Cigar Aficionado’s Cigar of the Week for the week of April 17. Read the full tasting note:
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How Cigars Are Made
There are many different types of cigars, each with its own distinctive flavor and texture. Some are sweet and peppery while others are nutty, woody, cocoa or aged.
Tobacco starts as a tiny seed, which is then grown in trays and greenhouses. When the tobacco reaches full height and maturity, it’s hand-harvested and hung in curing barns to dry and turn brown.
The tobacco is then sorted for color consistency and sent to the aging room where it undergoes a process of fermentation, removing undesirable properties like bitterness. After a brief period of aging, the cigars are banded up and sent out to shops for sale.
Aged cigars tend to have a more complex, nuanced and subtle flavor than unaged versions. They can have an array of flavors such as almond, raisin, and orange blossom.
Flavors can also be influenced by the way the smoker prepares the cigar and how long it is smoked. For example, if the smoker is not paying attention to the way they light it, or if the cigar is not properly stored in a humidor, the flavor may be less than ideal.
Cigars should be made from high-quality tobacco, properly constructed, have a pleasant aroma and smooth draw, and have a balanced flavor. It is also important to buy from a reputable cigar brand and store them in the right conditions.