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Cuban Box Codes
Introduction
The process of bringing cigars to market is a gray area to most outside of Havana. Tobacco is distributed in parcel based on vitola/vitolas to be rolled. This process is strictly controlled, based on region, vega, class, sub class, etc, required to achieve the desired profile.
A number of a certain vitola may be rolled by numerous factories or not; they are brought to market as needed and the entire supply may or may not be exhausted
The same parcel/batch of tobacco used to roll a vitola can have varying date codes depending upon when they leave the factory. If a new order of the same vitola is rolled with a different batch of tobacco the issue then becomes the obvious: storage, rollers, etc.
Some factories produce better cigars based on skills, management, etc as this is an artisan form of production. It is also possible to have two boxes of cigars with the same codes, some being pulled from existing inventory and others from a more current batch, depending upon whether or not more need to be rolled to fill an order.
The following information is just that: information. Nothing can replace the knowledge gained by experience applied to your own tastes. Use this page to help draw your own conclusions and as a reference for your collection.




Historical Factoids
pre-revolutionary boxes were stamped: "MADE IN HAVANA-CUBA"
1961 this stamp was changed to: "HECHO EN CUBA"
  • 1985 Cubatabaco started using date codes
  • 1985-1995 a tobacco leaf (iron) is above Cubatobacco
  • 1989 Cubatabaco introduced the stamp: "Totalmente a Mano"
  • 1994 Cubatabaco changed to the Habanos S.A. logo
  • Factory codes may be encased in a rectangle (stamp) seen predominantly until 1999
  • Typically varnished boxes that come with a carboard outer box have the warranty seal and code on the cardboard. It can also be on the actual box itself as well

Definitions
Box Code: A code stamped in ink of varying colour on the bottom of the box that identifies the date and factory of production
Irons: The standard marks on the bottom of a box of Habanos. E.g. the words "Habanos SA" over an oval containing the words "Hecho en Cuba" over the scrpit "Totalmente a mano." All of these are "branded" into the bottom of the box by pressing a heated iron against the wood. Hence the term "irons" is used to describe these marks. As with all things related to Cuban cigars you should expect variation. Some folks have reported seeing irons that looked as if they were simply stamped in ink, but close examination revealed some indentation of the wood. Some were clearly colored (i.e., inked), not just burned, but which also showed at least a slight indentation. YMMV

Original Cuban Box Codes
Starting in 1985, Cubatabaco started using box codes as a way of identifying where and when any given box of cigars was produced. These codes are typically found stamped on the bottom of the box. They were never intended to be known by the consumer.

The original box codes identified the date using the NIVELACUSO scheme. Each number is signified by a letter, as follows:

N

I

V

E

L

A

C

U

S

O

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

0

The code signifies the month and year of manufacture. For example, the code NNSU would translate to 1198, which translates to November 1998. Similarly, OESC would translate as 0497, or April 1997. Under the NIVELACUSO scheme, the month is not always signified by two numbers. Hence, a code of CSC would translate to 797, or July 1997.

Cuban Box Codes

Havana Cigar Factories

BM

Briones Montoto (Belascoain 852, Havana) - Romeo y Julieta

CB

Carlos Balino (San Carlos 816, Havana) - El Rey del Mundo

EH El

Habanero

EL El

Laguito (2302 Calle 146, Marianao, Havana) - Cohiba

FL/PL/PO

Por Larranaga (Carlos III no. 713, Havana)

FPG

Francisco Perez German (Industria 520, Havana) - Partagas

FR

Miguel Fernandez Roig (Zulueta 106, Havana) - La Corona

HM

Heroes de Moncada (13402 Ave. 57, Marianao, Havana) - Jose Peidra

JCS

Juan Cano Sainz - Por Larranaga

JM

Jose Marti (Amistad 407, Havana) - H. Upmann

LM

Las Mambisas (sub contractor only)

Provincial Factories

CFG

Cienfuegos

CFGS

Cienfuegos (regional facility in Cienfuegos) - Quintero y Hno

FD/PR

Francisco Donantien (regional facility in Pinar del Rio)

LV

Las Villas

MAM

??? Las Mambisas ???

