5 Ways to Spot a Fake Cuban Cigar

Cuban cigars, known for their exceptional quality, exquisite smooth taste and solid reputation, are highly replicated around the world. In fact, fake Cuban cigars have made their way onto the market, fooling cigar aficionados around the world. Thankfully, before you fall into the trap and have an unpleasant smoking experience from a replica, there are five simple ways you can spot one. Take a look at our top tips below. 

1. Check the Packaging

While quality packaging doesn’t always guarantee the authenticity of a Cuban cigar, poor packaging is always a clear indicator of a counterfeit. Genuine boxes typically feature the Habanos label in the top-right corner, a Cuba guarantee seal with hologram and box code on the left, and stamps on the bottom. You may also see loose labels inside the box or even a plexiglass cover, which does not happen with the real deal. 

Additionally, the cigar bands themselves can reveal authenticity issues, with fake bands often lacking embossing, accurate colour, and other distinguishing details found on genuine products.

2. Inspect the Cigar brands

Each individual cigar typically features a band, and counterfeit cigars often replicate these bands closely. To verify authenticity, compare the band to that of a known genuine cigar of the same brand. Look for spelling errors, missing words, or differing logos as telltale signs of a counterfeit.

Genuine Cuban cigar bands boast high-quality craftsmanship and are often embossed, providing texture. This intricate detail requires investment in time and resources, which counterfeiters may not prioritise. Therefore, a flat, plain band is usually a sign of a counterfeit product.

3. Check the consistency with the shape and symmetry

When verifying the authenticity of Cuban cigars, it’s essential to inspect the shape and symmetry for consistency. Genuine Cuban cigars are meticulously crafted, exhibiting uniformity in shape and symmetry. Each cigar should have a smooth, even appearance, with no irregularities or inconsistencies in its construction. The wrapper should be tightly and evenly rolled, without any loose or bumpy areas. In contrast, counterfeit cigars may display unevenness, rough patches, or noticeable imperfections in their shape and symmetry. By carefully examining these characteristics, you should be able to enjoy your smoke with greater confidence.

4. Analyse the ash from the cigar

One way to tell if a Cuban cigar is the real deal is by checking the ash as it burns. Authentic Cubans burn slowly, leaving behind a grey ash that looks like salt and pepper. In contrast, non-Cuban cigars usually produce ash that’s brighter or whiter. It’s a large giveaway of where the cigar came from. But remember, the ash colour doesn’t affect how good the cigar tastes.

5. Smell the Cigar

That’s why you should always smell the cigar to check for its authenticity. Genuine Cuban cigars exude a distinct and rich aroma characterised by earthy, woody, and sometimes floral notes. This aroma is a result of the unique tobacco blends and ageing processes employed in Cuban cigar production. On the other hand, counterfeit cigars may lack this complexity and depth of scent, often exhibiting a more generic or artificial aroma. 

What is the most faked Cuban Cigar? 

The Cohiba brand is the most frequently counterfeited Cuban cigar. Renowned for its exceptional quality and prestige, Cohiba cigars are highly sought after by aficionados worldwide, making them a prime target for counterfeiters. Due to their popularity, counterfeit Cohibas flood the market, often appearing in unauthorised channels or sold at suspiciously low prices. The Cohiba Esplendido and Behike lines are particularly targeted due to their iconic status and high market demand. 

To guarantee that you have purchased a real Cuban cigar, buyers should purchase Cohiba cigars from authorised retailers or reputable sources, like Cigar Club, and carefully follow the steps above to detect these fakes.