Cigar Aficionado’s Cigar of the Week for the week of March 20. Read the full tasting note:
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How Cigars Are Made
Cigars are a type of smoke made by hand with tobacco leaf wrapped around a stem, referred to as the filler. They are made in a number of ways, with different combinations of tobacco leaves used to create distinct strength, aroma and flavor profiles for various branded cigar products.
The process of making cigars is a long and labor-intensive affair, with many hands touching each cigar before it gets to your humidor. Finished cigars are sorted for color consistency, then sent to the aging room.
In the world of premium cigars, this is a key step in creating the best possible taste and texture. Ideally, the tobacco is piled and fermented according to its size and type (a pile of different-sized leaves will ferment at different rates), allowing it to become smokeable, and remove undesirable qualities like bitterness or ammonia.
There are three major types of cigars: little cigars, large cigars and cigarillos. A small cigar, also known as a panatela, is open at both ends and is thin and light.
A large cigar, often called a tuper, is fatter and usually has more filler tobacco than a small cigar. It is typically longer and wider than a small cigar, and can be tapered or flattened.
Smoking cigars is associated with a significantly higher risk of oral, esophageal, laryngeal, and lung cancer. It can also lead to respiratory disease, including asthma and bronchitis. It can also increase the risk of heart disease.