Affordable "cubanesque" cigar for an American?

Smokey Bob

Evolving Lead Gorilla
Hey guys...

I would like to experience what a good "cuban" cigar is like. As an American, I don't have access to cuban cigars.

So what would you suggest for the most cuban-llike cigar that is legal in the States.

Thanks

Robert
 

xxwaldoxx

Lowland Gorilla
Hey guys...

I would like to experience what a good "cuban" cigar is like. As an American, I don't have access to cuban cigars.

So what would you suggest for the most cuban-llike cigar that is legal in the States.

Thanks

Robert

Give anything by Don Pepin Garcia a try. I think that they are as close as they come to getting a Cuban style cigar outside of Cuba.

My favorite of the line so far is the Don Pepin Garcia Black Label (Cuban Classic) in the Perla size (40 x 4.00) and they run me about 3.90 per single at my local shop
 

moki

SilverBack
"cubanesque" is a meaningless term, as there are a wide variety of taste profiles in cigars from Cuba. Just find cigars you like the taste of, and enjoy them.
 

kansashat

What would Skeeter do?
:tpd: 's

I agree with both posters. I have limited experience with Cuban cigars, but think the Pepin Black Perla 1952 tastes "Cubanesque."

You can pick up a box of 20 at Holts for around $72.
 

Mowee

ChestBeater
Pepin seems to be blending the cigars with the most cubanesque taste. His JFR made by Tropical was handed oout at our Post Turkey Day Crawl two years ago when it had first been released. One of our guys who pretty much only smokes cubans asked what cuban it was. I told him it wasn't and he immediately went out and bought two boxes (they come in cabs of 50).

The JFR is around 4-5 bucks.
 

Ivory Tower

Acronym Wizard
Hey guys...
So what would you suggest for the most cuban-llike cigar that is legal in the States.

I think you should try a Tatuaje (brown label). I haven't had all the Pepin cigars, but those are well-constructed, well-blended cigars that have a spicy, earthy flavor probably along the lines of what you're getting at. The triple cap doesn't hurt either. :)

It may not be an apt description, but... IMO, go ahead and can call it "cubanesque". I think most people understand the mainstream conception of what that means in terms of a NC without reaching the issue that there are actually quite a few nuances between and amongst each brand.

I think once you find something you think is "cubanesque" and that you like on its own (kind of like Moki was getting at), the whole comparison will become moot anyway.
 

Coffee Grounds

Evolving Lead Gorilla
St Louis Rey Reserva....... touches on Cuban Taste

CAO Extreme..........I think Hangs with the cuban cigars

Torano 1956........ Walks that Cuban line with much smoothness

Padron 64th Anniversary.......might be better than most cubans

In the last year I have picked up a few boxes of Cubans. I really don't know if they are that much better. What I have noticed about Cubans is the aging process has much more positive impact on taste.

I would reccomend getting some big sampler packs of non cuban cigars and see what you like.
 

Corona Gigante

Ann Coulter's Cabana Boy
In my opinion, asking which non-Cuban cigar tastes most like a Cuban cigar is like asking which rum tastes most like a single malt whiskey. There are plenty of good, non-Cuban cigars, and even some cheap ones, but none of them tastes very much like a Cuban cigar. Try some Fuentes, Padrons, AVOs, etc. There's plenty to enjoy.
 

inept

Maturing Primate
The first thing I thought when I tried a Mayorga Hi-Octane Toro was "Cubanesque." It's not that it tasted like any single Cuban stick or brand, because it didn't, but I think I know what you mean when you say "Cubanesque" and this cigar gave me that impression.

Construction is sort of "meh" but the cigars are nice and pretty inexpensive. They age well too.
 

