After 4 weeks since i made my initial order to Famous-Smoke, my shipment of 12 premium non-Cuban robusto cigars arrived today. Was it worth the wait? By the looks of it, yes. The cigars arrived in excellent condition; wrappers were perfect without a hint of travel weariness – a few weeks in the humidor will give these cigars a bit of time to re-absorb any moisture lost during the trip. When that “cooling off” period is over, i suspect i’m going to be for some tremendous smokes.

Eventhough my order was processed and confirmed on 19 August 2003, it took Famous-Smoke an additional 10 days to actually ship it. Based on the post stamps, the cigars left Famous-Smoke on 29 August 2003, and arrived here on 11 September 2003. It took a few days for POS Malaysia to let me know that the package was here; i received a small “come & get me” card this morning.

What impressed me the most about the shipment was the way in which the cigars were packed: surrounded by crush-resistant platic air-bubbles, the cigars lay deep in the box it arrived it. The added protection worked as the cigars were undamaged upon arrival, except for one, the Macanudo Maduro which had a small tear in the wrapper.

With Budget 2004 announcing the increase by 20% on taxes for tobacco products, it will become increasingly necessary to purchase cigars overseas and have them shipped here. In small packages such as the one i received, and for personal consumption only, i believe this experiment has proven that customs will be inclined to turn a blind eye when such a small parcel arrives at their doorstep. The 12 robustos cigars i received cost, inclusive of shipping, US$47.80 or RM180.88 or about RM15 per cigar. That’s excellent value for a range of cigars that include the Cohiba (Red Dot) Robusto.

Full list of cigars

Cohiba Red Dot
Partagas 1845
La Gloria Cubana
Rafael Gonzales
Punch JG
Creme de Jamaica
Ramon Allones 1837
Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur
Sancho Panza
Macanudo Maduro (this is the one with a slight wrapper damage)

Verdict: If you don’t mind waiting for some of the best non-Cuban cigars in the market, then you can’t really go wrong with Famous-Smoke. Prices are reasonable, and as you can see, the cigars arrived in good shape, except one that has a tiny tear.