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Cigars/online purchasing of cuban cigars


Johnny RED wrote at 2008-04-12 06:29:31
Puro Express was recommended to me by a reliable source. I ordered a couple boxes and was pleased. The cigars were beautiful and tasty but I was skeptical. I compared the Puro Express packaging and bands to Cubans in my collection that I know are legit. I was disappointed to find that the Puro Express cigars were indeed suspect. They may be some of the best counterfeits on the market or maybe the bands and boxes I have are from a different generation. The prices and easy transactions seemed too good to be true. In this case, I think that Puro Express is just a very good counterfeiter of Cuban cigars. I may be wrong so if you hear different please share the info.

cubancigarlover wrote at 2008-05-18 06:14:23
I have my suspicions too.. bought a box of cohiba robustos, packing and brand details appear genuine in all possible/visible aspects, but the cigar wrappers look a little different, darker than usual, not that veiny but they certainly unwrap themselves too easily, very unlike the flawless construction i know that is typical of cohiba robustos... taste is quite similar just that it's a little heavier and lacks that grassy distinctive cohiba grassy flavour...

if they're fakes they're really good fakes...

E. wrote at 2008-07-21 13:21:30
Cubancigar lover, no offense mate, but you can't judge a fake cigar based on its wrapper, as we all know wrappers do come in different shade, from lighter to darker. As long as your entire box has the same colour you are fine.

Also an important thing to note is if it doesn't have Grassy taste that's a good sign it means that your cigar is not young but has been well looked after and has built some maturity.

Rob wrote at 2009-02-26 03:39:15

I've been buying from PuroExpress and they are 100% legit. They are real cuban cigars. Check around they are a certified Habanos reseller and they also have a moneyback guarantee. I know this to be true because I returned a box that was crushed in delivery. They don't mess around and have been around a long time. They even advertise in Smoke Magazine and also are listed in Cigar Encyclopedia as a top seller of Cubans. The reason they are so cheap is they are in the Canary Islands and are in the duty free zone. Believe me they are real.

Chris M wrote at 2009-05-10 23:21:50
puroexpress is 100% legit.  Based out of Spain but ship out of geneve Switzerland.   All the venders out of Switzerland are ligit.

Chris M wrote at 2009-05-10 23:21:52
puroexpress is 100% legit.  Based out of Spain but ship out of geneve Switzerland.   All the venders out of Switzerland are ligit.

ed wrote at 2009-05-12 21:01:54
The "Duty Free Zone" scam is very popular.  Just because cigars come from Spain or Switzerland doesn't mean they're real.  Most online places are fake in my opinion when selling to U.S. customers.  First of all, what they're doing is illegal by U.S. standards and no legit. cigar store is going to risk those kinds of potential tariff and import/export commission problems, even if they are in a country where Cubans are legal.  Just because they replace your crushed fake cigars with new fake cigars doesn't mean they're legit.  You have to check legitimate prices of what the cigars cost in Cuba.  Then figure in shipping costs to the country they're coming from and some profit for the store.  I think once you do this, you'll find it would be impossible for most of them to make any profit, "tax free zone" or not.  I ordered from about ten of these places over the years.  Always the acid test was to compare it to the exact same cigar purchased in a legit Habanos S.A. store in Canada sent to me by my good friend. In every case, the shipped cigars weren't even close to that specific Cuban flavor that you know if you've been smoking them for over ten years.

kostaco wrote at 2009-07-23 16:01:35
Ed, with all the respect the issue here is not what is legit or not by US law, the question was if puroexpress sells fake or not. myself have bought couple of times - always trinidad. i did not feel fake. either by taste or by packaging. still, the boxes lacked the varnished finish ...

Cigar Guy wrote at 2009-09-22 13:45:37
Puroexpress is indeed the real deal. I have checked codes and legitimacy of boxes, and they are real. The cigars themselves are perfect, filled with long leaf with smooth wrappers, three piece caps, and are very genuine. I even contacted Sotobac (a spanish authorized habanos wholesaler who supplies puroexpress) who also confirms that the cigars are real. I suspect many people have no idea what a real cuban cigar is like, or not like, and wouldn't know a real one if they saw it or smoked it.

youngfool wrote at 2009-10-17 19:06:56
I have sampled over 20 different vitolas of at least 10 labels from puroexpress and all have shown the distinctive charactoristic of their brand.  Never tasted anything close from non cuban production.

lightherup wrote at 2009-11-13 19:13:46
Can't fault Puroexpress. I suspect that some smokers may not have given the proper love to their 'Puros' once they arrived from this reseller.

At least a month or two #more if possible# of careful humidor love and you'll see AND taste that these are indeed the genuine article.

Their prices tend to be the same as all the state-run 'Estancos' in Spain where I buy most of my cigars #fixed prices# and so it is easy for me personally to compare like for like.

No doubt U.S. Law will have to rejoin reality eventually, but until then all us here in Europe patiently await you guys to join in the party

prepdrum wrote at 2009-12-06 13:19:37
Just got a three-pack of Montecristo #2s from Puro Express.  The packaging and bands are 100% real, as I compared them side-by-side to two #2s from a Cuban state store.  They look a tad dry, so I will humidify them for a few weeks to months.  As for the smoke itself, I will let you know in a few weeks.  Wrappers are very similar to the two genuine ones I have.  Triple cap looks well made.  

bigt wrote at 2009-12-30 21:52:05
I have purchases several boxes from puro express and have found them to be genuine article.  There prices are great, the delivery on time no losses.  The only thing that I find peculiar is the packaging.  I ordered a box of Bolivars once and they seemed to be struck during the printing twice probably a factory second.  Smoked great though.  Also I have noticed that the glue holding the bands around the cigars seems old; making it impossible to remove the band without tearing the paper. I definitely will continue to order from them again.  

Paddy wrote at 2010-01-06 21:23:49
My observation is Ed is an idiot. Has no idea what he is talking about. There is no tariff or any sort of punishment on European sellers shipping to the USA. Customs just reject the package and sends it back to Europe. Ed would not know a Cuban cigar if it bit him in the ass

pacman wrote at 2010-01-24 23:58:34
Am a regular customer of Puroexpress, so naturally I believe their products are genuine. I use a "black light" to check the hologram on the seal of each box, and not one has failed this test.

prepdrum wrote at 2010-01-29 13:46:49
So I put up a post in December on this site after I bought a 3-pack of Montecristo #2 cigars from Puro Express.  The bands and packaging looked very real but as for the smoke was disappointing.  It had no flavor or body and the burn was terrible.  I have had many genuine #2s from La Casa del Habano and the Puro Express smokes were not very similar to the real McCoy.  I don't know how or why, but they just were mediocre, at best.  So buy these at your own risk.  It seems true that you get what you pay for and in Cuban state stores Montecristo #2s consistently cost $22 or more each stick.  Think about it...

AK wrote at 2010-02-01 20:54:19
I have been ordering from Puro Express for over 5 years and have never received a fake or counterfeit cigar.  Any cigar that is young or not aged properly can show signs of blandness or what's know as the "sick" period.  Best way to handle this is lay them down in a properly controlled humidor for 6 months.  Then try another one - you should be pleasantly surprised to find that the flavor and taste will be improved. I recently bought a box of Bolivar Royal Corona's that were like this and after 6 months they improved drastically.

johnydraw wrote at 2010-02-03 02:16:27
I understand your concern prepdrum, but Monte #2', as well as all cuban cigars, vary from box to box depending on code, year and ultimately the roller.  I have always been pleased with Puro, and I bought a box of Cohiba Siglo IV's at the factory in Cuba for 100 dollars, so I think it is possible to get cigars for less than 20 apiece if you are a reputable dealer.  Monte #4's are going through a hard time right now, many people are complaining about the cigar falling in quality.  I might worry if you saw more info in and around the name that screamed scam, but most of the buyers are happy and agree that it is a good company.  I would suggest good humidors, patience, and reasonable taste.  They have to much to loose selling fake cigars.

prepdrum wrote at 2010-02-09 03:15:01
Johnydraw - I'd love to believe you and might give PuroExpress another try, but I am just skeptical.  While some cigars do improve with aging, it's easy to just blame the lack of taste on that.  Why is it that all cigars from PE seem to "need aging"?  Not all Cubans need aging as most that I have bought from La Casa del Habano shops are great that same day.  The other problem with PE is that they ship cigars without any humidification, and mine arrived quite dry.  This definitely can affect the taste.  They did, however, give me a refund for the cigars that were dry or peeling.  Their service is very good but their product is questionable.  I might give them one more try.  Prices are just too low to be legit...

BigD wrote at 2010-02-20 02:43:03
I am a new Puroexpress customer (two separate purchases both made in 2010).  These folks are legit.  I compared not only product but also full packaging to product I had purchased by reputable tabacs in Europe.  Yes the purchases were a bit dry but is any cigar product that is stored in warehouse and shipped from abroad.  If you are concerned about authenticity, order something complex to fake such as a Montecristo Edmundo in Tubes.  Do so and you will see that these folks aren't selling crapo haitian cigars with fake Cuban cigar bands and then shipped out of the Dominican republic.  

Tose99 wrote at 2010-03-10 17:38:55
I may or may not have ordered from Puro on several occasions. Their products are legit or they have somehow figured out how to make their counterfeit cigars taste exactly like Cubans. Besides that, Habanos S.A. recently started using a new hologram band which each have a number code. I took my code and entered it into the official Habanos S.A. site(they have an application to do this). 100% legit my friends. Enjoy!

J.H wrote at 2010-03-24 21:47:50
Yeah I just received a box of Partagas D.4 from PE.  The manufacture date on it is Aug 09 but the box doesn't have the new government seal ( the one with bar code attached to it).  So I am wondering if that is because they still have bunch of old seal to use up before they switch to the new one?  Other than that, the box looks legit.  I ran black light on the seal, the watermark appealed!  So I am 90% sure they are legit.  Now I just need to smoke one.  But if somebody knows the answer about those new seals, let me know!!

cigardentist wrote at 2010-03-28 16:14:14

 I received a box of Punch Double Coronas from Puro Express March 24,2010.I am a long time smoker of cuban cigars & bought a lot of my cigars everywhere I travel at La Casa del Habanos.The box that I got did not close properly & the cigas are have a slightly bigger ring gauge.The markings on the bottom are ink stamps instead of the depressed heat seals.The parch paper inside the box is smooth & should have a texture & the lettering should be felt when you run your fingers over them.Also the goverment seal is slightly off-color & again smooth to touch.The cigars are rolled with Cuban tobacco but are not "factory" issue.Do not be fooled by the cheap prices.These do not taste like the boxes of Punch double coronas that I have smoked.

         Dr N

cigardentist wrote at 2010-03-29 22:42:44

I received a box of Punch Double Coronas from Puro Express March 24,2010.I am a long time smoker of cuban cigars & bought a lot of my cigars everywhere I travel at La Casa del Habanos.The box that I got did not close properly & the cigas are have a slightly bigger ring gauge.The markings on the bottom are ink stamps instead of the depressed heat seals.The parch paper inside the box is smooth & should have a texture & the lettering should be felt when you run your fingers over them.Also the goverment seal is slightly off-color & again smooth to touch.The cigars are rolled with Cuban tobacco but are not "factory" issue.Do not be fooled by the cheap prices.These do not taste like the boxes of Punch double coronas that I have smoked. If any of these show on your order,then they are not legit.

