Nomos Cigars co-founders Jerrold Miles and Corey Turner talk about the two new vitolas the company added to its Nomos line at the 2023 PCA Convention & Trade Show: a lonsdale and a robusto.
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How Cigars Are Made
Cigars are tobacco products that are smoked in the mouth to deliver nicotine, the addictive chemical, into the smoker’s system. Cigars are usually bigger and thicker than cigarettes, contain more tobacco and can have up to 100-200 milligrams of nicotine. Smokers absorb nicotine in two ways — through inhalation into the lungs and absorption through the lips and tongue. The use of flavored cigars makes them more appealing to young people and increases their nicotine exposure. Cigar smoking rates among middle and high school students have now reached or even surpassed cigarette use, according to 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey data.
Choosing the right tobacco and building a quality cigar require considerable skill and knowledge. It is often said that about 200 pairs of hands touch a premium handmade cigar before it reaches the consumer. The tobacco must be properly rolled, glued, pressed and dried for proper construction, which dramatically affects the flavor and enjoyment of the cigar.
The filler of a cigar is important, because it can provide both the desired strength and complexity of taste. A full-bodied blend will contain ligeros, the darkest leaves from higher up on the plant, while a medium-bodied cigar can be made from leaves lower down the stem that are categorizes as visos and secos.
The tobacco must also be sorted by color and properly fermented for good flavor. Proper fermentation changes the tobacco from a bitter, raw state to something that is smokeable and enjoyable. Lastly, the tobacco must undergo a process known as tertiary aging – similar to aging wine — which further dissipates any remaining acidity and brings out all desirable flavors.