For beginners who are just getting started in the world of cigars, choosing the right one can be pretty hard. No, here we are not talking about the size or brand of the cigar, although this may have a role to play in your selection process.
Here, we are talking about all of the different tastes and flavors that a cigar can have. There are hundreds, if not thousands of different cigars available, and depending on how they are made, and what they are made with, they can have vastly different flavors.
Cigars can also have the same taste or flavor as another cigar, but be much subtler and lighter tasting, or much heavier too. Today, we want to take you through a short guide to cigar flavors, particularly in terms of the wrappers used to make the cigars, but there is more to it than just that.
Guide to Cigar Flavors
What is important for you to know is that the wrapper or wrap is one of the three most important components of a cigar. The wrapper is the tobacco lead that covers the exterior of the cigar, which you can see with your eyes.
The wrap is important because it gives each cigar its distinguished look, but it also has to with flavor. Much of a cigar’s flavor, what you taste, comes from the wrap.
It also has to do with the filler, which is the tobacco located in the center of the cigar, and together with the wrapper, this is what aficionados refer to as the blend. The blend is the mix of the wrap and the filler that ends up producing specific tastes and flavors.
Some of the most common flavors found in cigars include earthiness, sweetness, spiciness, and nuttiness, and it all depends on the type of tobacco leaves used in making them.
There are quite a few types of tobacco leaves used for cigar wrappers, and each type will produce a specific flavor. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most popular cigar wrapping tobacco leaves.
This is also known as the double claro. This leaf has a very mild and sweet taste to it. These are generally picked before they are 100% mature and then aged for a short time when compared to other types of wrapper leaves. These wrappers still have a bit of chlorophyll in them, which is why they usually have a slight green tinge to them
Claro leaves are also known as Connecticut wrappers, and these tend to be a light tan or yellow color. These leaves are grown and aged under cheesecloth, which helps to keep them away from sunlight, and helps to produce a very light and mild flavor.
Maduro leaves are tobacco leaves that are aged and fermented for years, which is why they tend to be quite expensive. This extensive aging and fermentation process results in a very dark brown colored leaf. These leaves tend to be quite strong in flavor, and are generally quite sweet, as natural sugars have accumulated in them.
This type of leaf is often referred to as the double Maduro, and these are by far the darkest leaves you can get. They are aged longer than Maduro leaves and have an even stronger, sweeter, and more intense flavor.
The Corojo wrapper is grown in Cuba and Honduras. These are medium-brown leaves of tobacco that often have a fairly spicy flavor, almost like black pepper.
Criollo leaves are the first and original type of tobacco leaves used to roll cigars, and it is the most popular tobacco leaf used in making Cuban cigars. These feature medium strength with a lot of sweetness and a good hint of spiciness.
Habano leaves are gown in Cuba and Nicaragua and are spicier than both Criollo and Corojo wrappers. They have a very strong peppery flavor that many people enjoy. These are strong, potent, and spicy, and are therefore usually best left to experienced cigar smokers.
Sumatra is an Indonesian island, and it produces some very popular wrapping leaves, the Sumatra leaf. These are very mild leaves with a decent amount of sweetness to them.
Rosado leaves are grown on Cuban soil, they have a very distinctive red tinge to them; these are the rarest of the tobacco leaves used for cigar wrapping, and thus quite expensive. They tend to feature a mixture of earthiness and spiciness.
The final leaf we want to talk about today is the Cameroon, which is grown in Cameroon and the Central African Republic. These leaves are very delicate and have a very rich and distinct flavor.
Something else to keep in mind is that cigars can also be classified by body, which describes not the taste itself, but how much taste it has, or in other words, how strong the flavor is.
Generally speaking, cigars that are lighter in color are mellower than darker colored cigars. There are so many different flavor profiles to experiment with, that it can take years to get through everything, so best to get started ASAP!