Reviwing cigars

Cigars, to many, provide a great deal of pleasure and relaxation. Cigar smokers donâ??t smoke because they have to, they smoke because they want to experience all that a cigar can offer. Aside from relaxing with your cigar, itâ??s also fun to take notes and review a cigar once in a while. Whenever I smoke a cigar, I always make sure I have plenty of time to actually smoke the entire stick, and also be able to think about what Iâ??m tasting. A developed palate will allow most cigar smokers to pull out various flavours throughout their smoke, including cocoa, spice, pepper, coffee, anise, etc.

Before you cut/light your cigar, take note of:

· Brand of cigar
· Blend
· Size (also known as vitola)
· If you think age plays a role, then take note of that as well
· Inspect the cigars overall construction and quality of how it was rolled. Look for veins, how the head/cap looks.
· Sniff the foot of the cigar â?? how does it smell?
Note the above and itâ??s time to cut your cigar using your favourite cigar cutter.

Once youâ??ve sniped off the head, take note of the following:

Take a few pre-light puffs, and check for how easy or hard the draw is. If the draw is like sucking through a straw, then the cigar was probably rolled too loose. If the draw is noticeably tight, then you may have a cigar rolled too tight or perhaps even a plugged cigar.
Take a few more puffs and see what type of flavours pop out at you.
Now that youâ??ve thoroughly inspected the cigar, light it up! Cigars are generally reviewed in thirds: first 1/3, second 1/3 and final 1/3. More often than not, the cigars flavour will change as you smoke itâ?¦ Here are some things to look for:

First 1/3

What were the initial flavours you detected on the first few puffs? Whatâ??s interesting is that you may have picked up flavours such as coffee or spice during the pre-light puffs, while your first post-light puffs present something completely different. Donâ??t be surprised if this happens.
How easy did the cigar light?
How evenly the cigar is burning (watch for uneven burning, tunneling, etc).
What flavours are you detecting?
How does the smoke feel â?? harsh, smooth, creamy, etc?
Second 1/3

How evenly is the cigar burning? Did you have to touch it up at all?
What flavours did you detect?
Has the cigar changed much? If so, how?
Final 1/3

How evenly is the cigar burning? Did you have to touch it up at all?
What flavours did you detect?
How has the cigar changed when compared to the first 2/3â?²s?
Are you getting any chemically, bitter or burnt taste on your tongue?
As you smoke your cigar, itâ??s always a good idea to purge the smoke no more than once every 1/3. Simply blow fresh air lightly through the cigar to expel any smoke in the stick.

Believe it or not, there are quite a few different flavours that can be picked up by smoking a cigar. Much like drinking wine, youâ??ll be able to experience a wide range of common to unique flavours. Feel free to use the ever popular flavour table below to help you with your review.

Itâ??s always fun to smoke a cigar that you have not read any reviews on â?? after youâ??ve smoked the cigar, detected flavours and taken your notes, then go online and find as many reviews as you can. See how your findings compare to what other people have to say.

Everyone has different tastes; what tastes good to you may not taste so good to the next person. Always smoke what you like, and like what you smoke. Most of all, have fun.

Floral

Floral

Linalool

Orange blossom

Rose

Violet

Geranium

Spicy

Spicy

Cloves

Black pepper

Licorice, anise

Fruity

Citrus

Grapefruit

Lemon

Berry

Blackberry

Raspberry

Strawberry

Black currant/cassis

Tree Fruit

Cherry

Apricot

Peach

Apple

Tropical Fruit

Pineapple

Melon

Banana

Dried Fruit

Strawberry jam

Raisin

Prune

Fig

Other

Artificial fruit

Methyl anthranilate

Vegetative

Fresh

Stemmy

Cut green grass

Bell pepper

Eucalyptus

Mint

Canned/Cooked

Green beans

Asparagus

Green olive

Black olive

Artichoke

Dried

Hay/straw

Tea

Tobacco

Nutty

Nutty

Walnut

Hazelnut

Almond

Caramelized

Caramelized

Honey

Butterscotch

Butter/diacetyl

Soy sauce

Chocolate

Molasses

Woody

Phenolic

Phenolic

Vanilla

Resinous

Cedar

Oak

Burned

Smoky

Burnt toast/charred

Coffee