A good cigar and Cuba seem to be synonyms in the mind of many connoisseurs and this fact only reflects the reality. It is well-known that Cuban cigars are some of the most exquisite and smooth on the market and one of the main reasons for that is the long and rich history of cigar making of this country. Choosing and grading a cigar is an art itself but for the everyday use, there are some basic principles that should guide you on this marvelous road:
In general, the color of the cigar is the best indicator of the aging time that the cigar had had and therefore, the overall strength of the taste. The lightest shade, called Claro, resembles the color of the sand and is a clue that the cigar is very young. This means that the smoke will be smooth and the overall taste will be very light.
The medium-colored cigars that have a natural brown shade are called Colorado. These are the best representatives of the medium range in terms of the strength of the smoke and the aroma. The color of the wrapper means that these cigars had some aging time but they are still very balanced in terms of taste. A very good example of such a cigar is Cohiba Siglo I thanks to the fact that it is very versatile and pleasant.
Maduro cigars are the ones that have a deep brown shade and some even look like they are plain black. The term “Maduro” will also be probably be found in the name and this means that the cigars were aged for a long time, usually more than 5 years. They are the strongest in the range in terms of taste and they display a very interesting personality.
The body of the cigar is basically represented by the shape and length. Even though some beginner smokers may be tempted to jump directly to the largest in the line, the Double Coronas, you should consider that the length of the cigar can be translated in the smoking time. Also, the gauge size is a very important factor in terms of taste and smoke density.
A shorter body means that the smoking time will be shorter. This type of cigar is perfect in case you want to have a short moment of delight. These short sizes can have a rather slim or a thicker gauge size that is translated in the density of the smoke. For example, Montecristo No.5 cigars are a very good example of slim and rather short cigars that are perfect for a quick and delicious smoke.
Longer bodies mean that you will have a longer smoking period, from 50 to 120 minutes. The Double Coronas, the cigars that are usually depicted in films have a very long smoking time and they should be tackled after gaining some experience in order to fully enjoy the taste.
In order to evaluate the “health” state of a cigar, the best thing that you can do is to feel the cigar. The wrapper should be a little bit oily and the leaves and veins should be distributed evenly. If you feel a dry crisp on the wrapper it means that the cigars were not kept in a humidor and therefore the quality of the taste is altered.
It is very difficult to evaluate the quality of tobacco just by looking at the cigar or feeling it. The best way to choose a cigar that has top quality tobacco is to choose a cigar from a big Cuban company. Even though it may seem like a stereotype, the best brands usually use the best materials. This is mainly because the biggest companies invest in buying the best tobacco in order to make the best cigars.
Cuban cigars are definitely at the top of the cigar world and they will definitely give you an amazing taste experience. You have to remember that it is a subjective experience and that all these pieces of advice are meant to help you experience and find the best Cuban cigar for your heart.