the 4th while our boats were drafted up. He was a rep for Rocky Patel and gave me one of those new ALR to try. I out in the humidor to try at a later date.

As Monterey said, we have sales constantly.  I really enjoy Oliva Melanios and I'm able to source those consistently for $5 per. 

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I haven't purchased anything outside of FOH for over a year now, but those prices seems to be steady with what the list prices were when I was buying NCs exclusively. Like mentioned above, US online companies run so many specials, coupons and such that you can find great deals year round if you look.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

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37 minutes ago, El Presidente said:

$12 a cigar or $300 a box brings a lot of very good Cuban cigars into play. 

Fair point - I don't know if there would be a box purchase discount or not. But, I do like the idea that I can walk into an actual shop and spend eleven and change on (what I consider to be) a high quality churchill sized cigar.

Which brings me to another side point, with slight reference to the recent B&M discussion.... To keep it simple, I've had nothing but good times with regard to staff and patrons at the shops I've visited. The only time I've personally encountered the Cuban vs. Non was outside of the shop / lounge scenario. Water off my back.

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No doubt at the prices we pay here, it makes little sense to indulge in anything but the best NC sticks. But there are plenty out there under $12 that smoke beautifully. And none of them are plugged.

Hopefully we get to keep paying what we pay here for a long time

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I buy loads of ccs and NCs. The quality of NCs has improved exponentially from the early 2000s. As others have said, there are online retailers in the states that have VIP memberships that save us 30-40% off retail.  The other thing about high quality NCs is that the draw is nearly always perfect.....not like a lot of the plugged CCs.  I love them all but there is no question that NCs are gaining on or equal to the best CCs out there now. Bespoke, AVO LE 05, many Davidoff, joya cinco decada, to name a few. 

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Tough argument on price. Retail at a B&M shop is usually double the box price on sale online (if you shop around). But $5-$10 is a typical price range for a premium NC stick, aged tobacco, 92+ rated, ready to smoke robusto or belicoso size stick. But some ultra premium brands push those numbers to 18-$25. Would rather buy a partagas E2 for 12$ all day over a Fuente opus x for $25+, 

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17 hours ago, El Presidente said:

 

Gregory Mottola did a nice write up on some of the cigars that stood out at the recent 2019 trade show. 

https://www.cigaraficionado.com/article/standout-cigars-from-the-2019-trade-show

Is it simply that I haven't been paying enough attention or have NC prices gone through the roof as of late?

With most non Cuban cigars the box count is 20 compared to 25 in most Cubans. Plus buying from a B&M usually a good markup plus any excise and state sales tax pertaining to the state you are buying them in. Of course from online retailers you will definitely save money. The fact we can buy many good CC boxes with 25 ct. well under 200 USD is an absolute bargain as far as I'm concerned. I practically never buy NC's from a B&M retailer anymore. Prefer to point and click on my laptop and see that beautiful Habanos box in my mailbox.

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Haven't bought any NC since 2015, don't have a clue as to the prices. The flavor profile of few that I have smoked, ( padron, fuente, perdomo, ect) just doesn't do it for my palate. To me most seem heavy on pepper and nicotine, with little else, one dimensional. But that's my palate speaking., and I  am sure others will not agree. I  am thankful for the many choices, that we do have, both CC and NC. CC for me and  NC for the people that enjoy them. All with a range of prices that is palatable for everyone.

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1 hour ago, TBird55 said:

Haven't bought any NC since 2015, don't have a clue as to the prices. The flavor profile of few that I have smoked, ( padron, fuente, perdomo, ect) just doesn't do it for my palate. To me most seem heavy on pepper and nicotine, with little else, one dimensional. But that's my palate speaking., and I  am sure others will not agree. I  am thankful for the many choices, that we do have, both CC and NC. CC for me and  NC for the people that enjoy them. All with a range of prices that is palatable for everyone.

I understand where your coming from, but I could never say that about Tatuaje... so many good smokes!

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The main difference in US is that we can buy CC tax and duty-free (illegally) and NC will have at least some tax on them.

Generally, outside of tax increases, the NC have been fairly flat - certainly no more increase than HSA. Limited releases (much like CC limited releases) have been going up more.

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3 hours ago, Colt45 said:

Fair point - I don't know if there would be a box purchase discount or not. But, I do like the idea that I can walk into an actual shop and spend eleven and change on (what I consider to be) a high quality churchill sized cigar.

Which brings me to another side point, with slight reference to the recent B&M discussion.... To keep it simple, I've had nothing but good times with regard to staff and patrons at the shops I've visited. The only time I've personally encountered the Cuban vs. Non was outside of the shop / lounge scenario. Water off my back.

Agreed

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The open market means a much larger range of prices, some more obscene then others. It feels like a lot of manufacturers are just throwing sh*t on the wall to see what sticks. But when you look at what has been about for a while and stabilized, it looks to me like HSA has been raising prices on existing cigars faster than most NC manufacturers have. When I switched over from buying Tatuaje brown label and Illusione Original Documents to cuban cigars I was often saving up to about a buck a stick. With the recent price increase the savings is reversed and I am seriously looking about going back, at least for my budget stick buying.

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I understand NC market like this: too many cigars. If you know NC, you know a lot of great cigars for $ 5-10. If you do not understand NC market, then you have to buy 15-25$ cigars from popular brands, because it is simple and they have a normal taste.
With Cuban cigars (premium brands HSA) everything is much easier - they are all great. If you have a box and you don't like it, just put it aside for aging.

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3 hours ago, nKostyan said:

I understand NC market like this: too many cigars. If you know NC, you know a lot of great cigars for $ 5-10. If you do not understand NC market, then you have to buy 15-25$ cigars from popular brands, because it is simple and they have a normal taste.
With Cuban cigars (premium brands HSA) everything is much easier - they are all great. If you have a box and you don't like it, just put it aside for aging.

Possibly this is at play for me.  I find that I have to buy a $25-$30 NC just to compete with an $8 PSD4 or a $10 BBF.  And even then, I enjoy the PSD4 or BBF a little more.

It has been so long since I have smoked NCs on a regular basis, that I probably don’t really know the market.  But it just seems when someone gifts me a lower priced NC, and I actually smoke it, I end up regretting smoking it.

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I think the relationship is quite pronounced across the price spectrum.  A cheap CC is likely going to dramatically outperform on a taste basis vs. most NCs (though I have had some, albeit few, surprises with cheaper NCs). 

I would also say the same thing at the high end, if you think about what you could buy in the $30-$50 USD range in NC land it’s an easy call in my opinion that you’d rather use that budget on CCs.  

At the very extreme end, I was lucky enough to smoke a Davidoff Oro Blanco a while back. This is the $500 Davidoff that is presumably/hopefully the best cigar Davidoff can possibly create. It was good, but I couldn’t help but think if I was running around London or Hong Kong with $500 in my pocket in search of a good smoke. I could likely get something that would be a beyond remarkable experience if I knew what to buy. 

I do agree that construction/draw varies more with CC, but I don’t find it too dramatic. In fact, I find NC are invariably too loose of a draw for my preference. 

All my opinion. 

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