Cigar SHOCK.

Lucas61

Active member
Jun 13, 2014
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retired English teacher (30 years)


N.B. THIS POST (THREAD) IS FOR CIGAR SMOKERS ONLY.

Cigar smokers know that there are only a handful of countries with the appropriate microclimates to support quality tobacco and cigar production and that one of these countries is the Dominican Republic.

For example, Arturo Fuentes are world-reknown as is the stellar Opus X (and probably over-rated due to limited supply).

So what is the shock?

THE SHOCK IS THAT IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC YOU CANNOT BUY DOMINICAN CIGARS.

Of course, the latter statement is not absolutely true but it is relatively true. If you were to assign a number between 1 and 10 for the ubiquity of Dominican cigars in First World cities it would be an 8. Whereas in the D.R. it would be a 2. Alas, tobacco grown and cigars rolled here are destined for markets abroad.

In Santo Domingo, I have found a single cigar shop where one can find quality cigars, Cuban and Dominican, as well as some excellent product rolled on site. It is La Leyenda del Cigarro, S.R.L. on Calle El Conde, No. 161, Esq. Hostos. Their business card cites two other locations but I have not visited them. No, this is NOT stealth spam -- just a recommendation from a forum member. If you know of other serious tobacconists in other parts of the country, as well as the capital, I'm sure many would like to know . . .

The specifics. The ambiance of this shop is pleasant and timeless. Lavish woodwork, orange ceilings, paintings of famous historical cigar smokers, two comfortable and facing couches with pillows, a coffee table, and a crystal ashtray.

I feel very relaxed smoking here. Generally, I smoke one-half of my cigar here, then proceed to La Cafetera for coffee traditional and al refresco and cigar friendly if you sit at the outside table.

At the former shop I have found a superior Cuban Romeo y Julieta #1 tubo. However, the corona is not my preferred size. Next in line will be the Robusto! I was not, however, impressed by the various toros: Robaina, Upmann, Montecristo.

My greatest surprise was/is a rolled-on-site maduro robusto. The roller has a very sensitive touch. Excellent construction, even burn, no bad draws, and bold with character. It is so nearly indistinguishable from the Dominican La Gloria Cubana Wavell that I purchase in the U.S. to bring here such that I'm going to make this my regular cigar. It is $RD 150 per stick, an excellent price.

Prices? As you know, a good cigar, in U.S. dollars, averages $15.00 - $25.00 apiece and up. If you look hard and buy on the Internet, you may find a good quality budget cigar for +/- $5.00.

The prices at this shop are good, meaning "normal." An average Cuban is $RD 500. That is a "normal," not inflated, and therefore a "good" price.

The selection of cigars rolled on site is large, 20 or more, many sizes, only one maduro.

What's your cigar story? Recommendation?
 
May 12, 2005
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Cigarbid and places like JR are your best bet for quality smokes at decent prices. I have become quite the fan of Drew Estates. have you smoked a Liga Privada 9 or an Undercrown?
 

DavidZ

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Aug 29, 2005
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The reason most Dominican cigars are not available in local cigar shops is because they are made in the Zona Francas. Many lines are for export only, the ones available here are taxed like regular products.

For a great selection of Fuente cigars, including Opus X and A?ejos...and an AWESOME atmosphere, check out Casa Fuente on Av. 27. The prices aren't that bad, and IMO worth it for the experience...and selection.

You also may want to check out Cameroon Cigar Bar and Lounge on the Malecon..they have a Tarde de Cigarros every Wednesday where you get a featured premium cigar or two, plus sample scotch or good rum for around 500 pesos.
 

Chip

Platinum
Jul 25, 2007
16,772
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Santiago
I don't smoke a lot but every now and then I get some good campo cigars that are really fresh from my buddy's supermarket. I suppose the advantage is I live on the Tamboril side of Santiago this is supposedly the heart of tobacco production. I also like the Principe cigars and have gotten a couple of buddies back home hooked on them because they are a pleasant smoke. Ciao.
 

