Same cigars, different name
This raises the following question I recently recieved from a reader:
"We all keep hearing about how most cigars are made in a small number of factories. We also hear that a ton of brands of cigars are really just the exact same cigars with a different name on them. Which ones are these and why? I want to know because I am tired of smoking cigars that cost a different price when they are actually the exact same cigar with a different name and band."Here's the deal: In a lot of cases the cigars are simply overstock or seconds that are sold to a retailer without bands. The retailer names them so they can market them in their catalogs and on their websites. Another way this happens is, a company contracts with a factory to make "x" number of cigars. For some reason the company folds and the factory is now stuck with the cigars, so they need to move them out. Moreover, some factories overproduce product because they project sales will be higher on a particular brand. Unfortunately, sometimes that's just not the case.
A couple of good examples of this are Perdomo Remainders, Rocky Patel Factory Seconds, Private Stock (made by Davidoff) and the Alec Bradley Supervisor Selection. Note, too, that they're not always the "same cigar." Often, these cigars are the same blend but were rejected and put in the overstock lot because the wrappers weren't the right color, or the strength was a little "off," etc.
Realistically speaking, it's pretty hard to match them up cigar-for-cigar, but at least in the cases cited above, you know who made the cigars and that you're getting a good quality stick for the most part.
On the upside, in some cases, the cigars have been sitting around for years, so they've had a lot of extra aging time.
I hope that sheds some light on the situation.
~ Gary Korb