Dr N

prepdrum wrote at 2010-04-02 01:28:58
I smoked one of the Partagas Serie P smokes from PE last week.  Good draw but fairly bland taste and definitely not close to the Partagas taste I have enjoyed from LCDH shops that sell legit products.  This is after aging it a few months.  The fact that we're all here arguing about the authenticity of these cigars should tell us something in itself, namely, that they're simply great fakes.  Anyone who argues anything else is simply deceiving himself.  The proof is in the pudding - these smokes look real but when it comes down to smoking (the real test), they come up short every single time.  Au revoir, Puro Express!

tose99 wrote at 2010-04-22 22:19:59
I would still love for someone to explain to me how the code

on my Habanos S.A. Official Government Authenticity Hologram

band matched perfectly when I entered it into their site. Has

Puroexpress found a way to fool even Habanos S.A.? Puroexpress

is 100% legit until someone can explain that to me!  

ike wrote at 2010-04-29 02:22:10
pe is the real thing you guys suck. The prices are $20 to $50 less then other online sites but almost the same   price as the habano shop its self if you walk into one, STOP IT!

ike (EL CABANO)  

Cigar Dog wrote at 2010-04-29 13:52:47
Let me put this to bed once and for all. I have an email confirmation from the official distributor of Habanos in Spain, Sotabac, that PuroExpress is an authorized retailer of Sotabac and their cigars are authentic! If anyone wants the email confirmation, just let me know. Because their prices are duty free, other online cigar sellers are trying to sabotage them. They are for real!

prepdrum wrote at 2010-05-01 16:20:55
Ike:  I am not saying that I know for certain the cigars are fake but I can tell you that the ones I have smoked, including a couple kept in my humidor for two months, did not taste like the many Cubans I have purchased in LCDH shops.  As for the reason, I don't know.  Whether it's because they're fake, they don't ship well, they need more time, or some other reason, they just don't have much flavor. That is a fact.

As for your statement that they cost "the same price  as the habano shop," all I have to ask you is have you ever been to a real shop?  I have been to three La Casa del Habano shops (official Cuban state stores) in the Caribbean and Mexico and the average price for a single Montecristo No. 2 was $22 and a Cohiba Esplendido was $45.  Now how is that even remotely close to the PuroExpress price of $8 each for Montecristo No. 2?  Is that "almost the same price" as you say?  Maybe price isn't everything but when you see a $22 product for $8, duty-free or not, it has to make you stop and think about its authenticity.  You wouldn't buy an $8 Montecristo on the streets of Cancun, so why would you online?  

Cigar Dog wrote at 2010-05-03 11:35:18
prepdrum, do you want me to forward you the email from Sotabac that PuroExpress sells authentic Habanos?  

TrueAficianado wrote at 2010-05-04 14:20:24
I believe everyone needs to understand that you cannot smoke a cigar that you've received via mail without letting them sit and rest in a humidor for atleast a couple of weeks to relieve the stress from the cigar as it has been subject to various temperatures and humidity while in route. Furthermore, I have been ordering cigars from PE for the last two years and after resting in humidor for a couple of weeks they all smoke like the cigars I've purchased from La Casa Del Habano as well as various shops throughout Europe in my travel. But with theat said, I've had some awful tasting cigars at legit shops in Europe and Asia that were not properly handled and stored. The fact is several factors can influence the taste and smoke of any cigar and any aficianado will tell you the same.  

prepdrum wrote at 2010-05-04 21:48:38
Sure, forward it to me.  But do you at least understand where I'm coming from?  Usually things that are hard to believe are not true.  PE's smokes may very well be real Cubans, but they don't smoke like them, so I will just turn elsewhere for my Cubans.  No big deal.

Cohiba007 wrote at 2010-05-04 23:26:19
Prepdrum.  Have you ever heard of taxes?  I have been to over 10 LCDH's.  I enjoy going to them and smoking cigars in their lounge.  But everyone that I have been to, Mexica, St Martin, St Maarten, Aruba, etc. has very expensive cigars mostly because of taxes and they have a captive audience.  I have been smoking habanos for over 10 years and Puro express is one of the three vendors that I use.  And all reputable online vendors are between 7 and 10 per stick on the Monte 2 genius.

J. H wrote at 2010-05-05 21:50:39
I smoked a Partagas D4 out of a box of 10 I received from P.E.  It was the best cigar I have ever smoked.  It tasted just like what a lot of reviews out there described them.  Super smooth and also robust.  I had some doubts before but after I smoked one D4.  All my doubts are gone.  P.E sells real stuff!  Now I can't wait to smoke the Cohiba VI I got from them!  

ben d. wrote at 2010-05-12 12:19:36
i will verify that puro express is completely legit.  one thing that most new cuban cigars smokers get concerned about is the shape of boxes and cigars they receive.  cuba has poor quality control standards and unless one is purchasing higher end cohiba sticks, some might look different from previous batches, smoke differently, etc.  i've even found some sticks missing a double band in a mag 46 box.  i receive personal shipments from new zealand, london, and a few online retailers like puro.  i've compared them all and puro is without a doubt 100% consistent and legit with true habanos.  

Benxr400r wrote at 2010-05-13 00:12:04
All the non believers are prob Kennedy conspiracy theorists. I've purchased from them 50 orders of various brands and types, all are the real deal. What kind of shaped would you be in if I mailed you across the sea in plastic bubble wrap? Order away   and put them in a humidor, you have one right?

FrankieFour wrote at 2010-05-13 15:46:37
Hi all, I just ordered last week a 3-pack of Cohiba robustos from Puroexpress to test there delivery and they were, no doubt about it, the real deal. I had one of them yesterday and no cigar in the world can beat that taste of the three step fermentation process. I have been fooled in another situation with a esplendido box and you could tell just by looking at them that they were fake, the ring, the box the, lock, the seal. Everything. If Puro's cigar would be fake I would taste it mediately. Simply because I have a great sense of taste and palette and I have smoked a couple of hundred cuban cigars. I got a box of D4's from promo the other week that were still to humid and could not yet be smoked. To much humid in the cigar make them hard to draw and lack of taste. Like others said already, a box has to rest a week or so it can balance its normal humidity level. They are stored in rooms that have a humidity level way over normal(65-70%). And at last who insane person would put so much time and effort to do something to look and taste exactly like the real brand if it's not in a commercial competitive state of mind? And remember that taxes and duty on the price of tobacco makes a great difference. I know since I live in a country with high taxes on tobacco and I've been forced to pay several times to the customs here. Puro ship twice a week to Swiss that is also outside EU like the port on Gran Canaria there Purp is seated. A so called duty-free zone Thanks for the word and enjoy Puro's cigars.

cigardentist wrote at 2010-05-14 22:22:26

I am posting this again.

I received a box of Punch Double Coronas from Puro Express March 24,2010.I am a long time smoker of cuban cigars & bought a lot of my cigars everywhere I travel at La Casa del Habanos.The box that I got did not close properly & the cigas are have a slightly bigger ring gauge.The markings on the bottom are ink stamps instead of the depressed heat seals.The parch paper inside the box is smooth & should have a texture & the lettering should be felt when you run your fingers over them.Also the goverment seal is slightly off-color & again smooth to touch.The cigars are rolled with Cuban tobacco but are not "factory" issue.Do not be fooled by the cheap prices.These do not taste like the boxes of Punch double coronas that I have smoked.The codes on the bottom are easy to obtain.Puro Express is an authorized Habanos dealer but trust me,they have cigars that are not factory issue.I have been to a lot of Habanos S.A stores around the world & have smoked thousands of Cuban cigars & have held every Cuban cigar brand box in my hands & the last box I got from Puro Express is definitely not legit.

Dr N

myles wrote at 2010-05-15 19:36:47
hey has anyone here ordered from if so how long did it take to ship? because its been 3 days and they havent even sent them out yet

benxr499r wrote at 2010-05-17 16:57:44
Dr.N try any of the Romeo and Juliet brands then explain to me how they managed to counterfeit the packaging on them, this should be interesting to read.  

finman wrote at 2010-05-20 16:53:07
Just received a box of Romeo short churchills and they appear to be the real deal.  Box, bands, stamp all correct.  They taste cuban to me as well.  If their fake then they are worth the money I paid, but I've been smoking for 15 years and I say these are real.

Waynester wrote at 2010-05-29 05:09:48
I've purchased several brands from Puro (Cohiba, Montecristo and R & J) and they all had bands that conformed to the genuine articles on the "gallery of counterfeits" at

JP wrote at 2010-06-03 09:43:39
Puroexpress claims that it is an official dealer by SOTABAC S.A, right? Visit (the official site)and look for the authorised distributors-dealers. SOTABAC S.A is NOT in the list...

Also visit

The choice is yours

JP wrote at 2010-06-03 12:19:19
Cigar Dog: The official Habanos distributor in Spain is Atladis, NOT Sotabac. Visit the official Habanos site ( to check by yourself. Sotabac is NOT mentioned there as an authorised dealer...  

J. H wrote at 2010-06-04 20:17:05

Puro is based in the Canary Island! The Canary Island oficial cuban cigar importer is SOTABAC,S.A. based on is headquartered in the Canary Island Free Zone!

I have been ordering from Puro, and so far I haven't got any fakes.  Topcubans is also a good source I believe.  Haven't ordered anything from them yet!

prepdrum wrote at 2010-06-05 01:20:00
I agree with JP.  The true test with these online places is the quality of the smoke itself, and PE's cigars have been disappointing every time I have had them.  Bland taste, no spice, no cedary taste that is the trademark of Cuban cigars, and just an overall mediocre smoke, at best.  I'd rather go 5 minutes from my house and spend $8 a stick on a Fuente Hemingway Classic or Ashton VSG or anything by Don Pepin than try to convince myself that these phonies are the real thing.  These places won't learn until we stop buying their fakes and they go out of business.

JNO wrote at 2010-06-06 13:59:39
I bought a box of Montecristo #2 from Puro express last week, shipment came quick into the U.S. I was very skeptical myself but I had this box checked out for the 3 primary things that would make these cigars legit. 1) The fine micoprinting on the tax stamp- IT WAS THERE 2)The branding on the back of the box-THERE 3) The hologram of the republic of Cuba in the black light-There. Also the new visible hologram on the tax stamp there too. If these are fake then they really jump through hoops to make a great fake cigar for us!!!

Brigade2506 wrote at 2010-06-07 23:15:00

Its time to put the puros express issue to bed once and for all. Please see the post below which is a direct copy of an email sent from "Vicky" who I suppose is the PE sales manager. I attempted to order from PE Saturday night (2 boxes Cohiba Robusto 1 box RJC 15 Ct.) and made one simple request: All boxes must be shipped bearing the new cuban holograms and bar codes. The answer I received had nothing to do with this, but rather a series of excuses about why they wouldnt ship the order.


We have a couple of issues to address with the notes on your order.

1)  Cigar boxes are sent out exactly as we receive them in from our distributor Sotabac and we do not open boxes under any circumstances to examine the contents.

2) We welcome your custom with Bjorck Bros on Puroexpress, but as a first time customer, this is too large an order. We handle large orders on a daily basis, but always with established customers, with an established delivery pattern. From your point of view, this is a very large order, with a new company.

With all this in mind I have cancelled your order




Bjorck Bros.

