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.

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