Thursday, July 17, 2014

What Embago?: Episode Dose Recap: Fake Montecristo No. 2 (new bands)

So last week was a big week because we received an email submission from a listener regarding a recently purchased box of Montecristo No.2s. A box of fake Montecristo No. 2s! What makes that such a big deal? Well, the reason it is a big deal is because it is the first fake box we have seen that uses the new Montecristo bands. To date, I have not seen anything on fake new Montecristo bands, so we were excited, and sad for the listener, at the same time. It was almost a Car Talk moment. So today, we are going to show some pictures and things you need to look out for with the new Montecristo brands. 

Here is the first thing we noticed. The color of the band, that burgundy color. It was really off. The coloring was to red to begin with and should have more brown coloring and be much darker. Along with that, the white coloring was too dark and the fonts, Montecristo and Habana were too small. The gold really pops on the new bands, something it did not do here, and the fleur-de-lis was compressed in this band as well.

Looking at the back of the band, they close off the white when on the real bands it should be continues. Habanos designed the bands so that when they overlap, it does not look like it is closes, but is continuous. Once again, the gold design is much smaller and entire thing looks shrunk. 

Looking at the cigar this way, besides the fact that the band does not look that great. The wrapper looks too oily. Besides the fact that the foot is cracked and not the prettiest, the wrapper itself looks too pretty to be a Habano wrapper. 

Like before, the wrapper looks too oily and the band coloring is just not right. 

Inconclusive. It is rolled well in appearance. 

Looking at the inside of the band, that part is done correctly. The embossing on the interior is perfect. That is sometimes a big giveaway with bands for Habanos, but for this stick, they nailed it on the head and got that done perfectly. 

The best way to check on a box is to put the code in at the Habanos Authenticity Check website. Input the code manually and it will run through their system and let you know what the product is. This works all the time now so if you get an error or something saying it is fake, it is fake. We plugged this code in and got an error message on the Habanos site. NEVER A GOOD SIGN!

If you really zoom on the warranty seal you will see that it is missing a lot of key items that the stamps need to have to be authentic. There should be a number under Cuba and a number in the tobacco field. When you combine those two numbers, it should be the number that you see under the word Zigarren on the band. There are no numbers!

That looks good and I can't find anything wrong there.

 Habanos may not be the best in somethings, but if that is how the box opened up, the presentation is horrible and they would not have that.

Once again, that looks good.

The only fault with the insert is that the font coloring is too bright. It is too red and not more brown. The green border is too bright as well, needs to be darker. They got the colors wrong, everything else is dead on. 

The stamp on the bottom is wrong. It should be with the grain of the box and not against it. You should be able to flip the box over, when looking at it from the top and front and see the label perfectly and not have to turn the box clockwise. The top is north in the photo, but it should be east or west, depending on the top of the box. 

The fonts here are wrong. The fonts for Habanos S.A. are incorrect and the box-code font is wrong as well. the s.a. is too compressed and the fonts in general are wrong. In terms of the box-code, the EUP JUL13 is in the wrong font and too bold. It should be a more compressed font and an entirely new font all around. 

To the untrained eye, this could come off as a legit with no problems. There was a lot of stuff that looks good, but when you really begin to focus and take a look at the minor details throughout, the faults begin to emerge. Whoever is producing these fakes, and wherever they are, they are in it for the long run because they put some money into the systems to generate these boxes, bands and sticks. It is always important to do the homework on who you are buying your Habanos from because this is what it looks like when you get fucked. You buy a box and end up with some fake sticks. If this was a closed box in a store, and they would not open, it would be easy to buy the box and get screwed. I have always gone as far as to check the box codes in the store. Before purchasing ask some people you trust, do research and when you see that the place is legit, have fun! Sorry to this unfortunate smoker, but it is exciting to see the new Montecristo band fakes.