PR

Francisco Donatien (regional facility in Pinar del Rio)

RD

Ricardo Donatien (regional facility in Pinar del Rio)

SLR

??? Las Mambisas ???

SS

Sancti Spiritus (regional facility in Sancti Spiritus)

TLP

Lazaro Pena (group of factories in San Antonio)

TTB

Granma (regional facility in Bayamo)

TTH

Holguin (regional facility in Holguin)

VC

Villa Clara

VSC

Villa Santa Clara (regional facility in Santa Clara)

In 1994 the Habanos Seal (sticker across the box corner) was added. It is not uncommon to see stamps in red, blue, green or black ink across the years.

Cuban Box Codes - 1999
The original NIVELACUSO code was broken in 1997, thus rendering obsolete the objective of the code to prevent buyers from selectively purchasing cigars by factory. The penchant for seeking out Havana factory codes stemmed from the idea that some factories got the better raw materials. This is difficult to argue with those that have actual experience; Habanos S.A. would never admit as much. Allocations to factories is closely monitored now, hence less perceived discrepancy between factories.
Thus in 1999 the box codes were reworked to a different scheme. The date code was changed to the NETAGIDOCU scheme and the factory codes were redefined to all use 3 letter codes. The NETAGIDOCU scheme specifies the date that cigars were boxed, and is translated into numbers in the same manner as the earlier (NIVELACUSO) scheme. Together with the 3-letter factory code, the 4-digit NETAGIDOCU scheme designates the specific date and factory of origin for each box of Cuban cigars. For example, a box of Partagas Serie D No. 4 cigars boxed at the Partagas factory in March 1999 would have a box code EAT CCUT. (CCUT = 9903)

First 1999 Date Codes

N

E

T

A

G

I

D

O

C

U

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

0

Date Codes starting from 05/99

GOO

05/99

EPOO

05/99

ESOO

06/99

EUOO

07/99

EAOO

08/99

EOOO

09/99

LEOO

10/99

LLOO

11/99

LROO

12/99


1999 Factory Codes

Ciudad de La Habana - Havana

EGD

Carlos Baliño - El Rey del Mundo

EDC

Briones Montoto - Romeo y Julieta

EUN

El Laguito

EAT

Francisco Pérez Germán - Partagás

EOG

Miguel Fernández Roig - La Corona

ENI

Héroes de Moncada

ECA

José Martí - H. Upmann

EEO

Juan Cano Sainz - Por Larrañaga

Cienfuegos Province

OTC

Cienfuegos I

OAI

Cienfuegos II

OOG

Cruces

OET

Cumanayagua

OIN

Lajas

Granma Province

NAT

Bayamo

NOO

Jiguaní

Holguín Province

UNG

Antilla

UDI

Gibara

UAN

Holguín I

UCE

Holguín II

UET

San Andrés

La Habana Province

TEN

Artemisa I

TEC

Artemisa II

TND

Bejucal

TOU

Güines

TAE

Güira I

TDC

Güira II

TIO

Quivicán

TCI

San Antonio I

TNG

San Antonio II

TGT

San Antonio de las Vegas

TUD

San Nicolás de Bari

TTA

Santa Cruz del Norte

Pinar del Rio Province

GDI

Candelaria

GAO

Consolación del Sur

GCN

Piloto

GNU

Pinar del Río

GOC

San Juan (Rio Seco)

Sancti-Spíritus Province

CEG

Arroyo Blanco

COT

Cabaiguán

CGI

Fomento

CNE

Guayos

CTO

Jatibonico

CUN

Perea

CID

Sancti-Spíritus

CDU

Taguasco

CAC

Trinidad

CCA

Zaza del Medio

Santiago de Cuba Province

AGE

Santiago de Cuba

Villa Clara Province

DNU

Báez

DDE

Camajuaní

DIT

Esperanza

DEC

Manicaragua

DGC

Placetas

DAI

Quemado de Güines

DOD

Ranchuelo

DCO

Remedios

DTA

Santa Clara I

DAT

Santa Clara II

DNC

Santo Domingo

DUN

Vueltas


2000
In 2000 Habanos SA changed the code yet again. The new code uses a 5 digit alphanumeric sequence to define the date. The first 3 digits are alpha and indicate the month. The last two digits are numeric and correspond to the last two digits of the year made. Thus, December 2000 will be DIC00, January 2001 will be ENE01.