Our hours of customer support are:

Monday through Friday 9am to 12.30pm (Central European Time), 2pm to 5.30pm (Eastern Standard Time)

If you order from these guys, you deserve to be ripped off, and probably wouldnt know a real Havana anyway.  

tose99 wrote at 2010-06-08 13:03:44
Brigade2506 & Cigar Dentist. You guys are obviously bitter that you have been paying way too much for your Cubans through other Swiss sites. You guys probably have the money anyway so don't worry about it. More delicious, legit Cubans for the rest of us. Don't believe these "haters" Puroexpress is legit. Notice how none of them could answer how the code on my box matched when entered into the official Habanos website!

Brigade 2506 wrote at 2010-06-10 20:53:49
Actually "tose" the only thing I noticed is how neither you nor "Puros Express" was able to answer my question. Why is it that they couldnt ship boxes with holograms and bar codes to me?

Because they knew from the rip the game wasnt going to work.

And yes, I have the money, and the reason why I have money?

Because Im a sharp business person and know a scam.

I also know you are probably paid to respond and defend puros express on sites like this.

Everybody has to have a job, so cant fault you for that

Ligero wrote at 2010-06-11 14:51:05
Brigade, they never refused to send the boxes With bar codes and holograms. They probably just didn't need to deal with you. What exactly did you ask them to do?  You did not seem to include that in your previous post. They send unopened boxes direct from their distributor. All with hollograms. If you bothered researching them with the various respected cigar boards, you would know that they are a trusted vendor used by many for years.  

J. H wrote at 2010-06-11 17:12:43

I have received couple boxes without the bar code from Puro and I think a lot of online sites do that.  They say that is because when their source ship the cigars out side of their authorized zone, they have to remove the bar codes.  Which does not make much sense to me and I have not seen any sites send the boxes with the bar code on.  My experiece is limited but after have those couple boxes resting in my humidor for couple months and smoke it, they do taste like cuban cigars and have their own charactors!  So if they are fakes, I don't know whatelse to say.  The first time I dealt with Puro was in 06 and they are still around!  That must mean something!!

agathocles wrote at 2010-06-12 18:05:11
curious, where on the habanos web-site, what code do you enter, and what sequence? The letters and numbers or just the numbers?

agathocles wrote at 2010-06-12 19:23:24
Well, the letter codes, i.e. I, H,  match up to the correct year given; the triple caps never split, flavour, wrapper, and burn are consistent; I have not received any 2009's with the new barcode and holograms; and they all have that particular smell and grey ash typical to cigars of that particular island. I have lived in Canada and France and these have been consistent with prior smokes.

tose99 wrote at 2010-06-13 03:05:04
Brigade 2506 needs a hug, anyone agree? I support Puro not because they pay me to(comical suggestion by the way)but because they they sell real Cuban cigars at great prices. Your obviously not as sharp as you give yourself credit for because you are wrong. Puro probably finds you to be a pain in the butt so they would rather not deal with you. Cheer up bro, life is good. Your rich right?  

Vos wrote at 2010-06-13 23:43:44
Here is the website for the duty free zone in the Canary Islands, Clicking on "established companies" and then doing a general search brings up Bjorck Bros. ( parent company) as the #1 listing. Maybe someone is more savvy to internet fraud than I, but this looks compelling. I have one box of R y J Churchill's that are definitely young but seem legit to me, and I have bought many cigars at the CDH in Tijuana, MX.  

prepdrum wrote at 2010-06-14 20:02:06
We could debate the authenticity of this place forever.  Part of the reason that many of us are disappointed and suspicious is that 1) most online sellers are frauds in this area and 2) it's annoying to buy cigars and then have to age them 4-6 months to have something remotely resembling a good smoke.  I did notice a bit of an improvement in a "Montecristo #2" after 4 months of aging but who wants to wait that long for a cigar when you can get better cigars that are ready to smoke out of the box, like any Padron, Fuente, or Pepin product?  It is a little weird that PE wouldn't mail Brigade a couple boxes because it was "too big of an order."  What kind of company that has faith in its product would limit an order like that?  Stuff like that makes many of us skeptical.  We have to remember that Cuban cigars are the most counterfeited products in the world.

Brigade 2506 wrote at 2010-06-14 22:36:09
Yes "Tose99" I need a hug. Yes, youre girlfriend will do just fine ;) Ultimately, very soon you are going to need a new source of cigars once Customs, The OFAC and DHS finalize their report to Congress (which has been in the works since Spring 2008) on the illegal importation of Cuban cigars into the United States via "clandestine and unmonitored computer based networks within the E.U. and surrounding territorially bounded sovereign entities" --Guess you didnt hear about that? Hum?

Enjoy them while you can. By next Summer we are all going to be completely out of luck. The reality is, the aviation threat corridor through checkpoints is about 80 percent closed (hence why we are all pretty much flying naked at this point...literally) One specific company that has made HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of dollars pedaling their "Threat Level" wares to the U.S. Government (TSA) is finally going to roll out the next gen of biological trace detection (which they have been working on for about 5 years) In order to stay in Business in the long haul. All those "one pound" "gentlemans gift sets" with the tidy little green Swiss customs stickers (that have been slipping through the U.S. Customs facility at JFK most notably) and coming to our doorsteps like tiny, perfect children from god are sadly going to meet their demise. There is a plan specifically to test run on packages of Swiss origin beginning in late Winter of this year. I suggest all of you do some cursory reading about a company called Smith Detection. They are finalizing the successful molecular trace detection protocol for Cuban tobacco strains and associated variants. One of the projects that will be supported by Smith Detections new "DHS customer service" facility in Morristown, New Jersey. The protocol is acurate enough that residue on any packaging surface that has been subjected to even the enclosed air of Cuban tobacco will be detectable for up to 23 days. We are way past Vacuum bags my friends. Did we really think it was going to last forever? Hopefully "Sam Bjork" and the assorted vendors throughout Europe have a plan to find an airtight, neutrally charged building to ship products from. (The counterfeits mixed in with the real ones) close to say the 20 million required to build a microchip processing facility.Sounds easy enough right? The Cuban Cigars via the internet game is going to be up very soon. But what do I know. After all, Im just some faceless, anonymous guy on the Internet.

D.H. wrote at 2010-06-22 19:05:47
They are legit.  Been using them for probably 10 years (among various other internet sites for legit Cuban cigars) and have had zero problems with their product.  I got burned with fakes a few times way back in the day (before I knew what to look for and developed my palate to detect authentic Habanos, but Puro Express is not one of the places I've ever had to worry about that with.  The people who are claiming "fake" on this thread seem to not have much experience with or knowledge about Cuban cigars.  No problem, I understand that people new to Cuban cigars will look for every little detail, almost in an effort to PROVE that a cigar is fake, even if it's not.  Fact is, not all Cuban cigars are great.  Most are, but some are mediocre, at best, due to construction issues, improper storage or inadequate aging.  A guy who has bought a Cuban cigar here and there, or buys a box or two a year while traveling does not have enough experience to declare a Cuban cigar fake or authentic.  And guys whose livelihood is tied to the NC cigar industry can't be trusted to tell the truth about Cuban cigars, since Cubans are their competition.  As someone with a dozen + years of smoking Cuban cigars on a very regular basis (basically daily), the site in question is totally legit.

And, BTW, the post above is complete nonsense.  It may be a joke or trollish, can't tell which, but the information is 100% inaccurate.  The poster just made it up himself or is repeating some propaganda he heard.

mcgoospot wrote at 2010-06-22 20:01:44
You are killin me Whity!!!! (Lou Saban quote for you non-Buffalonians).  I've been dealing with PE for 15 years now and have bought from all of the major as well as private sites out there.  I probably have more CCs than mostof you combined (Wayne excluded-LOL).  I love the know-it-alls who claim something is fake because "the wrapper is a different shade than the box I got last year" or because of the "holograms" etc...  PE is legit-probably the most legit site on the net.  I've personally visited their storage facility and have smoked their cigarsd for years.  Rookies without knowledge + claims of fake = ignorance.  It would be like me trying a bottle of red wine from California and saying "this doesn't taste like California reds"-I don't have the expertise and would never show my ignorance by posting something that I wasn't sure of.

Chip wrote at 2010-07-01 17:00:12
Here's a twist...  I've been ordering from PE for about 4 years now.  Literally purchased over 100 boxes from them over that time.  Until recently, I've never had a single reason to question the authenticity of their product.  On my last order I received a box of Bolivar Gold Medals.  The cigars were spot on, but 2 things caught me as odd.  First, the length of the gold foil on the cigar was about an inch longer than I've seen in my other boxes and seen in picture.  I'll explain this off to the standard lack of quality or standards for packaging with CCs.  The one that has me stumped is that the area on the new warranty seal where the barcode should be is in fact blank.  I'm not talking about cut off or scratched out.  The sticker is there and has not been tampered with, but the barcode is missing.  Just a white area instead.  Ontop of that, the color of the label is noticeably darker than the rest of my boxes.  I'm not going to sit here and say that I am getting fakes.  Like I've said, PE has always been selling real CCs, and these cigars are spot on in flavor.  All that said though, there is a shadow of a doubt in my mind.  

agathocles wrote at 2010-07-05 17:44:35
Again, I exercised due diligence and also, like a previous poster, received confirmation from SOTABAC that PE gets their supply from them. However, following up relative to the new seals, PE, could not indicate to me which boxes had the new seals, as I was curious to see for myself. Perhaps, they are selling "seconds", perhaps not.

Ironbar wrote at 2010-07-10 00:32:37
I think you people are idiots. PE is legit. They have been in business for years. They have a stellar reputation. I have never received a box of fakes from them. Get a life for God's sake.  

Daviss wrote at 2010-07-12 16:31:23
I am trying PE for the first, I agree they can be very quirky with thier procedures. For instance, I originally placed my order with a seperate ship to address, dirrerent from the bill to.  Becuase i was a first time customer, they have a strict policy that Ship and Bill To must be the same.. Bizarre right?  Anyway, my shipment is enroute and I will advise when recieved.  Can anyonew from the states share what happens when the package is delived? Any customes issues?? Thanks D...

nonameno wrote at 2010-07-13 19:08:44
Hello Gentlemen,

I recently received a box of PSD4's.  The box looks legit, but the cigar bands are missing some periods (.).  The cigar I test smoked bland and tasteless too.  Maybe because they are young cigars (box dated Feb 10).  The shipment was marked cigars, but came through customs and post office without a hitch and in about 1 weeks time.

Thank you

whiteda6 wrote at 2010-07-16 12:41:53

If you go to the Habanos SA website link above and click on distributors, you will see Sotabac as the official distributor to the Canary Islands.  It has their email address too.  I emailed Sotabac directly and they responded to me with the note below validating that Puroexpress is the REAL DEAL!!!  Authentic!!  

We confirm you that Puro express is our client. The Habanos Cigars are genuine.

Best regards.


prepdrum wrote at 2010-07-18 03:19:04
Just had my third "Partagas Serie P No. 2" from PE a week or two ago.  Yet again, no flavor, a poor burn, and just a bad smoke.  This was after 4 months of aging in ideal 70% conditions.  Every genuine Cuban that I have purchased in a LCDH shop was superior to these cigars.  If it's not smokable after 4 months, it never will be.  Either the cigars they send to some people are amazing and the cigars sent to others are a "bad batch," or PE sells fakes.  For all those who claim PE is legit, why have multiple cigars from them tasted nothing like genuine ones from authorized shops?  There have been multiple articles in "Smoke Magazine" that have warned of the abundance of fakes sold online at almost every website.  Either these smokes are fake or they lose all flavor during the shipping process, so they're no better than fakes.  All the letters from Sotobac in the world can't make these cigars taste good.  

