Few things scream luxury or status like a cigar – and especially a high end one. Their aromatic smoke and aroma is irresistible, and there’s nothing like leaning in to enjoy one. But as much as we all understand the symbol of the cigar and are quite happy to have a few on hand for a special occasion – how much do we really know? And what is it that makes the difference between a dry, poorly textured cheap cigar and Premium Maduro cigars that smoke as smooth as silk?
There are several important ingredients and processes in making premium cigars, and we thought we’d break them down for you here – so next time you’ll know exactly what to look for.
- The tobacco
The tobacco is grown first in a greenhouse before being moved to a field where it reaches maturity, at which point the large leaves are hung to dry in a barn. It’s then fermented, which is done by adding water to a pile of tobacco leaves and leaving them to sit; this improves the flavour of the tobacco, and high quality cigars are likely to have used tobacco leaves that fermented for a longer time. After the fermentation process has been completed, the leaves are dried.
- The aging
After that first process, the dried tobacco is packed away to be aged – like a fine wine ir whisky. After the right number of years has passed, it’s all unpacked and sorted according to the colour that the leaves have taken on during the aging process – from dark brown to light brown. During this process, any bitterness in the leaves breaks down and its desirable flavours are brought to the fore.
- The roll
After the thick veins are removed from the leaves, the leaves are ready for rolling; the skilled cigar rollers create cigars according to each individual maker’s blend, using just the right leaves and rolling them perfectly to allow the aromas through the cigar and into the smoke.
- Aging the cigars
The finished cigars are then aged again before being packaged uo and sent out into the world for the connoisseurs amongst us to enjoy with a glass of whisky. During this second aging process, the humidity levels in the cigar stabilise, creating a smooth and consistent flavour. Any bitterness, harshness, or ‘green’ taste will be eliminated during this process with a properly aged cigar.
We hope this helps you understand a little more how a premium cigar is made – it’s aged with care, contains properly fermented leaves, and any unpleasant flavours are left far behind. So next time you buy yourself a box, remember all the parts of this process that helped you get there!