Code

Month

ENE

January

FEB

February

MAR

March

ABR

April

MAY

May

JUN

June

JUL

July

AGO

August

SET

September

OCT

October

NOV

November

DIC

December


2000 Factory Codes

Factory Codes

EOG, EAR

La Corona

ECA

H.Upmann

RPO

H. Del Moncada

OSU

Partazas

PEL

Briones ( Romeo Juliet)

CLE

EL Laguito ( Cohiba )

ARA

J. Cano

LRL, SLA

Pinar Del Rio

PUL, URE, UPA, IESC

Holguin

URL, LES, SUA,CPV, RSE, PUC

Villa Clara

VCR, DUO, REC, PAS, USP, APE, LUL, CLO, SRA,OVU

S. Espiritus

CAV,ALV,SSU,VEL,SOL, PAR, SCO, LPE

La Habana

EOP, LAC, SEL, PUV

Cienfuergos

ACS, PLO

Granma

OLA

S de Cuba

LOC

Carlos Balino(Rey Del Mundo)


2000-2003 Box codes - Details

LOC

Carlos Balino ( Rey Del Mundo)

EOG, EAR

La Corona (note that SUA was used in 2000 according to one source)

ECA

H.Upmann

RPO

H. Del Moncada

OSU

Partagas

PEL

Briones ( Romeo Juliet)

2000 - LOME, LQME 2001 - CLE

EL Laguito ( Cohiba )

ARA

J. Cano

LRL, SLA

Pinar Del Rio

PUL, URE, UPA, IESC

Holguin

URL, LES, SUA, CPV, RSE, PUC

Villa Clara

VCR, DUO, REC, PAS, USP, APE, LUL, CLO, SRA, OVU

S. Espiritus

CAV, ALV, SSU, VEL, SOL, PAR, SCO, LPE

La Habana

EOP, LAC, SEL, PUV

Cienfuergos

ACS, PLO

Granma

OLA

S de Cuba


New factory codes in 2003
Once again Habanos S.A. has changed factory codes. Starting in May 2003 several new codes have appeared. While we are still seeing quite a few codes from the 2000 list above, so far we have been able to decipher a few of the new ones.

Known 2003 Box codes

GKI

Francisco Pérez Germán (Partagás)

LLN

José Martí (H. Upmann)

KMM

Briones Montoto (Romeo y Julieta)

MKO

El Laguito (Cohiba)

FRH

Miguel Fernandez Roig (La Corona)


2000 Factory Codes
Factory Addresses and Known Brands
The following is a list of some factories with their addresses and the brands they are known to produce. This list should not, however, be considered inclusive nor exhaustive.

Factory

Address

Known Brands

Romeo & Julieta

Belascoain 852, Havana

El Rey del Mundo, Romeo & Julieta, Quai d'Orsay,Cuaba, Saint Luis Rey

El Rey del Mundo

San Carlos 816, Havana

 

Partagas

Industria 520, Havana

Ramone Allones, Bolivar, La Gloria Cubana, Partagas

La Corona

Zuleta 106, Havana

San Cristobal, Hoyo, Por Larranga, Flor de Cano, Punch

H. Upmann

Amistad 407, Havana (closed/moved)

Diplomatico, Monte Cristo, H. Upmann, Robaina

Por Larranga

Carlos 111, Havana

 

El Laguito

2302 Calle 146, Havana

Cohiba,Trinidad

Heroes de Moncada

13402 Ave 57, Mariano, Havana

 

La Habana

 

Sancho Panza,Juan Lopez,Fonseca

Pinar del Rio

 

Vegueros



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