J.H wrote at 2010-07-20 05:00:27
I received two boxes with the new government seal and the serial number on them.  Type the number in the and they both are legit article!!  I have other boxes without those new government seals and they all smell and smoke like Cubans!  If you think Puro is selling fakes, you should just simply stop buying from them and go find other places to buy!    But from my experiences, they are real deal!

daviss wrote at 2010-07-20 19:18:10
Just recieved my first order, was packed perfectly, all seals and proper stickers intact, most importantly my Romeo y Juliata Tubos # 3 were terrific!!

daviss wrote at 2010-07-21 00:05:10
just tried to authenticate my most recent shipment from puroexpress on, when i entered the bar code that came on the boxes, told me I was a victim of fraud, non registered code.  Has anyone else ran into this issue? Although the boxes were visually perfect with all seals intact, what am I to believe??

J. H wrote at 2010-07-21 22:20:09

Try select different bar code fomat they show on the web page.  I had that probably using the wrong format.  Sometimes the format in the system doesn't match with the layout on your box.  I had one box like that.

daviss wrote at 2010-07-24 17:16:33
JH i tried your syggestion and see what i received below.

You are victim of a fraud


What do you think???

agathocles wrote at 2010-07-25 20:15:57

Your seal has to be the new green/hologram bar code seal with those sequence of numbers, not the old green seal with the two letters and six numbers in red.

daviss wrote at 2010-07-26 12:22:59
My Cigars were dated March 2009, and you are correct its the old Seal with the Red Numbers.  However, i was entering the barcode on the bottom of the box, not the red numbers off the Green Seal. So basically Habanos only started doing this since the new seals?


agathocles wrote at 2010-07-29 00:26:06

Yes, it only applies to the new bar code/hologram seal. The change was made in 2009, but not all boxes, as the new seals will also be placed with the fold through the centre of the coat of arms, but with the barcode showing at the front of the box, resulting in the seal being fixed in reverse of the previous seals.  There will be a transition period when both new & old seal may be affixed.

Mike wrote at 2010-07-29 00:49:18
Re the post re smith detection, an internet search yielded nothing that suggests a tobacco detection system dev by smith exists. in fact a search of "smith detection cigar" turned up this forum as the top result. Interestingly, the only mention of a tobacco-sensing device is described on as "...For example, to determine whether contraband tobacco was present in shipping containers moving through a particular port, air from within those containers could be drawn through filters that are subsequently presented to rats trained to emit indicator responses when they smell tobacco. If the rats emit the indicator to the filter from a container, it is suspected of containing tobacco and subsequently searched." So either Brigade posted that as a tongue-in-cheek joke or just to be a jerk.  

Old Smoker wrote at 2010-07-29 03:42:24
I have purchase $25,000 USD from Puro Express. Lately I have had problems with dry and damaged cigars and now lost cigars. The website states to wait 21 business days, however the rude customer service rep told me to wait 31 business days. I told them on the 24th business day to issue a refund or send a new box. They stated that a refund would be issued but that I should buy my cigars else where.

I will never refer anyone or buy from Puro Express.

I still have not received a refund.

Panoulis wrote at 2010-07-29 11:19:13
Let me also contribute to this interesting discussion/debate.

I am a regular cigar smoker for more than 10 years. During this time, I have purchased cigars from almost all available options: Habanos official stores in Cuba, Spanish cigar shops in Madrid, Barcelona etc, duty-free shops in numerous airports around the globe and, of course, many online stores. I occasionally smoke leading Dominican brands, but I mainly stick to Cubans (with Partagas being my favorite brand). So, even if I dont dare to call myself a 'cigar aficionado', I think that I am more than qualified to contribute to this discussion.

a. I am a regular Puroexpress customer for around 3 years. During this time, I have being more than happy from their professional service, quick delivery times and general reliability.

b. Most of all, I am delighted with their excellent prices which generally stand at half those of other reputable online stores #and one-third of official street prices in my home country, due to ridiculously high taxes#.

c. Puroexpress prices are only comparable with those of scam online stores which sell fake cigars. And this is I think their only 'problem': common logic makes me wonder how Puroexpress has achieved this 'miracle' and, even after dozens of purchases, makes me reluctant to put my hand on fire that they sell official and genuine cigars.

d. However, I never had in any of my purchases any real issue with the quality of the cigars delivered. Partagas cigars in particular have a distinct taste and I could easily detect it in all my purchases by Puro. My latest purchase at a very low price, Partagas SerieD No4 Edition Limitada 2010, had the proper Habanos seal and I verified its authenticity at Habanos site. 100% genuine!

e. To sum it up, I am not sure if Puro is just taking advantage of a unique tax-free status or if they cheat somebody. What I care is that they certainly do not cheat their customers. At the end of the day, when I pay half the 'normal price', even if I get 98% of the real thing #which is to my opinion the worst case scenario with Puro#, I still get an excellent deal. If I was so obsessed with 100% authenticity #and I was mega-wealthy# I would go to my local Habanos store, pay triple the price and have my peace of mind. But my only obsession is to enjoy my favorite cigars at cheap prices, so I will continue shopping from Puro for as long as they continue operating #and I hope that it will be for very long...#.  

daviss wrote at 2010-07-30 13:16:10

My Cigars are from 2009 so no new barcode and or hologram, I still find it upsetting that tells me my cigars have been obtained illegally, but the proof is in the smoke, and they taste just fine.  Althouhg my boxes have the habanos sticker and Green Govt seal, they are only fastened on the top of the box, bottom of the box is eaisily opened.  I have a new shipment inboud, so I will be curious to check thier authenticity. Every possible outlet to check out puro has come back postive, but all we have to rely on is the smoke!  

LennyM wrote at 2010-08-05 12:20:16
I have always believed that you get what you pay for, and that most of the time, if it's too good to believe, it probably isn't true.  This one was a bit tough to swallow because even though I can't tell whether or not these cigars are in fact Cuban, I can tell that they are high quality.  It just doesn't make sense to me to go through all the trouble to make such convincing counterfeits (packaging, etc.) and to use quality cigars, which are expensive in themselves, even if they are not Cuban.

I found Sotabac listed on the Habanos S.A. website as the official distributor for the Canary Islands.  There was an email address listed so I emailed Sotabac stating that the bar code I entered on the Habanos website indicated that I was a victim of fraud.  This was their reply:

The barcode number that you have to use to verify the authenticity is the one situated in the seal with the hologram.

Anyway sometimes the authenticity checking doesn´t work properly.

As an official distributor of Habanos , we have to inform you that Puroexpress is our client and we are very satisfied

with them. All the boxes you buy from them are authentic habanos cuban cigars.

Best Regards,


Hope this helps!!

LuvISOM wrote at 2010-08-09 19:24:14
To add my own experience with Puroexpress, I started purchasing from them this year and have made several purchases of Cohiba, Montecristo, Partagas, RyJ, HdM and H. Upmann and all have come in proper packaging inside and out, with UV marked / micro printed warranty seal.  One box actually had a 2nd warranty seal over the first with the serial number on the 2nd starting with an X, as it properly should have for a Habanos SA inspected box.  All cigars also had proper bands.  But, most importantly, all purchases have had the appropriate taste for the brand / cigar from my recollection of cigars purchased / smoked at La Casa del Habano stores over the past 15 years.  There's no mistaking that Cuban twang!!

I was already confident in the authenticity of PE's cigars, but after my latest purchase I am 100% certain PE sells authentic Habanos.  It was my first purchase of a 2009 box which included the new warranty seal with hologram and barcode.  I checked the barcode number at the Habanos verification site and the results page stated it was a legal code and included a description of the cigar brand / type, box type and quantity which matched what I purchased of course.

For those trying to confirm barcodes, it must be the one that is a part of the new warranty seal itself, not a barcode that is in a different location or a different sticker on the box.  When looking at the seal, the hologram is to the right and the barcode is to the left.  When verifying at the habanos site, the number should be entered with no spaces, then select "Input Manual", then select the correct barcode style that matches the one on your seal.  Be sure to include the preceding 0 if your barcode has one.

Hope the above info helps.

Casual Observer wrote at 2010-08-17 22:02:27
Hello all, I too would like to add my experience with

I have smoked cuban cigars for abour 15 years.  Since I travel for my job internationally, I've purchased many of my cigars in Europe.  

Over the past year, I started purchased several boxes online from to test them against my cigars purchased in Europe.  Though the prices seem too good to be true, and the box of R&J wide churchills came with the new barcodes, they checked out fine at's authenticity checker.  By the way, it can be tricky to input the bar code numbers and the choosing of the correct format.

The R&J had the same look and taste as the R&J purchased at the La Casa Del Habano store in Hamburg reinforcing my concerns for PE being legit.

However with that being said, it bugs me that not all of the boxes I ordered came with the new bar code.  Where there should be a code, the numbers and format simply are not there.

When I questioned PE about the missing bar codes, I was sent an address for and phone number to call and was told to remove the bar code was common practice since habanos does not like distributors selling outside of their country.  This does not make sense to me.

Since I am new to online cigar purchasing, is it common practice to remove the new bar codes?

dannyfresco wrote at 2010-08-21 08:43:08
I just recived 2 boxes from puroexpress it took only  5days and I live all the way in Orange county California... I have never ordered from them before and was kinda unsure if I should or not till I read this page ... I ordered a partagas d 4 box, it had all standard tags including the new hologram with code looked up on and said box was real ... and they look and smell great very sexy box ....the other was a cool box with 5 boxes that had 3 r y j churchills tubos inside almost like something you would find at a liqure store ...the box and ceder lined tubos where very nice and complex looking... so I'm really pleased o by the way the cigars are nice and spongy not dry at all... I will for sure buy again.... hope this helps out

tose99 wrote at 2010-09-01 14:44:47
So "Brigade 2506",after all theproof that PuroExpress is indeed selling authentic smokes, I see you have resorted to telling us that we will no longer be able to import Cubans. Sad bro! Disappointed you have been wasting all that $ all these years on other more expensive sites? Get over it, move on, it will be OK! We all make mistakes. By the way folks, Smith Detection is a legit company but their primary focus is on Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear(CBRN) mitigation and detection devices. Yes, I am sure if they think there is a market for something they might try and invent it but in a time of war, they are focused on stopping terrorists, not Cuban cigars. The government just isn't going to spend that much $ on something that isn't that big a deal. Moral of the story, let's stop this insane trade embargo with Cuba. The people of Cuba are suffering as a result. As a country, we do business with far more "shady" governments that Cuba's. The "Bay of Pigs" mess is long forgotten. Let's move on and help the people of Cuba to have a better life! Let's join the world community and trade with Cuba. It will benefit all of us. Oh, except for those resentful politicians in South Florida.

dannyfresco wrote at 2010-09-13 19:54:59
I downloaded a free  app on my phone, its a product barcode reader, so I scand my ryj tubo witch has a barcode on the side ....  it did its web search.. bingo..... ryj Churchill tubo came up ...

Try it  

sman wrote at 2010-09-18 01:42:21
i just got my box of Cohiba Siglo 1 and i checked the bar code on the Habanos website and it came back as real.  the box looks like the boxes i have seen in LCDH.  So for me i will be ordering from them again and enjoying my cigars.

ziya wrote at 2010-09-30 08:46:54
Today i received my Montecristo 5 No:4.

