Augustus 2007-06-21 10:10:24
Most everything I’ve read in the various FAQ’s state that Cubans with the
box stamped “Totalmente a mano” are hand made cigars, but is this really
true? My Partagas Milles Fleurs, and the Larranagas Montecarlos are so
labelled, but so are the Gonzales Panatelas and the Quinteros Londres Finos.
I thought these were all hand finished. The same stamp is on the Montecarlos
#4 which I know are completely hand made.
Smker 2007-06-21 10:57:18
This no longer means long filler, totally hand made cigars.
According to Min Ron Ni, they can also be machine-bunched
hand-finished with cut leaves, or long filler, but always with hand
From his descriptions, it appears that “Totalmente a mano” really
only means hand wrapped now. At least that’s the way I interpret it.
If the cigar designation begins with 4,5,or 6 then they are totally
handmade with long filler.
Martin o 2007-06-21 12:17:20
Totalmente a mano should still mean totally handmade, where as “hecho an
mano” can be machine bunched, hand finished.
Marc j. schnei 2007-06-21 12:17:42
The important word here is “should.” It’s probably closer to the truth
with the Cuban product as opposed to the non Cuban cigar which is many
times machine bunched but labled as “totamente a mano.”
Smker 2007-06-21 12:59:53
So you are saying the book is wrong?
Certainly I have no idea if it is or not, but I know I’ll be p*****
after dropping that much coin if the guy is that wrong on something so
simple. Oh well, the pictures are worth the price of admission.
Smker 2007-06-21 13:37:35
Agreed. Then again the bunching machine probably isn’t any
automatic type thing. I remember seeing an operation in this county
that used ones that were far from what you’d call auto and I can’t
expect that Cuba would use anything more automatic.
The roller still chose the blend of leaves, bent, ripped, and
grossly bunched them, and put them in the machine which rolled them
into a more compressed bunch. I can’t remember whether the binder
leaves were wrapped around then. Perhaps that’s the whole purpose of
the machine? Compress the bunch, and wrap with the binder?
At any rate, the whole thing was still very manual, and the leaf
choice, and blend was still completely manual. When I read/hear
machine bunched, that is what I picture and I have no problem
considering it “Totalmente”.
Benjp 2007-06-21 13:37:39
I think your talking about the book “AN ILLUSTRATED ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF
POST-REVOLUTION HAVANA CIGARS”
you should check out this list of errors in the book.
Hutch 2007-06-21 13:37:49
IMO you were correct (as is MRN). The change seems to have happened in
the late 90’s maybe ? And h*** yes re: the pictures. When mine arrived
I sat down to “just take a looksee”……3 hours later……….
Smker 2007-06-21 13:37:52
That’s correct Ben. Sorry for not being more specific. I know that I
find it odd that on many forums it is now simply “MRN” so I will
reference the title also in the future. Many times it’s easy to forget
that someone may have just found cigars last week, and the group
today. (Yes, I know that’s not you :-> )
Thanks for that address. I’ve now bookmarked it. I see no errors
listed for page 471 where he describes “Totalmente a mano” however.
Hutch 2007-06-21 13:38:01
Having looked at the most current list of errors, it appears that
about 90% are nothing more than spelling, with the remainder being
mostly errors in packaging size. I only found 2 that were at all
substantive IMO. Considering the magnitude of the task that MRN
undertook, I think he did a *h**** of a job. While I will probably
never be able to detect the individual flavors that he does, and have
differing opinions on the strengths, I have found the book to be far
and away the most comprehensive reference on the subject ever
published. He also has some opinions about longer term aging that I
doubt I will ever be able to investigate very well. H***, I’d be 75
before some of my cigars reach their prime ! 🙂
Smker 2007-06-21 14:11:25
H***, I find it impossible to even have the will power to
investigate the aging principals of many here, let alone his. 🙂
One other problem I have is there is a certain aspect I detect on
young Cubans that I actually enjoy. I refer to it as a “bite”. I’ve
smoked plenty of well aged Cubans that were wonderful, and highly
enjoyed, but that “bite” wasn’t there. I have the same “problem” with
wines, where I kind of enjoy the “bite” of the tannins(sp?) that a
young red may have.
Possibly because of the fact that my palate is very “numb”(have a
sense of taste, but no ability to detect subtleties), I’ve come to
rely on other/additional aspects for enjoyment in foods, wines and
cigars. Not right, just me.
I agree that this is a wonderful book, and would recommend it to
Jeremy 2007-06-21 14:11:30
Maybe a small codicil to another enthusiast 🙂
Hutch 2007-06-21 14:11:55
I personally like both aspects at different times. There are times
when nothing less than a young SD4 or Punch Punch will do 🙂