Novice cigar smokers can get overwhelmed when they try to choose the right cigar. There are more kinds of cigars at the local tobacco shop than you can imagine. They come in several shapes, sizes, strengths and flavors. You should ease into your new hobby before you buy the biggest, most expensive and strongest cigar you can find. It’s smarter to start with milder, smaller cigars until you develop a taste for tobacco and decide what you like in a cigar. Big cigars aren’t for everyone. Mild or flavored cigars are perfect for beginners. Little cigars can be very tasty, and they cost a lot less than their big brothers.
Traditional cigars can cost quite a bit. However, their high price does not always translate to a quality cigar. Many cigar smokers find they get good flavor from cheaper cigars. It’s important not to buy a cigar just because your friend smokes that particular brand or type. Cigar smokers have varying tastes and preferences.
Wrapper Colors and Cigar Strength
The color of the wrapper is a good indication of its strength. Lighter colored wrappers equal a milder cigar. Beginners should start with a mild to medium-strength cigar. Here’s a list of the most common types of cigars and their wrappers.
- Double claro cigars have a mild flavor and a light green wrapper.
- Claro cigars have a smooth, mild flavor and a light tan wrapper.
- Naturals have a full-bodied flavor and a light brown wrapper.
- Colorado cigars have a robust, rich flavor and a reddish-brown wrapper.
- A Colorado maduro has a rich, aromatic flavor and a dark brown wrapper.
- Maduros have a strong, sweet flavor and a very dark brown wrapper.
- Oscuro maduros have a strong flavor and a wrapper that is almost black.
If you prefer a sweeter smoke, a flavored cigar might be the choice for you. Little cigars and cigarillos look like cigarettes because they usually have filters. Instead of white paper, they are wrapped in a brown paper that is tobacco-based. Many people smoke little cigars because they cost less than cigarettes since they do not fall under the tax increase on cigarettes and other tobacco products. Small cigars and cigarillos come in a wide variety of fruit and spirit flavors. You can find cigarillos that taste like rum, bourbon, sambucca, amaretto, mint, cherry, blueberry, chocolate, vanilla, mango, peach and cinnamon.
Tips for Picking a Good Cigar
When choosing a cigar, follow these tips to make sure you get a good smoke.
- Squeeze the cigar softly. It should have a slight amount of “give” to it. An over-humified cigar will feel squishy.
- The cigar should not feel dry or crunchy. An under-humified cigar will have a cracked wrapper.
- Cuba isn’t the only place where they make fine cigars. Don’t let regional snobbery cloud your judgment.
- More experienced smokers might recommend a high-profile, expensive brand. Don’t let them sway you. Follow your own tastes and budget.
- Throw away any cigars that become moldy. Don’t confuse mold with plume. Plume looks like white ash. It can be brushed off the cigar. Mold is moist, sticky and will ruin the flavor of your cigar.
Don’t rush into a choice when deciding on a cigar. There are many cigar shops that offer sampler packs so that you can experiment with various kinds. When you find the best smoke for you, you’ll know. It’ll be just right.
Stephen Craig is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @SCraigSEO.