Ý entered the stam code in to verify if it is fake..Ý saw that my order was fake.  

at7000 wrote at 2010-10-03 15:06:43
 Do any of you so-called "Cigar Geniuses" actually know what genuine Cuban Cigars actually taste like?

My taste-buds will shut this discussion down in 10 seconds flat, that is how much time they need to discern real Cuban tobacco taste from fakes. I have smoked thousands of Cuban cigars over the last ten years. (I average one per day, sometimes even more).

Puro-Express is 100% legit. First for you idiots-

No one, I repeat, no one, counterfeits such cigars as Por Larranaga. Quintero, etc. (99.9% of fakes are comprised of Cohiba, Monte Cristo, and Bolivar lines) And even at that, only the more popular/well-known vitolas from those three brands are counterfeited.

Now that we have established that there is no further need for discussion regarding legitimacy, I will move to my criticisms of the company-

They ordering updates are very lame. I get one confirmation email after an order, and that is it. No emails when they are shipped, packed etc...

Sure, you can check on their webpage, but with today's technology, there is no excuse for not sending an email when they ship. Also, they send out very young cigars. *Most vendors also do this!*  Everyone other than immature fools know that Cubans need aging for at least a year, form the box date on the bottom. Can't wait? The smoke funky tasting cigars or pay your $30 per stick at a CDH shop, but even CDH shops sell young cigars, so even that is no guarantee of buying "aged stock."

I'll add one more thing- I do not find PuroExpress prices ot be all that cheap. The prices are comparable to other online shops in duty-free zones, but they definitely are not "cheap." Some fools on here have asked why CDH shops are so much higher? Frankly, because CDH shops are a rip-off. It's like asking- "Why is JR Cigars much cheaper than my local Davidoffs shop?" It's apples and oranges. PuroExpress probaly does 90% of it's business via WWW. CDH shops probably do 10% of their business that way.

LuvISOM wrote at 2010-10-03 21:13:36
ziya - What is a Montecristo 5 No 4?  Do you mean you purchased a 5 pack of Montecristo No 4?  If so, the barcode on all carton 5 packs & 3 packs is actually a point of sale barcode, not a warranty seal barcode, which is why it would not show as real when verifying at the Habanos website.

The new warranty seal with barcode is only on boxes of 10+ starting in 2009 on.  It must be the one that is a part of the new warranty seal itself, not a barcode that is in a different location or a different sticker on the box. When looking at the seal, the hologram is to the right and the barcode is to the left. When verifying at the Habanos site, the number should be entered with no spaces, then select "Input Manual", then select the correct barcode style that matches the one on your seal. Be sure to include the preceding 0 if your barcode has one.

Please clarify your purchase if you could.  

LuvISOM wrote at 2010-10-05 05:56:50
As a vendor, I have had very good service from Puroexpress to date.  I receive an email upon placing each order, and receive a second email upon shipment for all but 2 orders.  I have noticed that regardless of the day of the week my purchases are placed online, they tend to ship on either Thursday or Friday the same week.  All my shipments have arrived in my mailbox in 4 to 6 days from the date of shipment, which is probably due to my location near the airport they must be coming through.  Quite a few orders shipped on a Thursday and were in my mailbox the following Monday – Yay.

All shipments have been correct and in excellent condition.  The standard packing has worked for me due to the short shipping time.  I’ve also had luck with box codes as well.  I only received one fairly young box dated ENE10 [Jan 2010] with most other boxes varying just over a year or so, and one box exactly 2 years old to the month I received it, which was cool.  It even had some light plume on the cigars so I know they were cared for well in the warehouse-humidor.  I have been a happy camper since finding Puroexpress, and no I don’t know or work for them.

prezbob wrote at 2010-10-06 17:27:03
I'M ordering from PuruExpress, as a mater of fact I'm waiting one shipment now, I ordered a HumiPack to help with the shipping. There prices are good, true it;s a duty free zone, you must realize that Cuban cigars that may sell for 50 dollars a box or a 100 dollars if you like once they leave Cuba the price on the worse Cuban will cost up to four to ten times as much. I have paid top dollar for Cubans because they are not legit in the USA, I have also gotten burned don't buy anything from Costa Rica!

I've bought from Cuban Cigars .com and Top Cubans .com no problem except they mark up their cigars very high, these are Swiss Companies, stay away from PuroSwiss they really suck.

PuroExpress seems very professional I ordered a Seven Hundred dollar worth of Cubans and they wouldn't let me do it, they had me brake my order up, that sounds pretty reputable to me, they could have just charged my card and shipped them, but they didn't.

I'll let you see when I get my first shipment what they are like.  

JB wrote at 2010-10-28 13:50:23
I just received a box of Ramon Allones Specially Selected that were on sale at PuroExpress.  The reason I ordered these is because I have a few of the same cigars from a trip to the UK (very reputable tobaconnist in Manchester) and from LCDH Hamburg.  The box arrived with the Habanos seal broken, but an intact Cuban seal.  Upon further examination, the seal was applied over an existing, broken seal and applied backwards.  The cigars themselves have no flavor and have bands that easily fall off.  Please do not do business with these people as they are clearly shipping fake Cuban cigars.  Anyone that vehemently defends PuroExpress is either completely ignorant of how a Cuban cigar should look and taste or, more likely, an employee of PuroExpress.

7.62 x 39mm wrote at 2010-11-05 15:36:56
PE is a legit dealer. Those of you that doubt their legitamacy have no idea what true Cuban cigars are about. Every box I have received from them have always had the seals, holograms and branding (not stamping) on the back. I was referred to them by friends that have seen their operation first hand. It is easy to doubt them because they are online but that can be said with anyone. If you don't believe they are legit then don't order from them. Plain and simple. Only bad thing about PE is that sometimes the cigars are a tad on the dry side but that is easily fixed with a few days in the humidor.  

bluecat wrote at 2010-11-07 14:43:52
First off, at7000 has the best post IMO. Overall I would also say the arguments presented in this forum for PE being legit are much more well founded than those against. I am biased however as I am a regular PE client and as a result of this discussion I checked all boxes from PE and found 1 to contain the much mentioned bar code from the Holograph stamp.  I checked is with and it came back as legitimate and the description matched what I purchased which was the Montecristo Grand Edmundo LE 2010.  

I was skeptical at first but after smoking Cubans from retailers from England who are well know, and comparing those from PE I no longer have any doubts.

bluecat wrote at 2010-11-08 14:57:15
To JB.  I too just orders a box of RASS. All the bands snug. I will agree that the printing looks a bit sloppy.  Look around and you can find evidence that some Cuban bands are less than perfect.  2 seals on the box were present exactly as expected and shown on, however the holograph seal usually over the larger warranty seal was missing. The 2 on the box were both unbroken. The Box code is LRE ABR09.

The cigars have that earthy twang that is characteristic of Cubans.  The ash stays on for about 1 inch indicating long leaf filler. They do seem green or immature and I'm saving some for 6 months to a year later to see how they taste after resting a bit.

It is evident to me that PE is shipping very young cigars.  The last shipment I received, Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Especial have a Sep 09 date on them. That is why the taste is not at the full maturity one expects from a fully aged Cuban.

The Cubans are also known for inconstancies. Again the Montecristo Grand Edmundo's I ordered from PE this year were verified by the website.

In sum there are possibilities other than the 2 you state concerning the authenticity of these cigars. I do not work for PE and I have done a fair amount of research on this subject, including taste testing from cigars bought from reputable shops in the UK.  

The considerable evidence/arguments pro PE presented on this forum has not been credibly refuted and that added with my own experiences allows me to conclude quite comfortably that IMO PE is not selling fake Cubans.

Having said all that, it makes no differience to me where folks get their smokes. I use topcubans and puroswiss as well. Puroswiss sends out email confirmations when the order ships and they have similar prices to PE. topcubans is more expensive but I have had positive experiences from them as well.

On the other hand, if I'm smoking fake cubans from PE then they have somehow been able to clone them molecule by molecule and I am fine with that.  

cigarsmoker wrote at 2010-11-21 19:06:04
Puroexpress does sell fakes. A box of Cohiba Siglo I was very well done, but the bands were not exact. They are fake. All you noobs order from them and think they are real! They are just very good fakes. Plain and simple. If you want real CCs, just get them from a LCDH. Those of you trying to cut corners and being cheap probably shouldn't be smoking cigars b/c you can't afford the real ones!!!

The cohiba siglo is that i ordered btw are probably cuban tobacco, but once again they are fake. I think all these fakes having cuban tobacco have to do with corruption in cuba, namely the corruption charges against officials at Habanos.

CohibaLou wrote at 2010-11-29 00:43:13
I had my reservations about PE authenticity also but I am now fully convinced that they are NOT fakes.

With the boxes' laser labels intact I have checked each box number with Habanos S A and EVERY BOX I received has been certified as authentic.

I guess there will always be doubters out there but I now purchase from PE with confidence.  

tg wrote at 2010-11-30 16:34:21
PE was recommended to me by someone I trust, so I went ahead and placed an order for some Cohiba Robustos.  We'll see.

For what it's worth, the prices are comparable to those I used to pay in Abu Dhabi Duty Free.  Oddly, prices of cigars in London's duty free zones were about the same as those in town.

Legitimacy or lack thereof aside, it seems to me that if the quality is good, and the price is good, there shouldn't be a problem, though I may be missing something.

I wonder if there are any sites that are "officially" legitimate.

justgot back from cuba wrote at 2010-12-02 21:07:07
I just got back from Cuba and while there i visited several cigar stores and all of them are government owned and the prices are set by the government and are the same everywhere i went, and the prices on this site are much cheaper so my question is how can you sell something for less then you can buy it.

tg wrote at 2010-12-04 19:21:52
I emailed Habanos asking them if any online outfits were authorized to sell their cigars.  Here is their reply:

Dear Sir.:

Kindly note that Corporación Habanos, S.A. does not commercialize the Habanos via Internet. Likewise, our network of exclusive distributors is not allowed to commercialize the Cuban cigar products on line.

Kindly note that there is no official web site where Corporación Habanos, S.A. sells its products on line. Hence, we can not ascertain the authenticity of your on line purchases.

Best regards,

Damarys Maldonado de la Torre

Dirección de  Marketing Estratégico

Corporación Habanos S.A.

Avenida 3ra no. 2006, entre 20 y 22,

Miramar, Playa, Ciudad de La Habana

Telef: +537 204 0443 ext 114

LuvISOM wrote at 2010-12-15 22:29:18
Just received another box from PE with the new warranty seal & barcode.  Checked it at and sure enough it was verified as authentic yet again.  I have another box en route; hopefully it will have the new warranty seal & barcode as well.  Don’t listen to the naysayers and buy from PE with confidence.

HB wrote at 2010-12-21 18:19:54
Disclosure: I have not made any purchases from PE. The information contained within the email response from Habanos is true. However, that does not automatically mean that online retailers do not supply authentic Habanos products. As long as a retailer has procured their stock from one of the Habanos geographically authorized distributors, the customer has a reasonable assurance that the cigars they have purchased are authentic. Coupled with all of the ways that Habanos products can be positively verified, it should be very easy to determine if PE is supplying unauthorized cigars.

daviss wrote at 2010-12-21 19:00:48
Evil Custom Agents!!! Not a Merry Xmas for many!!!

