CIGAR GLOSSARY

 

· Band
· Binder
· Blend
· Bloom
· Blue mold
· Bunch
· Bundle
· Cap
· Cuban factory
· codes     · Cutter
· Draw
· Filler
· Flag
· Foot
· Hand-rolled
· Head
· Humidor
· Ligero
· Long filler     · Machine-made
· Mold
· Ring gauge
· Seco
· Shade grown
· Size
· Sun grown
· Volando
· Wrapper
· Wrapper colors
 
Band - The ring of paper with the name of the cigar brand, wrapped near the closed head of the cigar and usually held on with a vegetable based glue.

Binder - The portion of a tobacco leaf that is rolled around the filler to hold it together.

Blend - A mixture of different types of cigar leaf tobacco, including up to four types of filler leaves, a binder and an outer wrapper.

Bloom - A fine white powder that forms on the wrapper of the cigar caused by the oils that exude from the tobacco. It can be gently brushed off with a small camel hair brush, though there is no need to do this. Bloom indicates the cigar is alive, maturing as it should inside a well maintained humidor. Bloom should not be confused with mold. Mold is a bluish-green and stains the wrapper. Mold usually indicates a humidor is too warm or has excessive levels of humidity.

Blue mold - Blue mold is a damaging fungus that forms on the tobacco leaf and can ruin the crop. Blue mold is a big problem when there's a lot of dampness or rain.

Bunch - The mix of filler and binder leaves before they are rolled into a wrapper.

Bundle - A method of packaging cigars using cellophane as opposed to a box. A bundle usually contains from 25 to 50 cigars and are less expensive than boxed cigars. Bundled cigars usually contain the seconds from premium brands.

Cap - A circular piece of wrapper leaf cigar tobacco that is placed at the head of the cigar to secure the wrapper. Cuban cigar caps have a distinctive three to four-layer circular look that distinguishes them from cheaper counterfeit look-a-likes.

Cutter - An instrument with a razor sharp blade used to remove the cap or flag from both machine made and hand made cigars.

Draw - The amount of air that gets pulled through a lighted cigar. It can be too easy (hot) or too tight (plugged).

Filler - The leaves of tobacco at the core of the cigar that provide a significant portion of its taste.

Flag - An alternative to a cap that involves shaping the wrapper leaf at the head of the cigar so that it secures the wrapper in place. Sometimes a flag can be tied off in a pig-tail or curly head.

Foot - The open end of the cigar you light.

Hand-rolled - A cigar made entirely by hand, usually constructed with a high quality wrapper and long filler and binder as opposed to cut filler used in machine made and cigar seconds.

Head - the closed end of the cigar, or the end you cut and smoke.

Humidor - An entire room, or a box, that's designed to preserve and promote the proper storing of fragile cigars. An optimum humidity and temperature level in a humidor is 70/70, or 70 percent humidity and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius).

Ligero - One of the three basic types of filler tobacco. The name means ``light'' in Spanish.

Long filler - A term used to designate filler tobacco that runs the length of the body of the cigar, as opposed chopped up pieces know as ``cut-filler.''

Machine made - A term that refers to cigars made entirely by machine and less expensive cigar tobacco.

Mold - The wooden form used by cigar rollers to give shape to a finished bunch of cigar tobacco. Some molds have two parts which are then placed in a press.

Ring gauge - A standard industry measurement for the diameter of a cigar in 64ths of an inch. A 50 ring gauge cigar is 50/64ths of an inch thick.

Seco - One of three basic types of filler tobacco. The name means ``dry'' in Spanish.

Shade grown - Prime tobacco leaf grown under cheesecloth tenting called a ``tapado'' to produce a thin, elastic tobacco leaf that is most often used in premium cigars.

Size - The classic Cuban cigar sizes are as follows:

Size     Length     Ring*
Belicoso     5 1/2 inches     52
Churchill     7 inches     47
Corona     5 1/2 inches     52
Corona Gorda     5 1/4 inches     46
Culberas     5 3/4 inches     39
Demi Tasse     4 inches     30
Double Corona     7 1/2 inches     49
Especial     7 1/2 inches     38
Gran Corona     9 1/4 inches     47
Hermoso     5 inches     48
Long Panetela     7 inches     36
Lonsdale     6 1/2 inches     42
Panetala     4 1/2 inches     26
Perla     4 inches     40
Petit Corona     5 inches     42
Pyramid/Torpedo     6 1/2 inches     52
Robusto     5 inches     50
Rothschild     5 inches     50
Tres Petit Corona     4 1/2 inches     40
Sun grown - Tobacco grown in direct sunlight that creates a thicker leaf with thicker veins that's often used in more hearty tasting cigars like maduros.

Volando - One of three types of filler tobacco.

Wrapper - A tobacco leaf of varying quality that's wrapped around the finished bunch and binder to complete the cigar.

Cigar wrapper colors - Cigar wrappers come in various shades as follows:
 
    Candela: a green color that was first popularized in the U.S. in the 1800's and early 1900's.
    Claro: Pale to light brown. The Classic color of Connecticut shade grown tobacco wrapper. This color can also be referred to as natural.
    Colorado claro: Darker brown in color and similar to a Cameroon wrapper from West Africa.
    Colorado: A reddish brown wrapper most often seen in well aged and mature cigars.
    Colorado maduro - A dark brown wrapper, usually seen on cigars produced in Honduras, Nicaragua and sometimes in Cuba.
    Double claro: A greenish-brown wrapper that produces a somewhat light and bland taste.
    Maduro: A dark, almost coffee like color associated with full flavored and slightly sweet tasting cigars.
    Oscuro: Strong flavored wrapper tobacco produced in Mexico, Brazil and Nicaragua.