Reposted from El Cannatorcedor Blog / May 2016
My task began in January. Smoke 30 tobacco cigars in 30 days, different varieties, different sizes. Goal : Absorb cigar culture, marketing, packaging, and delivery.
Timescale failed. One cigar a day was too much. Fast forward 5 months later, I have enjoyed 1-2 cigars per week approx. My cigar dossier has four pages of entries and my palette has developed a bit.
My findings : The enjoyment of a cigar is greatly dependent upon the same type of pleasure circuit as the smell of a campfire, burning sage, or hickory / mesquite smoke. You have to enjoy the scent, the burning smell. So much richer than cigarette smoke, and thicker. Cigars are best paired with a drink, and their flavor will be impacted after a meal. Strong coffee being my choice for pairing with a Maduro, and in social settings like a casino, or any other occasion for a cigar, a nice brandy or jack & coke pairs well with a camaroon or a connecticut. The natural flavor will be stronger on an empty stomach, without any pairing. If you want to really taste a cigar, smoke it during a period when you haven’t had food in a few hours.
I prefer medium body and sweet cigars over strong and intense. I prefer Connecticut, Nicaraguan, and Cameroon wrappers. Not so much a fan of the full flavored cigars, the exception being Partagas Black Label. That is my maduro of choice. I enjoy a spicy/woody element, I am not very tolerant of strong tobaccos. Ligero heavy blends tend to be too strong for my taste, overpowering any drink.
Favorite size : Robusto – 4.5-5″ 52 gauge
Favorite Sticks :
1) Acid Kuba Kuba
2) Oliva G Serie Double Robusto
3) Partagas Black Label Bravo
4) Hoyo De Monterrey
Tobacco is restored back to it’s proper spirit in my experiential spectrum – to taste and relish in the experience and flavor; an experience lacking the quick-fix of cigarettes or even vapes. Cigars are meant to be savored. Enjoyed. Aftertastes explored.
Cigar marketing and concepts need no change…… Limited edition boxes, seasonal varieties, reserve edition boxes, custom rolled cigar blends for high end clientele, the simple elegance of it all only need to be imported into the cannabis world and tailored for cannabis. Cannabis has a much wider and richer flavor spectrum. Fresh buds, terpenes, and oils make for flavor profiles that span from skunky to a hint of fruity bubblegum.
The difference is that cannabis terpenes mimic scents/flavors in a more pronounced way. Tobacco cigars will often carry descriptors like “hints of cinnamon” or “cocoa overtones”, etc. However, in my view, if tobacco has not been specially cured in the presence of cocoa beans or cinnamon – this description is mostly subtle and subjective. It is not very likely I would smoke a normally cured tobacco stick and detect cocoa, at all. Cannabis terpenes actually do mimic many brighter flavors, and these flavors pop out.
I will enjoy a premium tobacco stick now and again, no doubt, but tobacco is not something I will maintain as a regularity. The time has come to say farewell to weekly testing of tobacco cigars, and focus on my primary goal. My objective here is complete. I have absorbed enough of the culture. I have learned a few core methods. Stocked a few favorites.
Taste acquired. Onward.