Scroll down to the video “Cuban Cigar Contraband”  

LuvISOM wrote at 2010-12-21 23:01:29
Yup, just as expected, my other shipment came in and also had the new warranty seal & barcode, which was also verified as authentic by Habanos.  I think over the course of 2011, as inventory in the distribution channels moves, we will see that most boxes sold will have the new warranty seal & barcode.  This will allow any folks out there with any remaining doubt to rest assured that PE sells authentic Habanos.  I for one have no doubts whatsoever.  Happy smoking :o)

Travis wrote at 2010-12-27 18:49:27
I have been ordering from PE for several years now and have yet to be disappointing.  They are they real deal verifiable with barcode online at habanos.  The other shops can't guarantee delivery, unlike PE.  I lost one to the Chicago Massacre and PE shipped me a replacement at no cost.  I have lived abroad and know the difference between a fake and real deal.  They are defiantly the real McCoy.  I wonder if the naysayers are other companies that can't guarantee delivery?  Don't believe me though, order a box of cheaper cigars like Rafael Gonzales and taste the difference that only a true habano can deliver.  

Mendel wrote at 2011-01-03 18:10:02
I have been ordering fro puroexpress for some time, their prices are great and the cigars are 100% genuine and authentic. I have been smoking exclusively cubans for 25 years.

potus wrote at 2011-01-04 19:53:26
I have also been a very satisfied customer of PE over the past 2 years.  I even took the same approach TG took with an email to inquire about their distributorship in the Canary Islands and was quite pleased when the return email verified Bjorck Brothers as a legitimate supplier.  I emailed Sotabac, which has been done before on this site so I will not go into it again.

HOWEVER, I placed two orders in early November and have yet to receive either of them.  At first I thought it was a delay in regards to the holidays (they always mention that, but all of my past orders have been received within 10 days).  Then I saw the articles regarding the confiscations of Cuban Cigars and I got nervous.  I have since been in contact with PE and they have offered to reship or refund.  I am very pleased with their service and attention, so I asked for the reshipment.  It will be curious to see if others start running into this problem.

timoto wrote at 2011-01-31 03:51:32
Taste. This is the true indicator of things, and isn't that why we smoke cigars to begin with? There are lots of good cigars made in many countries, including Cuba, Nicaragua, etc. I smoke a cigar for the taste and pleasure of it, NOT so that I can tell my friends about the bands, the seals, the box, etc etc etc. If you don't like it don't order it! I have been very satisfied with PE for over 5 years at this point, and I will continue to enjoy their cigars for their taste, NOT their bands, boxes, seals etc etc etc. If you like it smoke it! wrote at 2011-02-20 14:29:19
If puro express was selling fakes, they would not be out of stock on highly sought after cigars such as cohiba behike  bhk52.  All legit suppliers cannot get these cigars and many others in stock right now.  That leaves a great window open for a fake supplier to simply make more fakes and selling these cigars that legit sellers don't have. It makes no sense that a retailer of fakes would not be selling such cigars. I have purchased from them and the ones I have received have been legit or incredibly great fakes. The cost of obtaining good non-Cuban cigars in Europe and then dressing them up as cubans that look legitimate would be greater than the cost of simply obtaining the real deal. They are real.  

cohibacal wrote at 2011-02-25 18:24:36
The BHK 52 ,Cuaba salomones and R&J short churchills all came with Habanos codes and all checked out as legit. PE is a great shop and always comes thru no matter what. Check out there (15) count Vegas DA , simply delicious and from 2004 to boot!

Tlyuda13 wrote at 2011-02-28 19:09:28
I received my first ever order from PURO EXPRESS. Ordered on 2-23, shipped on 2-24 delivered 2-28. Cigars were meticulously packed for shipping. Being new and a little nervous, I immediately checked the barcode at HABANOS website. 100% AUTHENTIC. I couldn't be happier with this company.  

Sabri AKINCI wrote at 2011-03-12 19:06:07
I was ordering from and as the prices are ok with me. After reading your comments about these websites. I did a little search at and contacted with and as it comes at that these are the official dealers with habanos s.a.

Intertabak replied my question about which websites they are dealing with as and and sotabac replied me as is an official dealer of them.

But i'm smoking cubanlous' Hoyo de dieux and bestswisscigars' short churchills and they absolutely taste genuine (Even i checked at their barcodes and they apperead as genuine). So it's up to you which website to order online.

By the way, cubanlous' mailing period is fast but i can't tell the same for  

ZGuy805 wrote at 2011-03-15 14:56:19
I have ordered from Puro and I am 100% sure these are the real deal.  I have verified every box by serial number and everyone has been authenticated.  Even the shipping from them is fast.   I highly recommend to anyone looking for the real deal at an affordable price.  

CigarNight wrote at 2011-04-13 04:05:02
For Cigar Dog,

I believe you in re: to confirmation from Sotobac, but the concern I have is that Sotobac in not listed on the Habanos website as an authorized dealer for them. I'm still on the fence, so I emailed Habanos customer service to see if Sotobac is an authorized dealer for them. I'll update with their response.  

Vortigan wrote at 2011-04-19 15:44:21
Well what interesting reading this has all been.I was referred to PE in the last few days by a fellow smoker of Cubans in The US.I ordered a box of Monte #2 this morning and will be eagerly awaiting it's arrival over the next few days.Given the majority of the posts here I am pretty confident that I'll be getting the real deal and a big thank you to all of you that have posted various advice such as checking out the bar codes at the Habanos SA site,I'd previously been unaware of being able to do this.So anywhere,he's hoping :-))

Vortigan wrote at 2011-04-19 22:10:09
Just for those of you that are convinced that PE is selling cigars for less than the cost in Cuba I have just this minute seen an up to date (as of 16th April) price list for Cuba and,for example,The Monte #2 is selling at $7.60 a stick and so therefore pretty much working out at $190 a box.PE sells them at $224.....Just saying.

SirSmokesAlot wrote at 2011-04-21 06:12:42
Some of you may want to pony up the 2 extra bucks for vacuum sealed delivery. And cigars are not indestructible. If you let them dry out too long, part of the tobacco juices will evaporate that cannot be replaced by water. Puro Express is legit, just pay for vacuum sealed delivery and immediately put them in a humidor for at least 2 weeks. And don't act surprised if you don't do this and try to smoke a dried out cigar that just shipped at 30,000 ft and 40 degrees F on a cargo plane.

goose21 wrote at 2011-04-24 22:01:30
SO I bought a box of H Upmann mag 50's form the site. I am honestly not sure if they are real or not, based on the taste they are worth the price I paid for them either way.

The one thing that is strange to me is the ring is supposed to be 50. But they are way bigger than that, closer to 55. Is there an explanation for this? It seems strange to me, I have read that measuring the sticks is an easy check for counterfeits but I don't really know.. Everything else checks out as far as I can tell, except the wrappers aren't in awesome shape.

cigarusa1 wrote at 2011-04-26 13:32:41
Goose21... I just purchased a box of H Upmann mag 50's also. The cigars were very over humidified and i had to dry them out a bit in an empty humidor then place them in my reg humi. They are really good now. Email me at  and send me some pics of the cigars and box you got and we can compair.  

CigarNight wrote at 2011-04-27 03:56:12
Puroexpress is fake. I placed an order with them, and received my 5 vegas robaina famosos, 5 cohiba exquisitos and 5 cohiba siglo III's. The famosos looked great but tasted horrible when I lit one up so I thought I would attribute that to them just needing time to age in my humidor. Then when I compared the yellow band on the cohibas to a legit single cohiba I purchased in my local cigar store the colors were off. Then I looked hard at the lettering on the labels and found they were not the same either. They are definitely fake, save your money and buy them from a legit place. I am not recommending any online sites after this experience, I would just recommend going to Cuba, purchase the real deal and not worry about it. Lesson learned for me.  

goodcigars wrote at 2011-05-04 06:34:02
My Experience with Puro Express was Great, but will probally purchase from them one more time to compare. the great key in winning the game of getting authentic Cuban Cigars is for you to just buy on box, and then find another retialer, being a person studying Business, and trying for a business major.  I have found that the most realistic way for a company to get second orders expecially when it comes to fakes, is to ship authentic Cigars on the first order, that pleases you and you go for the second and then they ship you the fakes.

I am not completly sure Puro is like this or not. but the cigars I've recieved are Authentic.

I will report again when I make my second order and see if they are consistent.  

Bulldogz wrote at 2011-05-04 12:50:21
Just so I understand CigarNight, you are comparing a Cohiba bought online to one you found in your "local cigar store"? So this store is in Cuba then, or somewhere that is legally able to sell Cuban cigars, right? Wait...that doesn't make sense, because if it was true then you wouldn't be ordering them online....ugh. The reason I am skeptical is because I've ORDERED through my local shop, and also found a fake somehow mixed in with real ones. The only way to really know if they are legit is buying sealed boxes and verifying the numbers. My shop used to keep singles and boxes out back for loyal customers and after a change in ownership made them special order box orders only, and I'd have to wait anywhere from 3-6 weeks.

My first order just came last night, bubble-wrapped, vacuum-sealed and legit #s and stamps...SEALED. Had the piece of tissue paper and Habanos card, just like every other box I've ordered, so I have no reason to believe that they aren't real, but letting them cook in my humi for awhile.  

9az00 wrote at 2011-06-12 07:21:46
Hello all,

This thread has provided me with some decent information, however, it seems the best way to find answers is to do the research yourself.  I have laid out simple instructions (which I have followed) to clear up this issue:

1.  Go to the Habanos website ( or simply google "habanos" and it should be the first link

2.  I am assuming you are an adult if you are reading this, so enter the site

3.  Click on the "distributors" tab

4.  Click Dealers

5.  Click "Europe" at the bottom of the page

6.  The second listed distributor should be Sotobac - which is the distributor for The Canary Islands (where Puro Express is located)

7.  Copy the email address (

8.  Paste the email address into a new message on your email

9.  Ask Sotobac to verify Puro Express as an official Habanos retailer

10. Wait for response!!

I followed the above instructions with success.  It took Sotabac a little while to respond, but they did, with the answer I was hoping for:

"We confirm you that Puro express is our client. The Habanos Cigars are


Best regards.


Now English is not their primary language, but I got a valid answer.

As for the inconsistencies in the wrapper color, taste, or smell: plants change.  What, you think its always perfect for tobacco in Cuba?  I'm sure the blenders try very hard to maintain consistency, but mother nature changes.  Plus, you are dealing with primarily a government run industry.

One more thing:  I have pondered that perhaps all the sites are in cahoots to scam us Americans seeking the forbidden fruit.  Seems like a lot of work.  And it is to my to understanding that Cuba does not take kindly to counterfeit Cuban goods.  Remember, Cuba is a relatively poor country.  How would you feel if you put your heart and soul into the best product possible only to find someone selling a replica for half the cost. And the replica sucks no less!!

End rant...  

Cuttino wrote at 2011-06-12 12:04:16
This is the answer that you should all know. The company supplies both fakes and real cuban smokes. All of us in the industry know that the amount of cubans that enter the market and distributed through out the world is extremely limited. When companies run short and have supplied their best customers and regular buyers, they ship inferior product to the remaining clients who want the product. This applies to every product in the world. Not just tabacco. live with it.  

bob wrote at 2011-06-15 01:40:37

Dan wrote at 2011-06-29 00:00:07
I also agree that they sell fake and real cigars. I've ordered a box of Siglo I that were very fake but could probably fool the average person. The 5 packs and tubos I've ordered are real and that's why they are a lot for expensive per cigar than when you buy a box. Also, they sell the BHK for the same price as an LCDH, so please explain that since they are supposed to be duty free. The reason is, they sell fakes except for tubos, packs, and high-end cigars! It amazes me how many idiots come on here and defend PE....the only logical conclusion is that they are only buying high end products from them, work for the company, or are dumb ignorant Americans who have never tried a real cuban cigar in their life....and have been duped for so long that they have no other choice than defend them...or else what, they've been smoking fake cuban cigars for the past 5-10 years.  

