All About The Cigar

March 20, 2011 Posted by

The cigar is the result of artists and then there is the art of cigar smoking.


The cigar is to be analyzed from every point of view: technique of manufacture, preservation of the cigar with the afferent thermodynamics and hydrodynamics, cutting technique and lighting the cigar, the taste of the cigar and alliances. Briefly, you are about to get full information on the cigar and “good” advice.


We will try to answer these questions: “What tobacco should be used in a cigar?”, “The cigarette and nicotine”, “How is a cigar?”, “How to smoke a cigar?”, “How to prepare a cigar?”, “How to cut a cigar?”, “How to light a cigar?”, “How to enjoy a cigar?”, “What about cigarette smoking?”, “When should you smoke a cigar?”, “How to keep your cigars?”, “What alliances go with a cigar?”


But it all has one goal. You can assume and assert your tastes because the key is clean fun for all of us, based on our experiences and nobody should impose any rules on you. So… Smoke your cigars as you like and love the way you smoke!


Tobacco – Nicotiana Tabacum


Tobacco is a plant of the Solanaceae family and it appears like herb-like grass, shrubs or small trees. This family includes 66 genera with over 2500 species living in tropical and extra-tropical America, mainly in Central and South America. Some genera are not represented in Europe and Asia.


We distinguish three particular varieties in the Solanaceae family: ornamental plants, edible plants and medicinal plants.


Ornamental Solanaceae plants are Physalis (ground-cherry), also called the crown of Christ, datura, the apple of love and petunias. And yes, those common plants are cousins of tobacco. But more surprising still, the edible nightshade in our gardens, such as the potato, tomato, eggplant, pepper and chili, are all cousins of tobacco. And finally, there are the medicinal plants, tobacco being related to the mandrake, belladonna, henbane and jimson weed.


Tobacco was called “The poison of the queen” because it was used to cure the migraines of Catherine de Medici in 1560. It was sent by Jean Nicot, Lord of Villemain, then ambassador in Lisbon (Portugal) and therefore it was also called Nicot grass, Nicot being the one who will give the official name of the plant: Nicotiana. This plants was also called “The poison of all evils” because it serves as a remedy for various ailments (the ladies of the Second Empire used it against their constipation). First it was used for pleasure in England in the seventeenth century or then in a quid or a plug and then appeared the cigar. Last but not least, the nineteenth century brought tobacco in the form of cigarettes.


It is assumed that there are over sixty different species of Nicotiana, classified into three categories:


- Nicotiana Rustica – nine species, all originating from South America. These are strong herbs, sometimes shrubs, which the Indians were cultivating in Chile and Quebec.

- Nicotiana Tabacum – species that became famous on the island of Cuba – six species, also from South America and belonging to the Geminae sub-section. This species is the best spread tobacco grown and there are a lot of hybrids and selections from GMOs that are unknown in the wild.

- Nicotiana Petunioides – 45 species, far more heterogeneous and scattered on the planet.


Only Nicotiana rustica and Nicotiana Tabacum have an economic interest. This represents 90% of the world production. The diversity of this group is partly due to culture methods and treatment, but especially to the selections made by man. Nicotiana rustica is strong tobacco of lower quality, which comes mainly from Eastern Europe, North Africa and Italy.


Nicotine and men


Indeed, Nicotiana Tabacum (Solanaceae family) contains alkaloids which is mainly nicotine and it was identified by Vauquelin in 1809. Its concentration is 0.5 to 5% of the dry weight of the leaves.


So what are the benefits or harmful effects of nicotine on men?


In the case of cigarettes, the smoke has an acidity that does not allow nicotine to be absorbed by the oral mucosa. But if it is inhaled, nicotine enters through the lungs in an extremely rapid absorption which causes a real “shot” of nicotine to the brain within seconds and a rate that increases to a peak after about 10 minutes. This rapid absorption is responsible for physical dependence, which is powerful in cigarette smokers. With smoking cigars, the smoke is not inhaled, but it remains in the mouth. Now the air-dried tobacco (cigars and dark tobacco) have a basic, alkaline component, which is absorbed by the oral mucosa. Nicotine enters the body slowly. Due to the absence of “shoots” of nicotine, there is little risk of physical dependence, the cardiovascular toxicity is low and we can consider that nicotine is largely eliminated after 1-4 hours, depending on the individuals. Nevertheless, toxic chemicals in the smoke, like tar, can promote cancer risk premises: mouth, lips and oropharynx.


