I recently received a gift of "authentic" Cuban cigars from a friend. I had my suspicions of them being fakes which were later confirmed courtesy of Puff. The suspect CoRo is presented here next to an authentic CoRo, courtesy of a very generous BOTL, @bpegler . While I'm hardly a cigar expert and a complete CC rookie, I'm curious to learn more about my hobby. Having no idea what I'll find inside and only a general idea of cigar construction, I hope this sheds some light on the topic of fakes. For your viewing pleasure, here's a side by side comparison.
Observe, the fake pictured below does not come even close to the actual CoRo format. I measured over a 1/4" difference in length between the two. You can also see the very obvious difference in wrapper and workmanship. Fingerprints of glue covered fingers are obvious as are the poorly wrapped seams.
Next, we have a closer looks at the bands. The authentic CoRo's band is carefully applied and fits snugly on the cigar. The fake is unevenly applied with excessive amounts of glue. The band of the fake also sports a glossier finish compared to the authentic one. You can also see a very apparent difference in the sheen and oil levels between the two.
Looking at the caps, the level of quality becomes painstakingly clear. The double cap which looks like it was applied with elmers glue pales in comparison to the neat triple cap of the real CoRo. The cap on our Faux-hiba is uneven and lacks a uniform shape.
The foot of each cigar also draws attention to workmanship. The authentic CoRo displays a nice even pack and a slight squeeze confirms even construction throughout the entire stick. Our fake CoRo has a spongy foot but also a rock hard spot near the top of the stick. You can see the difference in the filler already. A whif of each also reveals a difference with a sweet tobacco smell versus almost no scent at all which leads me to believe that our fake has had plenty of time to dry out.
That's my pictorial for now. I'll be soaking the fake cigar in water for the next hour or two while I get some reading done. If anyone wants me to take a particular pic, just chime in. Otherwise, stay tuned to find out how this baby looks like on the inside.