BOB wrote at 2011-07-05 17:22:01

stinkdyr wrote at 2011-07-18 15:04:04
It seems to me that plenty of folks are getting way too worked up about whether their cigars are real or fake.  You could just order and smoke cigars that you enjoy, regardless of origin.  An alternative idea is to only order small petit coronas of lesser cuban labels that are MUCH less likely to be worth anyone's time to counterfeit.  Cohiba and Monte would be the obvious choices to fake.  Try some lesser known might even like them better.

Tskull wrote at 2011-07-19 00:59:57
I recently ordered from them while living in Canada and they changed their policy in mid order.  Their FAQ states

"PLEASE NOTE: overseas orders may incur customs, tariffs, duties, value added tax (VAT) and/or other fees imposed by local authorities. We are not responsible for these fees, they are not included in your shipping charges. These fees are YOUR responsibility. If you refuse the shipment, we will subtract from your refund any fees and additional shipping charges that we incur. If you have any queries about additional customs, tariffs, or duties etc., please contact your local customs office prior to placing your order."

While this is their stated policy, it is not their practiced policy.  I bought the cigars with a Canadian shipping address and they made me check a box that said i have to accept the cigars regardless.  Then I made the purchase and they sent me an email requiring me to verify AGAIN that I would accept the cigars.  Then the CSR Tracy told me that there was less chance of duty if the shipment went to the US.  I said but there's an embargo and she said it didn't matter, they would ship there and the cigars are getting through, so I asked her to change my order to US address where i would pick them up and she refused...two hours after my order was placed.  Then I placed a second order using my US address and they told me it would not be shipped until i confirmed receipt of the first order, so I asked her to change the address of the first order to the same as the second one or cancel them both, and she then cancelled the she couldn't change the address but she could cancel it?  Very bad customer service if you have any type of issue to deal with.

And now of course they have blocked me somehow.  Even with a different email address and IP address I can't get past the purchase page.  Weird since I would like to try ordering to the US.  Their prices are lower than the price in Havana and that's including shipping, so I can't figure out how they do it.  They are cheaper by about 30% than any other swiss operation that I've found so far, so I'm pissed at them for being less than forthright and also for not shipping my cigars.  I feel they created their own problem by not being open though.  Anyway, they do guarantee their stuff, so if you can get the product, they should stand behind it.  There's certainly no way that any counterfeiter is capable of producing all the brands and models they offer, so that fact alone indicates legitimacy IMHO.



luka wrote at 2011-07-22 00:18:52

stay away from this website,they sell fakes.don’t waste your money!!!i bought partagas P2,label is different taste bland.Juan lopez n2 are a joke, when lighted the cigar i could not see the red ring shape of the binder, no taste of cuban at all.Vegas robaina famoso again another rip off, it just tasted horrible. In all the boxes there was a fake cuban seal with no serial number.i am soo upset

cohibamancal wrote at 2011-08-01 22:27:35
Many of my boxes have arrived with serial number intact and when I checked it on Habanos web site it checked out, nuff said .....if ya want to hate go hate elsewhere or pay double elsewhere because PE has real deal with great prices. When they have there mega sale's they just cant be beat ! Reqular prices are very competitive with other online vendors! They also take care of customers when shipments dont arrive for whatever reason. Mine got lost and PE reshipped with no fee whatsoever.

Daviss wrote at 2011-08-03 16:32:20
Well wait until you recieve a shipment with the barcode cut off and the tell you "we dont do it, the distributors do" when in fact that cannot be the case. They are simply grey market cigars obtained illegally.  Everything written about them makes sense, they sell reals, fakes and Grey Market cigars.  Is it worth paying 10% more from someone else knowing 100% they are legit with no questions asked??  I never have piece of mind with these people..

CCman wrote at 2011-08-04 16:21:02
I have recieved many boxes from PE, very young cigars for most part, but best pricing on those boxes at that time, as I was working to build my collection. Some to let sit a few years before trying and some others , here are a few I have smoked from PE: coro, bbf, jl#2, brc, connie 1s, siglo 4s, siglo 6, p2s, d4s, dip4s, reyes, 898s, shorts, rass. ECT.ECT. I was sent one very poor box of rass, and they sent a replacement box, with a 5ver of siglo 1 for free! All I told them was I don't like this box. I have been smoking cubans for over 15 years. ALL LEGIT, never once a suspect from them. I do not use this vendor exclusively, but have a top 2 and a few more I have used for certain sticks or specials. I hate it when people talk and give supposed facts about fakes from vendors when they have no idea of what is real or not, only taste them right off the truck, or jump to conclusions before researching the facts!! These do come from Cuba after all and although quality overall is improved, there can and always has been differences in packaging Ie. box dividers, wrapper colors, quality ect. Then just say there fakes. Do your research before you blacklist a vendor. Yes there are sites that sell fakes, but if you look at forums on different cigar communities, you will see this is not one of them. Nobody wants to get burned, I understand, but it takes some time to figure out the facts and build trusted relationships with vendors. Too much desire for instant gratification in my opinion. Start with small orders, go to forums, read, and find the guides to building trusted relationships with vendors. It is all there for free. Most of all, Slow down, Enjoy your smokes and remember. You have to age them youngins!!!

BOB wrote at 2011-08-09 00:22:19


MC wrote at 2011-09-19 21:55:38
Everyone seems to think that cuban cigars are this perfect specimen of consistancy in both taste and appearence. While I love them and order from many various vendors, I will say I am and always will be suspicious that some of the non packs that I order (boxes) are fake as they seem to smoke and appear less consistant than packs of 3 that I order. I do know that cubans are not by any means the end all be all of the perfectly constructed and tasting cigar. They have issues even more pronounced than most high end non-cubans. Bottom line is if you like em and think they are real then keep buying. Who gives a rats a## what anyone else thinks.  

youngfool wrote at 2011-11-17 19:10:40
I'm just astounded this has gone so long, as I stumbled on this thread back in 2009.  Wow!  People got issues.  Life's too short.  Smoke'm if ya got'em.  Smoked a boatload of the finest since then, Cuban and non.  From Pepin's my father, Oliva V, Aurora's Cien Anos, to the finest Cubans by Cohiba, Bolivar, Partagas, and perhaps my personal favorite, Por Larranaga.  The taste and aroma difference is stark between Cuban and non Cuban tobacco.  One can either recognize it or not.  Some Cuban cigars are not special (not so good), but they still taste like Cuban tobacco.  People can quibble about packaging, wrappers, company policy or bad service. In the end, if you can't taste the difference immediately, you should buy cigars somewhere else. Puroexpress has been very very good to me.

CCman wrote at 2011-11-30 00:44:47
BOB, Thanks for the offer, but I already have thousands of legit cuban cigars in my collection. If you bought fakes, then I wouldn't want them anyhow. Youngfool, I also have been treated very well by puroexpress. CCMan..

Grey wrote at 2012-02-08 12:16:05
As a rule, I smoke Montecristo No. 2. In my personal opinion, they are the best cigars of all time. Looking for them, I stumbled on They had quite low prices and claimed that they had the real deal as they were “located in a duty free zone”. This is what attracted me. I was a little confused because they don’t tell you how much shipping will cost and you will know it for sure only at the checkout (and it can take up to 21 days!).

I was also surprised that they ask you to pay separately for vacuum sealed packaging and Humidipaks. Until I entered my e-mail and card details, I couldn’t find out the shipping cost. This means that if the shipping cost was too much for me and I didn’t wish to complete the order, they would still have my card details. And what if they are scammers?

Though I was a little bugged by this, I decided to make the purchase anyway. My cigars did arrive, but in 14 business days. It’s too much, in my opinion. I never paid for extra packaging and the parcel arrived damaged…badly. To tell you the truth, I didn’t know that cigars could be packed and handled that way.

Other stores from which I ordered before shipped my cigars vacuum sealed, with no questions asked. Moreover, shipping was free. When I complained about this to their customer service, they said that I should have chosen a pricier shipping option. With other sites, I was shipped vacuum sealed cigars with no extra charges, that’s why I thought that it was standard shipping.

And what’s worst of all, my Montecristos were fake. I have smoked enough Montecristos in my life to know that for a fact. I don’t write reviews very often, but I felt that I should post it to warn others.

GM wrote at 2012-02-08 14:31:17
As a rule, I smoke Montecristo No. 2. In my personal opinion, they are the best cigars of all time. Looking for them, I stumbled on They had quite low prices and claimed that they had the real deal as they were “located in a duty free zone”. This is what attracted me. I was a little confused because they don’t tell you how much shipping will cost and you will know it for sure only at the checkout (and it can take up to 21 days!).

I was also surprised that they ask you to pay separately for vacuum sealed packaging and Humidipaks. Until I entered my e-mail and card details, I couldn’t find out the shipping cost. This means that if the shipping cost was too much for me and I didn’t wish to complete the order, they would still have my card details. And what if they are scammers?

Though I was a little bugged by this, I decided to make the purchase anyway. My cigars did arrive, but in 14 business days. It’s too much, in my opinion. I never paid for extra packaging and the parcel arrived damaged…badly. To tell you the truth, I didn’t know that cigars could be packed and handled that way.

Other stores from which I ordered before shipped my cigars vacuum sealed, with no questions asked. Moreover, shipping was free. When I complained about this to their customer service, they said that I should have chosen a pricier shipping option. With other sites, I was shipped vacuum sealed cigars with no extra charges, that’s why I thought that it was standard shipping.

And what’s worst of all, my Montecristos were fake. I have smoked enough Montecristos in my life to know that for a fact. I don’t write reviews very often, but I felt that I should post it to warn others.

romeo bolivar wrote at 2012-02-11 10:17:32
have ordered 7 boxes so far this year. 3 days delivery everytime. All items have been perfect and 100% correct. Lovely smell and construction. Very young and will need a bit of time.Barcodes have been missing on some boxes, grey imports, not a problem to me. Negatives -  a lot of items out of stock, so stop buying and let me order some more.When they get new stock, it is gone in a day, very popular retailer. Good emails on ordering, shipping and payment etc. Will continue to use company as No1 cuban retailer.I

JP wrote at 2012-02-14 18:03:38
Purexpress used to be located in canary islands duty free zone. Now it is located in Switzerland. Any comments?

cellslave wrote at 2012-03-05 02:59:44
With the comments about the boxes, bar codes, etc being legit....and the comments that some cigars tasted authentic, and some didn' it possible they replace SOME of the Authentic cigars with fakes....and send them in the authentic boxes?

CubanLover wrote at 2012-03-11 23:32:47
I have ordered from Puro for several years.  This summer something seemed to change, no longer owned by Bjork Brothers and different customer service.  I have ordered close to 100 boxes and spent thousands with them.  In November 2011 I ordered a second box of their custom "Bespokes" because I enjoyed the first box so much.  This box had poor construction, bad draw, burn issues and an ammonia smell and taste.  I sent an email asking if they would give me a discount on the next box.  Not only would "Vicky" not even consider a discount, she refused to honor their so called "100% Satisfaction Guarantee".  She claimed my opinion was subjective and 100% does not cover subjective opinion.  I was shocked given what a reliable customer I have been.  After a couple of exchanges I gave up.  

