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How to differentiate a real Cuban cigar from a counterfeit

Cigars appear to muster images of wealth, success, status, style, and glamor in the majority of people’s minds. Because why not? Countless famous artists, businessmen, revolutionaries, actors, and politicians have adopted and endorsed them in some shape or form. Cuba, undeniably, has been associated with top-quality hand-rolled cigars. So it is no surprise, then, that Cuba’s front-runner export, the Cuban cigar, has gained an enormous following all around the world. Cuban cigars in India are known for being the finest. They are highly sought after for their exotic flavors and are produced by many of the country’s most skillful cigar “torcedores,” or manufacturers.

Because of their popularity and mystique, substandard, fake, or knockoff Cuban cigars are common throughout the world, including in Cuba. Let’s look at how to tell genuine Cuban cigars from fakes.

Examine the cigars.

Try a sample of a cigar to learn about the flavors. As long as you have purchased authentic Cuban-made cigars, you will notice that their taste and quality are incredible. To varying extents, Cuban nicotine has a subtle earthiness in aroma and flavor, which is not found in counterfeit cigars. A Cuban cigar has a strong aroma, especially near the base of the cigar. The aroma of a counterfeit will be much weaker and harder to detect, raising your initial skepticism.

Tick the box.

Cigar boxes, which are difficult to forge, are another simple way to determine whether you’re purchasing genuine goods. Authentic cigar boxes have surprisingly become much more difficult to counterfeit since the early 2000s, thanks to improved warranty seals. Look for the accredited Habanos S.A. hologrammed and watermarked stamp, which has been used on popular Cuban brands like Partagas and Cohibas since 2009.

A sticker, white in color, with the word “Habanos” should be visible in the right corner of the box. Avoid cigar boxes with transparent glass or plastic lids. Real Cuban cigars are not sold in boxes with transparent lids.

Furthermore, some Cuban cigars are packaged differently than others. Cohiba Behike BHK cigars, one of the world’s most coveted smokes, are sold in cartons of ten. We’ve seen counterfeits packed 25 per carton. If you are offered a Behike that is not in a box of ten, it is a fake cigar.

Some slacker scammers sell boxes with labels that are not attached to the packaging. The bands themselves are frequently telltale, as counterfeit bands commonly lack engraved stamping, proper color, and the essential information found in the original article.

Take note of the cigar’s colors.

Make sure the cigars are all the same color. There are roughly ninety different shades of brown, and cigar manufacturers use a color-sorter to make sure that each cigar in the package is the same hue. Inspect the second layer of cigars in the box as well. Pick a different box if they are a different shade of brown.

Take note of the prices.

Cuban cigars are a luxury product and thus can be quite costly. The amount of effort and time that goes behind each Cuban cigar, as well as the satisfaction that one derives from them, reflects this. As a result, if Cuban cigars are being distributed for an absurdly low price, you should probably not believe they’re authentic and presume them to be of poor quality. 

Consider this: you would never buy Gucci shoes for a tenth of the original cost and believe them to be made from high-quality, long-lasting leather. You can expect to throw them away in a few months because the “leather” will start to fall apart, and the seam will become undone.

So don’t expect anything special from any cigar you purchase on the cheap. A genuine box of Cuban cigars can cost well over $300, so if you are promised a box of cigars alleged to be authentic for $50 or $100, they are most likely counterfeit.

Ashes Are Important

A true Cuban cigar will burn with gray soot or a salt-and-pepper appearance. Bright, white ashes indicate that the cigar was produced with non-Cuban tobacco.

Examine the barber’s pole

Barber pole cigars—cigars made up of two different colored wrappers intertwined in the shape of a barber pole—are visually appealing, but they are not a staple of Cuba’s cigar portfolio. This method has been used to create several counterfeit Cohibas. They are unquestionably forgeries.


Every box of Cuban cigars is labeled with a barcode by Habanos. It’s on the rim of the Cuban guarantee seal. You can use this code to verify the authenticity of the box at You can either scan the QR code with your mobile phone or manually enter the numbers. If the details do not match the cigars you own, your product is fake.

Examine the cigars.

Finally, if you are still unsure about the legitimacy of the item, the actual cigars ought to be your final indicator. When you squeeze the cigar, it should feel very firm since all of the tobacco is rolled in one direction. The counterfeits are squished with even the slightest pressure and flattened too. If you slide your fingertips around the cigar, lightly applying force to all areas, you should see no areas that feel bumpy or hollow. The Cuban people pride themselves on the way their Cuban cigars are made and always focus on ensuring they are of the highest possible quality. If your cigar is uneven and the end has been cut haphazardly, you should almost be certain that it’s a fake.


If you purchase a fake cigar, you will miss out on the top-notch experience that makes genuine cigars so expensive. The simplest way to ensure you get the real deal is to buy from a reputable supplier like Cingari.

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