But nicotine does not have fewer beneficial effects, particularly as an analgesic. Its mode of action is used as an anti-pain treatment in certain dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease.


In the case of cigars, nicotine irrigates the brain after 10 to 15 minutes. A psychoactive substance, it has an “awakening”, antidepressant and uplifting effect and participates in the overall enjoyment of the smoker. Indeed, apart from our taste buds awakenings, the mouth will try to decipher a code when it is “rolling” smoke in the mouth and to identify flavors using a process similar to that of winemakers. The pleasure of smoking will be enhanced by the effects of nicotine.


Tobacco leaves


The tobacco plant, which is designed for cigars, is not a mature flower. Indeed, the “pinched” buds are barely visible, thereby blocking their development and allowing the leaves to have all the sap of the plant. The “Corojo” Salvador Carvajal Hoyo de Mena (Pinar del Rio) seed is raised covered with a glass veil, which filters the sunlight and over a quarter of the leaves serve as a cape. Other varieties of tobacco: the criollo for sheets of tripe.


The position of the leaf on the plant (the stalk) affects its use. The stalk on a tobacco plant differs from March to July. Harvesting is done in several stages, starting with the lower leaves to go to the highest. The strength of leaves grows as well. The lower leaves (volado) are small and serve primarily for the burning of the cigar. The low / medium leaves (seco) have more flavor and are still light and they will provide a largely aromatic range. The medium / high leaves (ligero) are fed by the plant and they have more sunlight, they have body and strength. Finally, the highest leaves (medio tiempo) are fatter and thicker and will give more strength. But the higher up the plant, the more the leaves require a long aging, from a minimum of 9 months for volado, 18 months for seco, 3 years for ligero and 3 to 5 years for medio tiempo. This period of time may vary depending on the final use of the leaves. Everything starts by drying (20 to 50 days) in sheds, where the leaves are sewn together in pairs hung upside down. The breakdown of the warehouse is so vital for the drying performance. Then the sheets are stacked by category and begin their fermentation also closely watched in terms of humidity and temperature. This fermentation can be carried out 2, 3 or 4 times. The tie is generally removed (the central vein is removed) after the first fermentation except for the wrapper leaves. This fermentation will allow the paper to concentrate its flavors promoting the volatilization of much of its nicotine and ammonia, but also albumin, chlorine, sugar, etc… Then comes the long ripening type of leaf and its destination.


The manufacture of cigars


The leaves come from the different roller / roll benders and they are sorted according to the vitola. The “Liga” (the mixture the cigars are made of is usually only known by very few people. The roller therefore knows the proportion of each sheet to put in the mixture. After ascertaining that no rib subsists, the assembly starts with the most powerful leaves (ligero), which are folded like an accordion. Then the leaves of flavor (seco) are wrapped around and finally, the combustion leaves (volado) are added, always at the periphery and still in the shape of an accordion. These sheets make up the guts and are maintained by two half-sheets placed diagonally from one another to form the doll. The binder is bonded with odorless and tasteless (natural) glue plant. This doll is then placed in a mold to be pressed for 30 minutes to 24 hours in the factory. The doll is turned ninety degrees to avoid being marked at the junction of the mold. A skillful roller can run 90 to 120 cigars a day without any significant difference in weight and diameter and in his achievements. A good weight is also the guarantee of a good draw. According to press reports, the dolls are dressed in the nice and silky wrapper, which must be flawless. Then, it is cut with the rounded knife and well stretched. The doll is then presented so that they are rolled gently. The most complex part is the cutting and the laying of the head (or cap), thus giving the perfect appearance of the cigar. Then, the foot is cut to the size of the module and the cigars are then sorted by the color of the cape, which should be identical in order to provide a consistent look in your cases. Also, the rings should have the same height. Around 300 human manipulations have been performed since the selection of the seed in your cigar box.


