Written by Puff Staff

Sunday, 05 May 2013

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In the second installment of our how-to manual for fledgling cigar smokers, we’ll be looking at more terms you’ll need to navigate the world of premium smokes. Last week we covered the basics, and now here are some more in-depth cigar terms. Keep these in mind in case you ever go on a quiz show and choose “cigars” as your category.




An “Amatista” is a glass jar containing cigars that has been sealed to keep them fresh. The original Amatista jars from before the Cuban trade embargo were very heavy and made from glass with lots of protective packing. Modern Amatista jars are often made from plastic.


You probably already know that the “Band” is the ring of paper wrapped around the closed head of a cigar, but this little piece of paper has a history of its own. There’s disagreement as to who invented the first bands, but the supposed purpose was to prevent nobles from getting their dainty gloves stained. Another legend credits Dutch advertising genius Gustave Block with creating the band to keep the cigar’s wrapper from coming apart. Today, the cigar bands are prized for their colorful graphics.

The “Binder” is one of the three main components of a cigar, the portion of a tobacco leaf that holds together the filler leaves and is surrounded by the wrapper.

The “Blend” refers to the tobacco mixture used in a cigar, which can include as many as five types of filler leaves, plus the binder leaf and wrapper.



“Bloom” or “Plume” is a fine white powder that appears on cigars and is a natural part of the aging process. Don’t be disturbed if you find this white powder, because it can just be brushed off without damage to the cigars. On the other hand, mold, which has a bluish color and stains the wrapper, is definitely a problem.

“Bouquet” is the smell of a fine cigar, also called the “nose.” Cigars must be stored properly to maintain their bouquet. For this you’ll need a humidor, but we’ll be covering those in a future column.

A “Box” is a container for packaging cigars, which sounds simple but there are several styles of boxes for different numbers of sticks. A “cabinet” is a wood box with a sliding top that holds either 25 or 50 cigars. An “8-9-8” is a round-sided box designed to hold 25 cigars in three rows—eight on the bottom, nine in the middle row and eight on top. The most popular box is a “Flat Top,” or “13-Topper” which holds 25 cigars in rows of 12 on the bottom and 13 on top with a spacer in between.

Cigars that acquire a slightly squarish shape from being packed tightly into a box are “Box-Pressed.”

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