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How to Choose A Cigar


Knowing how to choose a cigar is essential whether you buy one for yourself or need cigars as a gift for your favourite aficionado. For new cigar lovers and gift buyers, it is nice to know what to look for when shopping for cigars online or in a store. Premium handmade cigars are very similar to fine wine. Learning about the different countries and regions where the tobacco is grown, and the cigar-makers who blend the cigars is invaluable, but let us simplify the selection process. Cigars range in quality, strength, and cost. Below, we have outlined the five primary criteria for choosing a cigar: taste, strength, size, tobacco, and price.

Taste & Aroma

Taste and aroma should be at the top of choosing a cigar. Regardless of price, packaging, or your preference for size, if you do not like the way a cigar tastes, you will not want to smoke it. Start by smoking blends that sound the most appealing in the product descriptions and customer reviews. These resources provide insights into a cigar’s flavour profile, which can be spicy, sweet, woody, nutty, creamy, silky, leathery, and more. Many culinary terms are used to characterise a cigar’s taste. Think about the kinds of food and spirits you enjoy. If you like spicy cuisine, a spicy cigar may be to your liking. You can pair cigars with whiskey, beer, wine, and dessert. Keep your preferences for food and beverages in mind when deciding on a cigar.

As you develop your palate for cigars, consider keeping a cigar journal to track the cigars you enjoy – and the ones you do not. This can help you refine your search for new cigars by trying other brands from a cigar maker or country you are fond of.

Different occasions call for smoking a mild, medium, or strong cigar, but you never want to smoke a cigar that is too strong. Another way to think of strength is how much nicotine a cigar possesses. Milder cigars are blended from less-intense tobacco that contains lower nicotine levels. You cannot judge a cigar’s strength by its colour, however. Most cigar descriptions online identify the strength with a graphic, copy, or both. If you are shopping in a store, the staff will point out a cigar’s strength and assist you in selecting the one you will be comfortable smoking. If you feel like a cigar is too intense after you start smoking it, set it down, and smoke it slowly by pausing longer in between puffs. It is best to eat before you smoke, and remember, do not inhale cigars.

There are many cigar shapes and sizes to consider. Classic Parejos – or straight-sided cigar sizes – include the Churchill, Corona, Double Corona, Gordo, Panetela, Robusto, and Toro. Figurados – or tapered cigars – include the Belicoso, Perfecto, Pyramid, Torpedo, and Salomon. 

A cigar’s size plays a role in its intensity. Thinner cigars burn hotter and faster than thicker ones, and longer cigars are mellower initially but become more intense at the end. Most premium cigars are between four and seven inches long with a ring gauge, or thickness, between 38 and 60. Do not be overwhelmed by the number of cigar sizes available. Make your choice based on how much time you have to smoke. If you have over an hour to kick back with a cigar, you can smoke a larger format like a Churchill or a Double Corona. If you have only got forty-five minutes, choose a Robusto or a Corona.

Tobacco & Cigar-Maker

Tobacco is a broad category, but this one encompasses the components of a premium cigar: the binder, filler, and wrapper leaves. Premium cigars are made in the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Cuba. The tobaccos that go into a cigar come from these countries and many other Central and South American nations. As you smoke more cigars, you will become acquainted with the taste and strength of tobacco from Nicaragua versus the Dominican Republic. A cigar wrapper is particularly important. Connecticut Shade, Connecticut Broadleaf, Ecuador Habano, Ecuador Sumatra, and San Andres are common wrapper varietals, and each imparts specific flavours in a premium cigar.

The individual who blends the cigar you smoke is the architect of its taste. You can anticipate a certain level of quality and value in top-rated brands like Davidoff, Padron, Alec Bradley, etc., found in premium shops worldwide.

Price is a significant factor in choosing a good cigar. How much a cigar costs inevitably influence our enjoyment. Premium handmade cigars start at less than $10 apiece for inexpensive bundles and go up to more than $40 per cigar for something extravagant and rare. There are thousands of excellent cigars to smoke for between $10 and $15. When you smoke a great cigar in your budget, compare other more expensive cigars against it, and know that you do not have to spend a fortune for a good cigar.

1 comment

  • Very informative and useful to know when I choose my next cigar

    Ramesh Mahtani

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