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Language of the Cigar Smoker

Binder (Capote):
The leaf between filler and wrapper that binds the whole stick together; hence the name. Binder leaf is chosen for its combination of burning qualities, flavor and aroma. Binders are the strong, flexible tobacco leaves holding the cigar together. Found between the wrapper and the filler, the binder holds the form of the cigar true to its shape The thicker tops of the tobacco plant are used as a binder
Tobaccos for the cigar wrapper, binder and filler are what make up its blend. As the oils from the tobacco leaves blend over time, the cigar assumes its blend-specific flavor.
A naturally occurring gray or white ‘fuzz” that sometimes appears on the wrappers of well-aged cigars and can be removed with a finger or soft cloth. Not mold, Also known as plume.
Also known as the strength of the cigar. The term is not to be confused with “flavor,” although people often use the terms interchangeably; It is very possible to have a light- bodied cigar with a heady burst of flavor, and vice versa; A “full-bodied” cigar is one .. with a complex blend that affects the palate more strongly.
Boite nature:
A plain cedar box without any markings holograms edging paper or lithographs.
Cigars that by virtue of being placed into a tight fitting box have been pressed into a squarish shape
Filler and binder tobacco rolled together before the application of the wrapper
Literally a bundle of 20 to 50 cigars, wrapped in ribbon and sold without a box.
A fragile and thin wrapper leaf produced in the Bertoua region of the West African country of Cameroon Imparts a light flavor and sweet aroma
A small tab of tobacco leaf affixed to the head of the cigar with vegetable glue to close to the head The cap is always clipped off before smoking
A Spanish term for wrapper
Casa de tabaco:
The structure that hosts the initial stages of tobacco leaf drying with the leaves strung up on poles hung from the rafters,
The crescent-shaped cutter used to slice tobacco leaves in preparation for rolling into a cigar.
Named for the conic British prime minister a 7 double corona with a 47 to 54 ring gauge
Spanish for “little cigar.” Short, narrow, and filled with shredded tobacco.
Connecticut Broadleaf:
This thick, oily and veiny wrapper leaf, also grown in Connecticut Valley. USA, is full of flavors and aromas
Connecticut Shade:
With a mild to medium flavor, a silky quality, and a hue that graduates from slightly golden to red, this tobacco grown in Connecticut Valley (also referred to as “Tobacco Valley”) is some of the most sought-after and prized in the world.
Criollo San Andres:
A flavorful that yields cigars of medium to full body grown in Mexico’s lush San Andrés Valley
The pole used to string tobacco for drying from the rafters of the casa de tabaco
The blade used to remove the cigar’s cap. Comes in scissors, single- or double-bladed guillotine, punch, bullet, or V.
A 4” cigar with a 30 ring gauge, also known as a “lady finger.”
Airflow through a lit cigar It can be too effortless (hot) or too tight (plugged)
Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade:
Connecticut-seed shade wrapper produced in Ecuador, slightly more flavorful and richer in color than Connecticut shade.
Ecuadorian Cubano:
A Cuban-seed wrapper grown in Ecuador in a variety of shades ranging from light to dark. Fuller-bodied and rich it is sometimes referred to as Corojo 98. Ecuadorian Sumatra Wrapper leaf, grown from Sumatran seed and using Ecuador’s near-continuous cloud cover, yielding a mild flavor and a hint of sweetness.
Spanish term for a cigar-making factory.
Traditional term for the largest cigar in a particular brand.
Filler (Tripa):
The tobacco leaves, rolled into the center of the cigar, form the foundation of the blend. The filler is the center, which comprises the majority of the cigar These leaves often come from different fields, regions, and countries. Cigar filler is primarily from the Caribbean, Central and South America and Mexico. Dominican has a medium body with sweet undertones; Honduran is rich with coffee tones; Nicaraguan is spicy/earthy, and Mexican filler tends to be strong, sweet and spicy.
Spanish term for a tobacco farm.
Finished head:
A particular finish to rolling a cigar in which the cap and the body are formed from one piece of leaf.
The end of the cigar that one torches.
Frog strip:
A filler leaf after the central stem has been stripped away: so named because it supposedly looks like the underside of a frog.
Foil cut:
A guillotine cut.
The cigar makers’ distinctive four-pocket shirt, ideal for both touring the factory floor and meeting with important guests afterwards.
Approximately 20 tobacco leaves bundled together
A cigar whose wrapper had been hand-rolled onto the binder and filler.
The end of the cigar with the ‘cap” that one cuts. Often referred to as the “top” of a cigar.
Hecho a mano:
Translates as “handmade.” Stamped on cigar boxes to indicate their hand rolled premium quality.
Honduran Connecticut Shade:
Connecticut Shade tobacco grown in Honduras, providing ideal color and balance between strength and flavor
The device placed inside humidors to track the interior humidity.
Indonesian TBN:
An aromatic and rich wrapper that is rather light colored (“TBN” stands for ‘tabaco awah naungan,’ which translates as “tobacco under sheet,” or shade-grown); the best of this leaf is grown in the eastern province of Java near Jember
The full-flavored top leaves of the tobacco plant, used in filler.
Long filler (Tripa Larga):
Filler tobacco leaves that run the length of cigar Long filler, when lit leaves behind a suitably long ash: because less surface of the leaf is exposed to flame, the resulting smoke is often cooler and milder than what you experience with short filler.
The term for very dark tobacco.
The term used to describe the phenomenon by which different tobaccos, when brought together mix their flavors and aroma; this process is the basis of blending distinctive cigars.
A Cuban-seed wrapper leaf grown in Nicaragua since the 1 990s, blown among producers for its difficulty in producing: only a few leaves from the very top of the plant end up as wrappers.
A cigar that tapers at both ends, an iconic shape often 4” to 5” long.
Pig Tail:
Also known as a “Curly Head” or “Fancy Tail,” the Pig Tail is a small twist of tobacco on the cap of a cigar, formed by the roller twisting that last bit of leaf. Also known as RatTail.
Large piles of tobacco leaves assembled for fermentation.
A five-count bundle of wrapper leaves, also known asa “hand.”
A naturally occurring gray or white “fuzz” that sometimes appears on the wrappers -of well-aged cigars. Can be removed with a finger or soft cloth. Not mold. Also known as bloom.
A cigar whose binder, filler, and wrapper come from the same country in which it’s rolled.
A tobacco leaf torn in the field.
Rat Tail:
Also known as a “Curly Head” or “Fancy Tail,” the Rat Tails a small twist of tobacco on the cap of a cigar formed by the roller twisting that last bit of leaf Also known as Pig Tail
Ring gauge:
The measurement of the diameter of a cigar with 64 ring gauge units per inch
San Andres Morron:
A medium-bodied Leaf grown in the San Andrés Valley of Mexico, Considered thick and flavorful.
Medium-flavored filler leaves from the middle of the plant.
Select Connecticut Shade:
The best of the best of Connecticut Shade, grown in Connecticut’s ‘Tobacco Valley.”
The nursery, often within a cigar-makers compound, where tobacco seeds are grown and spend their first days as sprouts.
The optimum environment for a humidor; 70 percent relative humidity and 70°F.
A strip of wood (usually cedar procured from a wood sheet used in cigar boxes) used to light a cigar.
A quasi slang word for cigars other variants include stogie gar and rope
The factory process of removing the stem from a tobacco leaf
Also known as the body of the cigar strength falls into three categories mild medium and full A new smoker may take some time to determine which cigars strength best fits is or her personal comfort zone
Also known as box-pressed. Occurs when cigars are inserted tightly into a box so as to press them into a perfectly square shape.
A tobacco field overlaid with cheesecloth to create shade-grown tobacco.
La tabla:
The wooden cutting board on which the cigar roller does his or her work.
In Spanish one who twists and a term used to indicate a roller of premium handmade cigars.
Cigars that are packaged in individual tubes. These tubes are typically made of aluminum; however. They can also be made of wood or glass.
A tobacco plantation.
One who grows and harvests tobacco.
Spanish terminology for the shape and size of a cigar.
One who collects cigar bands.
Vuelta Abajo:
An area of Cuba renowned for its soil and tobacco-growing qualities.
The lighter-flavored lower leaves of sun-grown tobacco plants used in filler.
The wrapper (outer covering) can contribute from 600/0 to 80% or more to a cigars overall flavor. Wrappers grown m the shade will be smoother, have smaller veins and should be slightly oily. Those grown in the sun will be darker, have larger veins and should be velvety to the touch. They will tend to have a fill flavor and hint of sweetness as the increased sun exposure increases sugars on the leaf.

