How To Spot A Fake Cuban Cigar? – Quick Way

Among luxurious cigar connoisseurs, the most common query is spotting whether a Cuban cigar is real or fake. Cheap and fake cigars have engulfed the market by the name of original Cuban cigars, and their indistinguishable looks and packaging often trick the customers. 

But, scamming you will not be an easy job if you know how to detect the original Cuban. We will try to make things extremely easy for you, and if you follow our tips and tricks, you will be enjoying the best tobacco in the world every time, without being deceived by the fake ones. 

How To Spot A Fake Cuban Cigar: Factors to Consider


You have to have an adequate idea about the prices of Cuban cigars before buying them. If the price of the cigars is much lower than expected, then the chances are high that those are the fake ones. 

The lowest price for Cuban cigars is for the Montecristo No. 2s, which costs around 9.68 US dollars. Then comes the Cohiba Esplendidos (around 30 dollars) and the Behikes (around 50 dollars). Suppose, if you buy a Behike for 15 dollars, immediately know that those are not coming from Cuba. 


Packaging is often so identical that it is tough to distinguish between the real Cuban cigars and the phonies. A good, attractive packaging never guarantees you an actual Cuban cigar. However, you can be sure that Cuban cigars generally come with expensive packaging, and if they are not, they are probably bogus. 

To spot the real one, look for the important Habanos label (top-right corner) in the packaging, the Cuban seal/hologram on the left, and the company stamps on the bottom. These are the things you should surely check before going for the cigars. 


Well, you can tell whether the cigar you are smoking is original or fake if you have smoked the real one many times before, or at least once. Always ask the sellers to let you taste one of the cigars to taste which you are looking to buy. There is a probability that they will back off if it is unreal and won’t let you try one. If they do so, be sure that there are high chances that those cigars are not the actual ones you are looking for. You will be able to notice the taste easily if you know how an original Cuban tastes. 

The aroma is significant too. It must be rich and intense, making you remember incredible tobacco!   

Warranty Stamp: 

We will find the official Habanos warranty seal in your Cuban cigars box. It is generally at the top right corner. There is also a barcode at the other end, and do remember that the only way you can open your cigar box is by breaking the barcode seal. 

The most important part is that the number mentioned at the top of the barcode must match the number printed in the Habanos warranty seal. You will probably require a magnifying glass to locate it, but it is generally printed above the letter “C” in “REPUBLICA.”

The Head Of The Cigar

The original straight-sided Cuban cigars (commonly known as Parejos) will be finished with mounted heads or three-seam caps. If they are not, they are surely fake. If the cigar has a sloppy or rounded head, it somewhat guarantees forgery. 

But there is a little catch to it. The producers of fake Cuban cigars often make rounded heads to make them look identical to the real Parejos. So, checking the cigar’s head only can be a half-hearted approach to find the real ones from the flock of fraud ones. 

Read: 10 Things Cigar Smokers Should Never Do

Color of Ashes: 

A great parameter of judging whether your Cuban cigar is real or not is by the color of the ashes when you smoke it. An original Cuban cigar will always produce gray ash, or more precisely, a salt-&-pepper color. 

If the color of the ash is darker than that or brighter and whiter than the salt-&-pepper color, then the tobacco can be most certainly not from Cuba. But, indeed, tobacco which is very near in quality to the authentic Cuban tobacco, can also produce a similar color of the ash on burning. 

Number Of Cigars: 

Count the number of cigars in your box as it can be an excellent idea to get rid of the fake ones. For example, let us consider the Behike BHK Cuban cigars. They are the most expensive and luxurious smoke globally, which comes with a count of 10 cigars per box. In the market, you will find boxes of 25 behikes or any number other than 10. You can gladly pass on them as they are bogus behikes without any doubts. 

External & Internal Seals 

Externally, you are likely to find two kinds of seals that prove originality: the Cuban state seal and the DOP seals. Always look for the “REPUBLICA DE CUBA,” and the “HABANOS” seals to save yourself from being deceived. And remember the important test you need to do. That is, check whether the number mentioned in the bar code matches the Cuban state seal. If they do, it is wonderful. 

Inside the boxes, there are seals, too, which are called internal seals. These have to be attached with the boxes firmly. 

Cigar Bands: 

Cigar bands can be termed as pieces of art considering all the interesting rumors and stories around them. 

But actually, the band around Cuban cigars tells you about the brand which made it. They are always very artsy. It will be hard to fool you if you know the band of the desired brand you are looking for. Every brand, be it Partagas, BHK Behikes, H. Upmann, Montecristo, has its original band. Always see whether your Cuban cigar has that band rolled at the end. If they look different than the real logo or band at all, they are unreal. 

Cigar document:

There must be a piece of documentation in the cigar boxes. It can vary from brand to brand and from box to box. 

By documentation, we mean a small white piece of paper where all the correct methods of preserving the cigars are mentioned. We will find 4 different languages in those sheets: French, German, English, and Spanish. Info about the DOP seal and the perfect temperature for preserving the Cuban cigars is all remarked on the paper. The dimensions of this leaflet must be 104mm in length and 69mm in width. 

FAQs Regarding How To Spot A Fake Cuban Cigar

1. How can you tell if a Cuban cigar is real? 

There are various measures to identify a real Cuban cigar. Some of the common factors to test are checking the warranty seals, prices, internal & external seals, cigar documents, bands, etc. To be even safer, always try to buy your Cuban cigars from authorized sellers only. 

2. What percentage of Cuban cigars are fake? 

The market is full of fake things nowadays, and Cuban cigars are not an exception to it. If you consider the USA alone, almost 95% of the cigars, which are sold by original Cuban cigars, are fake. Only 5% of Cuban cigars are original, and you will get them only if you know how to spot the real ones. 

3. What are fake cigars made of?

Tobacco is the most expensive and important part of Cuban cigars, which is fake. Cheaper quality tobacco is used to make those fake cigars but is sold by the name and at similar prices to the original ones. In extreme cases, even the tobacco leaves are mixed with other even cheaper leaves.  

4. How much is a real Cuban cigar? 

Prices of Cuban cigars widely vary depending upon the quality of the tobacco and the manufacturing brand. Generally, you won’t be able to buy a single Cuba cigar but a whole box of it. The boxes normally contain ten cigars. One BHK Behike is around 50 US dollars, while one Montecristo will cost you around 10. 

5. Are fake Cuban cigars still good? 

Fake is fake. It can’t come close to the quality and satisfaction compared to the original ones. However, some blends of counterfeit Cuban cigars can still be good and worth smoking. In many fake cigars, a percentage of original Cuban tobacco can be mixed with the other quality tobaccos. 


Counterfeit cigars are booming in the market and are constantly being labeled as prestigious Cuban cigars. This is making customers very vulnerable to being cheated. There are various proven ways to check whether the one you will buy is original or not. 

We hope that we can answer all your queries regarding how to spot a fake Cuban cigar. If you go through all the ten points mentioned in the article, it is almost impossible to be fooled by a fake one. And yeah, there is no other thing more stylish than a Cuban cigar. But of course, if they are the real ones!

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