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Hi James,

A Canadian friend of mine travels to Santiago several times a year. On his last trip I asked him to buy a couple of boxes for my brother in law and I.  My brother in law got a box of Trinidad Fundadores that he is convinced are not real.  He is basing this opinion on the box they arrived in.  He has a box from a previous purchase that was made in another country (not Cuba) several years ago.  My Canadian friend said that he bought the cigars from a factory in Santiago.  I've attached a picture with the hope you could bring some clarity to the issue.  Thanks much!

Hi Tom,

The box shown at the top of your photo is the older box version (discontinued in 2003) while the box shown at the bottom of your photo is the current design.  Having examined your photo, I must say that the top box in your photo does appear questionable. That box design was discontinued in 2003 yet the box has the newer, glossy warranty label which was introduced in 2009-2010. Pre-2009 boxes do have the newer label applied over the older warranty label but I've never see a box as early as 2003 with the new label.  Does the warranty label have a serial number and barcode? (I can't see it because the label appears to be tucked under the lid.) If the label does have a serial number, check the number at Habanos' official website to see if the number is genuine.  If the label doesn't have a serial number, I would be suspicious.  The words "La Habana, Cuba" also seems off. It looks a bit small and too bold.  I also can't tell from the photo but the clasp on the box should have a black enamel motif like the clasp on a varnished Cohiba Esplendido box.  The clasp on the box in your photo appears to be a plain silver-colored button which is incorrect.

I hope this helps. If you have anymore questions, please feel free to just ask and I will be happy to help.



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James Yee


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
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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".


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.

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