Criss Colon

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Jan 2, 2002
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"Principes"???????????????????????
If I want to "PUKE" I smoke one!
I buy ALL my cigars, Dominican, Central American,ALL, online from the USA.
"Cigar Bid"has the best values, and 30 million cigars in their warehouse in PA.
I have them shipped here via "EPS".
They are about half of what I would pay here, including the shipping costs.
Plus the online selections are always fresh, and the selection is in the 1,000s.
That place in the "Colonial Zone" is a "Tourist Trap" with huge prices.
You may THINK you bought a "Cubano" but I doubt it!!!!!
Dominicans Make "Fake Cubanos" and even fake high end Dominican cigars.
Visit some small botique factories in Tamboril, they will give you a tour, and some samples to smoke before you buy.
I smoke 3 to 5 goodcigars a day!
Not the REAL Cubanos that Merengue Dutchie brings me when he comes from Holland of course!
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We "Dutchmen" take care of our own!
 

DavidZ

Silver
Aug 29, 2005
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Although there's no Casa Del Habano in the DR, real cubans can be found here. The official distributor in the DR for Habanos S.A. is Dalso S.A., contact info below:

General Manager: Mr. Jorge Y??ez
Address: Plaza Francesa Local 213 Avenida Abraham Lincoln esquina Paseo de los Locutores, Ensanche Piantini, Santo Domingo, Rep?blica Dominicana.
Phone: +809 547 1271
Fax: +809 547 1271
Email: dgdalso@hotmail.com
 

suarezn

Gold
Feb 3, 2002
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I don't fancy myself a cigar connoisseur, but I did grow up in a tobacco farm making my own since I was a kid. I know how to make an 'andullo' and how to pick the leaves that are best for wrappers, etc...

The brand name DR cigars are for export and they're good, but IMO you can find fresher and better (It's subjective of course) than these so called brand names. Honestly you could probably just go to a farm and have some rolled right then and there that may turn out to be just as good.
 

jabejuventus

Bronze
Feb 15, 2013
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Okay. so my b-in-law wants me to bring him some DR Puros. I know nothing about cigars (can't stand the smell) so I'm a learner trying to make the most cost-effective quality purchase. I probably failed miserably. Hopefully, I didn't get taken totally.

My first stop was to these two tourist cigar shops in Plaza Bavaro (almost side-by-side): The ones that have the cigar maker, machine, and tabacco to demonstrate how cigars are made. I go into one to get a sense of price mostly. They gave a price for their best (whatever that was). I told them I'm not a tourist (soy blanco). They didn't budge.

A few days later I went into the next and asked for the best and its cost. He showed me boxes at exorbitant prices, offered to open box and sell me "loosies." I brought 4@1000 pesos (almost $6ea). I needed to buy something as my trip back home was coming up soon. If I couldn't say that a paid a fair price (not ripped-off) I felt I could at least say the cigar was quality. The guy kept on rambling about something "capa (cap)."

I had a few beach days left. The beach stroll was well-travelled by cigar guys and this one guy stood out amongst the mileau w/a back pack that was so big and full as to be on steroids. In addition he balanced about 10 cigar boxes in one hand over his head. He reminded me of the image of the Cat-in-the-Hat riding a bike w/one hand while carrying a stack of books over his head w/the other. He was impressive and I was curious about "capa." I called him over.

I started by explaining my ignorance and recounting the above trips to the cigar stores in the plaza and told him I wasn't buying but wanted to learn about cigars. I asked about capa and he tried to explain what it was. If for my lack of clarity in my question, or his inability to explain, after a few minutes I was none the wiser. I diverted with social chat then came back to capa. He then broke out a cigar and started to crush the cap through to the cigar to show me that the cap (capa) was made of tobacco leaf. Forgive my naivet? but this an aha learning moment for me. Capa is tobacco so when a seller espouses the virtues of the capa they are talking of a quality tobacco leaf.

Anybody that can "learn me" has gotten my attention so I asked how about those Cohibas that you guys sell? How is it that you can get your hands on so many of them?:devious: He 'fessed to what I suspected, i.e., that these were DR cigars in Cohiba packaging. Lesson 2: Don't be fooled by the packaging. I wound up buying 3 boxes of DR brands of different sizes that he said were the best he had for $30 and he threw in the remaining cigars in the box that he had opened for his demo.

