People who smoke cigars regularly know that different cigars have different flavors and tastes to them, and it’s sometimes possible to tell the brand of cigar after a few puffs. Flavor is very important in the cigar world, and many different factors go into creating the flavor of a cigar, including the type of tobacco and wrapper, the age of the leaves, blends, and even the rolling process.
Most cigars can be classified as strong or mild. This is the term that describes how much nicotine is in the cigar. A strong cigar packs a punch and, if you’re not use to them, you’ll probably get a bit of a buzz. A milder cigar doesn’t have the sharp taste of nicotine to as great a degree. Intensity of cigar flavors depends on the leaf placement on the tobacco plant. Each leaf serves a different roll as two are removed each week in a stage process known as “priming”.
First, you will want to understand the difference between mild, medium, and full flavor. These can help to categorize the body of the cigar, or the initial flavor. As you can probably tell from the terms, the mild cigars are going to have a much lighter taste to them, while the full strength cigars are going to be much stronger. These are just the flavor terms used to help determine the body of the cigar though. When you get into the aroma and the flavor, you will find quite a few other terms, many of which have to do with food.
When it comes to the food terms used to describe cigar flavor, you will hear quite a few different types. Nutmeg, spicy, cinnamon, vanilla, chocolate, apple, and other food related words can all describe the flavor of a cigar. In addition, you will find other types of cigar flavor terms, such as woodsy, nutty, and even bitter and acidic. These are just a handful of the hundreds of different terms that people use to describe the flavors. Different cigar aficionados are going to have their own favorite ways of describing the flavors, and they don’t always agree on the exact terminology to use.
Basically, each part of the cigar plays a vital roll in its final flavor combo. One example is the wrapper, the lower larger leaves on the tobacco plant is used to bind the cigar together. These leaves are what determine the flavor and character of the cigar since cigars are characterized by the color of their wrapper.
I know it seems like A LOT but with time, you will be able to develop your own understanding of the often complex lexicon involved with cigars. It’s going to be a fun journey though, so go grab a cigar from your humidor and start trying to decipher the flavor!
Photo credited to: http://www.stogiefresh.info/edu-tobacco/articles/wrapper-contributes-pt-02.htmlUnderstanding Cigar Flavor Terms by David Sabot