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Considering My First Habanos Purchase

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I am considering my first purchase of forbidden fruit. I have picked out corona family cigars from different markas and ones that come in smaller packs. (I don't want to drop the money on a full box and get disappointed.)

I was wondering if anybody could provide any suggestions on quality issues to look out for, opinions on which might be best for an August birthday surprise, and general feedback.

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As for quality issues to be aware of is some occasional small spots of white mold, but it is easily brushed off and isn't a problem at all unless it is in the foot of the Cigar, in which case you simply cut the foot back a little and look for the mold, and do this until you no longer find any. In 20 years of smoking cc's I have never had mold in the foot personally. Also mold spots are more common with Tubos, but still doesn't happen often in my experience.

Also, especially in the smaller ring gauge cigars, they can be rolled a bit too tight or can have a plug. Using a Modus draw tool will correct it well most of the time.



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For a birthday cigar for someone, give the cigar a gentle squeeze. It should be firm, but slightly springy also all along the barrel. If it is hard anywhere , it's probably got a plug. Be sure to give the best feeling one to your friend to ensure they dont get a plugged one.
 

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Of those choices, I guess I’d go with the Montes.
Honestly though, I don’t have a Cuban corona that really knocks me out. QdO Coronas are great, but I haven’t seen any of those in a minute. Two of those choices (HUHC, and Epi1) aren’t coronas either, so I’m not sure if it’s even a corona that you’re really interested in.
I guess what I’m saying is, if you give us more information on what you’re looking for as far as size, or profile, or price we could give you better advice.
 
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The Epicure No1 is sold as a corona gorda and the HUHC is labeled as a petit corona. I know they aren't strictly traditional coronas. That is why I said "corona family."

What I'm looking for size wise is something in the 40rg-48rg and preferably 5.5" or less. I'm not interested in popping out Cohiba level cash right now, and I'm wanting something that will be decent in six months but get better as I occasionally supplement my NCs with them.

I like medium and full body cigars and about the only flavor I don't like is green grassy flavors.

Examples of my current favorite NC cigars, Joya De Nicaragua - Antaño 1970, Amendola Family Cigars - Cannoli, Man O War - Little Devil, Caldwell - The King Is Dead, Tabernacle - Havana Seed, and Caldwell - The T Habanos. All of them with at least two months when possible.

I also really enjoy the La Jugada Prietos that I've been sitting on for about six months and the Tramp Stamps I had for about three or four months. Both of those were at least two years old when I bought them.
 
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Mossome

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The Epicure No1 is sold as a corona gorda and the HUHC is labeled as a petit corona. I know they aren't strictly traditional coronas. That is why I said "corona family."

What I'm looking for size wise is something in the 40rg-48rg and preferably 5.5" or less. I'm not interested in popping out Cohiba level cash right now, and I'm wanting something that will be decent in six months but get better as I occasionally supplement my NCs with them.

I like medium and full body cigars and about the only flavor I don't like is green grassy flavors.

Examples of my current favorite NC cigars, Joya De Nicaragua - Antaño 1970, Amendola Family Cigars - Cannoli, Man O War - Little Devil, Caldwell - The King Is Dead, Tabernacle - Havana Seed, and Caldwell - The T Habanos. All of them with at least two months when possible.

I also really enjoy the La Jugada Prietos that I've been sitting on for about six months and the Tramp Stamps I had for about three or four months. Both of those were at least two years old when I bought them.
Ok, that’s some better info to work with.
Of the ones you’ve listed, I would still say the Montes are more what you’re looking for. The RyJ will take probably longer than 6 months, and the others are milder.
Outside of those, others that you might consider would be Juan Lopez #1, Bolivar Coronas Juniors, Partagas Shorts, or Partagas Mille Fluers.
Here’s something else to consider, if you’re really into full flavored cigars like the ones you mentioned, maybe stick with NCs. They do that profile better than anybody. If you’re just wanting to smoke some Cubans for the cachet of it, you’re probably going to be disappointed. If you’re willing to maybe expand your palate though, by all means go for it.
 
