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QUESTION: I have what appears to be a genuine box of these cigars.  The date code on the bottom of the box is BAM Nov 06.  The bands are brown.  Assuming these were shipped in Nov. 2006, is brown the correct band color?

thanks,
jas

ANSWER: Hi Jerry,

Yes, The Upmann Monarchs did have the brown bands as late as November 2006.  Although the new red and gold band was introduced that year, it was a transitional year and there were still Upmann monarchs (and other Upmann cigars) being packaged in the older brown band late into 2006.  

Regards,
James

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you, James.

Were they still using Nivel Acuso to encode dates in 2006?  And I thought H. Upmann was produced at the Jose Marti factory.  I don't recognize "BAM"

Answer
Hi Jerry,

No, the NIVELACUSO date system was discontinued in 1998.  Your box is marked "NOV06" (with the current date system) so it was made in November 2006.  The BAM designation represents the factory and is part of the current factory code system (started in 2003).  "BAM" is actually not the factory name's initials but instead, is a random three letter code generated by Habanos.

Unfortunately, because the factory designation codes are changed very often, it's impossible for the customers to keep track of all the codes.  Only Habanos employees involved with the encoding process actually has a database of every single code designation.

I hope this helps.  As always, if you have any more questions, please feel free to ust ask and I will be happy to help.

Regards,
James

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James Yee

Expertise

My main area of expertise is Cuban cigars and I can assist you if you have questions pertaining to Cuban cigars. I can also assist you with the following:

- General cigar-related questions and advice
- Humidor maintenance and troubleshooting (How to treat humidor mold, correct high/low humidity, humidor seasoning, etc.)
- Accessory maintenance and troubleshooting (Cigar cutters, hygrometers, humidifiers, etc.)
- Cigar restoration, preservation and troubleshooting (How to treat cigar mold/tobacco beetles, restoring vintage/dry cigars, etc.)
- Cigar/Brand identification
- Cigar etiquette

Unsure of a certain cigar brand? Wondering what a certain cigar tastes like? Have a question about Cuban cigars? Having problems with a humidor or Just let me know! I have smoked every brand of Cuban cigars and most reputable non-Cuban cigar brands on a regular basis so I know a fair bit about taste profiles, cigar etiquette and other fine nuances to cigar smoking. (NOTE: My main focus is on premium, hand-rolled cigars and not cheap, machine made, convenience store cigars.) IMPORTANT: PLEASE NOTE THAT I DO NOT PROVIDE CIGAR OR CIGAR-RELATED APPRAISALS. If you have a vintage cigar item and you want to know if it's worth something, please contact an antique dealer that specializes in "TOBACCIANA".

Experience

I currently have 19 dedicated years of cigar smoking and counting. I have smoked every brand of Cuban cigars and most reputable non-Cuban cigar brands on a regular basis so I know a fair bit about taste profiles, cigar etiquette and other fine nuances to cigar smoking. For 5 years, I studied with Cuban torcedores (rollers), catadores (taste testers) and revisadores (inspectors) on every aspect involving the production of the Cuban cigar and I am currently writing a book that will help beginners understand everything they need to know about cigars and cigar smoking.

Publications
Maple Leaf Gardens: Memories & Dreams 1931-1999 (1999; ISBN: 0920445616)
50 Things Every Guy Should Know How To Do (2006; ISBN: 0452286654)
The [London] Times (October 8, 2009)


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B.A. University of Toronto

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Allexperts Top 25 Shortest Average Response Time: 2008-2009
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- 2008 - 6th Overall, July
- 2009 - 10th Overall, February

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