Cigar conservation


Today, cigars are frozen directly in manufacturing, which eliminates the problem of cigarette beetle larvae that could expand and become a feast for your valuable cigars. However, the cigars are preemptively frozen for a minimum of 72 hours, they are sealed in plastic so that they do not absorb odors from the freezer and they are then passed in the refrigerator (24 to 48 hours according to the volume of cigars) for slow thawing. If it is too late, there are lasioderms traps. Now, the main concern will be maintaining the humidity of the air surrounding the cigars at 70% relative humidity (RH). The temperature has almost no importance when it comes to conservation. The possible outbreak lasioderms is avoided if the temperature is below 20 ° C. The cigar, which continues its maturation, is slowed to below 20 ° C and maintained between 20 and 30 ° C. By cons, it takes more water to maintain the humidity level when the temperature is high. The cigars will be kept in a cellar whose characteristics differ depending on size. On small models, be sure to seal the lid. Take the fall, the enclosed air must break his fall gently without shock. Otherwise, the basement will dry up quickly. There is no sealing for large caves (> 300 cigars) and cabinets, the volume of air being sufficient to prevent the drying. The cellars need to be neutral inside, but in harmony with the cigar. This is the case of Spanish cedar (Latin America), the most commonly used material. If possible, keep the boxes of cigars that allow an easy identification of your cigars, but respond to any changes in humidity. Indeed, wood and cedar leaves absorb moisture and the air dries. You have many humidifiers on the market to moisten your cellar. Fill them with deionized water to avoid destroying the media (sponge, foam) or with a solution of propylene glycol, which has the ability to evaporate the water under 70% RH and create a sailing preventing evaporation above 70% RH. The second point is to properly monitor the homogenization of the air in your cellar o avoid too moist cigars near the source of moisture and too dry ones at the other end, usually at the top of the cellar. Therefore, regularly ventilate the air in the cellar, using small timed fans and professional systems that are fully functional.


Adorini Humidor, Sorrento Model – Deluxe


Capacity of 75 cigars, lacquering multiple decorative inlaid tobacco leaves on the cover. Felt bottom. Body of the cellar and lining made of Spain cedar. Wooden slats spaced inside for air circulation. Humidifier with adjustable ventilation for optimum moisture content.


Why 70% humidity? Cigars are natural hygroscopic products. Like many organic substances and especially plants, they become wet or dry by taking or giving moisture to the ambient atmosphere.


A cigar which is too dry will burn quickly. Its combustion temperature is too high, no longer tempered by the natural moisture of the cigar. The smoke is hot, pungent in the throat. The cigar is aggressive. A cigar which is too moist burns poorly. The draw is difficult and craters are formed at the point of combustion. The smoke is heavy and has a spicy taste.


To be good to smoke, a cigar should contain a quantity of water (moisture of the cigar) of 13 to 14% of its total weight. The combustion is steady and the draw should be easy. The smoke is light blue and the water vapor it contains has irritant effects. The aromatic qualities of tobacco then develop fully. This amount of 13 to 14% moisture in tobacco is in equilibrium with the atmosphere with around 70% RH. That is why the cigars should be stored in an environment with a RH level of 70%.


Why is it more difficult to maintain a constant humidity level at a higher temperature?


Relative humidity (RH) is the percentage of water vapor in a volume of air relative to the maximum possible amount for the same temperature. A saturation of moisture is therefore 100% RH, after the steam condenses into water droplets. Yet as we watch the psychrometric chart below, the relative humidity is different for the same amount of water (in grams) in weight of dry air (kg), depending on the temperature. Thus, a relative humidity level of 70% RH at 15 ° C will be more than 50% RH at 20 ° C, less than 40% RH at 25 ° C and less than 30% RH at 30 ° C! Therefore, you should put some water in your humidifiers more often in summer. On the other hand, in winter, you need to bring air to the cellar to bring down the rate of humidity, which will increase as the temperature goes down to the coldest (window, the bottom wall) and saturation (attainment of dew point), which leads to condensation of water drops, which is harmful if in contact with your cigars.


Can you recover a dry cigar, which was not kept at proper humidity?


No problem. Put it in your basement and let time do its work of reparation. Do not try to dampen it too fast because you’d break out the cape. Simply put it in the cellar at 70% RH, not too close to the humidifier and leave it between 15 days and 2 months, depending on the length and diameter of the module.


Your cigars are moldy with too much moisture, so can you do?


