Cuban boxes date codes
to choose cigars / Cuban cigar age
Fake Cohibas FR
Montecristo #4(FL code)
Bolivar Belicosos Finos
are the new codes from Habanos? (R. Austin, USA 04/99)
A: Please check our codes
page at http://www.cigars-of-cuba.com/readings/box_codes.asp
have received a box of Cuban Davidoff N'1 as a gift. How
can I be sure that these cigars are authentic? Thank you. (Johny
K., London. 11/97)
must give us more details about this box: factory and date
code, the stamp of Cubatobaco, etc. And if one of these
elements isn't concurrent, we can conclude that it is not
For example, if the logo of Habanos S.A. is on the box, you
can be sure that it is counterfeited, because Habanos S.A.
didn't yet exist when the last Davidoff NĄ1 boxes were
made; it was Cubatobaco at that point.
If all the elements are in agreement, we recommend that you
visit personally one of Davidoff's boutiques (consult our
addresses page), because without a certificate issued by
Davidoff, your box will be considered a counterfeit.
about to have a friend go on an international flight, and
they said they would pick up some cigars for me, as a gift
for my father...i'm wondering, though, when it comes to the
date codes (i believe those mean when they were packaged?),
what type is it better to get? Something Old? Something new?
(Michael, USA 12/97)
date box codes, It depends on the quality of the humidor
where the boxes were stored in.
- Always buy your cigar at serious stores, even if that means
paying 1% more. You can not compromise with Cuban cigars.
- Do not buy cigars from boxes produced in the current year.
Five years ago, it was not possible to find cigars on the
market that were produced in the same year, because a good
cigar is just like good wine. It needs maturity. The reason
why there are boxes from 1997 or 1998 in cigar stores today
is because the Cubans need ... money!
- To conclude in response to age, try to buy boxes 2 to 4
years old (1994-1996) (look at the code for determining age
on our website - advice page)
- Of course, look at the cigars before you buy them. Do not
be afraid to sniff them or touch them : they must have a
flavor, and they must be soft when touched. Always avoid dry
- Finally do not be afraid of the outer appearance of your
cigar, for instance the wrapper. Cuban cigars do not always
have a beautiful wrapper, when compared with a Dominican
cigar like the Davidoffs, but what matters is what is
inside. The wrapper has no impact on the cigar.
just received a wooden box of "COHIBA'S". The
box is flat on the front and rear face and rounded on the
sides. It has a seal on the outside which says "CUBAN
GOVERNMENT'S WARRANTY FOR CIGARS EXPORTED FROM HAVANA"
as well as several other markings and pictures. Looks very
official. The cigars are about 6 inches in length. The end
tapers to a sharp point like a torpedo. Each cigar also has
an official looking COHIBA band. Can you tell me if these
are counterfeit? (Tom, USA 12/97)
you have described your cigars, they seem to be Cohiba
Coronas Especiales. They should be wrapped in a carton with
the cuban warranty seal stuck on the carton and not on the
wooden box. The Habanos or the Cubatabaco logo, the
manufacturer code and the date must be checked for
bought some Cohiba Lancero's and am wondering if they
are FAKE.If you have any defining info let me know.THANX.
(Erik, Canada 02/98)
the cigars must be in a wooden varnished box with the
Habanos sticker on the side. Engraved on the bottom there
must be Habanos logo + the words "HECHO EN CUBA"
and "Totalmente a mano" in italics.You must also
find the box date code and factory name (example: EL NNSA).
The wooden box is wrapped in a carton with two stickers: one
for "Republica de Cuba" another for "Cohiba
ring of each cigar is made of three colors: The black part
measures 4.5 mm with square white dots (not round dots) and
the yellowish part measures 9 mm. On this part is written in
italics " La Habana, Cuba". The dimensions
mentioned above are very specific to the Lanceros. Finally
the cigars must not be claro (claro=bright color which is
specific to Dominican cigars). Check the cigar's node, this
is another caracteristic of the Lanceros. The ultimate test
is the Cuban smell and you are the one who can tell.
We need more information about the box code you have, the
place where the cigars were purchased and of course the
price to answer your question with more detail.
bought cigars in Cuba.The date
stamp shows for the Cohibas FR and for the Montecristo FPG.
In your list you show other manufacturers who produce these
cigars. Are my cigars fake? The Cohibas look like you write
in your advice, but the sticker Cohiba Esplendidos was cut
out by hand. (Werner, Germany 02/98)
makes large cigars in general. They are experts in
Churchills,Robustos and 8-9-8. EL is a Cohiba specialist
(1.5 & 1.6 cm ). JM works for Montecristo and from time
to time for Cohiba for the large shapes and the Siglos. HM
makes the Upmanns. They are also experts in large modules so
they work for everybody. BM makes the R & J. FR is a
have a question concerning
Montecristos. I have been studying my reference book; The
Cigar Companion, by Anwer Bati and was not sure which
factory manufactures the Montecristos. It stated that the
founders were Alonzo Menendez and Pepe Garcia who bought the
H. Upmann brand from the British firm J. Frankau.
As history carried on these two left Cuba to the Canary
Islands with an associate behind; Jose Manuel Gonzalez. I
figured if the "Menendez Garcia y Cia" H. Upmann
factory code is JM, is this what should be stamped on a
genuine Montecristo box?
Also, could you share information as to translating the
alphabetical code to puros manufactured dates? I have been
attempting to gain knowledge on this also.
Hope to hear from you soon, and hope all is well. Again
thanks. (Nicholas Muragin, Hawai 04/98)
cigar may be rolled at many factories.
Example: Montecristo #2 may be rolled at FPG, JM or HM. They
are all genuine. FPG makes large cigars in general. They are
experts in Churchills,Robustos and 8-9-8.
