London, 24 November 2023
Founder & CEO, Diorasis Group
Publisher, The Decision Maker magazine and cigar aficionado.
The Fundamentals of Cigars and the Industry
Are you new to the world of cigars and feeling overwhelmed by the vast selection available? Choosing the perfect cigar can be a daunting task, especially for beginners. But fear not! In this guide, we will explore the key factors to consider when selecting a cigar, ensuring an enjoyable and satisfying experience every time.
Before diving into the world of cigars, it's essential to understand the fundamentals. Cigars are meticulously crafted by skilled cigar makers, who use premium tobacco leaves and employ traditional rolling techniques. The tobacco leaves are aged and fermented to develop complex flavours and aromas over time.
Major cigar-producing regions include Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Honduras. Each region has its unique characteristics, offering cigar enthusiasts a diverse range of options to explore.
Size Matters: Finding the Right Size
The size of a cigar greatly impacts the overall smoking experience. Cigars are typically measured in length and ring gauge (diameter). The length can vary anywhere from 4 to 8 inches, while the ring gauge ranges from slender, like a pencil, to bold and thick.
If you have limited time to savour a cigar, opt for a shorter length and smaller ring gauge, as these cigars tend to burn faster and require less time to enjoy fully. On the other hand, if you have a leisurely afternoon or evening ahead, choose a longer cigar with a larger ring gauge to indulge in a longer smoking session.
Exploring Flavours: Unleashing Your Palate
Cigars come in a variety of flavours, from earthy and woody to sweet and spicy. When selecting a cigar, consider the flavours that align with your personal preferences. Here are some common flavour profiles you may encounter:
Mild: Ideal for beginners and those who prefer a smoother taste, mild cigars offer delicate flavours with hints of cream, nuts, and cedar.
Medium: Exhibiting a richer taste, medium-bodied cigars often feature notes of coffee, cocoa, and leather, providing a balanced smoking experience.
Full: For seasoned smokers seeking a robust and intense experience, full-bodied cigars deliver bold flavours like dark chocolate, pepper, and espresso.
It's worth noting that flavours can vary depending on the tobacco origin, aging process, and cigar manufacturer. Exploring different brands and blends will help you discover your preferred flavours.
Pairing with Pleasure: Drinks and Cigars
Pairing your cigar with the right drink can elevate the overall experience. Whether you prefer a hot cup of coffee or a refreshing cold beverage, here are some guidelines to keep in mind:
Hot Drinks: For a harmonious pairing, opt for a coffee with a medium roast. The nutty and toasty flavours complement the earthiness of cigars. Additionally, a fine single malt whiskey or aged rum can enhance the richness of a full-bodied cigar.
Cold Drinks: To balance the heat of a cigar, consider a crisp and cold drink like a light beer, sparkling water, or iced tea. These beverages cleanse the palate, allowing you to fully appreciate the flavours of your cigar without overwhelming your taste buds.
Remember, the key to a successful pairing lies in finding balance and harmony between your cigar and drink of choice.
Price Range: Exploring the Options
Cigars come in various price ranges, allowing enthusiasts to find an option that suits their budget. In Europe, the Middle East, and the United Kingdom, prices can range from affordable to luxurious, depending on factors such as brand, size, and tobacco quality. Here is a general breakdown:
Affordable: You can find quality cigars for as low as $5. These cigars are an excellent choice for beginners or those on a tight budget.
Mid-Range: A range of $10 to $20 will offer a wide selection of cigars with balanced flavours and good construction.
Luxury: For those seeking the pinnacle of craftsmanship and exquisite flavour profiles, premium cigars priced at $30 or more provide a truly luxurious experience.
Exploring the Brands: A World of Choices
The cigar world is brimming with esteemed brands, each with its distinctive reputation and offerings. Here are a few notable brands that cigar enthusiasts often turn to:
Cohiba: Renowned for producing some of the finest cigars in the world, Cohiba cigars showcase exceptional craftsmanship and rich flavours.
Montecristo: This iconic brand has been revered for generations, known for its impeccable construction and complex, well-balanced cigars.
Padron: With a commitment to quality, Padron cigars are handcrafted with Cuban seed tobacco, offering a range of flavours to satisfy every palate.
These are just a few examples, and the world of cigars is vast, with countless brands waiting to be discovered.
The key to great enjoyment
Choosing the perfect cigar is a personal journey that involves exploring different sizes, flavours, pairings, and brands. By taking into account factors such as the size of the cigar, time available for tasting, and your personal preferences, you can embark on a delightful exploration of the world of cigars. So, sit back, light up, and enjoy the timeless pleasure that a well-chosen cigar provides.