Written by James Payne

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

User Rating: / 11

shapes and sizestobacco faqs
tobacco terms and definitions


cigar  You have no doubt heard the old saying, “It's what's inside that counts.” You probably chuckle to yourself every time you hear this, because you know, as well as I do, that this is always said when whatever is on the outside is lacking. Well in the case of cigars, and any smoke at that, beauty really is on the inside. In this article, we are going to take a look at what exactly is inside your cigar, and learn to differentiate between a mild, even cigar to a more robust, full-bodied one.
This article is part of a series I am writing to teach you how to pick a cigar that is right for you. In the previous articles, we talked about the different shapes available, and also, the different wraps, and how to spot a good (or a bad) one. We also discussed what difference a wrap really made, and the true extent that it effects your overall experience.

Here, we are going to approach the topic with the same technique. What is inside your cigar? What does it matter? Drop the hype and pick up your pipe. This article is going to tell you.

What's Inside Your Cigar

I think the typical person's view of how a cigar is made is this: grind up tobacco leaves, wrap them in a wrapper, profit. In reality however, the process is so far more challenging. I liken it to making a gourmet dish. You must find the right herbs and spices that compliment each other, and not use them too sparingly – or go overboard with them. Only with cigars, you are working with different types of tobacco.

Note that unless you are smoking a Cuban cigar, the filler inside your smoke is blended from many different types of tobacco. Cuba is the only country that uses strictly its own tobacco leaves. In a typical cigar, you can find tobacco from many different countries and regions, as well as different years (think of aged wine or cheese). Don't be fooled mind you – these blended cigars are not just thrown together higgledy-piggledy. A great deal of effort is used to ensure that the proper mix is used, and that each cigar in that product line tastes exactly the same. It is a mastered art for sure, and it is what gives each brand its own signature flavor.

An interesting fact is that most cigars in the same line may sport a different size, yet taste exactly the same. That is not to say that there are not lines that do vary, but mostly they are the same.

Aside from acquiring and using different blends of tobacco, manufacturer's also employ various techniques to ensure a variety of tastes within their product lines. As I mentioned earlier, using tobacco that is from a certain year, or that has an increased aging process (remember the cheese?), are two such methods.


+1 # How many years ago was this written?Frank Flores 2009-01-28 12:35
No disrespect intended at all. But as I'm reading and see this sentence "Note that unless you are smoking a Cuban cigar, the filler inside your smoke is blended from many different types of tobacco" I think to my self, what the heck? Yes Cuban Cigars are all Puros, at least the Premium one that we all know about. But to make it sound that this is the only country you can get a puro cigar is just nonsense. There are some great Puros from Dominican Republic and Nicargua. Thats is my other point to this. Where it talks about the different tobacco from the different countries not once is Nicargua mentioned. I think most would agree that some of the best cigars in the market today are Nicarguan, including Nicarguan Puros.

Ok sorry to be long winded, getting off my soap box now.

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0 # ummm ok?pipesandgop 2009-01-28 14:04
This taken from the JR Cigar website, just because i think a lot was left out:
"The strength of most cigars sold today can be judged by the country where they were manufactured. The following list shows cigar manufacturing countries and the general strength of the cigars produced there:
Strength Country of Origin
Light Bodied or Mild
Dominican Republic
Puerto Rico
United States

Medium Bodied
Honduras- (Med-Full)
Full Bodied
Costa Rica
Cuba "

Also, this link provides a lot of information on the different regions in case any smokers were interested in reading up on it a bit more than what was offered in the article here.

I just say that because it can give you a better idea of what to expect from a cigar containing tobacco from these various regions and in particular, puros from these countries. Especially since the article implied that the only puros in the world came from Cuba even though I'm smoking a nicaraguan puro at the moment, nicaraguan puros are constantly getting high reviews, and a Dominican puro is now probably the most if not one of the most sought after cigar in the world- the OpusX. Dominican tobacco is known for being superb, and typically the wrapper will be the only thing that is not from DR, simply because they have such a hard time growing good wrapper leaf down there, although it is being done.
Just wanted to throw that out there since the article was using such an authroitative tone to say things that were a bit misleading.

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