EL is a Cohiba specialist (1.5 & 1.6 cm ).
JM works for Montecristo and from time to time for Cohiba
for the large shapes and the Siglos.
HM makes the Upmanns. They are also experts in large modules
so they work for everybody.
BM makes the Romeo & Julieta.
FR is a punch specialist
The date codes are as follows:
O N I V E L A C U S
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 .
received a box of Monte #4's as a gift from Cuba but the
manufacture and date stamp on mine do not correspond to the
ones that are listed i.e. (HM, JM, SS, VSC) mine have
What does this mean? (I know it means they are very newly
made 02/98) but is FL a new manufacturer or are they fake?
Well they have all the right markings, Habanos: top right;
Republica de Cuba: bottom left; Habanos s.a., HECHO EN CUBA
and Totalmente a mano printed on wood bottom, the inside
cedar strip is rounded at the top right corner. Inside there
was the yellow wrapping along with a thin, small, white
sheet of paper with the instructions in 4 languages (spanish,
english, french and german?).
Also I asked the guy who bought them, he says he went to a
government store; the box was in perfect condition and looks
exactly like others I've seen before. The purple stamp with
the FL.OISU is where it should be... Finally, they look
great, all evenly coloured, smell heavenly, soft to the
touch, and they taste young but fine (which is appropriate
since they are dated OISU, 02/98)- It's just that darn FL
can't figure it out... please help, many thanks... (Marc
& Tracy, Canada 04/98)
you said everything looks genuine except the FL code. We
don't have any information regarding this factory . It may
be helping out a peripheral factory like Villa Clara. The
cigars may be ok but we advise the JM for Montecristo.
was impressed with your website while I was surfing
gathering information regarding Cuban cigar counterfeits. I
came across some Bolivar Belicosos through a supposedly
"reputable" dealer and assumed by the size it was
a Belicosos Finos.
Using my text book references, and through fellow
aficionados, the Bolivar seemed genuinely Cuban. The scent
prior to smoking displayed the unique stronger odor compared
to most premium Dominican brands. When smoking, again the
aroma was more pungent, and of course the taste was just as
expected for Cubans.
When I replied to the shop owner with my more than satisfied
opinion towards the Bolivar Belicosos, I was told that they
also (the shop) had other Bolivar Belicosos which measured
approxiately one inch longer than the one I tried. Assuming
the Belicosos I tried was indeed the Belicosos Finos, I
researched all I could find and could not find any other
Belicosos that Bolivar produces. Only the Belicosos Finos.
I immediately became sceptical even though I was reassured
that this was a new item to the Bolivar inventory. Are
manufacturers able to produce different sizes and not have
them shown in reference books until the publishing is up to
date? Or are these "Belicosos" indeed NOT genuine
Cuban Bolivars? If your club has any information concerning
these Bolivars I would appreciate finding out.
I am obsessed with any knowledge regarding genuine authentic
Cuban Manufactured cigars. Being that there is so much
negative information towards Cuban cigar counterfeiting, I
was hoping my experience would have been true and honest.
Please share any information that you are aware of and I
would be deeply grateful. Thank you for your time and
dedication to preserving these precious jewels for true
cigar connoisseurs to enjoy the whole purpose behind genuine
Cuban cigar smoking. (Nicholas,
details in your mail reveal that you have a fine
connoisseur's palate. Congratulations.
the Bolivar Belicosos Finos: As you know there are two
Belicosos from Bolivar, the first come in SBN boxes (Semi
Boite Nature) and the second is conditioned in a 25 cigars
Cabinet, both have the same size (L = 14cm, G = 2.6cm).
Theorically, both Bolivars must have the same taste, but we
know that the cigars of the Cabinet undergo a high quality
control and are matured in excellent conditions. Unitl now,
our experts have not been informed about a new Belicosos
Finos from Bolivar.
The cigar you are talking about might be:
1- A new Cuban Torpedo. In fact, the Cubans have launched
many new shapes (Churchills, Torpedos, Robustos) handrolled
in Cuba, not referenced as a new brand, without rings, and
presented in common Cabinets of 50 cigars with no labels, or
in small carton cases of 5 cigars. These cigars have been
launched at low prices compared to other famous Cubans. The
purpose of this maneuver is to test the market and to offer
a wider range of smokers equivalent shapes at a better
2- Not a Cuban cigar.
3- A new Belicosos finos from Bolivar that we haven't heard
about (we say it to be exhaustive). We will contact Habanos
S.A. for more specific information. You will hear from us as
soon as possible.
Replying to your obsession with any knowledge regarding
genuine authentic Cuban, we inform you that:
many counterfeits of Cuban cigars. The Habanos logo and the
Cuban Republic warranty are no longer enough to tell if the
box is genuine. The best way to recognize a genuine Cuban
puros is the feel, the touch, the smell and the taste. We
are confident of your expertise in all this.
Dominican, Nicaraguan, Honduran and American producers take
advantage of the marketing for a new brand or a special
event to launch some professionally counterfeited cigars (as
it was for the Cohiba Cristals: many conterfeited "Cohiba
Esplendidos" made in Nicaragua and presented in boxes
with a glassy top have been sold at the market place - at la
Havana also as special boxes launched for the 30th Cohiba
even some genuine Cuban puros are made with non-Cuban
wrappers ! This is due to the large demand for Cuban cigars
and because the wrappers are limited in production. (This
must not have influence on the taste if the filler remains
the inventory made by Havanahouse on our brands page. PS:
the Bolivar Especiales is not listed.
more information about counterfeiting, check the interview
with Mr G. Mouawad in our news page.