Questions about the world of CCs


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Howdy all,

As I mentioned in my introductory post, I have only ever had one Cuban cigar and that was a small Cohiba tubo of some sort sent to me by my brother in England. It was enough to make me want to explore the world of cubans further but I find I have a number of questions after reading this and the CA boards. In no particular order:

There seems to be a significant emphasis on aging these cigars. Not to appear greedy, impatient or gluttonous but, unless one starts out by buying ten boxes or more, how do you contain yourself for a period of years? I mean, I honestly cannot conceive of purchasing my first sample pack of 10 or 14 assorted cigars and then stashing them away for years before trying them. I haven't quite reached the age where I no longer buy green bananas but, the would drive me round the bend.:-D

With the above in mind, are there certain cigars that I should focus on or, alternatively, avoid if I plan to smoke them within a reasonable period of time?

For an initial order, would a package of 2 each of a number of different brands(?) be a reasonable sampling in an attempt to identify a candidate for qa box? Or is it better to look at say a 5er of two different brands?

Is there any similarity in taste profile between a given brand name as a non-cuban and the same name in a cuban cigar? There is one brand that I have not at all cared for as a non cuban that has been recommended to me as a cuban cigar.

I think that's it for the present and thanks in advance for your help.

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It is quite the conundrum - acquire a number of singles, put them aside for some time, smoke them,

find out which you like, and then have to start all over again.

My advice would be to contact our great hosts, and have them put something together for you. They will

have a good idea of the cigars that might be enjoyed early, and will give you an idea of what you may

or may not like, for future reference. Two or three of a number of different cigars is not a bad way

to go.

When time allows, do a bit of searching on the site - there are a number of informative threads

on similar topics. Above all, enjoy yourself!

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»

» There seems to be a significant emphasis on aging these cigars. Not to

» appear greedy, impatient or gluttonous but, unless one starts out by

» buying ten boxes or more, how do you contain yourself for a period of

» years?

With some effort one can still find boxes of Cuban cigars for sale that have already been aged so some extent. Note the PCC Vintage releases that Rob offers from time to time.

Many people I know who invest in boxes at a time put 1/2 the cigars in a box aside for aging and smoke the remainder over time.

Eventually if you stick to collecting you can aquire enough that it doesn't seem like you are agining them.

» With the above in mind, are there certain cigars that I should focus on

» or, alternatively, avoid if I plan to smoke them within a reasonable

» period of time?

Cigars that seem to be smoking well quite young include Bolivar Royal Coronas, Trinidad Reyes, ERDM Choix Supreme (though they improve A LOT with time), and PSP2. Others may have other suggestions.

» For an initial order, would a package of 2 each of a number of different

» brands(?) be a reasonable sampling in an attempt to identify a candidate

» for qa box? Or is it better to look at say a 5er of two different brands?

It's a matter of your choice. »

» Is there any similarity in taste profile between a given brand name as a

» non-cuban and the same name in a cuban cigar?

None whatsoever.

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» »

» » There seems to be a significant emphasis on aging these cigars. Not to

» » appear greedy, impatient or gluttonous but, unless one starts out by

» » buying ten boxes or more, how do you contain yourself for a period of

» » years?

»

» With some effort one can still find boxes of Cuban cigars for sale that

» have already been aged so some extent. Note the PCC Vintage releases that

» Rob offers from time to time.

»

» Many people I know who invest in boxes at a time put 1/2 the cigars in a

» box aside for aging and smoke the remainder over time.

»

» Eventually if you stick to collecting you can aquire enough that it

» doesn't seem like you are agining them.

»

» » With the above in mind, are there certain cigars that I should focus on

» » or, alternatively, avoid if I plan to smoke them within a reasonable

» » period of time?

»

» Cigars that seem to be smoking well quite young include Bolivar Royal

» Coronas, Trinidad Reyes, ERDM Choix Supreme (though they improve A LOT

» with time), and PSP2. Others may have other suggestions.

»

»

» » For an initial order, would a package of 2 each of a number of

» different

» » brands(?) be a reasonable sampling in an attempt to identify a

» candidate

» » for qa box? Or is it better to look at say a 5er of two different

» brands?

»

» It's a matter of your choice. »

» » Is there any similarity in taste profile between a given brand name as

» a

» » non-cuban and the same name in a cuban cigar?

»

» None whatsoever.

Thanks to both Colt45 and Van55. Much appreciated and happy to see that a couple of those I was considering are thought to smoke well young.

Cheers.