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Ok, that’s some better info to work with.
Of the ones you’ve listed, I would still say the Montes are more what you’re looking for. The RyJ will take probably longer than 6 months, and the others are milder.
Outside of those, others that you might consider would be Juan Lopez #1, Bolivar Coronas Juniors, Partagas Shorts, or Partagas Mille Fluers.
Here’s something else to consider, if you’re really into full flavored cigars like the ones you mentioned, maybe stick with NCs. They do that profile better than anybody. If you’re just wanting to smoke some Cubans for the cachet of it, you’re probably going to be disappointed. If you’re willing to maybe expand your palate though, by all means go for it.
I have had a few Cuban cigars in the past. The Partagas Serie D and Bolivar stand out in my mind because I thoroughly enjoyed them. I believe I said (on here) that the Bolivar was the kind of cigar that would make you renounce Capitalism and plan on emigrating.

Part of the reason for smoking Cubans in America will always be the cachet and thrill of rebellion. Mainly I want to expand my horizons again. It is kind of hard to find cigars like the old La Aurora Corojo 110th or outside of the typical Nicaraguan style now. That is one of the reasons I like Caldwell. The use of Dominican Corojo so extensively really takes things in a different direction. Oh, and the Fuego Originals that were a blend of Corojo from five countries was a good smoke.

I love big bold NC cigars, but I also enjoy others as well. I like diversity and adventure in my smokes, just keep out infusions. So, hopefully Cubans can help me turn a corner and rediscover a broader sense of what a cigar experience can be.
 
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I love big bold NC cigars, but I also enjoy others as well. I like diversity and adventure in my smokes, just keep out infusions. So, hopefully Cubans can help me turn a corner and rediscover a broader sense of what a cigar experience can be.
@Mossome makes a good point about CC not being the big bold flavors that NC often are, but from what you say here I think you’ll be fine. As plenty of people have said before, CC aren’t necessarily better, but they are different. Keep that in mind and you’re much more likely to appreciate and enjoy them.

I’ll also add that personally, I tend to prefer CC except when I’m drinking - that’s when I usually reach for NC. (And I usually drink generic light beer, which I’ve been dinged for plenty of times, lol). But if you’re thinking about pairing something like a Hoyo or Monte with an IPA or a glass of bourbon, you can probably expect to not taste much of the cigar
 

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If you *must* have a CG, I’d say look at the JL1, but I personally prefer the JL2. (DM for a box split of those if you want. I’m running low...)

Your NC list is really pretty heavy. You won’t find that level of in your face flavor in the CC lineup. A Partagas D5 will pack a pretty good punch, but is a robusto.

Ramon Allones Specially Selected (RASS) have a solid medium profile, but they’re unique and not for everyone. I love them and can also understand why some don’t.

HDM #2’s seem to be a fairly universally appreciated marca.

Corona Gordas are definitely my favorite NC size, but I wouldn’t let that alone stand in my way of getting a box CCs. You just have to try a bunch and find what you like. Your first box won’t be perfect...

Also, shop around for some sampler packs. They’re not hard to find.
 
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I think your original choices are good (at least for my palate). Monte 4's and H. Upmann half coronas are in my regular rotation and the RyJ Romeo #2 tubos are the first CC that I smoked with any regularity.

If you decide to go with a little bit larger ring gauge, I would suggest the Partagas D4 which is a 50 x 5" robusto. It is a little bit stronger than most CCs and may be a good transitional cigar if you are used to smoking stronger NCs.
 
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I think your original choices are good (at least for my palate). Monte 4's and H. Upmann half coronas are in my regular rotation and the RyJ Romeo #2 tubos are the first CC that I smoked with any regularity.

If you decide to go with a little bit larger ring gauge, I would suggest the Partagas D4 which is a 50 x 5" robusto. It is a little bit stronger than most CCs and may be a good transitional cigar if you are used to smoking stronger NCs.
Serie D is an awesome smoke. I was thinking of grabbing a box of the 6 on general principle.

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