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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My question is how many of you can actually "taste" non-tobacco flavors in cigars? I mean CA seems to apply wine tasting standards to cigars but try as I might I just don't see where they are coming from in their taste descriptions. For instance, I have never tasted leather-not that I know what leather taste like-or anis or coffee etc... I wonder if the flavors described by CA are more akin to sensations. Sometimes I smell vanilla (Dominican tobacco especially), feel a hot or peppery sensation but never actually taste these flavors. When I rate a cigar's flavor I do so based on body, smoothness, balance but those descriptions are always based on the overriding flavor of tobacco which is distinct. What do you all think?:confused:
 

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a lot of people here use those wonderfully descriptive terms too. but i can personally say that i don't think i have ever experienced, cinnamon, or earthy tones, or coffee.
i have tasted non-tobacco flavors that i must enjoy, cause i keep smoking, but nothing i can put my finger on.

jimmy
 

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not in non-cubans, i only taste tobacco and ashy-earth, sometimes some spice.

but in cubans, i can easily say, YES, i've had cashew flavors, coffee flavors, cinnomon one time, and almost all have a coffee grounds flavor on the finish for me.

i've had chocolate covered espresso beans before, and have come close to tasting something close to that in a cigar, not so much the chocolate, but for sure the espresso/coffee flavors.
 

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Bacon Lover
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I think for everyone its a little different.
For me I'll describe flavors in a cigar like chocolate or leather, even though it doesn't taste EXACTLY like either of the two, its just the closest flavors I can associate it with. There are rare instances were a cigar WILL taste literally like chocolate or something (for example a padron anny 64 maduro pyramid I had last summer. It really tasted like hot cocoa).
Sometimes I'll smoke a new cigar and have to think about what Im tasting. If I find myself sitting there too long and can't come up with a distinct flavor I usually concede that Im smoking a dog rocket. Ironically I hate nothing more than a cigar that tastes like nothing but tabacco...
 

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The first Torano Exodous 1959 Black I smoked had a distinct chocolate taste to it, but I've had many since and have not tasted it again.


-Quixote
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So I guess what we are talking about then is taste impressions as opposed to "flavors". With that I agree. I just feel that CA's descriptions tend to be over the top and quit frankly made up. Of course I don't pretend for a moment to have a highly acute palate. For instance I like a good bourbon whisky but I rarely taste all the flavors so often used by tasters--same with wine or any spirit for that matter.
 

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MoTheMentor
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I just like saying the "Mmm, Yummy" part.
 

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A lot of the 'taste' is actually in the smell of the cigar before lighting and the smell of the smoke.

Sometimes it's helpful to smack your lips after a puff or two so that your whole mouth gets a chance to decipher the 'flavor'.

I have tasted chocolate, coffee/toffee, vanilla, spice, pepper, citrusy, cherry, paper, and leather. And this in not in "flavored" cigars (like Acid brand and others). This is in Padron 3000s, CAO Gold, and so on.
 

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linusvanpelt said:
A lot of the 'taste' is actually in the smell of the cigar
Yeah. The taste buds, which are located on your tongue, are only capable of detecting 4 distinct flavors: salt, sour, sweet, and bitter. All the rest of your notion of flavor comes from your sense of smell. That's why food tastes so bland when you have a cold.

I've detected leather in Onyx reserves. This is not to say I've ever chewed on a belt or a pair of Python boots (that was for you robmcd), but the aftertaste reminded me of the smell of leather. I always get a sense of chocolate when smoking Padron 64s. Again, it is more of an impression, or feeling, rather than the feeling that I've bitten into a piece of chocolate.

I agree that the CA descriptions are over the top, but I am willing to allow that maybe, just maybe, those guys really do experience the flavors they write about.
 

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drc said:
This is not to say I've ever chewed on a belt or a pair of Python boots (that was for you robmcd)
:r - i think aroma is the key word here ... and if you hold the cigar with zircon encrusted tweezers and let the smoke linger near your nose, the aroma really comes thru (some major dudes blow the smoke out of their noses).
 

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Bacon Lover
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i always blow some out my nose - w/o doing it i get only a fraction of the flavor. I couldnt imagine smoking one w/o doing it.
 

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I believe that I really do taste a lot of these flavors, but I go out of my way to ensure I can really enjoy the smoke that the cigar provides. I always smoke my favorite cigars indoors, where the air is very still.

I draw in very slowly, and let the smoke cool in my mouth a bit. Then blow it out and down so the smoke can gentrly rise up past my nose. Then take a good smell of it. It works for me.
 

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When I'm describing the taste of a cigar it's more like what smokem' and David said about impressions and associations. If I'm really concentrating on flavor I'll take a puff and let the smoke hit every part of my tongue then blow some out my nose. Nothing I've smoked ever tastes exactly like earth or coffee, for example, but there's an aspect of the cigar's taste that reminds me of those flavors. That's the big subjective part. Sometimes coffee can taste really "nutty". I like "nutty" coffee so if I notice a cigar tastes like coffee I may also be picking up a the "nutty" taste that I like in my coffee. So for me flavors and their associations can bleed together.

It's always fun to read reviews of the same cigar (alright, fine, not the same exact cigar) posted by two different smokers. The words they use to describe the flavor are often different but if you think about the flavors they taste more generally you can see some commonalities between the two. I think that flavors can be grouped into general catagories then broken down to more specific catagories. It's kind of the same principle as a wine tasting wheel. In fact I think I saw a cigar tasting wheel somewhere out there about a month ago. I like to try an make my impression of a flavor as specific as possible. Using this kind of thinking, a flavor chart or tasting wheel sometimes can help to nail down an elusive flavor. However, I don't succeed at this as much as I'd like to.

When I think about flavors and associations this way I usually enjoy the smoke a little more. It's just something I like to do with nearly every cigar I light up.
 

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talking about association...i get cravings for chocolate after smoking bolivar petite coronas and sometimes bolivar coronas.dont know if i actually taste chocolate but i sure want chocolate after a cigar.my favorite...oh henery

derrek :)
 

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FLAVOR WHEEL

Based on some Internet research of Odor and Taste classifications, and wine tasting wheels - I developed this CIGAR TASTING CHART to help people pick out various flavors in their cigars.

The inner ring are basic flavors, the outer ring are more specific flavors associated within the basic.
 

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Have to agree with some of the earlier posts, cannot talk about the taste without alluding to the aroma. Have definitely tasted salt, pepper, and leather, have actually chewed on a piece of leather in my youth, obviously left an impression, but other flavors are very illusive and on reflection are more scent memories than actual flavors, clove, licorice, paper, balsa wood, etc., and it's not that these are lasting impressions, just very transient, you say to yourself, what was that, and from somewhere in your memory your brain says clove or whatever. Can say have never tasted meat or mushrooms in my cigars. Smoking cigars is a very subjective experience that each of us interprets in a very individual way. As to the CA reviews I think they are forced into hyperbole by the nature of the the magazine. I , like an earlier post in this thread would be satisfied with, "Yummy, want to smoke another one!" Frank B
 

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linusvanpelt -- Nice work! It looks very usable.

FrankB -- I agree. I think you made a distinction about flavor and aroma that I've overlooked and that I've seen in drc's and linusvanpelt's previous posts. Now that I can see it, it makes sense. I suppose my working definition of "aroma" as the smell of a cigar when not tasting it got in the way of understanding this.

When I'm trying to find a flavor, my mind is working pretty much like you describe it.
 
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