I decided to give them one more try this month only to find that because I complained to them, my account was now blocked and they would not return my emails.  I asked around and found out that over the past several months a number of my cuban loving friends have had the same experience with problem cigars and then being blocked.

There are a number of good on-line retailers you can trust.  I would RUN away from Puro.  Since they changed management things have gone downhill and customer service no longer exists.  I was shocked to hear from friends how many boxes have recently  arrived very late, in poor condition, suspect boxes mixed with more likely legit boxes, etc.  None of this had happened with Puro in the past.  Too bad because they used to be one of the most reliable with great prices.  

Bottom line...was good, now untrustworthy, stay away.

Vince wrote at 2012-04-05 19:17:58
Puroexpress = the real deal, always have been. Any/all "fake" talk is brought to you by competitors and/or fools.

youngfool wrote at 2012-04-16 20:54:57
Puroexpress has always shipped from a bonded warehouse in Geneva, even when officially doing business from duty free zone of Gran Canaria.  Now it appears they simply do business from Geneva.  I've heard some of their stuff is "grey market" and most purchased at auction, but all legit havanos.  One thing I like about getting boxes without age (which is often peoples complaint with puro) is that after a couple of years, I know how they've been taken care of-  ;o)

Jeff wrote at 2012-04-18 02:59:39
How much duty would i be looking at for say $200 purchase from PE coming to canada? I actually just got in from cuba today and i brought back two boxes of  10 Montecristo #5's purhased for 45cuc each box. Due to no DEBIT in cuba i couldnt bring more back. I purchased them from the hotel gift shop and i tried verifying them via the habanos check and they dont seem to come up. Anyway back to the point im looking at getting a 25 box of #5's or #4's to compare to these. Any info on duty once they hit canada would be great.

charles wrote at 2012-06-28 18:39:04
I will like to add that in one of my travels,,I found a legit online store, I was in Panama, delivering a conference and one of the members approached to me because I gave an example with a habano I had on my pocket for later burning, he showed me his store and his plans to open a online store to expand business,, I have 5 purchases made,,,and so far,,,the store is working great and they are keeping their promise to sell only original products.

luis wrote at 2012-07-02 00:41:26
Hi charles, are you talking about habanos place ? I ordered from them and my friend told me the cigars are the real deal, they ship from Panama via DHL. I have to say, they kept me post it the entire process, the cigars arrived in perfect conditions.

Kudos to them!!

Jester wrote at 2012-07-15 19:36:03
Hi Charles. Id like to talk with you further on this new online store. Can you email me?  

prepdrum wrote at 2012-07-31 01:38:22
Puro Express sells bad cigars. Whether they're Cuban, Dominican, Nicaraguan, Mexican, or something else, it doesn't really matter when they taste as bad as theirs do. All you have to do is hold them side-by-side with a known genuine Cuban from a state store or other reputable dealer and the difference is obvious.

wadayawant wrote at 2012-10-12 17:03:26
First time order with them, and if these are fakes then they are beautiful fakes. I got 2o packs of 5 Monte #4's and Cohiba Siglo II,both packaged in paper boxes with seals intact, & the Cohiba's even have individual boxes in side the outer box. This is my first time ordering with them, but very pleased and super fast delivery via Airmail from Swiss Post.

prepdrum wrote at 2012-10-20 13:00:35
The delivery is fast, that is true. But that doesn't make up for the poor quality of the cigars. I have been getting genuine Cubans shipped from Mexico from a La Casa del Habano shop and they arrive just as quickly and taste great after only a couple days in my humidor. They cost a couple dollars more than these Swiss websites but none of these sites has convinced me that their stuff is real. If a guy on the streets of NYC sells you a Rolex (or even a website sells one) for a price that is too good to be true, do you buy it? Cuban cigars are one of the five most counterfeited products in the world and greater than 90% of those making it into the US are fake, so if the deal seems too good to be true, it is.  

The Peacemaker wrote at 2012-11-15 21:39:59
SO many "experts", so little knowledge.  Been smoking exclusively Cuban cigars since 1998.  Have purchased in LCDH's all over the world, JJ Fox in London, Jimmy Ng's shop in Singapore, directly from the Partagas & RyJ factory shops in Havana, etc.  Puro Express has the same quality and authenticity of cigars as any of the other places that I've mentioned.  The main difference is that they tend to only sell "young" cigars...i.e., the cigars don't have nearly as much age as most of the cigars in the shops I've mentioned above.  If you know that going in, and know what to expect from "fresh", un-aged Cuban cigars, then you wouldn't question this place.  I only order stuff from them that I plan on letting it sit for at least a year or two.  SO much speculation and negative-thinking on this thread from people who probably have little to no experience with authentic Cuban cigars.  They go over every tiny detail with a fine-tooth comb looking for ANYTHING in order to be able to scream, "Fake!"...almost as if they WANT the cigars to be fake.  Can't blame them...I was the same way when I was new to Cuban cigars...the only difference is that I didn't get on the internet and express my opinions to the world, because I had enough sense to realize that I simply didn't know enough to do that, and that it would be irresponsible.  If someone even goes into an LCDH expecting to see fakes, that's what they're going to see in their mind.  Oh, and love the spamming by the owners of the infamous fake site in Panama.  Wanna know what a counterfeit tastes like?  Order from them.  Actually, order from anyone you want.  If you think Puro Express sells fakes, don't buy from them.  Their loyal customers will gladly continue to support them and stick up for them when the inexperienced know-it-alls spew their nonsense.  

lightherup wrote at 2013-01-07 21:52:13
Its certainly been very interesting to see how this tread has developed over the years, but all I can do is re-iterate my original answer which is now over three years old!

lightherup wrote at 2009-11-13

Can't fault Puroexpress. I suspect that some smokers may not have given the proper love to their 'Puros' once they arrived from this reseller.

At least a month or two - more if possible - of careful humidor love and you'll see AND taste that these are indeed the genuine article.

Their prices tend to be the same as all the state-run 'Estancos' in Spain where I buy most of my cigars - they are all sold at Spanish Government fixed prices and so it is easy for me personally to compare like for like.

No doubt U.S. Law will have to rejoin reality eventually, but until then all us here in Europe patiently await you guys to join in the party.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . Simply put - my previous purchases are proving nothing short of exquisite!

. . . . and whilst I guess this won't be a popular thing to say . . but I can't but get the feeling that most of the negativity towards PE is coming from a United States slant.

No doubt your importation laws will eventually give way to reason; and when this happens - hopefully sooner rather than later you will all get to see and taste what we can take for granted here in the Euro Zone.

P.S.  I live in Ireland  :)  

Burner wrote at 2013-02-08 14:20:52
Fakes are everywhere and the risk you take when you buy from non official sources is that you will in most cases get a fake. The cubans are very protective of their product and this talk of shoddy production and inconsistent packaging is nonsense and is just what the fakers would say. There are plenty of side by side comparisons of fake and real boxes on various forums - Take a look I bet you'll be scurrying to your humidors after you see how good they can be. It's the small things that give them away.  

sprauems wrote at 2013-07-25 02:02:05
The cigars from puro express or fakes, they cut the serial nuber from the box.  I requested they not and it took a week and they sent the box without cutting the serial number off...on it was confirmed they were fakes. has not been shipping the full orders for around a year or so now and then play the run around game.  The smokes they send to the us are suspect as well.  

DL wrote at 2014-06-18 02:26:49
Its interesting reading the arguments whether puroex[ is fake or not and I see that price was put in question. I am in the trading business and it is normal for a ten fold mark up between the manufacturer (ie when it leaves the factory) and the end user (MSRP). In between is where different tiers of traders make their profit. What you see retails in Cuba is NOT what puroexpress is buying in at I believe as by the sound of things they are around second tier and at their selling price, they can still make a very healthy profit margin. What LCDH sells at is the MSRP plus the local taxes (which varies between countries plus you have to take into account of tobacco tax PLUS sales tax or what some calls VAT) although I understand that some people can still get a discount with some LCDH when they find their conscience.

As to the variation in quality, one has got to understand that when you buy a brand of cigar, say Hoyo, they can be made from various factories and there is a thing called manufacturing tolerance even though it is hand made. In addition, LCDH do get the best pick out of the lot.

I hope the above answers some of the mysteries as to why some think puroexpress is genuine and some think fake.

Bolivar.Professor wrote at 2014-11-02 07:45:00
This is my first order.

And i’m very happy.

The fastest shipping.

Cigars are authentic, real cuban.

Unopened box.

Barcode was ripped BUT don’t worry I’m a bolivar professor,

before i bought from duty free shops and i know which one is real bolivar.

i advice this source.

Thank you PE. These photos for you;

Prepdrum wrote at 2015-07-13 09:58:24
As I mentioned before, Puro Express sells fake Cuban cigars. Those who have chosen to deceive themselves by believing you can buy a $25 cigar for $10 will continue to do so but common sense tells you that a luxury item like a Cuban cigar can't be sold for that price, especially given that the price of Cubans has actually gone up in the past few years. Just like a Rolex watch or Gucci bag, there is an endless supply of fakes in the world. Do a Google search for Puro Express and "fakes" is one of the top hits.

People who defend these crooks have an answer for everything: "they don't taste good" A: age them; "the box code doesn't work" A: you entered it wrong; and "how can they sell them this cheap?" A: the Canary Islands. If you want to believe something hard enough, you eventually will. But that doesn't change the fact that Puro Express sells fakes. Not one smoke they sent me was remotely resembling a Cuban cigar, which I have had many of from LCDH shops. This thread gave me a good laugh going back to 2010. Much like the Cuban I am about to smoke, Puro Express will eventually go up in smoke.  

sublimaze1 wrote at 2015-09-21 21:29:29
@ Prepdrum

I will not argue your points.  Thank you for posting them.  Just got back from a trip to the Caribbean and stopped in the Caymans and Aruba, Bahamas, etc.  Picked up some Partagas 898 and the Mille Fleurs among a few others. Brought them back, ran low, ordered them from puro, plus my standard Serie D.  This is my fifth or sixth box of D, and they have been identical. The 898 were the same as those from the Caymans and the Mille Fleurs matched what I recall as the taste (not as peppery as the 898 and the draw was the same).

I am also a Behike fan, and have a box in the humidor which still has four or five. These were obtained from a Casa del Habano in the Caymans on a previous trip. The 54s (the 56 is what I have) that I bought from puro has an identical box (save the size), parchment, cedar spill sheet, insert, hinges, and piano black finish.  I very much enjoy the taste of the 54s as well

(anyone want to comment on the 54 v 56, as I like the 54 a bit better)

- bottom line here, the Behike's are correct.

Anyway, (to sum up) the Behikes are not cheap by any means at puro .. the Serie D are a good buy and the 898 are typical. so I would not base "fakeness" solely on price.

I will continue buying and burning these until they disappoint me - which hasn't happened in 5 years.

Smoking Tod wrote at 2016-09-13 08:50:12
I wasn't too sure about ordering from Puro but after this endless pros and cons I sum up that they are a real deal and one of the big vendors. They seem to have tough rules for first time orders but on the other hand a 100% grantee if you stick to your end of the bargain. I give them a chance since the price is really good and they seem to have satisfied followers.  

chenakos wrote at 2016-11-08 13:27:33
Anyone knows what is happening the last 5-7 days with Puroexpress and their online orders systems does not work?

Did they stop doing business? That would be weird since I still receive emails with offers etc.


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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:

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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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