For a beginner, finding out the subtle clues and complexities of cigars can be quite difficult. Among the first thing that you should learn about is how to taste a cigar in order to find the right one for your taste buds.


Different people have different sensitivities to cigar aromas and flavor profiles as every person’s palate is unique. Taste is subjective so it’s impossible to determine what exactly does a cigar taste like for every smoker. No two sticks are alike but other things such as how fast you smoke can also affect its taste.


Cigars can have earthy, floral, nutty, spicy or sweet undertones. But if you haven’t tasted a certain flavor before then how would you know if it’s coming through as it should? While you can refer to recommendations and the flavor profile on the cigar box, your own palate can be developed by trying different cigars.

Make notes of each cigar’s flavor and character. Eventually, you’ll be able to identify similarities and dissimilarities between various stogies which will enable you pinpoint specific flavors and notes better.


Remember that tasting a cigar involves more than just using your taste buds. Your nose and olfactory senses play a big part in determining what something tastes like too. The finish (aftertaste) is another important component; refers to any flavours left behind on your tongue after taking in any substance over those receptors responsible for detecting sweet,sour,bitter,salt etc..

All three areas work together allowing one build up an idea about flavour profile of their smoke but how do they help us in tasting cigars correctly which enhances our smoking experience?


Let’s start with our tongues – these are where we detect flavours from bitter through salt up unto umami (savoury). They help us know whether we like it or not. Tongue can pick up five different tastes:

Bitter – Usually taken as bad taste, however it may work well in cigars if combined with other flavours; examples being coffee and dark chocolate.

Salt – Known to be found mostly in Cuban smokes due to high lithium content in Cuban soil which is an alkali metal close enough related to sodium.

Sour – Shows only acidity, a cigar that hasn’t been aged properly has low quality tobacco so sourness is not welcome here.

Sweet – Considered as one of the most pleasurable taste sensations when it comes to cigars. But for the tongue detect them two taste receptors have to be activated making this a difficult element to imitate successfully.

Umami (savoury) – A meaty or savory taste, usually comes from amino acids which means things high in protein like cheeses or meats will activate this receptor.

The tongue can also sense things like dryness and temperature that could affect how your cigar tastes like.


The second part (smelling the cigar) arguably outweighs what your tongue does. There are more flavor detectors in our noses than on our tongues — our sense of smell could account for up 75% according to studies conducted by researchers at Monell Chemical Senses Center(Philadelphia).

When talking about smelling a cigar, we don’t mean fragrance present in air after smoking nor do we refer to aroma coming out when you take puffs off your stogie. Ironically these two aspects do not contribute anything towards its flavor.

Instead, we mean the smell of the cigar when the smoke is in your mouth. However, to emphasize the aroma element and gain the complete flavor experience, you can exhale some of the smoke through the nose using a technique known as retrohaling. To do this, draw the smoke into your mouth and hold your breath. Once ready, release about 75% of the smoke to leave your mouth. Push the remaining 25% back with your tongue while you exhale the smoke through your nose.


Finally, let’s touch on the finish, aka the aftertaste. The aftertaste of cigars should be enjoyable, and the longer they stay fresh in our memories for all time much better it is Most gentle smokes have short finishes — flavors and notes won’t hang around too long But this doesn’t mean they can’t be complex.

Cigars with more intense blends tend to have longer finishes here tasting notes will hang out for a while leaving much stronger aftertaste in mouth.


To appreciate full flavor of your cigar cleanse palate before smoking it If whatever food or drink you’ve been consuming is contaminating it then overwhelmed will become novice smokers choose water because this won’t interfere with taste buds’ ability detect subtleness

If ever reach point where can handle more than one stick at once try drinking apple juice between each one always start lightest first — bold ones leave behind such heavy smells that sometimes don’t notice how delicate other types are until later on

Herb & spice notes – black pepper, cayenne, clove, etc.

Natural notes – barnyard, earth, leather, etc.

Nutty notes – almonds, cashews, walnuts, etc.

Sweet notes – cocoa, maple, milk chocolate, etc.

Wood & vegetal notes – cedar, grass, oak, etc.

Distinguishing all cigar flavors takes many years of experience. Until then the best way to learn how to appreciate different flavors is to smoke mild or medium-bodied cigars because they have more manageable tastes than stronger blends although still complex in nature which can help build up your palate for these types of smokes.

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