Cheo Malanga

Maturing Primate
In my opinion, asking which non-Cuban cigar tastes most like a Cuban cigar is like asking which rum tastes most like a single malt whiskey. There are plenty of good, non-Cuban cigars, and even some cheap ones, but none of them tastes very much like a Cuban cigar. Try some Fuentes, Padrons, AVOs, etc. There's plenty to enjoy.

i would agree with that. also, as of late my experiene w/ pepin's product hasn't been the best.
 

moki

SilverBack
In my opinion, asking which non-Cuban cigar tastes most like a Cuban cigar is like asking which rum tastes most like a single malt whiskey. There are plenty of good, non-Cuban cigars, and even some cheap ones, but none of them tastes very much like a Cuban cigar. Try some Fuentes, Padrons, AVOs, etc. There's plenty to enjoy.

I agree with this, but I guess my point was that most brands of Cuban cigars don't taste very much like other brands of cigars from Cuba either. So I'm not sure how useful the term is. It is like asking "What Napa wines are French-esque?" when there are a wide varieties of wine from France.

Asking "What other cigar tastes like a Bolivar?" would be more useful.
 

Boston_Dude05

Chestbeating Pack Leader
I've asked myself this question before, "which NCs taste most like a Cuban?" But, as pointed out there are many great NCs out there that taste distinctly different, but are still fantastic smokes which I would rate up there with ISOMs, even based on my limited experience. My conclusion these days is that NCs have much to offer and the analogy of comparing California wines vs. French ones etc. is appropriate. There are going to be great ones and you just gotta search. But getting back to the question of which NCs are similar, at this point Pepin smokes are most similar in my opinion. After all, he was one of Castro's personal roller not long ago.

Question: What is a JFR by Pepin?
 

Cheo Malanga

Maturing Primate
Compared to what?

it's just been not to good. a black label tasted like amonia. a brown one was just bland. a couple of plugged padillas. a white label that was a bit green.

the best one i had was one of the havana VI tatuaje which cost me less than all of the other ones.
 

Roosterthomas

ChestBeater
I think you have asked a fair question. Every time I have one of my ISOMs Pepin comes to mind, no joke. I enjoyed an H.Upmann Connoiseur #1 with some age on it yesterday and Pepin again came to mind. So, in answer to your question I would say try anything made by Pepin. This is IMHO.
 

Roosterthomas

ChestBeater
I believe "JFR" (Just For Retail) are made by Tabacaler Tropical which Pepin used to work for. The JFR's are great smokes if you enjoy the nic/corojo profile which I do. I picked up several Corona Gorda while in Big D. Pigtail cap and an unfinished foot make them look expensive.
 

TheDirector

Lowland Gorilla
Fuente King B tickled my taste buds in a way reminiscent of Havana. Give it a try. But nothing NC really compares to CC that I have found.
 

oddball

Evolving Lead Gorilla
Instead of fixating on what tastes like a "cuban", just find cigars that taste good to YOU. For instance, Fuente Hemmingways do not necessarily taste like cubans, but I love the taste and smoke they produce. And there are many other choices. I agree with the previous posts that you're trying to compare apples to oranges. The apples that taste great taste like apples; an apple that may taste like an orange may not be the best choice, IMO.
 

Ceedee

Gorilla
I agree with this, but I guess my point was that most brands of Cuban cigars don't taste very much like other brands of cigars from Cuba either. So I'm not sure how useful the term is. It is like asking "What Napa wines are French-esque?" when there are a wide varieties of wine from France.

Asking "What other cigar tastes like a Bolivar?" would be more useful.
I think I am more in line with what you said Moki. Imagine sampling every current Cuban cigar and then trying first to make an assessment as to qualifying the breadth of the term "Cubanesque" and what it meant to you in terms of the types of Cuban cigars. Since that term really is highly subjective from the get go, it's really not something you can use to pinpoint what Smokey Bob is actually looking for. IMHO, everything about cigars is "Cubanesque". Do some domestic cigars taste like Cuban cigars. Sure. That however is so debatable as to be a waste of time, again IMHO.

My point, sample cigars, enjoy them with friends or by yourself - the journey taken is more "Cubanesque" than any one particular cigar.
 
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