  • Criolio San Andrea - Medium to full body, grown in Mexico’s San Andrés Valley.
  • San Andrea Morron - Medium-bodied, dark and flavorful version of the above. Rich and slightly sweet.
  • Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade - Slightly more flavorful and richer in color than Connecticut Shade.
  • Ecuadorian Sumatra - Grown from Surnatran seed. Mild flavor, hint of sweetness.
  • Connecticut Shade - Mild to medium flavor, sill’ quality, lightly golden to red.
  • Nicaraguan - Cuban seed leaf grown in Nicaragua since the 1990s.
  • Indonesian TBN - An aromatic and rich wrapper Light colored.
  • Connecticut Broadleaf - Thick, oily and veiny wrapper leaf. Full of flavors and aromas.
  • Cameroon - Fragile, thin leaf. Light flavor, sweet aroma.
  • Ecuadorian Cubano - A Cuban-seed wrapper grown in Ecuador in shades from light to dark. Full-bodied, rich.


Educate Yourself.

Part of the fun of smoking cigars is learning about the various countries of manufacture, tobacco types, and cigar making techniques. Of course, the real fun comes when you try the cigars and discover the brands and characteristics that most appeal to you. Subjective ratings can be helpful, but you may wish to concentrate on reviews that mention flavors, strength, and characteristics that you know you like. And keep in mind that the bigger diameter a cigar, the cooler it will smoke.

What’s Your Taste Profile?

Friends and tobacconists can provide you with recommendations and are great sources for helpful information. In addition to asking them what they smoke, describe the flavors you like so they can suggest cigars of similar character that fit your particular taste preference.

And Remember.

- -When it comes to a great smoking cigar, you can always count on