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Cigar 101 Dictionary

Cigar 101 Dictionary

Cigar101: Cigar Dictionary

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  • Length - Measured in either inches or centimeters
  • Diameter - Ring gauge, based upon 1/64 increments, is the most common unit of measurement of the cigar's diameter.
  • Accordion Method - A method in which the leaves are folded into a wavy pattern, resembling an accordion. This method tends to create cigars with dependable draws.
  • Band - A ring of paper wrapped around the closed end of most cigars.
  • Belicoso - A figurado-shaped cigar that tapers sharply at the head.
  • Binder - The part of the tobacco leaf that holds the blend of filler leaves, also known as the bunch, together.
  • Blend - The mixtures of various tobacco types that are in a cigar; this includes the filler leaves, an outer wrapper and a binder leaf.
  • Bloom - A natural occurrence in the cigar aging process, that appears as a fine white powder. This is not the same as mold, which appears blue in color.
  • Blue Mold - Blue mold, also known as Peronospara tabacina, is a fast spreading fungus that can completely destroy a tobacco field in just a few days. It leaves small round blemishes on the tobacco.
  • Booking - This is a rolling method where the filler leaves lay on top of one another and are then rolled up like a scroll.
  • Bouquet - The smell of a fine cigar.
  • Box - The container used to package cigars. There are several traditional styles: - cabinet selection refers to wood boxes with a sliding top, designed to hold 25 or 50 cigars. - 8-9-8 refers to a round-sided box specifically designed to accommodate three rows of cigars - eight on top, nine in the middle, eight on the bottom. - flat top, or 13-topper, is the flat rectangular box most popular today, with 13 cigars on top and 12 on the bottom. divided by a spacer.
  • Box-pressed - The slightly squarish appearance taken on by cigars packed tightly in a box.
  • Bull's-Eye Piercer - A device that opens up the closed end of a cigar (done before smoking); It makes a circular opening..
  • Bunch - Consists of up to four different filler tobacco types; these are blended to create the body of the cigar; the bunch is then held together by the binder.
  • Bundle - A packaging method that contains 25 or 50 cigars without bands; the bundle usually uses a cellophane overwrap.
  • Burros - The piles, or bulks, in which cigar tobacco is fermented. They can be as tall as a person and are carefully monitored. If the heat level inside them gets too high (over 110°F), the burro is taken apart to slow the fermentation.
  • Cabinet Selection - A packaging method that is better when purchasing cigars for aging; this selection features cigars that are placed in a wooden box rather than the standard cardboard or paper-covered cigar boxes.
  • Candela - A bright green shade of wrapper, achieved by a heat-curing process that fixes the chlorophyll content of the wrapper while it's still in the barn. Also referred to as double claro.
  • Cap - Used to secure the wrapper; it is a piece of the wrapper leaf that is at the head of the cigar.
  • Carotene - A naturally occurring compound found in aged cigars.
  • Cedar - The kind of wood that most cigar boxes and humidors are made of.
  • Chaveta - The type of knife that is frequently used in a cigar factory for cutting the wrapper leaf.
  • Cigarillo - A small cigar around the size of a cigarette.
  • Churchill - Traditionally the Churchill is a larger cigar made in honor of (and made popular by) former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. Normally a Churchill is 6.75 to 7 inches long with a 48-50 ring gauge.
  • Claro - A pale-green to light-brown wrapper, usually shade-grown.
  • Clear Havana - A cigar made in the United States prior to the embargo with Cuban tobacco.
  • Colorado - A medium-brown to brownish-red shade of wrapper tobacco.
  • Corojos - Plants that are chosen to provide wrapper leaves and are grown under a gauze sunscreen
  • Corona - Traditionally this cigar is 5.5 inches with a 42-44 ring gauge.
  • Culebra - A style of cigar where 3 thing cigars are rolled together into a "snake" (the literal meaning of the word Culebra). How it came to be is subject to debate, but one opinion is that it was done as a way for cigar rollers to increase their daily cigar allowance. Instead of being able to take home only three cigars, by rolling three culebras they could effectively take home nine cigars. Some believe it was done so that the cigars curved cigars would not pass quality control enabling the rollers to smoke them, while others believe it was done to provide a rare and unique looking cigar. To smoke a culebra, uncut the ties, unbraid the three cigars, and cut and smoke each cigar individually as you would with a normal cigar.
  • Corona - The most common shape and size used for premium cigars; it usually has straight sides with a rounded, closed head and an open foot.
  • Cuban Seed - Plants grown outside of Cuba from seeds that originated from Cuba. Since the US Trade Embargo prohibits Cuban grown tobacco to be imported into the US, many tobacco producers have taken the very same tobacco seeds used in Cuban and have attempted to grow them outside of Cuba, in environmental conditions mimicking that of Cuba.
  • Draw - The amount of air that gets pulled through a lit cigar.
  • Diadema - A perfecto-shaped cigar that is typically over 8 inches and 50-60 ring gauge. (See also "Salomón")
  • Double Corona - A larger, but not quite double, corona cigar that is 7.0-7.5 inches long with a 54-58 ring gauge.
  • Entubar - A rolling method that involves folding each individual filler leaf back on itself and bunches the leaves together.