This is actually a mold that you see in the form of more or less dark brown spots or greenish ones. Again, do not panic. It is only superficial and it will not cross the cape (do not leave it too long anyway). Also, it does not waive the taste of the cigar. Take them out of the cellar when they are too damp and leave it open until they lose their excess moisture. Likewise, let the air circulate for a few days (depending on the humidity of the room where they dry) and remove the tasks by rubbing the cigar with a soft brush, a dry cloth or your fingers, but gently avoid damaging the wrapper. Then, put them in the cellar, this time with good humidity and the incident is closed!


You have doubts about the indication of your hygrometer. What to do?


You might have reasons to be in doubt. Mechanical spring (spiral) hygrometers are probably very cheap (less than 10 euro), but they have lousy accuracy of about 10 to 15% with a very poor stability in temperature and time. Of course you can calibrate them regularly, but you should buy a better quality device. If for aesthetic reasons (or others) you want to keep a needle display, buy a hair hygrometer (20 to over 100 euro and do not go for the first price). Although more precise, about 5%, they are also much more stable over time, even if they drift in temperature and they are fairly accurate in the range of 15 to 30 ° C. Some prefer digital display hygrometers, which are much more practical with a price range of 12 to over 80 euro. Again, the details vary from one system to another, from 2 to 8%. Read the specifications before you purchase it, especially for stability and for setting during calibration. In addition, they have almost all of the display of the temperature because it is necessary to ensure the accuracy of the humidity level.




Whatever hygrometer you buy (except the very high end one), it is good to calibrate it before use and then 1-2 times a year.


There are several possibilities when it comes to this:

- 0% RH. There is dry air, which is the case just above a radiator in operation. Drawback: the hygrometer has a high temperature, which may distort the measurement depending on its quality.

- 75% RH. It is the liquefaction of the salt. Half fill a coffee cup with kitchen salt (coarse or fine). Pour 1 / 4 cup of tap water, stir for one minute until you get a pasty mixture. Put the hygrometer and the cup in a sealed bag (or Tupperware bag), close it, leave it at room temperature (away from drafts, sunlight, etc.) and check the display after 8 to 12 hours. It is the most accurate calibration. Disadvantage: pending 8 to 12 hours in a stable temperature.

- 95 – 99% RH. The easiest but least accurate hygrometer should be covered with a cloth (gloves) for half an hour and it should show 95 to 99% RH.

- 99 to 100% RH. Put your hygrometer over a saucepan of boiling water and it must display 99 to 100% RH. Drawback: high temperatures may distort the measurement depending on its quality.


If your hygrometer is adjustable, stick a label on it with the error found, being necessary to add or subtract to the indicated value.


How to choose a module?


Of course, the most complete freedom is left to one when they can smoke their cigar whenever they want to. Here are some pointers that may prove useful in order to fully appreciate a vitola. First, the cigar smoker can enjoy their pleasure if they know they will not be detrimental to anyone else. Thus, you will smoke a cigar in the good company of someone who willingly accepts it and you will refrain yourself when your smoke disturbs other tenants. Of course, you should also refrain yourself in the presence of children.


Then, some moments are more conducive than others when it comes to attacking a cigar: the end of a meal, especially in alliance with some convoluted beverages, a pause in the day, alone or with other cigar smoking friends. The place is also important, focusing on the outdoor and well ventilated areas. But what will prevail over all other considerations is your state of mind. You do not smoke a cigar like a cigarette. You have to enjoy a cigar. So be ready to “enjoy” a full module. This mood of the moment and the choice depends greatly on the vitola. But define the module before selecting your vitola. This will depend largely on how much time you have to devote to it. This module should also be used also as a function of your way of smoking and therefore your smoking speed.


The average times to smoke a cigar are (for the most common modules) from payable to:


Panatella (115 x 10.32 mm) 45 minutes to 1 hour

Robusto (124 x 19.84 mm) 1 h to 1 h 30 min

Corona (142 x 16.67 mm) 1 h 15 min to 1 h 45 min

Churchill (178 x 18.65 mm) / Piramides (156 x 20.64 mm) 1 h 30 min to 2 h

Double Corona (194 x 19.45 mm) 1h 45 min to 2 h 15 min

Short Robusto (101 x 19.5 mm) 45min to 1 h 15 min, Short Churchill (124 x 18.65 mm) 1h to 1 h 30 min.


