Taste approach

With the cigar lit, the tasting may finally come into play. Now the cigar will offer your palate the expression of its aromas, taste and strength. It is certainly during this final approach, the test of fire, that the aficionado will finalize his judgment of the cigar.

The flavours perceived are diverse and evolving along the cigar burning. Different ‘times’ are generally perceived during the tasting and classically 3 periods are put forward. By order of tasting, these are commonly called the hay, the divine and the muck. During these three phases, sometimes the taster can highlight some specific associated aromatic trends.

The combustion of the first third of the cigar can show flavours of undergrowth and green vegetation. Taste buds might be tempted to recognize woodsy autumnal tones and very animal scents, sometimes with certain characters more humid wood and dewdrops.
During the combustion of the second third, the perfumes evolve into more complex and unctuous tones. They can, in some cases tend toward creamy and sweetness, while showing some clear aromas of barn and leather.
During the last third, the cigar having already lived well sees the taste evolving into empyreumatic sensations, like toasty and roasted. Bitterness can also appear lightly or strongly. After sometime, the cigar becomes frequently significantly more spicy and stronger. This is often when a number of tasters decide to leave the object of their short pleasure.

Typical problems detected during the taste approach are: bad taste, and too high strength, spiciness or bitterness.

The analysis of combustion

The observation of the cigar’s physical ‘conduct’ during its combustion is a very important part in the appreciation of a good cigar. It is too often oversimplified by the sole analysis of the drawing. Several elements are really interesting to watch, as among others, the ability to maintain the combustion, the rate and uniformity of burning and the nature of the ash.
A good combustion is if, with a satisfactory draw, the cigar stays lit during most of the tasting, if the burning front advances relatively slowly and uniformly all around the cigar perimeter, and if the ashes show white or light grey colours with a compact texture.

Typical physical problems are bad draw, irregular ring combustion, combustions stops, tube or tip burning, or poor ashes.


Some tasters like to let the cigar go out and then reawaken their cigars. Some go even as far as to voluntarily let their cigars go out several times in order to re-light them.
Sometimes it is due to improper leaves with defects of combustion and, consequently, the cigar will go out with some frequency. It is then a problem.

If this happens and you don’t like it, do not be alarmed, it does not affect the cigar aromas too much if you do re-light it before it is getting cold. In short, just do not break the temperature dynamic maintained since the start of the tasting. Simply re-light the cigar properly and carefully.

To effectively re-light a cigar, remove the remaining ash in the combustion area by shaking and tapping gently at cigar foot. The cigar can then be reawakened carefully and homogeneously.

The end

What is the right time to separate from one’s cigar? The size of cabo, the part that has not been smoked, can vary depending on the quality of the cigar, habits and mindset of the aficionado.

Having shared all its beauty and satisfied the demanding aficionado with its most intimate pleasures, the cigar can now sit and fade slowly in the ashtray for his death to be as noble as his short life. Do not let this piece of art – result of tradition, passion and sacrifices – die any other way than with dignity and respect.


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