Analysing the Quality of a Cigar, Before Smoking It
Without tasting the cigar, is there a way to analyse whether it is a good quality Cuban cigar? Certainly, to an extent. If you are physically selecting or purchasing from a shop, it’s extremely useful to check the quality of the roll beforehand so that you can avoid wasting your money. In this informative article, we’ve listed some of the ways you can identify whether the cigar is of good quality, without smoking it. So, the next time you get to hold a cigar in your hand, check for these four parameters to find out whether the stogie is a good bang for your buck.
“THE QUALITY OF THE CONSTRUCTION”
Ultimately, it all comes down to the quality of construction. One of the main ‘quality-related’ issues cigar smokers face is an uneven and unsmooth smoke. If a cigar is constructed well, then lighting and smoking it will become less of a hassle. Therefore, the smoker can relax and enjoy each puff they take, without worrying that the wrapper will fall apart. Many Habanos branded cigars are known for their quality, finely-rolled tobacco, with iconic brands such as Partagas and Montecristo, with an almost 100% guarantee that you will receive well-wrapped cigars. But to double-check, you can conduct these quality tests.
The first aspect you should inspect is the wrapper of the tobacco. Did you know, the wrapper contributes a lot to the flavour of the smoke? Therefore, you need to make sure that the wrapper leaf is smooth and evenly placed onto the roll with no obvious discolourations or bumps. This is to ensure that the tobacco leaf is healthy enough for you to smoke.
A bit of Cuban torcedor knowledge for you - you know a cigar has been impeccably wrapped by looking for a “triple cap” at the head of the cigar. You should find three lines that demonstrate the method at which the Cuban cigar has been wrapped, which should be smooth and tight. If you cannot locate the “triple cap”, then it could mean that the cigar has not been properly wrapped which will lead to major draw and burning problems. Furthermore, it may indicate whether you have a real or fake Cuban cigar in your hands. When it comes to, for instance, a genuine Cohiba Behike 52, you should expect the wrapping to be smooth and pristine, if however, you can't spot the 'triple cap' - that could be one indicator that the cigar may be fake.
THE FOLDS OF THE TOBACCO
Turn the foot of the cigar and check the way the fillers and binders have been packed inside. Though it’s not a sure indicator of the quality of cigar, it shows how well the stogie has been wrapped. The finer and tightly packed the tobacco leaves are inside, the better quality it is. Look out for any holes or loose areas of the foot, as it could indicate a low-quality wrapping attempt.
SOFT SPOTS AND SQUISHINESS
It is normal for a good quality cigar to have some soft spots every now and then. However, if you are finding it to have soft spots and squishiness throughout the cigar, it can be an indication that the cigar is either poorly wrapped or over-humidified. Fundamentally, a “poorly-wrapped” cigar refers to the lack of firmness and tightness when constructing it - causing it to be a bit loose and which lead to burning issues. Sometimes, the cigar might even have a worse fate - it could be overhumidified. If a cigar is damp, you will it become squishier which is a bad sign. It would become difficult to burn, or not even burn at all! If this is the case, do check ‘How to Fix Over-Humidified Cigars’ for solutions.
“IS THIS A SURE-WAY TO KNOW THE QUALITY OF THE CIGAR?”
Unfortunately, just analysing the exterior of the cigar doesn’t paint a whole picture of the overall quality. It can only give you hints to its construction, and nothing else. If you want to fully discover its quality, you must smoke it. Through smoking the cigar, you are able to fully taste its flavours and find out how well it draws. Otherwise, you only have half the picture. But of course, there are many instances where you cannot smoke the cigar, and all you can do is analyse it physically. In those circumstances, checking the construction is a great way to check the quality prior to smoking it.
Once you have found the right Cigar for you, you can browse our great selection available online on our Cuban Cigar Shop. If you to stay up-to-date with everything associated with Cuban cigars check out our Cuban Cigar Blog.
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