Cigar Aficionado’s Cigar of the Week for the week of February 20. Read the full tasting note:
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How Cigars Are Made
Often compared to wine, cigars are an artisanal product, crafted by hand in small batches using a complex process of fermentation and aging. Unlike wine, which is made from a single varietal, cigars are usually comprised of blends.
The tobacco used in cigars is derived from a variety of countries, including Cuba, Mexico, Central America, Brazil and India. Its color, flavor and aroma are influenced by the climatic conditions of the growing regions as well as by the skills of the artisans who prepare it for smoking.
Cigars are made from tobacco leaves that are fermented and aged to bring out desirable characteristics such as a subtle sweetness and nutty, floral flavors. A properly aged cigar will have notes of almond, raisin and orange blossom.
Flavor and Texture: A great cigar has a smooth texture and a balanced, consistent burn. It will also be light to medium in strength.
Tobacco Leaves: A good cigar will include a diverse mix of tobacco leaf types that are stacked and piled to maximize their natural fermentative ability. This allows the nicotine and other chemicals to breakdown and release their desired properties, and to rid the cigar of a harsh, raw taste that can be reminiscent of freshly cut grass or green beans.
Aging: A perfect cigar will be aged for a long period of time, similar to the aging of wine. This will help to further dissipate any acidity and give the cigar a mellower, more nuanced personality.