For many, smoking a cigar is one of life’s great pleasures and we couldn’t agree more. The richness of the smokes, their complexity, the depth of their flavours, everything counts for a truly fantastic smoking experience.
In order to enjoy the best flavours, it is essential that the tobacco leaves themselves are of the highest quality, of course; but what else can influence the quality of your favourite smokes and change their flavour – for better or worse?
Moisture and Humidity
Cigars absorb and retain moisture from the surrounding environment, which can alter their flavours; they can also become dry in mere hours or days if left in less than favourable conditions. If you notice that your cigar has gone dry, you can try to keep it in a high moisture environment, although the original flavour can never be restored.
A slow burn is required for you to be able to fully appreciate the richness and depth of flavours and textures but, if your cigar is dry, it will burn too quickly and hotly, so you will not be able to enjoy them.
You can easily gauge whether your cigar is too dry or too humid. When you roll it between your fingers and hear crackling, then it’s too dry. If it feels springy, it’s too damp. Cigars are supposed to feel firm, so make sure you store your smokes in a good humidor.
The soil where the tobacco plant grows is also vital when it comes to the flavours of your favourite smokes. For example, a lot of iron in the soil will provide a rich flavour to the tobacco. It will, therefore, determine the type of flavour your cigar will have. A nitrogen-rich soil also influences your cigar; more specifically, its strength, as it means an increase in nicotine. The more nitrogen is in the earth as the tobacco plant grows, the stronger the smoke.
There are also many different organic elements that can contribute to the flavour of a cigar, including calcium and magnesium. The higher the volume of these elements, the sweeter the cigar will be. In essence, the concept of terroir, which derives from the French ‘region’, plays a very important role in the life of the tobacco plant, and can affect the way it tastes.
The thickness of your cigars, or their ring gauge, affect the way they taste as well. Larger rings tend to have more tobacco filler, while smaller diameters tend to have a lot more flavour and complexity. Most of the flavour of a cigar comes from the wrapper leaves, which means that when you have a larger cigar, your wrapper/filler ratio will be higher. You can taste more of the wrapper in a thinner cigar than when compared to one with a larger ring gauge.
So, if you prefer to buy small cigars, you will find them ‘more flavourful’ than thicker smokes. This doesn’t mean that larger gauges will lack in taste; it simply means that their flavours might not be as complex.
At James J. Fox, we’re passionate about cigars and anything related, which is why we offer a vast selection of smokes and accessories, such as our Dupont Lighters – perfect accompaniments to your cigars. If you have any questions about the flavours of our smokes, get in touch with us and a member of our professional team will answer them.