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» There seems to be a significant emphasis on aging these cigars. Not to

» appear greedy, impatient or gluttonous but, unless one starts out by

» buying ten boxes or more, how do you contain yourself for a period of

» years?

When you're sampling, don't worry about aging them - just get a taste of what they're like today, and let that dictate if it's worth investing in a box or more of that particular cigar. After taking the plunge, you can start out by setting aside anywhere from 5 sticks to a half box. Mark them somehow with a date if you didn't keep them in the box - either blank cigar bands or just marker on a plastic baggie work fine, then BURY them in the bottom of your humidor (speaking of which, you may soon want to invest in a coolidor or wine fridge if you get serious about your Habanos). Forget about those, and just keep setting some aside as you buy boxes. Your stash will continue to grow, and you can sample them at some markers like 3, 5, 7 years to get a feel for how they're coming along.

As to "what will age well?" just take some advice from more experienced people around until you feel comfortable judging that for yourself. You absolutely don't NEED to age your cigars. Some 'snobs' :lookaround: will disagree, but who cares what they think anyway? A lot of smokes are great fresh, especially when you're still trying to pin down exactly what you like, and build inventory. You can't run around picking what's left of 7-10 year old boxes at inflated prices only to find out that you're really not into that particular cigar!

» With the above in mind, are there certain cigars that I should focus on

» or, alternatively, avoid if I plan to smoke them within a reasonable

» period of time?

I wouldn't turn you off of anything in particular due solely to age, but:

There are so many options and tastes out there that it's hard to pick out exactly what you're going to be into, but you should certainly try some different sizes. I'm a Robusto fan myself (just ask Lisa what my last order was for, lol), but with all the talk of thin ring gauge around *cough* Tampa *cough*, I've been trying to sample a few more of those. You should definitely contact Lisa and see what she can advise as far as your size, strength etc. requests. She's been very helpful putting together samplers for me after a quick chat with her.

» For an initial order, would a package of 2 each of a number of different

» brands(?) be a reasonable sampling in an attempt to identify a candidate

» for qa box?

2 each would be perfect. Getting 2 reduces the risk of getting a dud that turns you off of something that you may like.

» Is there any similarity in taste profile between a given brand name as a

» non-cuban and the same name in a cuban cigar? There is one brand that I

» have not at all cared for as a non cuban that has been recommended to me

» as a cuban cigar.

Absolutely none. It makes me sad to see crap marketed under the same names as some very fine Cuban cigars.

By the way, welcome! I saw your post over at cA the other day and wondered if you'd be stopping by. :-)

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» » There seems to be a significant emphasis on aging these cigars. Not to

» » appear greedy, impatient or gluttonous but, unless one starts out by

» » buying ten boxes or more, how do you contain yourself for a period of

» » years?

»

» When you're sampling, don't worry about aging them - just get a taste of

» what they're like today, and let that dictate if it's worth investing in a

» box or more of that particular cigar. After taking the plunge, you can

» start out by setting aside anywhere from 5 sticks to a half box. Mark them

» somehow with a date if you didn't keep them in the box - either blank cigar

» bands or just marker on a plastic baggie work fine, then BURY them in the

» bottom of your humidor (speaking of which, you may soon want to invest in

» a coolidor or wine fridge if you get serious about your Habanos). Forget

» about those, and just keep setting some aside as you buy boxes. Your stash

» will continue to grow, and you can sample them at some markers like 3, 5, 7

» years to get a feel for how they're coming along.

»

» As to "what will age well?" just take some advice from more experienced

» people around until you feel comfortable judging that for yourself. You

» absolutely don't NEED to age your cigars. Some 'snobs' :lookaround: will

» disagree, but who cares what they think anyway? A lot of smokes are great

» fresh, especially when you're still trying to pin down exactly what you

» like, and build inventory. You can't run around picking what's left of

» 7-10 year old boxes at inflated prices only to find out that you're really

» not into that particular cigar!

»

» » With the above in mind, are there certain cigars that I should focus on

» » or, alternatively, avoid if I plan to smoke them within a reasonable

» » period of time?

»

» I wouldn't turn you off of anything in particular due solely to age, but:

»

» There are so many options and tastes out there that it's hard to pick out

» exactly what you're going to be into, but you should certainly try some

» different sizes. I'm a Robusto fan myself (just ask Lisa what my last

» order was for, lol), but with all the talk of thin ring gauge around

» *cough* Tampa *cough*, I've been trying to sample a few more of those. You

» should definitely contact Lisa and see what she can advise as far as your

» size, strength etc. requests. She's been very helpful putting together

» samplers for me after a quick chat with her.