These smoking times vary from one individual to another and, indeed, for the same individual.


Select a light and / or aromatic, full-bodied and more or less powerful vitola and so on, according to your mood. Please note that the biggest cigars are not necessarily the strongest cigars and that the finest cigars not necessarily the most aromatic cigars.


Cutting and lighting the cigar


Cutting the cigar. Again, your pleasure will be the sole judge of how you cut the head of the cigar. There is still some advice and there are some attitudes which should be avoided. The cut should be clean and free of burrs. Choose a good tool such as scissors or a double hung that has two rounded blades, bringing the cutting force over a large part of the cigar and cutting both sides. Guillotines can simply overwrite the cigar at the risk of tearing. Avoid V-cuts that create an accumulation of tar and nicotine on the edges. Similarly, introducing a match in the head to hold the cigar between your teeth can hinder the circulation and cause a node that accumulates tars and nicotine, making the final taste pungent and spicy.


The sensitivity of each cigar will also improve the cut. Some prefer to make a cut just below the top of the head (except for the shell where the distance is bigger), thus offering a slight soft and pleasant rounding of the lips compared to the edge of a section on the right side. In addition, part of the special head dressing remains in place. This operation can be advantageously and carefully carried out with a cutter (a practice that dates back to the times of cowboys, who used an empty cartridge to cut their cigars).


Any source of an odor that can permeate the cigar (wick lighter, candle, match or scented incense) is prohibited when lighting your cigar. Indeed, these odors will be absorbed immediately by the cigar at the risk of ruining it. Gas lighters or wooden matches will do nicely. You can also pour a few drops of alcohol in your hollow of the foot and flame it. You can light your cigar sucking as the scents released are those of the alliance to be enjoyed throughout the smoking process. Guaranteed effect.


Since no odor should be absorbed into the cigar, purists will clog up the head with the thumb to ensure that no vacuum will occur there. First of all, turn the foot of the cigar evenly towards the center until the entire surface is incandescent. You can then take your first puff. If ignition does not seem consistent, why not rekindle the same parties as the aspiring cigar is now filled with its own smoke?


Can we relight an unfinished cigar?


Yes, but with some precautions. If you want to put out a cigar, blow into it to expel all the smoke. When off, rub the ashes off, which will facilitate its reignition. Most importantly, do not store it in your basement because the smell of stale smoke and ash will permeate the other cigars. You can then finish it later.


Cigar tasting


Here it is, the big question is asked: “How to smoke, how to enjoy a cigar?”.


You’re the only one affected so smoke it as you like. There isn’t a way of smoking a cigar because everyone has their smoking style! The few tips for tasting the cigar will be of fairly common sense.


You should feel, touch and look at your cigar before smoking it. There are so many scents that bring memories and make promises of pleasure simultaneously. Then enjoy your cigar with your more or less dark, oily and shiny dress. And finally feel your cigar rolling in your fingers, soft and firm until they are dense enough, a fact which has been demonstrated by specialized rollers. It is also during this “manipulation” that you can detect the possible defects of the cigar: if the cigar has nodes, if it is too dry or too moist, if a manufacturing defect makes the cigar too tight and therefore hard to the touch which predicts a tough draw and so on.


Then comes the moment of “bareback” tasting, when the head is cut off, i.e. before lighting the cigar. The air drawn through the cigar will allow you to imagine things and individual flavors. These preliminary steps participate in the overall satisfaction given by the cigar, the solubilization of palatable substances and therefore the determination by your tastes buds.


Then, after lighting it, the cigar is usually “cut” into three parts (thirds) nicknamed as follows: hay for the first part (the first third from the foot) since the beginning of the cigar tends to be light and airy; the divine is the middle third, because the flavors have evolved and progressed, while the strength grows; the manure for the final third (to the head of the cigar) because the concentration of tar and nicotine can lead to a certain pungency or piquancy. Although restrictive, this can be cut into three parts often enough to define its current smoking vitola, although some cigars are very linear and only have a part, while some have two parts and others have many developments. The same names may come closer to the cartoonish feel of a cigar, although, fortunately, some cigars are “divine” from beginning to end and you might burn your fingers, not wanting to waste anything.


