“I don’t taste any of those sweet, leather or vanilla, every cigar taste the same to me…”
This was a quote that I saw that made me write this. Leather, oak, cinnamon, earthy, vanilla; these are all words used to describe cigar tasting notes. When I first started smoking cigars, I didn’t think about any of the “tasting notes,” typically I looked at the wrapper (color) and its reputation.
As I started to read more about cigars, I started broadening my palette by trying different smokes. As time went on, I did start to taste these differences, I started to understand what these aficionados were talking about. I then got into pairings and finding what I liked about different liquors, soda, coffee and food with my cigars. I started to want to understand why some gentleman don’t taste these notes and why do they not enjoy them to the extent that I do.
I was at a cigar bar, talking with a group of guys who had these opinions, that “a cigar should taste like a cigar.” As we spoke and I observed, I figured out what might be a common issue. These guys smoked a Churchill in under 15 min; they puffed so frequently and deeply the cigar cherry was glowing bright red and just burning right through. In my opinion, their cigar was burnt. When they lit up their next they really torched the hell out of it, so much so I though I was going to need a fire extinguisher. Okay, that might be a small exaggeration but close to truth. As we talked and they commented on their picks for the day, a friend and I started to give a few tidbits of advice. A few months later, I saw one of these guys at the same cigar lounge (I honestly didn’t recognize him) but he said how much the conversation we all had changed how he tasted cigars. He then told me something very interesting, “I switched over to lighter cigars, I can get more out of the flavor.” I thought to myself, this guy has now found what he likes in cigar flavors.
Morale of the story; take your time, slow down and enjoy.
~Matt S. of Smoke n Barrel