A cigar, by definition, is a tightly rolled group of cured, fermented tobacco leaves that one can ignite and smoke. Cigar smoke is like fine wine. It is meant to be savored, not gulped
By definition, a cigar is a tight roll of cured, fermented tobacco leaves that can be ignited and smoked. The intention of smoking a cigar is to draw the smoke into the mouth only (not the lungs) so the flavor of the tobacco can be tasted and savored.
Cigars differ from cigarettes on more than the simple level of appearance. The entire constitution of a cigar is different. Whereas cigarettes are manufactured out of shredded tobacco that is then machine rolled into thin pieces of paper, the more premium cigars are hand-rolled from whole tobacco leaves. The inner leaves that constitute the bulk of the cigar are called the cigar filler. The outer leaves are called the cigar wrapper.
Cigar tobacco is grown in many different parts of the world where the climate is mild and humid, and where the soil is loamy. These types of climate and soil conditions are necessary for tobacco to have the necessary flavor we want in our cigars. Latin American countries that grow cigar tobacco include Cuba, Brazil, The Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Mexico. In Africa, it is grown in Cameroon, and in Southeast Asia, cigar tobacco is grown in The Philippines, Sumatra, and Indonesia.
Some cigar tobacco is also grown in the Eastern region of the United States.
Cigars smokers all agree that the tobacco and the way a cigar is put together determine if it is a great cigar or not.
Handmade cigars have always been considered the best.
Another determining factor in quality is the amount of filler that is used.
Using fewer leaves in the filler makes the cigar burn more quickly. This may or may not be desirable depending on the preferences of the smoker.
If the cigar is overfilled, it will be harder for the smoker to draw smoke.
This is why we need to have a balance of filler in a fine cigar. Only then can we be assured that when it is lit, it will burn evenly at the expected rate.
The evenness of the burn, if we may use that term, depends on how the cigar was rolled.
Other qualities of fine cigar include its ash and its texture. Ash is very important, because nothing is more annoying than ash falling everywhere.
A good cigar feels both springy and firm to the touch. It also feels smooth and has only one shade of color in the wrapper.
A good cigar should be smooth, flavorful, and should never be harsh or burn the mouth. The flavor is determined by a number of factors, like the aging and curing of tobacco, and what is done to ferment it. Well-aged and fermented tobaccos are works of patience and careful cultivation. The process cannot be rushed because it is all about timing and intuition.
Blending different tobaccos together often creates unique flavors in cigars. Often fillers from different fields and countries will be combined to create exotic flavors and new adventures in smoking taste.