Earlier in this month, I posted an entry on why Cubans are considered illegal in the United States. Though many of us know that they are illegal, it does not mean that no one can get their hands on some. Indeed, there are ways and means by which one can acquire some Cuban cigars. However, the fact that Cubans are rare and hard to get your hands on (at least in the United States) also means that there are a lot of unscrupulous and enterprising groups that take advantage of this. That is, there are a lot of cigars circulating out there â€“ cigars which are purported to be Cubans but in fact are fake.
So how do you know if your Cuban cigar is the real deal? The most important thing would be to know who you are dealing with. If you ever get the chance to get your hands on Cuban cigars, at least look into the background of the seller. The seller should be a legitimate dealer. Outside of the U.S., you can find a lot of legitimate dealer that sells Cubans.
If you have the chance to buy a box, make sure that you examine the box carefully. Paul Penafiel suggests:
The most important thing to examine is the box. On the bottom of the box of cigars, you should find a heat stamp with the words ‘Habanos.’ The heat stamp should be impressed onto the bottom of the box. Fake Cuban cigar boxes often find other ways to imprint this label, such as using rubber stamps or paper labels. You should also find a factory code stamp at the bottom that is stamped in green, blue or black ink. This stamp will tell you when and where the cigars were rolled.
(to be continued)