A good friend of mine showed me a picture of him holding a Cohiba Maduro 5 Genios that he picked up from a person he knows. The cigar appeared to have something weird popping from it, that thing was a folded tiny piece of paper stuck right in the middle of the cigar below the cap!
Apparently, the person who owned that cigar used a puncher to discover the tiny paper tucked underneath and claims he bought Genios box from a reputable cigar shop and wanted to show my friend what he found.
After seeing that picture, I asked my friend to hold onto that cigar so I can pass by to personally examine it.
When I came face to face with the questionable Cohiba Genios, first thing was for sure, the tiny piece of paper was there as the cigar was being rolled (deep in with the Ligero long filler). About 40% of the paper was pulled out with a tweezers to see how deep was it in. My friend didn't want me to pull it all out because he wants to keep this as "proof", but I was really anxious to see what kind of paper is it and if it had anything on it!(might be a prize? j/k)
Now here is where things get complicated... is this a counter-fitted Cohiba or a faulty production output from Habanos? when examining the size, appearance, aroma and characteristics of this questionable cigar with a genuin Cohiba Maduro 5 Genios side by side, these isn't any micro-differences! They are 100% identical, but im not sure about how the other smoke! The only thing I didn't get to examine was the actual box, serial number and date of production, at least this would help in clearing some issues out.
Do I believe this is a counterfeit cigar? Im not sure its still a 50-50 chance to me, yet I sometimes say that Habanos have a very very strict quality control on cigar output, how would this be possible? Whats the margin of error for producing a defaulted cigar? What do you think?
My final thoughts... only deal with trusted and official habanos distibutors! That way you can eliminate all the possibilities of dealing with counterfiets... therefore, I bet you will never have to deal with these type of issues.