  • Filler Leaves - These are the tobacco leaves that make up the body of the cigar.
  • Finish - A tasting term. It refers to the taste that lingers on your palate after a puff. Mild cigars do not have much finish, either in terms of length or complexity. But stronger, more full-bodied cigars have distinctive flavors that linger for a while.
  • Foot - The end of the cigar; this is the part that you light.
  • Giant - The Giant, also called an "A" is formidable parejo-shaped cigar that is typically 8.5-9 inches long with a 52 (or more) ring gauge.
  • Gum - The vegetable adhesive that secures the head of the wrapper leaf to the finished bunch. . Also referred to as cigar glue.
  • Handmade - A cigar made with a high-quality wrapper and long filler; these are made by hand.
  • Hand-rolled - A cigar made entirely by hand with high-quality wrapper and long filler.
  • Head - The closed end of the cigar; the end you smoke.
  • Humidor - An enclosed area of varying sizes that is designed to preserve the storage and aging of cigars; it achieves this by maintaining a relative humidity of 70 percent and a temperature of 65°F to 70°F.
  • Hygrometer - A device that indicates the humidity of the humidor.
  • Lance - A device used in piercing a small hole in the closed end of a cigar.
  • Lancero - This cigar is a shape that was popular long ago and has been gaining popularity again. A Lancero is a long thin cigar, usually between 6.5-7.5 inches in length and between 38-42 ring gauge.
  • Ligero - One of three of the basic types of filler tobacco.
  • Long Filler - A cigar in which the filler tobacco runs the length of the body of the cigar as opposed to the chopped pieces characteristic of machine-made cigars.
  • Lonsdale - A longer thinner cigar that is typically 6 inches by 42 ring gauge.
  • Machine-made - Cigars made by using a heavier-weight wrapper and binder; these are made entirely by a machine.
  • Maduro - A wrapper shade from a very dark reddish-brown to almost black. The word means ripe in Spanish. The color can be achieved by sun exposure, a cooking process or a prolonged fermentation.
  • Oil - Characteristic of a well-humidified cigar.
  • Oscuro - A black shade of wrapper, darker than maduro, most often Brazilian or Mexican in origin.
  • Panetela - A long, thin cigar, generally around 6.5 to 7 inches long with a 28-38 ring gauge.
  • Parejos - Straight-sided cigars, such as coronas, panetelas and lonsdales.
  • Perfecto - A distinctive cigar shape that is closed at both ends, with a rounded head; usually with a bulge in the middle.
  • Piercer - See Lance
  • Plug - A blockage in the tobacco that can occur; this can prevent a cigar from drawing properly. The plug can sometimes be removed by massaging the cigar.
  • Primings - The arrangement of leaves on a tobacco plant; this can vary; the row closest to the ground is the first and the row near the top is the sixth; the higher up the row or arrangement means that the tobacco is stronger.
  • Puro - A word that differentiates a cigar from a cigarette.
  • Pyramid - A cigar with a larger ring gauge foot that uniformly tapers to a small ring gauge at the head.
  • Robusto - A short thick cigar usually 5 inches long and with a 50 ring gauge.
  • Robusto Grande - This size is usually a longer, thicker robusto, typically 5.5 inches long and with a 56-58 ring gauge.
  • Robusto Gordo - A fat Robusto at 4.5-5.0 inches by 60 ring gauge or larger.
  • Rothschild (see also Petit Robusto) - A short version of a robusto, usually 4.5 inches with a 48-50 ring gauge.
  • Ring Gauge - The diameter of a cigar is measured with a ring gauge; based on 1/64? increments.
  • Rosado - A Spanish term that means "rose-colored." It is used to describe the reddish tint of some Cuban-seed wrapper.
  • Salomón - A perfecto-shaped cigar that long thin cigar that is typically 7.0-8.0 inches by 57-60 ring gauge. (See also "Diadema")
  • Seco - A term meaning dry; this is a type of filler tobacco.
  • Shoulder - The part of the cigar in which the body meets the head; if this is cut into, the cigar will unravel.
  • Short Filler - The short filler is made up of chopped leaves and frequently burns quicker and hotter than the long filler
  • Short Robusto - A short Robusto that is typically 4.0-4.5 inches by 48-52 ring gauge.
  • Sugar - Sugars can appear naturally in tobacco, making the taste sweeter.
  • Sun-grown - Tobacco that has thicker leaves and veins due to their exposure to direct sunlight.
  • Tercios - The large, palm bark-wrapped bales in which fermented tobacco is shipped to cigar factories.
  • Toro - A parejo-shaped cigar that is most commonly 6 inches long with a 50-52 ring gauge.
  • Toro Gordo - Typically a fat Toro at about 6 inches by 60 ring or larger.
  • Torpedo - The Torpedo is typically 6.0-6.5 inches and has a larger ring gauge shaft (often 52-56 RG), which then gently tapers to a point. If you think you are the only one who can't tell the difference between a Belicoso and a Torpedo... think again. This is a distinction that will continue to elude you. Manufacturers have their own preference between what constitutes a Torpedo and a Belicoso (or Pyramid, for that matter).
  • Tubos - Cigars packed in different manners, such as wood, metal or glass tubes, in order to preserve them and maintain their freshness.
  • Tunneling - A problem in which a cigar burns unevenly; it is avoidable by rotating the cigar every once in a while (while smoking).
  • Vein - A structural part of a leaf; the more prominent leaves can cause defects in the wrapper.
  • Volado - Another type of filler tobacco; it is recognized and preferred for its burning qualities.