So I need to start off this post with an my standard disclaimer restated as well an additional disclaimer for good measure. Here goes:
1 - All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. summersalt.com makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.
2 - According to The Cuban Assets Control Regulations, 31 C.F.R. 515 it is illegal for any US citizens or legal residents to transact business involving any kind of Cuban goods or services. Neither I, Charlie Muir, nor anyone at SummerSalt villa, advocate the breaking of any laws.
Ok, with that out of the way, let's begin. Everyone knows that the US, under President Kennedy, began imposing an escalating series of embargoes against Cuba, and that these restrictions exist to this day. However, in the BVI consumers can enjoy Cuban goods to their hearts content.
Image Courtesy of Eduardo Pavon
It turns out that the retailing of Cuban tobacco is exclusively controlled by a joint partnership with the Cuban state tobacco company, Cubatabaco, and a British company, Imperial Tobacco Group. This partnership is called La Casa del Habano or Habano S.A. for short. Habano S.A. exclusively franchises out to a company from Curaçao called Caribbean Cigars Corporation which is the sole entity allowed to sell Cuban tobacco products to retailers in the BVI. To make a long story even longer, if you are not buying Cubanos in the BVI from a place that is a client of Caribbean Cigars Co., you are most likely buying a "fugazi".
After a few emails with Caribbean Cigars Co., I discovered that, in fact, there is but one place that is a member of the Cuban Cigar cartel in the BVI. That place is Little Denmark in Road Town, Tortola. But my search didn't end there. I checked out several reputable forum threads (Cigar Aficionado, et al.) to glean a sense of what experienced cigar smokers had to say about Little Denmark. The consensus: Little Denmark has a fantastic selection which is facilitated by their walk-in humidor; the only one of it's kind in the BVI. Two pieces of advice that I saw in these online discussions about Little Denmark was make sure you inspect each cigar carefully before you buy them because occasionally smokers have found some imperfections. Also, LD's prices tend to be on the high side, but that is too be expected when they are the only game in town. John from Little Denmark was kind enough to share their most current inventory and price list and I'll publish that in a future post.
For the genuine article, the sole alternative to Little Denmark is to have your Cubans shipped in to the BVI, That said, I've ran the numbers and this only makes sense if you are going to be purchasing a large quantity of cigars (like over $500 worth). This is strictly a SERIOUS BALLER move, and is something that I'll be covering in a later article. Also, in an upcoming post I'll be sharing a photographic guide to the various subtleties that will allow you to identify authentic and avoid spurious Cubans (cigars). Stay tuned!
THE SHORT ANSWER:
Just to reiterate, the best informed people on the BVI Cuban cigar subject recommend Little Denmark as the sole safe bet if you want to be sure that you are getting the Real McCoy. My research indicates this as well. While other (unnamed) retailers claim to sell legit Cuban cigars in the BVI, I have made several requests to have these claims substantiated and all such attempts have gone entirely unanswered. The bottom line: Little Denmark is the only retailer verified by the exclusive distributor to the BVI; Habanos S.A. franchisee Carribbean Cigar Co..
Here is a link to Little Denmark's most recent inventory price list.
You can make comments below or email me at BVIAficionado@gmail.com.
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