»

» » For an initial order, would a package of 2 each of a number of

» different

» » brands(?) be a reasonable sampling in an attempt to identify a

» candidate

» » for qa box?

»

» 2 each would be perfect. Getting 2 reduces the risk of getting a dud that

» turns you off of something that you may like.

»

» » Is there any similarity in taste profile between a given brand name as

» a

» » non-cuban and the same name in a cuban cigar? There is one brand that

» I

» » have not at all cared for as a non cuban that has been recommended to

» me

» » as a cuban cigar.

»

» Absolutely none. It makes me sad to see crap marketed under the same names

» as some very fine Cuban cigars.

»

» By the way, welcome! I saw your post over at cA the other day and wondered

» if you'd be stopping by. :-)

Thanks Grasso. Much appreciated and cute little ankle biter there.

I am glad to be learning that much of what I've been reading is not necessarily required but merely preferred by those who've been at it a long time. I'm als glad to hear that there is no similarity other than name between NCs and CCs. I bought a box of Ramon Allones cigars about a year ago and still have a few left - NOT because I'm trying to age them. They've been relegated to truck cigars cause I really don't care for them but can't bring myself to throw them away:-D

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Hangfire,

Let me address some of your questions. First, on this forum it is easier to read if you erase the text of the post before you, simply highlight and erase then post away. :-D

As to a sampler, you have been given some excellent advise from some members here. I typically suggest that you purchase 3 of each and let me explain why. Say after speaking with Lisa or Rob you decide upon a couple of Petit Coronas, a couple of Robustos, a couple of Campanas or Pyrimades, a couple of Minutos, and a couple of du Connaisseur sized cigars. This will give you 10 different cigars in a good mix of different sizes to sample.

Once you receive your sampler, all the cigars need to wait AT LEAST 30 DAYS before SMOKING, this is a valuable rule to follow for the rest of your cigar smoking life! The longer they rest, the better they will taste and smoke.

I suggest that you purchase 3 of each cigar that you choose. That way you will have 30 Habanos to sample after the 30 days rest. I also suggest that you get a small notebook and take notes about the cigars as you smoke them, what you like as well as what you do not enjoy, that way you will begin to determine what you your palate enjoys and can describe your likes to others for future suggestions. As you smoke one of the 3 cigars, you will find that you either like it or may want to try it or something close to it again. You have the 2nd cigar to smoke and the 3rd one to have while you are waiting for your next order to arrive or to share with a cigar buddy while you are smoking the 2nd one.

Here is my suggestion as to what to order for your first sampler, followed by the second sampler to be ordered 2 weeks after the first. That way, the second order is already resting longer than the 30 days when you finish smoking the 1st sampler!

Suggested 1st Sampler

3 Bolivar Petit Coronas

3 Por Larranaga Petit Coronas

3 Ramon Allones Specialy Selected

3 Partagas Serie D No.4

3 Montecristo No.2

3 Bolivar Belicoso Finos

3 Trinidad Reyes

3 Montecristo No.5

3 Partagas Serie du Connaisseur No.3

3 Cohiba Corona Especiales

Suggested 2nd Sampler

3 Cohiba Siglo No.2

3 Romeo y Julieta Coronas

3 San Cristobal De La Habana La Punta

3 Vegas Robaina Unicos

3 Juan Lopez Selection No.2

3 Bolivar Royal Corona

3 Partagas Short

3 Ramon Allones Small Club Coronas

3 Montecristo Especial No.1

3 Trinidad Fundadore

This should provide a wide selection of mild, medium and bold Habanos in a variety of sizes and shapes in small, medium and large ring gauges. As you take your notes, you will begin to determine what you like and what you want to try more of. This is a long and slippery road, enjoy!!!

Tampa

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Damn Tampa, I must say you sure have inspired me! I think this should be the list given to all of us Newbies when we first become members lol .... I am going to take that list for my self if you dont mind! ;-)

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yes, a very slippery slope it is indeed. We all have our preferences but many of us here smoke a huge range of smokes from small to large and full-bodied to mild even. It all depends on the mood, company, and unfortunately time restrictions and weather. Tampa as always did a great job recommending some great cigars over a wide range. Enjoy the experience and I look forward to seeing your feedback.

O and I'll repeat it, WAIT AT LEAST 30 days before smoking your cigars that have just been shipped 1/2 way around the world and have been through enormous pressure, temp, and humidity swings. You need to let them settle.

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» Thanks Grasso. Much appreciated and cute little ankle biter there.

