Cigars, the Taste Process and Taste Profiles
Last time I wrote about the taste process and the anatomy of the human taste function as it relates to cigars. I recently found some notes in my files regarding the cigar tobacco flavor profiles that are associated with various tobacco-growing countries. I am not sure of the source of the following, but I do agree with the profiles offered.
As I have said in previous reviews, cigar tobacco is grown in many countries throughout the world, including the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico and even in some European countries. Each of these produce cigars varying in flavor, strength, aroma and price. Seeds from the same tobacco plant put into the ground in various countries will yield very different results because of differing climactic conditions, soil, water and even perhaps the air itself.
Flavor profiles of key tobacco-growing regions:
Dominican Republic – These tobaccos are probably the most popular
choice among U.S. cigar smokers. These cigars have a subtle, sweet,
nut-like and usually milder flavor than most other countries.
Honduras – The Honduran cigars are more robust in flavor with a more full-bodied strength. To the newbie, they may be somewhat overpowering.
Jamaica - Cigars from Jamaica are gentle, mild and often thought of as being even more mild than Dominicans. Jamaican cigars can be a light smoke, which can be the right choice for early afternoon or even early morning.
Nicaragua – The Nicaraguan cigars have built a strong following and have improved after major damage to the industry during the Sandanista years. They tend to be slightly less robust (medium flavored) than Hondurans and possess a sweet nutty flavor.
Cuba – As discussed in past columns, Cuba remains the ideal location for growing the best tobacco. Unfortunately, politics has had a major impact on the Cuban cigar industry and the ability for Americans to smoke them. It is illegal for U.S. citizens to purchase or smoke Cuban cigars.
Mexico -- Mexican cigars are thought to be on a tier below most of the other regions discussed, seemingly due to a general lack of refinement. However, this is another country continuing to improve their cigar product. I use the terms “thought to be” and “seemingly” as I have had very limited first-hand experience with Mexican cigars. However, I have smoked a number of Mexico-manufactured cigars recently when a friend brought some back from a recent trip to Cabo.
So on that note, lets get smokin'!
Size: Corona Especial (six inches long, 42 ring gauge)
Price: $8 range
Information on Lauro's cigars is limited. However, their website leads me to believe that they are growing tobacco from Cuban seed in Mexico. Lauro's touts its cigar manufacturing process as controlled by Cubans. Their cigars are marketed in their shops in many of the better hotels around Cancun, and some of the other tourist-laden cities in Mexico. Given the Bullz-Eye.com audience, I assume that many may travel south of the border to a Mexican resort and may have the opportunity to purchase a Lauro cigar.
- Wrapper: Mexican
- Filler and binder: Mexican
I found myself one nice Saturday afternoon with a small bag full of various shapes and sizes of Lauro's cigars, and the offer that if I liked them I might be able to get more real cheap. Intrigued by both the offer and the fact that I don't think I have ever smoked a predominantly Mexican grown and manufactured cigar, I fired one up within a half hour.
Look and feel
Pre-lit, these cigars passed the look test. For the most part, they certainly looked and felt professionally rolled. I did not know what to expect, as I had never heard of Lauro's, though I was assured that they were well represented in the Mexican resort. The wrapper was oily and relatively dark/maduro.
Aroma and Taste
The opening, through the first half of this cigar, provided a medium-bodied, flavorful smoke. As the cigar reaches the mid-point, the smoke occasionally presents some harshness, but not enough to consider calling it quits. The burn surprised me as it burned pretty evenly and slowly throughout the smoke. I smoked this cigar down to the last inch and a half. I have to admit, I was surprised by this cigar.
Needless to say, at the offer I was given, I was soon banging on my neighbor's door looking for more.
RATING: 8.6 (on a scale of 1 to 10)
At $8 retail, it would be a bit expensive for me to buy this in the states. However, if you are vacationing in Cancun, Cozumel, etc., and your options are limited, it's probably a decent buy if you want the experience of a cigar by the sea. On another note, I have since smoked the torpedo size and I would not rate it as high as the corona. However, I was told that the torpedo was hand rolled while you waited, so I suspect it was just a little too new and fresh. I rested the others I now have in my humidor to put some age on them.
Keep the comments and recommendations coming – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thought for the Week
"It takes considerable knowledge just to realize
the extent of your ignorance.”
- Thomas Sowell
DISCLAIMER: At the risk of sounding too much like a TV commercial, I do want to sincerely state: This feature is NOT intended to advocate the smoking of cigars any more or any less than you already do, nor do I intend to influence the non-smoker to begin smoking cigars. Make no mistake about it; CIGAR SMOKING MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH.