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How To Spot Fake Cuban Cigars

Cuba, the country that produces what many say are the best cigars in the world. Cuban grown tobacco, hand rolled on the island, tends to produce outstanding smokes that are appreciated the world over.

However, these highly desired cigars have caused a spike in “counterfeits” and fake ‘Cohibas’, often used to scam tourists or credulous new smokers. Sometimes these fakes are very sophisticated and it can be difficult to tell the difference between real and fake when making a purchase, even for a well-trained eye.

To help out, we’ve put together five things to look out for when trying to spot a fake Cuban cigar.

  1. The Ashes

A real Cuban cigar normally burns with a grey ash. If your cigar burns with a white ash, that is a sign that it isn’t made with authentic Cuban tobacco.

  1. Check the lids

Stay away from cigar boxes that have clear plastic or glass lids. Real Cuban cigars aren’t packaged in boxes with clear lids.

  1. Know your prices

If a price for a box of Cuban cigars sounds too good to be true… it probably is. An authentic box of Cuban cigars can cost around $300, therefore if you are offered a box of cigars claiming to be real for $50 or $100 the chances are they are counterfeit.

  1. Check the packaging

Packaging can be one of the best indicators of a real or fake Cuban cigar. Popular Cuban brands such as Cohibas and Partagas feature the ‘Habanos S.A’ seal on the top right hand corner of the box. Cheaply printed looking labels, with distorted images and spelling mistakes are tell-tale signs of counterfeit products. However, it is important to remember that just because the packaging looks good doesn’t necessarily mean the cigars are real, authentic Cubans.

  1. Edición Limitadas

Limited edition Cuban cigars can be heavily faked. Cuba currently only release 3 ‘Edición Limitadas’ each year. One to look out for is limited edition Cohibas – if someone offers you one from 2015 or 2016, it is definitely a fake as the Cohibas brand was not part of the limited-edition trio in those years.

These are just 5 of the ways to help you tell the difference between a fake and a real Cuban cigar. The more you immerse yourself amongst both fake and real cigars you will start to notice key red flags pretty easily, and be less at risk paying for something that isn’t authentic and isn’t Cuban.

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