»

» I bought a box of Ramon Allones cigars about a

» year ago and still have a few left - NOT because I'm trying to age them.

Thanks, he's been a tremendous blessing for sure!

The only problem with the Cuban Ramon Allones brand is that they don't make enough different vitolas. ;-)

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»

» Suggested 1st Sampler

» 3 Bolivar Petit Coronas

» 3 Por Larranaga Petit Coronas

» 3 Ramon Allones Specialy Selected

» 3 Partagas Serie D No.4

» 3 Montecristo No.2

» 3 Bolivar Belicoso Finos

» 3 Trinidad Reyes

» 3 Montecristo No.5

» 3 Partagas Serie du Connaisseur No.3

» 3 Cohiba Corona Especiales

»

» Suggested 2nd Sampler

» 3 Cohiba Siglo No.2

» 3 Romeo y Julieta Coronas

» 3 San Cristobal De La Habana La Punta

» 3 Vegas Robaina Unicos

» 3 Juan Lopez Selection No.2

» 3 Bolivar Royal Corona

» 3 Partagas Short

» 3 Ramon Allones Small Club Coronas

» 3 Montecristo Especial No.1

» 3 Trinidad Fundadore

»

Great samplers!

But what happened to Punch? :lookaround:

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Thanks Tampa, all good info and suggestions. I hear loud and clear the need to hold for 30 days.

I also appreciate your recommendations for a sampler - 2 actually with a third on the way it seems. Didn't know you worked on commission for C Czar:lol2: Seriously, your recommendations look very similar to what I was coming up with on my own with the exception of the various vitolas. I will give it serious thought though, I must admit that those two samplers within a two week period are beyond my cigar budget.

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Once you get going its hard to stop and budgets typically fly out the window. Just ask my wife. How many guys here started a day thinking that he was only going to buy 1 box and that the budget was around $200 and when all was said and done had "accidentally" hit the "Add to cart" button 3 times for a grand total of $700?

-P

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» Once you get going its hard to stop and budgets typically fly out the

» window. Just ask my wife. How many guys here started a day thinking that

» he was only going to buy 1 box and that the budget was around $200 and when

» all was said and done had "accidentally" hit the "Add to cart" button 3

» times for a grand total of $700?

»

» -P

The lying to my wife is the hardest part of this obsession. Notice I don't call it a hobby anymore...;-)

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Well, I've given your thoughts and suggestions much consideration and appreciate all of it. I thought long and hard about it and even thought about just throwing caution to the wind and ordering a box of something - please don't ask what because this question is what sent me back to the sampler idea.

Here's what I finally ordered:

Bolivar Royal Corona - 2

Cohiba Robustos - 2

Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure #2 - 2

Montecristo #2 - 2

Partagas Serie D #4 - 2

Ramon Allones Specially Selected - 2

Rey Del Mundo Choix Supreme - 2

Vegas Robaina Unicos - 2

Can't wait to put them away for a while (30 days) and, yes, I had already begun a cigar journal to record my thoughts about various non cubans.

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great sampler, I'll bet you love them all! One suggestion I have is to have the vendor include the boxcodes from the smokes in the order. If you absolutely love a particular smoke and can commit to a box its a good place to start.

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Thanks Grasso,

I opted to stay away from too many smaller vitolas because of my smoking habits/preferences. I enjoy a cigar in the evening, after dinner, when I can relax and savor it so, I look for a longer smoke. My thinking at this point is that once they have rested sufficiently, these will be saved for special occasions. By that I do not mean once a year type things but after particularly good meals, after entertaining and, of course, celebrations of any sort - the Giants Superbowl win last year was one such occasion. I fully realize Pat's warning that whatever my plans re: budget and such they will all fall apart in favor of building a larger selection but, we all have to start somewhere.

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» »I hadn't thought about that aavkk. Good idea. Will C Czar do that do you

» know?

Yes they will, I still encourage you to try a variety of sizes as even a Minutos (Partagas Short) will last 45 minutes if savored and not rushed. Until you smoke a Partagas Serie du Connaisseur No.3 you have not really sampled an "Old School" Partagas. Hate to see you miss so many excellent Habanos because of thinking that "big is in". :cool:

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» Yes they will, I still encourage you to try a variety of sizes as even a

» Minutos (Partagas Short) will last 45 minutes if savored and not rushed.

True story . . . a guy at work who I gave a JLP to was asking about going in on a box split with me. He mentioned that he liked Churchills because he could take almost an hour to smoke them. Damn, I can make a robusto last an hour 15 easily. Slow down, chief.

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