Originally Posted by KeyWestBrewing
You make some valid points. I know a few very reputable CC retailers but I'm not sure whether or not they are Havana House Certified.
There is one place that I know of (not going to out it) that sells authentic Cubans but is not "Havana House Certified." In fact, I paid them a visit when I was in Geneva Switzerland a while back. It was kind of neat because the "shop" was on the 6th floor of an apartment building/office building complex and the rooms were stocked floor to ceiling of Cubans. I had to get "buzzed in", but once I was in, I was in Cuban Cigar heaven!!!
Ironically, the "special" cigars were not the cubans, but the Domincans and Nigaraguan cigars we take for granted here in the states. In Switzerland, they are much harder to get so they carried a premium price compared to the United States. I remember seeing singles of Casa Magna Robustos selling for $15 USD, which is double what they go for in the states.
Sorry for the grainy pictures, but I was trying to be sneeky when capturing these images:
The entrance (photoshopped) to protect the shop.
The place is located just a few blocks from this world famous shop --
Unfortunately, they won't ship to the States anymore (unless you are a house account i.e. visited the shop in person) due to the giant 1001cubans bust at the end of 2011. They too guarantee that cigars arrive and guarantee that they are authentic, so they don't want to be in the same situation that 1001cubans got in and get driven out of business because they shipped to the states. O well.