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Cigar Flavors Explained

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People mainly smoke cigars for the taste. Premium cigars do wonders to the palates in a variety of ways. The flavor of cigars can be sweet, spicy, nutty, and earthy.

Taste is relative, depending on what people term enjoyable. Usually, it is a debate topic among cigar connoisseurs and critics, considering that people may perceive the same cigar differently. Nevertheless, specific components such as balance, strength, aroma, body, and finish often characterize cigars’ flavor and taste.

Keep reading to discover the most common cigar flavors you’re likely to encounter in the descriptions of your favorite cigar brands. For clarity, this article is focused on traditional premium cigars and not artificially flavored ones that conceal the natural and rich taste of cigars beneath oils and sweeteners.

Various Flavors of Cigars

Cigars Flavors Explained - Infographic CigarCigar Info

In describing cigars, terms like chocolate, espresso, toast, coffee beans, almonds, maple, leather, earth, cashews, cayenne, figs, cinnamon, black pepper are commonly used.

The cigars’ flavor is frequently referenced to trees and plants such as hickory, Cedar, and oak. The taste of cigars can be earthy, zesty, floral, tangy, or metallic. To understand the range of tasting notes, you can use a flavor wheel as a guide to deciphering the taste of premium cigars.

Natural Notes: Earth and Leather

natural cigars

Earth and leather are the introductory tasting notes of cigar flavors.

To some cigar critics, earth and leather are abstract flavors; however, it is essential to understand that aroma has a huge role in the cigar’s overall outcome. You can quickly know that a cigar can taste earthy when you tally it with a smell. New jackets have a particular scent, and some cigars possess an aroma similar to leather jackets’ fragrance.

Likewise, some cigars smell like a freshly plowed field in the spring. Premium cigars that have been appropriately aged carry on the scent and taste of earth and leather vividly. Cigars that come in earthy or leathery flavors contain a certain spice level amidst the complexity of flavors.

Nutty Notes: Chestnuts, Almonds, and Cashews

You can use several nuts to describe the flavor of cigars. However, the most common nuts used in cigars’ description are chestnuts, almonds, and cashews. On occasion, pistachios and hazelnuts also feature in the cigar’s tasting note. Cigar experts use nutty aromas to describe cigars with milder flavors that incorporate the creamy and rich taste of almonds and cashews.

Coffee Notes: Espresso, Coffee and Cream & Black Coffee

Coffee and cigars are a perfect combination, considering that each expresses the variance determined by the coffee bean and tobacco plantation’s soil and climate. Cigars with coffee notes incorporated into them can have tastes varying from mild to dark and rich coffee flavors. Some coffee-flavored cigars are more intense and bitter, just like espresso.

Spicy Notes: Cayenne, Black Pepper, and Red Pepper

Cigars with spicy tasting notes are pretty standard among cigar brands. The most common peppers infused into cigars are cayenne pepper, black pepper, and red pepper. Occasionally, Jalapeno, white pepper, and bell pepper are also infused into cigars and offer subtly spicy flavors.

Sweet Notes: Molasses, Dark Chocolate, and Cocoa

Some cigars have naturally sweet flavors, especially those that are wrapped in Maduro leaves. Sweet notes found in premium cigars have flavors such as molasses, dark chocolate, and cocoa. In some cases, maple and caramel flavors also feature in some premium cigar flavoring.

Wood and Vegetal Notes: Oak, Hickory, Tea, and Cedar

cigar tea flavour

Some cigars are infused with the flavors of work and plant-like essence such as Cedar, hickory, oak, tea.

Being the most prominent, Cedar occupies a variety of cigar descriptions, from mild to medium and intense flavors. Cedar is not only infused as a flavor into cigars; it is also an excellent wood choice for the construction of cigar boxes and humidors, considering that the wood is suitable for aging cigars and it has a great reaction to moisture.

The Cedar’s taste in a cigar is usually the result of storing the cigar in a cedar-scented environment.

What Are The Different Cigar Strengths?

The strength of cigars varies, depending on certain factors. Some cigar lovers prefer the full-bodied cigar’s intense and robust taste, whereas some other cigar lovers may tilt more in the direction of mild and gentle cigars.

People have their differences when it comes to cigars, and sometimes, the occasion also influences the choice of smoke. To understand the strength of cigars better, here’s what you should know.

Typically, cigars are classified by strength in three ways: mild, medium, and full-bodied cigars. The definition of cigars, according to power, has nothing to do with taste, but it indicates how much nicotine the cigar contains. Cigars’ strength can be felt in the gut due to the gastric glands’ reactions to tobacco.

A cigar’s strength refers to how intense the tobacco is and the overall effect on cigar smokers.


Mild cigars are subtle and light. They are best for enjoying a smoke earlier in the day or alongside a refreshing beverage. Mild cigars are also great for people who are looking to begin smoking newly. It is essential to understand that mild cigars are not inferior to stronger cigars; they are even more complex and are infused with a burst of flavors.

Here are some examples of mild cigars:

H.Upmann Coronas Major

– Romeo Y Julieta Petit

– El Rey Del Mundo Demi Tasse


Medium cigars are a bit more intense than mild cigars. It is best for people who have had some exposure to cigar smoking. Beginning with medium cigars is not a great idea for someone new to the game. However, as you get more comfortable with mild cigars, you can progress to medium cigars for a slight boost in intensity.

Medium cigars offer just a bit more intensity than mild cigars, so you don’t feel an overload of strength that emanates from smoking a cigar that is too concentrated. It is crucial to find a cigar that allows you to smoke comfortably without an overpowering smoke experience.

Here are some examples of medium cigars which contain the perfect strength for people who want to upgrade their smoking:

– Hoyo De Monterrey Le Hoyo Río Seco

– Oliva Serie G Belicosos

– H.Upmann Magnum 46

 Full-Bodied Cigars

Full-bodied cigars offer the most vigorous smoke intensity.

Experienced cigar aficionados should only smoke full-bodied cigars because newbies cannot handle the intensity of full cigars.

Full-bodied cigars contain a powerful combination of flavors and are great for after-meal smokes.

However, it is vital to slow down when smoking full cigars. Here are some examples of full-bodied cigars.

They are perfect for serious cigar lovers who have tried both the mild and medium cigars and desire a more intensely flavored smoke:

– Bolivar Royal Coronas

– Cuba Salamones

– Bolivar Coronas J

What Does Corona Mean In Cigars?

In cigars, corona refers to the typical shapes and sizes of premium cigars. They are cigars that are straight-sided, with open foot and rounded closed head. According to the Cuban standard, a corona cigar’s size is 5 5/8 inches long and a ring gauge of 42.

Bottom Line

Cigars can be infused with a variety of flavors ranging from spicy to sweet and nutty notes.

These flavors release an aroma that not only makes the cigar smell great but also tastes fantastic. Most cigar lovers take their time to relish the depth and wealth of flavors that cigars offer.  We have discussed some of the most popular cigar flavors available today in this piece.

This article also revealed the various strengths of cigars. It is imperative to note that a smoking progression from mild to medium to full-bodied cigar is advised for people who are starting on cigar smoking so that they can enjoy the transition from basic to full cigars.

Cigar cutter Prestige Royal
Dan Stevenson
Dan Stevenson

I have been smoking cigars for 30 years and counting, I started at 18 years old with mild Cubans and worked my way up to medium and now bold. I own 4 humidors, that I try to keep stocked at all times.

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