Cigar Aficionado’s Cigar of the Week for the week of June 20. Read the full tasting note:
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What is a Cigar?
A cigar is a long, cylindrical roll of tightly rolled tobacco for smoking. Cigars are made from tightly rolled tobacco leaves and often contain other ingredients for flavor and aroma. The tobacco used to make a cigar must meet stringent standards for appearance, burn quality and aroma. It must also be pristine in texture and silky in color.
The tobacco plant undergoes many processes to become a cigar, beginning with seed selection and greenhouse cultivation. Then, as it grows, cigar makers blend different varieties of filler tobacco to create distinctive strength, aroma and flavor profiles for their brands. In addition, the soil in which tobacco grows can have a profound influence on taste and aroma.
Once a cigar is made, it must be aged for several months to mature and develop its characteristic smooth, complex flavors and mellowness. This process is critical to producing the best quality cigars. Cigarmakers also use a variety of processing and fermentation techniques to control the amount of nicotine and to achieve the desired aroma, taste and feel.
Cigars are primarily consumed by adults and tend to be enjoyed in social situations. They are favored by the wealthy and have been historically portrayed in the media as an emblem of status and power. However, cigars can be unhealthy for regular smokers. Heavy cigar smoking can cause nicotine addiction and may lead to serious health problems, including heart disease and emphysema. Cigar smoking can also increase the risk of cancers of the mouth, larynx (voice box), esophagus and lung.