Cigar smoking has had it’s fair share of stigma, mostly caused by it’s widely used… shall we say “cousin” the cigarette. One of the stigmas or misconceptions lies in how it is smoked. What most people don’t understand is that cigars are meant to be tasted… not inhaled. Unlike most smoking products, Cigars are smoked to be tasted and drawing in copious amounts of smoke into your lungs does not allow your palate enough exposure to the flavors of the smoke to taste. This is one reason why habitual cigarette smokers have a hard time transitioning over to cigars is their tendency to draw in the smoke rather than hold it in the mouth.
Premium Hand Made Cigars like the Don Abram Harris Cigar Line, are made by blending various tobacco leaves, from various strains of tobacco, grown in various parts of the world. But wait, it doesn’t stop there. Master Blenders also know what part of the leaf produces various types of characteristics that produce a desired taste, a particular type of burn and even a unique fragrance. The Master Blenders work like Top Chefs, taking all the ingredients ( Various tobacco and sections of the leaf ) and blending them in perfect amounts of each leaf until it produces the desired taste. You have probably heard your tobacconist or someone reviewing a cigar mention how the cigar changes as it is smoked. This is done as the burn travels through the various sections of the different tobacco leaf in the cigar.
The bulk of the cigar is found in the “Filler.” Leaves are bunched together according to the blender’s recipe then wrapped with a “Binder” leaf. This is then finished off with a “Wrapper”. There are other stages where the filler and binder are pressed and formed before the wrapper is applied and trimmed but not necessary for this post.
One thing that is important to know as it relates to the taste of a cigar. The wrapper is part of a specific type of leaf that is known for favorable wrapping characteristics. Ideally it is smooth and has no thick veins giving the cigar a smooth outwardly appearance. The Wrapper is a very small portion of the cigar and produces a small hint of flavor while the punch of the flavor is brought on by what lies beneath.
The main reason many have taken to smoking cigars is the calming effect that drawing into the mouth and holding the smoke there for a moment creates.
Remember cigars are not meant to be smoked during a quick smoke break or when that quick fix of nicotine is needed… rather cigars are meant to be enjoyed and drawn out, savored and enjoyed.
On & Off again designer and friend of Don Abram Harris.