The art and science of cigar blending is a very methodical and complex process. The flavor is first established by the soil the tobacco is grown in. The combination of various leaves used in rolling a cigar also introduces and integrates other flavors and aromas into the cigar. The cigar roller selects several leaves from a multitude of distinct types, which have been grown and aged, and then molded to form an exquisite cigar.
The cigar wrapper is essentially the casing on the outside of the cigar that works as a bandage and binds it together. It can impact the overall taste of the cigar and is the part of the cigar that is visible by the eye, similar to the skin of a human. The wrapper also helps to protect the cigar from outside elements. A smooth and flawless looking wrapper is indicative of a properly cared for cigar that has not been exposed to severe or extreme conditions which could alter its flavor or overall essence.
The Filler and Binder
The filler of the cigar makes up the inside and accounts for most of the volume and weight of a cigar. It contains the vast majority of the cigars tobacco. The binder encompasses the filler and functions as a sort of foundation, similar to the walls inside a home. It also molds the shape of both the filler and wrapper. The filler and the binder correspondingly contribute to the cigar’s flavor.
How the Cigar is Burned
Cigars are intended to be burned evenly through the entire circumference of the cigar and if the burn is unbalanced it can alter its flavor. Frequently, a cigar's initial flavor is more of a delicate taste that then evolves into a different, more pungent flavor as it burns out.
Typically, most cigars consist of the following flavors:
- Plant flavors – A cigar may give off a hint of grass, wood, tea, hay, and moss.
- Earth and mineral flavors – The earthy flavor of a cigar generally develops as a result of the soil of the region where the tobacco is grown and harvested.
- Herbal and spicy flavors – A cigar’s spicy or herbal flavor consists of notes of nutmeg, cardamom, tea, red or black pepper, clove, licorice, coffee and cumin.
- Fruity flavors – Fruity flavors are not very dominant in cigars, however, a cigar can contain subtle hints of fruits such as apple, citrus, cherry and more.
- Roasted or toasted nutty flavors – Many cigars exude distinct and potent notes of almonds, pistachios, peanuts, and marzipan.