Bottom line I purchased a bunch of DR Puros from different venues for around $53. I had quantity, variety, hopefully somewhere in the middle quality, and a lesson in cigars and DR cigar merchandising.
 
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Criss Colon

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Jan 2, 2002
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Cigarsare comprised of 3 parts.
The "Filler" which is most of the cigar, is the bunch of leaves rolled in the center of the cigar.
The "Binder" is the few leaves used to hold the "Filler".
The "Wrapper" is the outside leaves used to hold the whole thing together.The "Wrapper" is the "Flawless" best looking leaves. the other leaves don't have to be "Pretty"
Most cigars are made with different types of "Leaf", often blended from several different countries.
The term "Puro" is mistakenly often used to didcribe cigars of this type.
A true "Puro" uses tobacco from the same leaves as "Filler' Binder" and "Wrapper".
I prefer "Blends" from different types to make a more "Complex" smoke.
I actually prefer "Central American" fillers, as I believe "Volcanic Soil" grown tobacco is "Richer" in flavor.
The DR is not Volcanic.
Next lesson to follow.
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But "HillBilly", and "Merengue Dutchie" are the REAL knowledgeable guys!
I just "Pretend"!
 

DavidZ

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Aug 29, 2005
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Actually, "Capa" refers to a cigar's wrapper, not the cap. "Capote" is the binder, and "Tripa" is the filler. But yes...the cap is always made from tobacco - cut from the scraps of the wrapper (capa) leaf.

Also, you can't roll a decent cigar with tobacco fresh from the farm...there are several stages of processing and aging that need to happen before the leaves can be rolled into a good cigar. Smoking a freshly rolled cigar is cool, and can be a good smoke. but a good cigar will always get better with proper aging..."freshness" isn't really a quality you want in a cigar...although it would be preferable to a cigar that wasn't stored properly...most cigars from tourist shops are dried out, and often "stale' from improper storage

And Puros refer to cigars made with tobaccos from one country, not necessarily from the same leaves. It's rare (more like impossible) to get good wrapper, filler, and binder from the same crop, let alone the same plant.
 
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chic

Silver
Nov 20, 2013
4,309
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i buy some boxes and take em home and either gift them or sell ...dont smoke em but i lov to see peeps with money to burn... it does wonders to burn up 25$ with a match...times 2x aday 7 days aweek plus if your large u can give a friend one or two.. 800Kpesos a yr..
i should try a cigar or two....
 
Apr 10, 2014
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Always bring a box of Ashton cigars with me from New York when I come down to my place in Santo Domingo. Even though made in the D.R. it is much less expensive buying it online than buying it down here. Highly recommend visiting La Aurora cigar factory in Tamboril. Great tour that is free and includes an El Presidente beer and a great cigar to smoke during the tour.
 
Oct 13, 2003
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Dominican cigars

Ladies and gentlemen,

For those who are interested in learning about cigars (capa, capote and tripa (which is again divided in seco, ligero and volado); vitola's and marca's) I refer to this article:

Cigar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A little about my experiences in the DR regarding buying premium quality cigars.

1. What is good quality; from the Dominican crop to me it is either:

- Fuentes; Opus X, Anejo and Reserva or their specials
- Davidoff in the smaller vitola's.

Of course the real treasures are the specials from Opus (Lost City, Forbidden City, Anniversary boxes) or Prometeus (God of Fire), those are not sold at retail in the Dominican Republic. In fact at the Casa Fuente in SDQ they deny the existence of such a product to your face.

2. Where to buy it; there are a number of shops that I have visited in the DR:

- Casa Fuente in SDQ, on 27th Feb. A small selection of Opus X, no specials but all the other vitola's are present. They did not have any Anejo Sharks when I was there, neither did they have any specials (they denied their existence). Prices are expensive (even more then in Europe). I would avoid this place for serious buying, I might return to enjoy the lounge.

- Cafe Cubano in Sosua on Pedro Clisante (owned by Brian). Equal selection of Opus X as in SDQ, and many other cigars. Davidoff and some real Cuban as well. As broad a selection as you can expect in a tourist town, at reasonable (still expensive) prices. I was told HSA is difficult about getting a good selection to the shop, so I bring him some stock from my personal reserves.

