Have you ever wondered what kind of cigars to smoke? If you’re new to smoking cigars, you might feel overwhelmed by all the options available.
Is a long or short cigar best? Would you prefer a strong or light flavor? Swisher Sweets, spicy, or a mix? These are just a few of the questions that can help you determine your perfect cigar. But don’t worry — we’ll help you answer each question and give you useful tips for choosing a cigar.
The first choice for a cigar will be the easiest: how it looks. The color of the wrapper usually indicates the taste of the cigar. The darker the cigar wrapper is, the more intense the smoke will be. Usually, novice cigar smokers prefer a mellower smoke, so a lighter shade of color might be right for you.
To be sure, though, check out these cigar color categories:
- Double Claro. It mainly refers to the greenish tint on the wrapper. It’s a light cigar.
- Claro. It shows you that the smoke will be soft. It features a light brown color.
- Natural. It varies from light brown to brown. These tobacco leaves grow in the sun; that is, canopies do not protect them, and the sun shines directly on them. Because of this, they have a richer taste than ordinary leaves, but they are still considered smooth.
- Colorado Claro. It is the standard brown wrapper. These cigars are stronger than Claro but still really soft.
- Maduro. This cigar features a dark brown wrapper. It has an excellent aroma and smoke concentration. These cigars are considered medium to strong.
- Oscuro. It has an almost black wrapper and an intense taste.
Cigarette and Cigars Size
Cigars are usually indicated by how many inches long they are, as well as their ring gauge. The ring gauge is a measurement for the cigar’s diameter, based on 1/64 inch increments. So, a cigar with a 64 ring gauge would be 1 inch in diameter.
The names given to the sizes of cigars do not coincide with their actual sizes. In practice, there is no universal standard. However, there are “classic” sizes. Cigars made in the USA or the UK are usually 2.6 to 4.7 inches. The diameter of king-size cigars is 0.3 in, while the diameter of slim ones is 0.2 in. Some 4.7 in cigars are called cigarillos: they look long and thin, like a pianist’s fingers.
When you choose the size of a cigar, remember this detail – the bigger the cigar, the longer it takes to smoke. Lighting a cigar that’s big is a little more difficult, though.
It is recommended for beginners to stick with Coronas (5 3/4 х 42 ring gauge) and Robustos (4 1/2 х 50 ring gauge).
There are two types of cigar shapes:
- Parejo Cigars. Parejos (aparejos) are straight-sided cigars that have a cylindrical shape. It’s the stereotypical shape that comes to mind when you imagine a cigar. “Crown,” “Panathela,” “Lonsdale” are all typical forms of Parejos.
- Figurados cigars. Any cigar that isn’t straight-sided falls under this category.
Cigar Leaf Quality
The color and quality of the leaves depend on the tobacco variety, where it was produced, and how it was processed. King palm wraps have a variety of cigar leaf that you can choose on.
As with good wine, the taste of good cigars is influenced by a combination of many factors. These include the geographical location of the plantation, the microclimate, the amount of precipitation, the length of daylight in the region, and many other points. All plantations are so unique that even fields located on different sides of the road can produce tobacco of a different quality.
The smell will also be a factor when you choose a quality cigar. Unlit cigar leaves give off different flavors: fruit, spicy, and herbal. By smelling these aromas, you can determine which kind of cigar you prefer.
Despite the great variety of flavors of cigar products, they only originate from two sources: vegetable and tobacco leaves obtained through fermentation.
Natural – these include the aroma of flowers, grass, wood, fruit, which are made more complex through fermentation. Fermented tobacco allows cigars to have practically unlimited flavors.
The most common plant notes are:
- Tobacco – the most common, always recognizable, fundamental flavor in any cigar.
- Herbaceous – this taste is present in all tobacco products where a green cover leaf of tobacco is used.
- Tea – this aroma is the most subtle and elusive flavor in the palette of vegetable notes, characteristic of cigars with good tobacco aging.
- Fruit – these notes in cigar smoke are not pronounced, but they are quite common.
If you are planning to plunge into the tobacco world, the most important thing is to try many different brands and varieties. The more you try, the more you will see the difference between cigars of different colors, wrapping, prices, and aromas. Your tastes may change over time, so try many tobacco products and look for your ideal smoke.
Store your cigars and cigarettes properly. It’s best to store them where there is stable humidity ranging between 60 and 70%. Another important requirement is to them at temperatures below 75 degrees Fahrenheit and in a dark place. When choosing a cigar, the first thing to do is to ensure there are no defects, discoloration, or cracks on the wrapper. You should make sure that the cigar is wrapped nicely and tightly.
In any case, it is necessary to buy these cigars from select stores and from verified legal suppliers.