Questionable Cuban?

Q. A friend gave me a gift of a Romeo Y Julieta Desde 1875 Cuban, about a 44 ring size. It was purchased from a cigar store in Canada. When cut it was very stiff for the 1st 3/4 inch and almost imposable to draw. I cut 3/4 inch more off and was able to smoke it, but [it was] difficult. The body seemed normal. Did I get dog droppings?
– James M. in Canada

A. It’s funny how many emails I get from readers who have problems with Cuban-made cigars. If you’re alluding to it being a fake, I doubt it since it was purchased in Canada. So, assuming it was the genuine article, I don’t think you got “dog droppings.” I think you just got the odd “bad stick.” It was either rolled too tight, or just rolled sloppily. This happens even with the best cigars. Never assume that just because a cigar is made in Cuba it’s going to be higher in quality than a non-Cuban handmade. Since it was a gift, you didn’t have the chance to see and feel it yourself, but at least it didn’t cost you anything.

Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor at

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

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