It is not easy to define what characterizes a good cigar. A good cigar is one that you enjoy. It is a matter of taste and sometimes even a matter of circumstance. There is no one cigar that is all things to all smokers. Some cigars are good for certain situations, some are good when paired with other particular food or drink. There is no one thing that makes a good cigar. That is as much because taste is subjective as because smoking a cigar is about the total experience.
What do the experts say makes a good cigar?
If you look to the “experts” like bloggers and other cigar reviewers, you will see they evaluate a good cigar based on a few consistent factors. To most a good cigar is not just right on how it tastes, but on everything from how it looks and feels, to how it draws and how long it holds its ash. A good cigar scores well on factors like appearance, construction, and flavor.
The color of the wrapper leaf, the texture of the wrapper leaf, the presence of veins in the leaf, the size and shape of the cigar, the features of the cap and even the art on the band or label can factor into the determination of a good cigar. Although it is not exactly an appearance factor, many cigar reviews assess the pre-smoke aroma of the unlit cigar as well. The appearance of the cigar should be considered in not only how it makes you feel when you see it and hold it, but how it will make you look when you smoke it.
Flavor and Construction
A good cigar, of course, scores well on the evaluation of the factors of the smoke of the cigar. In the smoke many consider the flavor and construction factors. Some important elements to be evaluated regarding the construction of the cigar are the heft or weight of the cigar, and the presence of any cracks, dents, or other imperfections. These elements, observable at pre-smoke are important indicators of what is to come during the smoke. A good cigar has a good draw, even burn, controlled heat, and holds its ash long. Elements of burn, heat and draw should be considered at the beginning middle and end stages of the smoke as they can fluctuate throughout the smoke.
To many, the flavor of a good cigar is the most important aspect. Most cigars exhibit what is often termed earthy tones. Because you are tasting burnt leaves, earthy tones is usually a way of saying natural taste i.e. not unnatural or treated/chemical taste. The most prevalent flavors in non-flavored cigars are nut, leather, wood, earth and berry. The flavor of a cigar will often change throughout the smoke and to be good, should taste good at beginning, middle and end.
Then again, some consider every cigar a good cigar, unless it’s a bad cigar, which is easier to spot.