To fully appreciate the nuances present in the cigar, “roll” the smoke in the mouth in order to achieve the maximum taste, for the basic tastes are on the front of the tongue. Sweet is on each side, salty is on the sides, acid is at the rear of the tongue and bitter is at the base of the tongue. Try the retro-olfaction bringing smoke into the bottom groove (even swallow a little) and rejecting it with the nose. Try whenever possible to put names on the tastes and sensations that your cigar gives you and your interactions with other enthusiasts will be more accurate and there will be continuous learning. This way, your tasting will be easier. Unfortunately, your taste evolves, and if you notice your feelings on a vitola at some point, you’ll see that your approach will be quite different a few years later. It is also true that cigars are also evolving and being 100% natural handicraft product, there can sometimes be different cigars in one box!


A golden rule is that the cigar is and should remain a pleasure. One is never forced to smoke. When for any reason whatsoever your feelings regarding cigars change (the cigar becomes bitter, pungent, bitter, heavy, saturating, etc…) or they simply become disappointing, do not hesitate to ask and quit smoking.


Cigar covenants


Here, our heart is torn between epicurean and hedonistic. Yes, if it is sufficient to itself, a cigar can be enriched by a well-tuned alliance. And our beautiful country is rich in these more or less convoluted drinks that reveal a cigar as they unfold on contact! Again, every generalization has its exceptions and your taste will be the ultimate judge of your preferences. So, in general, do not “hurt” or “confront” two identical characters. A powerful or aggressive cigar will give all its brilliance on the soft roundness of old Madeira. Conversely, a cigar of aromatic finesse will be revealed and exacerbated by the tone of an Armagnac XO.


What kind of alcohol to use?


Do not impose any limits on yourself and have the audacity to dare. Of course, there are the traditional Armagnac and Cognac, but the old rum (Cuba, Santo Domingo, Martinique, Guiana, etc.), old port or Madeira, or Maury Mayde, and Pineau, Baume and other kinds of Muscat can also do the trick. You can also combine it with brandy, but you have to be careful. Test your cigars with Whisky and Bourbon, too. And finally, just test them with great wines (including Champagne), which marry excellently with the cigar. Alliances can also be done with the dishes. And chocolate goes well with cigars in point of checking the market for tobacco chocolates!


Can you make alliances with non-alcoholic beverages?


Although you frequently make alliances of alcohol and cigars, this is not the only possibilities. Teas also make great alliances in the context of hot drinks. There are also possible varieties, which are hard and subtle in flavor. In other words, there are multiple alliances to discover and test.


It is known that chocolate and cigar match perfectly, so feel free to make alliances and involve hot chocolate cigars. Also, be curious about the chocolate used, the rate of cocoa, its origins and also make mixtures. Cooking also contributes to the success and especially the former one. Stir while cooking until the boiling point to ensure an exceptionally creamy mixture with a good concentration of flavors. Cafes are also possible, but more delicate because it is difficult to drink a large volume of coffee in relation to the relatively long smoking time.


“Frozen” beverages are generally banned because the cold prevents the perception and the development of aromas. But you can make alliances with fruit juice and cocktails (with or without alcohol) at room temperature, where we always try to have a drink with a nice subtle aromatic range. As for alcohol, choose your cigars in confrontation with your alliance (very strong ones, marked / scored, very aromatic / highly aromatic… etc.), but they have to complement the sublime of one another. In short, you need to experiment in order to find surprising alliances that give you a wide range of tastes and sensations! And do not hesitate to share your successes or disappointments.


The terms of cigars


Here’s a glossary to guide you through the most used words in the little world of cigars:


Aficionados - fans. As with other disciplines such as bullfighting, the term refers to enthusiastic amateurs.

Talus – natural plant glue used to hold the binder and the wrapper. Tasteless and odorless, it does not alter the taste of the cigar

Ring – paper ring around the cigar originally designed to protect white gloves smokers, it has been used to brighten up the factory and identify the vitola.

Cabinet – high box where you store bundles of 50 cigars.

Capa or cape – the half-sheet that surrounds the outer binder. Soft, silky, solid and the color must be flawless.

Capote or binder – two half-resistant leaves that wrap the filler and thus form the doll. The largest volado leaves are chosen for this.

Stock – gauge used to measure the diameter and length of a completed cigar; it indicates the diameter of a cigar in units measuring 64th of an inch.

Pin – semi-circular and sleeveless cutting used by twisters.

