Is It Worth It? Cuban Cigars

Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette in
our series is it worth it? Have you ever wondered if Cuban cigars are
worth their money? That’s exactly what we’re going to talk about
today. In our is it worth it series, we cover iconic
or popular products, sometimes expensive luxury products, we determine if you should invest
your money or not. You can check out the other videos in the
series here. Part of the mystique about Cuban cigars is
that they were hardly available in the US due to the embargo signed in 1962 by JFK. With the recent easing of restrictions, Americans
can now buy Cuban cigars abroad and bring them into the country. Cuban cigars are prestigious and with that,
comes a higher price tag. So is it worth importing Montecristos or Cohibas
into the US? Recently, a friend bought home Cohiba Robustos
and Montecristo Edmundos so we had a chance to try them. So before we go into any details about the
cigars themselves, let’s briefly touch on the restrictions in the US. First of all, selling Cuban cigars in the
US remains illegal. For the same reason, you can’t also buy them
at online stores in America, however, you can bring back Cuban cigars from Cuba or from
other third-party countries back to the US. The cigars you bring back are for personal
consumption and for gifts only, you cannot resell them in the US. Interestingly, there are no dollar limits
on how many cigars you can bring back. So if you’re now interested in bringing back
Cuban cigars, please check out the FAQ section on the Department of Treasury website for
more details. This is not legal advice. First, let’s do a comparison between a Cuban
cigar and a readily available Dominican cigar. So a Cohiba Robustos has a strength that is
about four out of five. If you buy a box of 25, it breaks down to
about 15 dollars per cigar. On a flipside, if you go with a Dominican
Chateau Fuente sun-grown cigar, it costs about five bucks if you buy them in a case of twenty. Both cigars have approximately the same strength
yet the Cuban one is three times as expensive. In terms o flavor, the Arturo Fuente Robusto
will give you notes of spices and chocolate. On the other hand, the Cohiba Robusto will
have notes of wood, pepper, honey, and cocoa. Some also argue that it has some extra complexity
compared to the Dominican cigar. Now that difference in complexity is worth
triple the price, as well as the hassle, is a question that you have to answer personally. I know people who would argue both ways. So in general, what makes Cuban cigars special
or what are the pros of Cuban cigars? First of all, it’s definitely the strength
and the flavor. A Cuban stogie represents, for most cigar
aficionados, the ultimate experience. Known for their strength and flavor, they
offer the smoker spicy, woody, and earthy tones that are just excellent. Sometimes, you can also have herbal notes
but you’ll always enjoy a good intensity of the cigar. In blind tastings, the powerhouse cigars is
usually a Cuban cigar. So yes, the big hallmark of Cuban cigars are
strength and complexity. At the same time, there are also milder Cuban
brands such as H. Upman or Sancho Panza. So what is the secret of Cuban cigars? Basically, it’s all in the Ligero which are
the top leaves of the tobacco plant. More specifically, the medio tiempo leaves
are smaller leaves that come up later in the plant and many growers don’t wait with the
harvest until those medio tiempo leaves have developed and because of that, they are more
sought after, more priced, and also more expensive to get. For example, some Cohibas such as the Behike
line use medio tiempo leaves. The second secret is the terroir. It is a French word that
encompasses lots of different things. Just like with any other agricultural product
such as grapes, the quality of tobacco leaves and the final Cuban cigar depend on many aspects. Specifically, it’s about the climate, the
temperature range, the rains, the wind, the soil, as well as the human hand. All of these aspects together make up for
the terroir so even the most exclusive Cuban tobacco firms such as in the Vuelta Abajo,
in the region of the Pinar del Rio, you will find differences in the quality of some growers
compared to their neighbors. For example, the leaves on the Vuelta Abajo
vegas which is a tobacco farm are much superior to the Robainas Cuchillas de Barbacoa in San
Luis. Now there are also outstanding tobacco terroirs
in Central or South America that are not in Cuba, for example, the tobacco used by Arturo
Fuente for cigars like the Opus X, the Padron Aniversario, or the Serie 1926, or the Joya
de Nicaragua are all of really top quality. Nevertheless, the fact remains that tobacco
leaves from the Pinar del Rio region in Cuba remain the pinnacle of tobacco growing among
the cigar aficionados in the world because they put out consistently good quality tobacco
leaves. So with that being said, what are the cons
of Cuban cigars, you might wonder? First of all, Cuban stogies are not always
consistent in their quality and can range from year to year. Because the demand for Cuban cigars is so
high, they are sometimes pressured to produce more quickly which in turn means that the
cigars can’t rest as long and that has an impact on the flavor. Generally, the leaves are more edgy in flavor
and it’s not as round as it could be if it would have rested for longer. Also, just like other luxury products like
the Montblanc Meisterstuck or the Rolex watch, the Cuban cigars are also highly counterfeited
and likely the most counterfeited tobacco products in the world. For example, Cuban cigar experts have more
than 25 checkpoints on the cedar box of the cigars alone and of course, they don’t reveal
them because otherwise, counterfeiters would pick up on them and it would be even more
difficult to determine the real Cuban cigar from the fake counterfeit. So by investing top dollar in Cuban cigars,
you may actually end up with a fake that doesn’t taste like the original product. Keep in mind that fake cigars are not just
thriving outside of Cuba but also in Havana. So because of that, Cuban cigars should only
from trusted sources. As I mentioned among the pros, Cuban cigars
are typically full flavored and strong. Now as a tobacco or cigar novice, that may
be overwhelming and off-putting. So as a novice smoker, it makes sense to start
with something milder and then slowly but surely transition to these stronger cigars. So after carefully considering the pros and
cons, at the end of the day, do we think that Cuban cigars are worth it? The answer is yes! they are the reasoning
behind it is that the price is not cost prohibitive. Yes a Cuban cigar can cost three times as
much but at the end day, the difference between a fifteen dollar cigar and a five dollar cigar
is just ten dollars which is quite affordable for most people out there. If you get a Cuban cigar from a reliable source,
you will likely end up with a more robust flavorful and complex cigar experience than
you would with other cigars. There is a reason why Cuban cigars are so
famed other than the embargo. Some people really like to pair their cigars
with their favorite cognac, brandy, whiskey, scotch, or even port wine, and if you want
to learn more about how to pair cigars with those spirits, please check out this guide
on our website here. That being said, we have a bunch of different
cigar guides on our website and if your novice and you want to find milder cigars or stronger
cigars, we have the right recommendation for you, so please head over there and check out
what we have to say about cigars. If you’re in a position right now where you
can’t get your hand on Cuban cigars it’s ok you will eventually get
your chance and in the meantime, you can figure out what’s easily available in the US on the
guides in our website If you enjoyed this video please check out
the other ones in our is it worth it series give us that thumbs up and subscribe to our
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