This document is constantly updated with new terms. If there is one you would like to see here post it in the comments and we will get it added.
Aging Room – A room in a cigar factory for rolled cigars to age and mellow. Typically lined with Spanish Cedar. There is no industry standard for length of time for cigars to sit in aging rooms. Some cigar factories do not age their cigars (most do)
Aroma – The smell from a burning cigar. Cigars have a variety of aromas. Typically great premium cigars have a nice aroma.
Ash – The burning end of a cigar. There are many colors of ash. Long filler cigars typically have a strong ash that may become quite long. Short filler cigar ash will not hold on the cigar. Different soil nutrient contents affect the color of the ash. Ash color varies from white to gray.
Band – A ring of paper that identifies a cigars branding. Can be fancy or simple. Some cigars have no band. Cigar bands were widely used in Cuba as of 1855. Some cigars have a secondary band. Many bands have fantastic lithography and are works of art. Cigar smokers sometime remove the band after the cigar has had time to heat up.
Belicoso – Traditional cigar shape. Pyramid shape with a more rounded head than a torpedo.
Binder (Capote)- The tobacco leaf or leaves that holds together the filler tobacco. One of three main components of a cigar (wrapper, binder, filler). Less expensive than wrapper tobacco. Most Binder tobacco was intended to be wrapper but did not make the grade. It is possible to have more than one binder on a cigar.
Blend – Tobacco’s for the cigar’s 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.
Body – Also know as the strength of the cigar. Not to be confused with “flavor.” It is possible to have a light bodied cigar with a burst of flavor and vice versa.
Box – The container used to package most premium handmade cigars. Most are made of wood and contain 20 or 25 cigars though this varies widely. Cigar companies have made their boxes into works of art. Many people use cigar boxes for guitars, jewelry boxes and many other things.
BOTL – Brother of the Leaf (BOTL). This is a term used to identify a fellow cigar smoker. It is a popular internet cigar term.
Bullet Cutter – Also called a punch cutter. This is one of the three main types of cigar cutters (guillotine, V and Punch / Bullet). It creates a very clean circular opening in the cap of the cigar.
Bundle – Bundle cigars are generally less expensive than box cigars. They may or may not have bands. The purpose of the bundle packaging is lower the cost of the cigar. Bundles are wrapped in clear plastic.
Cameroon – West African country known for nice dark cigar wrapper. Wrapper from other countries in the region sells under the same name.
Candle – Never use this to light your cigar. The wax particles will interfere with the flavor. Light a cedar spill with a candle instead and then light the cigar with the cedar spill.
Cap – One of the key parts of a cigar. It is a piece of wrapper leaf placed at the top of the cigar to hold the binder together. Be careful never to cut past the cap since this will cause your cigar to fall apart. There are many types of caps (pigtail, triple, etc.). The cap of a premium cigar must be cut. This is also the end of the cigar you draw through.
Cedar – Spanish cedar is used in most cigar boxes and humidors. Note: this is not red cedar or american cedar and is not aromatic (these should never be used with cigars). Spanish cedar is from the mahogany family. It grows throughout the tropics and is not a real cedar.
Cigar Bar – A bar and / or Cigar lounge where patrons can enjoy a cigar and drink.
Cigar Lounge – A special place where people can enjoy a premium cigar in a relaxed atmosphere. Commonly found associated with local cigar shops but not always.
Demitasse – A 4″ cigar with a 30 ring gauge also known as a “Lady Finger”
Draw – The amount of air pulled through a cigar. Can we tight or very light / easy or anything in between. Most cigar smokers prefer draw somewhere in the middle. Sometime the draw can be hot or plugged (blocked).
Ecuador – A country in South America known for great wrapper tobacco. The continuous cloud shade filters the light aiding the tobacco growth. Connecticut, Sumatra and Habano tobacco is currently grown here.
Esteli – City in Nicaragua where most Nicaraguan cigars are made. Tobacco grown in the area is known for its strong full flavor characteristics.
Figurado – Any cigar that is not straight sided. Includes these shapes belicosos, torpedos, pyramids, perfectos and culebras. Parejo would be cigars that have straight sides.
Filler – Filler leaves are held together by the binder and make up the bulk of the tobacco in a hand made cigar. Premium cigars contain long filler tobacco (whole leaf). Machine made and lower quality cigars contain short filler (chopped) tobacco.
Glossary – A list of terms and definitions
Gum – A flavorless, odor less vegetable glue used to secure the cap onto the bunch of a cigar. Also used to repair cigars with damage.
Habano – A cigar made entirely of cuban tobacco. Cuban term.
Hand Rolled – A high quality cigar made entirely by hand. Uses Wrapper and long filler tobacco.
Head – The closed end of a cigar. This is the end you smoke. Comes in a variety of shapes.
Honduras – One of the four major cigar producing countries. Others are Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Cuba
Indonesian TBN – An aromatic, rich wrapper that is lightly colored (TBN stands for ‘tobaco away naungan’ which translates to tobacco under sheet or shade grown.) The best of this leaf is grown near the province of Java.
Ligero – The full flavored top leaves of the tobacco plant, used in filler
Long Filler – (Tripa Larga) Filler tobacco leaves run the length of the cigar. Long Filler when lit leaves behind a long ash because less surface area of the leaf is exposed to the flame. The smoke is often cooler and milder than what you would experience with short filler
Maduro – The term for very dark tobacco
Marrying- The phenomenon by which different tobaccos, when brought together mix their flavors and aroma; this process is the basis for blending distinctive cigars
Perfecto – 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 a Rat Tail.
Quebrado- a tobacco leaf torn in the field
Rat Tail – Also known as Curly Head, fancy tail or pig tail, the rat tail is a small twist of tobacco on the cap of a cigar, formed by the roller by twisting that last bit of leaf
Wrapper – The outer leaf of a premium handmade premium cigar. Wrapper holds the finished binder and filler leaves together. Must be treated with care to avoid damage. The bulk of a cigars flavor profile comes from the wrapper leaf. The most expensive of all tobacco leaves.