10 rules for fakes?


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What would be say the top 10 most consistent ways to spot a fake?

I know that there are so many factors involved and many times there are just mistakes made at the factory in all innocence.

But if u had to put a list together to benefit newbie’s what would it be??

1. Buy from legit habanos supplier (goes without saying..)

Thanks

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I will let others answer this.

It is tough for someone new to cigars in markets where Cubans are prohibited or/and where there is a proliferation of fakes.

I think Aroma at cold is a dead give away where the fake is non Cuban tobacco. Still...how does someone with little experience be expected to know the difference?

Taste obviously but the same point as above.

And then again the new generation of fakes using Cuban tobacco? Experience is your only guide here.

I will pass back to guys who have dealt with this time and time again.

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Here are some that seem to be fairly common in the more obvious fakes.

Glass-top box

An EL that was never officially produced.

A size that was never produced in that brand.

Size completely different to description, eg. 4 inch long Romeo y Julieta Churchills, which I have seen.

Incorrect packaging, eg 25 Cohiba Piramides 2006.

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Ink stamp on bottom of box instead of burnt in

Stickers in wrong locations (habanos sticker, and warranty seal)

3 or 5 packs of cigars that are not available in such packs.

Cohiba/Monte Bundles wrapped in celo.

Price. There is a (what I call) "Price area" for cigars. I know that RASS fall in between $160-190, Siglo IIs $195-250, Boli PCs $125-150 and so on. I know that if I find Siglo IIs for $150, I need to be skeptical. I know that deals are out there if some vendor needs to move some stock, but it goes back to "trusting your vendor".

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Well I would agree with everything said here but would just add a point about the box codes on the bottom. I have seen numerous fakes where these guys will use an old box code that is not being used anymore. For example, POS was a code used from I believe very early 06 through JUN of 07, if you find a box of POS FEB 08's than you have a big problem. Also, if you are able to open the box and see the cigars, check to see if the wrappers are color matched, check to be sure they are all identical in size, is there a triple cap...

O and dont buy any in Miami!

Good luck

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» What would be say the top 10 most consistent ways to spot a fake?

» I know that there are so many factors involved and many times there are

» just mistakes made at the factory in all innocence.

»

» But if u had to put a list together to benefit newbie’s what would it

» be??

»

» 1. Buy from legit habanos supplier (goes without saying..)

»

» Thanks

There are some very good fakes out there, but I think the majority are fairly obvious to spot once you have a little experience and knowledge.

- Cigar Bands - Usually the first thing that most look for. There are several sites that show authentic bands. Deviations usually indicate fakes.

- General appearance - Are they the right size and girth, are the foots cut straight, etc. Is the cigar triple capped. Is the tobacco bunched evenly or are there uneven areas in the foot. Are there any stems showing either in the foot or after you cut the cap.

- Packaging - Aside from all the obvious stamps, date codes and various labels, are the cigars all approximately the same shade with the darker to lighter running left to right, are the labels lined up and presented neatly, do the cigars fit properly in the box, etc.

- Warranty Seal Numbers - I don't know if there is a running reference anywhere, but the date codes on the boxes and the first 2 letters on the warranty seal should be consistent. For example, the last box I received was from June 08 with the first 2 letters on the warranty seal being "IQ." So getting a box marked 08 with a SN starting with, say, "DE" would indicate that something is awry.

As Prez said, the dead giveaway is cold aroma and flavor. This does take a bit of experience (I'm still getting the hang of it myself.) Get your smokes from a known good source (say HERE!) and you will soon know what a proper cigar should smell and taste like. The most important thing is to keep practicing :-)

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» I think Aroma at cold is a dead give away where the fake is non Cuban tobacco.

»

» Taste obviously but the same point as above.

I totally agree.

In my experience, there are few "iron clad" tell-tales for counterfeits. I've been studying these things rather intensively for two years and I have come to these conclusions.

1. There are some counterfeits out there that are so perfect in terms of cosmetics and construction of the cigars and packaging that from appearance alone, it is impossible for anyone to definitively say that they are not authentic.

2. Determining whether a cigar is a counterfeit is not the same task as determining that it is authentic.The analogy is to the scientific investigative approach of disproving the null hypothesis. Think of it in terms of false negatives versus false positives. In essence, if you hypothesize that a cigar is counterfeit and can find no definitive evidence to support that, then you can only state probabilistically, with some level of confidence that it may not be counterfeit. You have not proven that it is authentic.

3. The field of Cuban cigar counterfeits is unbelievably diverse. This makes it a fascinating phenomenon to study but also a frustrating one.

4. Beware of the pronouncements of those who do so unequivocally. Because of the three reasons above, unless the person is able to provide support for the determination, one should consider it with skepticism.

Wilkey

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Great post Wilkey.

Let me expand.

Cohiba Piramide Jar. Packaging perfect or near perfect.

Vendor. Semi solid reputation to the general populace.

Cigars: Cuban. Well rolled.

Reality: Fake.

Why: Cigars are custom rolled in Cuba with proper bands applied. They are however not the authentic Cohiba Priamide Jar release.

Flavour is wrong. Completely. Yet you can only tell this by having experience in tasting the original cigars and tasting the original cigars recenty. A few of us also have enough experience in tasting secondary custom rolled cigars in Havana to identify the flavour of these purported "authentics".

It is nigh impossible for even well above average Cuban cigar lovers to identify the flavour discrepancies when they have little to go by in flavour comparison of that cigar.

1. Trust your vendor to a point.

2. If something out of the ordinary comes up from that vendor, ask for the purchase hstory of the product. By this I mean...did they purchase it from their "traditional" Habanos s.a distributor.

3. If the answer is no......walk.

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Guest CheapBastid

» 1. Buy from legit habanos supplier (goes without saying..)

It far from goes without saying. This is really the best piece of advice for anyone new to buying Habanos. It's true that vendors sometimes dip into the shady side and fakes can slip in, but if you are:

1. Buying from a trusted source

2. The vitola and presentation is a known entity (no wrong year ELs, nonexistent sizes, or glass top presentation)

3. The price is in the realm of possibility (no $150 box of Esplendidos)

You're going to avoid the newbie and obvious mistakes.

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I'm not sure if this has been mentioned but a sure sign of fakes is the story that comes from the source. If you are buying online or from an LCDH this might not be the case but if you are wondering if your uncle's friend's box of Cohibas are fake ask him where he got them from. No matter what he says I would be suspicious but if he tells you his cousin is a security guard at one of the factories and at night he sneaks in and steals boxes and ships them in to the US, walk away.

Or the one I got fooled with early on in my cigar career was that the guy had family in Cuba and that they ship in crate loads of cigars once a month to make some extra money. Funny thing is that this guys sells to many well known actors and celebrities in Los Angeles and his **** is fake as those 5 in RyJ Churchills. His boxes had plastic wrap around them and when I asked why they had it he told me his family has a machine that plastic wraps them for extra protection before they ship. So if you see an actor or celebrity out and about in LA smoking a cigar rest assured it's 99% fake and that it came from this bastard.

-Patrick

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