There is so much to learn about cigars that it can sometimes seem overwhelming. Learning more about cigar tasting terms can help you to find the types of cigars you like best. The next time someone is discussing the body of a cigar you'll know exactly what they are talking about and will be able to join in on the conversation.
The first term to discuss is that of flavor. Flavor is easy to confuse with other cigar qualities. However, these terms include bitter, sweet, tangy, tart and so on. Some cigars may also be described as spicy or perhaps even tasting like cinnamon, citrus, nutmeg or chocolate. Other adjectives you might run across might include leather-like, cedary or caramel-like. There are many subtle nuances in cigar smoking. The depth of flavor is also an important consideration, as is the hints of flavor, the undertones and overtones.
The strength of a cigar is usually speaking about the amount of nicotine in it. Some people prefer a high dose that will give them a "buzz", while others like a very mild amount. A green cigar (one that has aged less than three months total) tends to have the highest concentration of nicotine. The length of stay in a humidor can also affect the strength of some cigars. When others talk about the volume of a cigar, they are usually referring to the smoke that comes out. Is the smoke of each puff very thick? Is it extremely thin? This can help you describe the volume. The finish of a cigar is basically referring to the aftertaste. Is it pleasant and did it last a long time?
Last but not least, there's the body of a cigar. The body can be a tricky thing to define, as many people get it confused with a strong flavor. A cigar that has a very strong flavor but no volume and low strength would not be considered full-bodied. Usually, the terms for the body are full, medium or mild. To be a truly full-bodied cigar, most people say it has to rank high in all the above categories and have such a strong presence that you couldn't argue its complexities. If you are looking for mild flavors then look to cigars from the United States or Puerto Rico. For flavors a bit stronger, you could go with most cigars from Brazil or perhaps Mexico. True full-bodied cigars often come from Cuba, Costa Rica or Honduras. There are exceptions, of course, these are merely some general guidelines.
For full-bodied cigars, you would find the best in Cuba, Costa Rica and Honduras. For milder cigars, look for cigars in the United States and Puerto Rico. For the strongest flavors try Brazil or Mexico. Every cigar is different, so it takes some smoking experience to truly appreciate the complexity of a good smoke. No wonder Rudyard Kipling once said: "A woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke."