A good cigar is like a fine wine. They both have complex flavors, and connoisseurs use a fanciful, extensive vocabulary to describe them.
What's more, a cigar will taste like the place its tobacco was grown in. That is the case with grapes and wine as well.
Finally, it's easy to gulp down a glass of wine or smoke a cigar without really tasting it. But then you would be depriving yourself of the full sensory experience, and that's a waste.
Would you like to learn how to smoke cigars so that you can experience their full range of flavors? If so, the article below is just what you need. Read on for the complete guide on how to taste a cigar. Let's go!
1. Enjoying Your Cigar Flavors Begins Before You Light the Cigar
Sometimes it's easier to get all the flavor notes before lighting your cigar. You can begin experiencing it, then, right after cutting it.
Once you have removed the cap, take the time to smell the foot of the cigar. Experienced smokers do this for several reasons.
First, and most obviously, if the tobacco smells good, it's going to taste good. Second, about 80% of what we taste is actually the smell. You will miss out on the taste of your cigar if you don't take the time to smell it.
The next thing to do is take a few dry puffs. Don't light the cigar, but instead do dry smoking. You will be able to tell pretty quickly if the tobaccos were processed the right way.
Should you taste, mildew, mustiness, or any ammonia flavor, you're out of luck. Get another cigar, and try again.
2. Light the Cigar and Experience its Full Flavor
Now you are ready to light the cigar. Many people begin by toasting the foot of the cigar. Once you have an even light going, you can begin the tasting process.
Make sure, though, you only do 2-3 pulls per minute. Otherwise, your cigar will burn too hot, affecting the taste.
The key here is to smoke your cigar slowly. Less speed allows you to taste more, both during a pull and between them.
While the smoke is in your mouth, chew it a little bit. Again, this is similar to what we do with wine. It allows your palette more time to make observations, and you end up tasting more flavors.
Many people employ the retrohale technique to pick up even more taste. This is when you let the smoke drift into the back of your mouth. You then breathe through your nose, which pushes the smoke out.
Some blenders and manufacturers state if you're not retrohaling, you're not experiencing the full taste of the cigar. It may take you a while to get used to retrohaling though. It's best to begin with milder cigars and work your way up to stronger ones.
3. Cigar Flavors: The Finish
Sometimes cigar enthusiasts will talk about the cigar's under- or overtones. They are describing the taste left in your mouth after the smoke is gone.
A cigar can have a short finish, meaning the flavors abandon your mouth quickly. It can also have a long finish, which means they stick around.
Some people prefer one over the other. For example, if you want to move on quickly to another cigar, you might be annoyed if a cigar has a long finish.
In any case, pay attention to the taste leftover in your mouth. With time, you'll discover what your preferences are.
Conclusion: How To Taste a Cigar
That's it! Now you have everything you need to know about how to taste a cigar properly. With time, you'll develop your taste preferences, as well as the ability to describe them well.
To help you practice, we have a large selection of high-quality cigars. They are all at discounted prices.
If you are looking to buy cigars, check out our extensive selection. Also, feel free to contact us with any questions!