In general, if you have access to buying in Florida - buy your non Cuban cigars there.

For Cuban cigars there are some trusted online sellers if you want quantity.

For the sake of full disclosure - I don't work in the cigar industry and am just a consumer. My general preference is towards Cuban cigars, with sufficient age (5+ years), with the occasional Opus, Prometheus, Davidoff or Padron thrown in.
 
May 12, 2005
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Ladies and gentlemen,

For those who are interested in learning about cigars (capa, capote and tripa (which is again divided in seco, ligero and volado); vitola's and marca's) I refer to this article:

Cigar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A little about my experiences in the DR regarding buying premium quality cigars.

1. What is good quality; from the Dominican crop to me it is either:

- Fuentes; Opus X, Anejo and Reserva or their specials
- Davidoff in the smaller vitola's.

Of course the real treasures are the specials from Opus (Lost City, Forbidden City, Anniversary boxes) or Prometeus (God of Fire), those are not sold at retail in the Dominican Republic. In fact at the Casa Fuente in SDQ they deny the existence of such a product to your face.

2. Where to buy it; there are a number of shops that I have visited in the DR:

- Casa Fuente in SDQ, on 27th Feb. A small selection of Opus X, no specials but all the other vitola's are present. They did not have any Anejo Sharks when I was there, neither did they have any specials (they denied their existence). Prices are expensive (even more then in Europe). I would avoid this place for serious buying, I might return to enjoy the lounge.

- Cafe Cubano in Sosua on Pedro Clisante (owned by Brian). Equal selection of Opus X as in SDQ, and many other cigars. Davidoff and some real Cuban as well. As broad a selection as you can expect in a tourist town, at reasonable (still expensive) prices. I was told HSA is difficult about getting a good selection to the shop, so I bring him some stock from my personal reserves.

In general, if you have access to buying in Florida - buy your non Cuban cigars there.

For Cuban cigars there are some trusted online sellers if you want quantity.

For the sake of full disclosure - I don't work in the cigar industry and am just a consumer. My general preference is towards Cuban cigars, with sufficient age (5+ years), with the occasional Opus, Prometheus, Davidoff or Padron thrown in.

I found the Opus X to be overated. Especially for the price. I have become quite the fan of anything by Drew Estates. I highly recommend them. Also the CAO from Brazil is another high quality choice.
 
Oct 13, 2003
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I found the Opus X to be overated. Especially for the price. I have become quite the fan of anything by Drew Estates. I highly recommend them. Also the CAO from Brazil is another high quality choice.

Frank,

To each his own - CAO and Drew are too heavy for me, to peppery and one dimensional.

Most importantly neither are Dominican.

I was commenting on the Dominican marca's.
 

DavidZ

Silver
Aug 29, 2005
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Two great new Dominican cigars to try, although neither is easily found in the DR:

Se?oral by Jose Blanco
Matilde by Jose Seijas

They should be relatively easy to find in the US...both worth a try!

Also, and I'm a little biased here...Epic Cigars...blended by Rolando VIllamil...available in the US and at the Millennium Resort in Cabarete.

My favorite inexpensive Dominican cigar...available here...is the Aurora 107, the 1495 is great as well. If you're tempted to purchase the "cheap" Fuentes, Curly Head and Curly Head Deluxe...be aware they are short filler cigars...
 

Criss Colon

Platinum
Jan 2, 2002
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"Dutchie" has it RIGHT!I can't wait to see him again.I can't trade "Dominicanos" for his "Cubanos" because he doesn't smoke "Cheap Cigars, so this year I'm going to "Surprise" him.
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RG84

Bronze
May 21, 2010
640
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16
Two great new Dominican cigars to try, although neither is easily found in the DR:

Se?oral by Jose Blanco
Matilde by Jose Seijas

They should be relatively easy to find in the US...both worth a try!.

Yess I like these but I would suggest having it after a meal, very full bodied. I had to put down the first one I smoked before finishing. Maybe I'm a light weight. LOL

Here's a piece I did on the cigar and Jose Seijas. I compressed it so it will load faster.

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BwkwHyG_8FTObm9BM2N6YUNIaWc/edit