Savor Your Premium Cigar
We smoke premium cigars simply becuase we like to and we can. Most of us have a particular premium cigar or two that we rank as favorites, or a certain flavor profile we are looking for in a new cigar. Premium Cigars offer a world of flavors just waiting for us to sample them. Problems arise when we try to communicate those flavors to someone else! While we each have different palates, it is possible to minimize confusion while encouraging conversation.
At Bailey’s we always ask for a customer's preferences and use a 1-5 scale (mild to full) for body. When somebody isn’t sure or is new to premium cigar smoking, the questions turn to other experiences. How do you drink your coffee or tea? Do you drink alcohol? What kind? Do you like pepper? Are you looking for a particular flavor or texture? Usually a brief conversation leads to some recommendations. We try not to offer too many options as it is easy to get overwhelemed!
Keeping in mind Tobacconist University's definition of flavor - what we percieve when taste and aroma combine - it is important to remember that a premium cigar's taste is always contextual. Anything you are eating or drinking, have just eaten or drank will influence the flavor of your premium cigar. Your mood, company, and expectations also act as part of this context. A premium cigar's filler, binder, and wrapper act in consort to create the synergy we call flavor. The premium cigar smoker becomes part of a wider interaction. Just like many other interactions, it can be difficult to explain or descibe to others.
In addition to the scales and questions mentioned above, a common vocabulary helps! There are many flavor wheels and terminiology descriptions to be found. This Blog has a couple previous posts you might re-read (check the Related Posts). We still like the simplicity of the Rojas Cigar flavor wheel. There are just a few general flavor note categories, each easily defined - Nutty, Sweet, Wood & Floral, Coffee, Herb & Spice, Natural. A little more detail (and confusion) can be found in the Havana House Cigar Tasting Notes diagram - Fruit, Flowers, Earth & Minerals, Nuts, Herbs & Spices, Plants, Other Falvours, Non-Flavour Flavours. We've also referred to the process and materials offered by Cigar Sense.
Think of descibing premium cigar flavor in the same way you would describe coffee, wine, or whiskey. You hope the terms you use help others understand, but the reality is that vocabulary is just a place to begin a conversation. In the end, “Smoke whatcha like!” Tell us what that is below...