Clear color - the clearest colors of the cigar (the cap).

Colorado colors – color of the cigar support (the wrapper). Colorado claro is for light brown, while colorado maduro is for dark brown.

Corojo – variety of tobacco seeds used for the wrapper leaves. Its culture will be protected from the sun and partly covered.

Criollo – variety of tobacco seeds used for the leaves of tripe. Resistant to sunlight, it will be grown outdoors.

Snake – it designates three twisted cigars linked together indicating the origin of the twisters.

Half-wheel – fagot. Wrapped bundle of 50 cigars. Quarter wheel = 25 cigars.

Stemming – manipulation to remove the central rib of the tobacco leaf. Used for stripping out between two fermentations, except for removing tie wraps in the factory.

Punch – cylindrical hollow cigar cutter that goes into the head and the axis of the cigar, opening a circle that does not damage the edges of the rounded head. It comes from the empty sockets used by cowboys. Attention, its diameter must be commensurate with that of the cigarette.

Figurado – a cigar is not cylindrical, but pointed at one end. There are also Obus, Piramide, Pyramide, Tornado, or Exquisito Campana. Double figurados are sharp on both sides.

Fumigation – processing performed at the factory to eliminate pests in tobacco leaves, including the cigarette beetle. Another kind of fumigation is done on completed cigars. Today, this step is replaced by freezing cigars and systematically killing larvae so that they do not alter the taste of cigars.

Galera or galley – workshop where cigars are made handmade.

Guillotine – a cigar cutter consists of a guillotine blade which makes a sensible cutc, crushing the cigar. Go for cigar cuts with two curved blades, which distribute the cutting forces all around the cigar. Generic term for cutting cigar cutters.

Humidor – a humidor is fitted with a humidification system to keep the cigars around a 70% relative humidity level.

Free pie - lower leaves at the base of the plant, just above the ground.

Liga or ligada – mixture of leaves which gives the cigar its unique character.

Linker - the linker is the person responsible for the liga or ligada and the assembly of tobacco.

Leaf tripe - although ligero means light, it is the leaves that give strength and power. They are generally dark.

Maduro – very dark color of the cigar (the cape)

Module – it indicates a standard size (length and diameter or weight) of the cigar that can be found in various brands.

Foot – end of the cigar which is lit. It is rarely closed.

Doll - the inner part of the cigar beneath the cape and made of tripe wrapped in the sub-wrapper.

Puro - all cigar tobacco (filler, binder and wrapper) comes from the same region, made entirely by hand.

Dress - term equivalent to the cape.

Seco – Leaf tripe. It gives the cigar flavors.

Tapado – it means covered. It means the culture is veiled in wrapper leaves. This web filters the rays of the sun to make more flexible, larger and silkier leaves.

Head - end of the cigar that you put in your mouth to suck the smoke from the burning cigar. It is frequently closed; it is a part of the cape which is more difficult to achieve.

Tiempos – it means classes. It refers to the different kinds (classes) of leaves used to make the filler after the liga.

Twister – roller or rolling machine, person rolling (manufactures) cigars.

Totalmente a mano – Fully handmade. It differentiates handmade cigars from semi-mechanized ones, using the name of Hecho a mano.

Filler – it is the heart of the cigar, La Liga, which will give the cigar its flavor, its strength and its character.

Short filler – tripe performed with “battered” leaves that are cut. It is often performed with falling leaves.

Long filler – elongated filler made with whole leaves of tobacco.

Vega – plantation. It is where tobacco leaves are grown and harvested and finally dried.

Tobacco planter – Worker planting tobacco by hand, which is very challenging because tobacco leaves are very fat and have some blackish grease.

Vitola – it is a cigar brand with a specific and defined module. In Cuba, it is equivalent to the module. Vitola de Galera is a module name given by the factory. Vitola Salida is the trade name of a module.

Vitophile – collector of cigar bands. Vitola means ring in Spain.

Volado - class of leaf tripe. Lower leaves of the plant. Mild in flavor and strength, it is used for proper combustion.

Volute – Effluvium of smoke rising from the foot of the cigar and bluish white smoke rising to heaven in a twisted dance to the rhythm and majesty of air currents.


I’m a cigar enthusiast and I want to share my thoughts with this community

Article from