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11-26-2008, 01:59 AM #1
L4P ARTICLE™ Cigar 101 - Glossary of Cigar Terms
Cigar 101 Glossary of Cigar Terms
By: Jason P. Lasher (JLasher22443)
Band-- A ring of paper wrapped around the closed head of most cigars which normally possesses the name of the cigar, country it is from, and whether or not it is hand rolled. Some cigars have more then one band.
Legend says that cigar bands were invented by a Russian Queen named Catherine the Great. It’s said she ordered her cigars wrapped in silk to protect her royal fingers from tobacco stains. Thereafter, silken cigar rings were adopted by all in imitation of the queen. And so, the tale goes, the cigar band was born.
Barrel--A term for the body of the cigar, also known as a Cannon.
Beetle or Tobacco Beetle-- The evil cigar bug called Lacioderma; the only insect that will eat tobacco; all tobacco has the Lacioderma larva; most established manufactures treat the tobacco and finished cigars to kill the larva; however, the larva will hatch if the cigars are kept in temperatures over 78 degrees (see also Freezing)
Binder-- The portion of a tobacco leaf used to hold together the blend of filler leaves called the bunch; with the wrapper and filler, it is one of three main components in a cigar.
Blend-- The mixture of different types of tobacco in a cigar, including up to five types of filler leaves, a binder leaf and an outer wrapper.
Bloom (also called Plume)-- A naturally occurring phenomenon in the cigar aging process, also called plume, caused by the oils that exude from the tobacco. It appears as a fine white powder and can be brushed off. Not to be confused with Blue Mold; which is bluish and stains the wrapper.
Blue Mold-- Peronospara tabacina is a fast moving, airborne fungus that can ruin a tobacco field in just a few days. It flourishes in cool, cloudy weather with light rain and riddles tobacco leaves with small round blemishes.
Book Style (also, Booking)-- A rolling method by which the cigar maker lays the filler leaves atop one another, then rolls them up like a scroll.
Bouquet-- The smell, or "nose," of a fine cigar. Badly stored cigars can lose their bouquet.
Box-- The container used to package cigars.
Box-Pressed-- The slightly square appearance taken on by cigars packed tightly in a box and then actually pressed in their boxes, giving them a somewhat squared look.
Bull's-Eye Cutter-- A device for cutting open the closed head of a cigar before smoking. It creates a circular opening like a bull's eye on a dart board in the “Cap” end of the cigar.
Bunch-- Up to four different types of filler tobacco that are blended to create the filler of the cigar. They are then bunched together and held together by the binder. Hence the name.
Bundle-- A packaging method, designed with economy in mind, which uses cellophane or paper over wrap. It usually contains 25 or 50 cigars, traditionally without bands.
Cap-- A separately circular cut piece of wrapper leaf placed at the head of the cigar to secure the wrapper.
Capa-- The cigar's wrapper. The outside wrapper leaf of a cigar. Also called the “Binder” of a cigar.
Carotene-- A naturally occurring compound found in aged cigars.
Cedar-- The kind of wood that is used to make most cigar boxes and humidors. Also can be used to light cigars as a “Spill”.
Churchill-- 1. A large corona-format cigar, traditionally 7 inches by a 47 ring gauge but often a 48 ring gauge today. This cigar is enjoyable for over an hour.
2. Popularly referred to as a Churchill because it was the British Politician; Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, who was famous for almost never being seen without a cigar.
Cigarillos-- Favored by some aficionados and scorned by others, these thin, three-inch cigars, popular in Europe, are generally machine-made, and many brands use homogenized wrappers or binders.
Corona-- The most familiar size and shape for premium cigars: generally straight-sided with an open foot and a closed, rounded head.
Culebra-- Spanish for "snake." Culebra’s are cigars made of three panetelas braided and banded together; usually 5 to 6 inches in length, most often with a 38 ring gauge.
Diademas-- A big cigar with a closed and tapered head. Generally about 8 inches long; the foot may be open, or closed like a perfecto.
Double Corona, also called Prominente-- A big cigar, generally 7 1/2 to 8 inches by a 49 to 52 ring gauge. This cigar tends to be a very long smoke.
Draw-- The amount of airflow that gets pulled through a lit cigar when being puffed on. It can be too easy (hot) or too tight (plugged).
Fermentation-- After harvest, workers gather the tobacco leaves in large bulks (or piles), moistening the leaves and allowing them to ferment. Temperatures may reach 140°F before the bulk is broken down and restacked until fermentation stops naturally. This process, called working the bulk, releases ammonia from the tobacco.
Filler Leaves-- The individual tobacco leaves used in the body of the cigar. A fine cigar usually contains between two and five different types of filler tobacco. Normally, handmade cigars have long fillers where machine made cigars usually contain smaller-cut leaf.
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.
Flag Leaves-- An extension of the wrapper leaf shaped to finish the head of a cigar; used instead of a cap. Flags are sometimes tied off in a pigtail or a curly head.
Foot-- The end of the cigar you light. Most often it is pre-cut, except in the case of torpedos and perfectos.
Gorda-- Spanish for "fat," as in the corona gorda shape, a "fat" corona. The traditional size is 5 5/8 inches with a 46 ring gauge.
Gran Corona-- A very big cigar; generally 9 1/4 inches by 47 ring gauge.
Gum-- A vegetable adhesive used to secure the head of the wrapper leaf around the finished bunch.
Habana-- A designation which, when inscribed on a cigar band, indicates that a cigar is Cuban. (Note: not all Cuban cigars are marked with "Habana" or "Havana.")
Habanos S.A.-- the worldwide distribution company for Cuban cigars; formerly called Cubatabaco.
Handmade or Hand-rolled -- A cigar made entirely by hand with high-quality wrapper and long filler. All premium cigars are handmade. Hand-rollers can generally use more delicate wrapper leaves than machines.
Head-- The closed end of the cigar; the end you would have in your mouth to smoke.
Holder-- Cigar holders are an interesting affectation and collectible, but true aficionados let nothing come between their lips and the head of a cigar they're smoking.
Hot-- Describes a cigar that is under filled and has a quick, loose draw. Can cause harsh flavors.
Humidor-- A room, or a box, of varying sizes, designed to preserve or promote the proper storage and aging of cigars by maintaining a relative humidity level of 70 percent and a temperature of approximately 65°F to 70°F.
Hygrometer-- A device that indicates the humidity, or percentage of moisture in the air; used to monitor humidor conditions.
Inhale-- What you don't do with cigar smoke. To breathe in, or draw the cigar smoke into the lungs through the nose or mouth.
Lance-- A cutter used to pierce a small hole in the closed end of a cigar. Also called a piercer.
Last edited by RAWMEAN; 11-26-2008 at 02:02 AM.
11-26-2008, 02:00 AM #2
Lector-- Traditionally, the person who reads to the cigar rollers while they work.
Long Filler-- Filler tobacco that runs the length of the body of the cigar, rather than chopped pieces found in machine-made cigars.
Lonsdale-- A long cigar; generally 6 to 6 3/4 inches by a 42 to 44 ring gauge, but there are many variations.
Machine-made-- Cigars made entirely by machine, using heavier-weight wrappers and binders and, frequently, cut filler in place of long filler.
Mini Cigarillo-- Another term for cigarillo.
Oil-- The mark of a well-humidified cigar. Even well-aged cigars secrete oil at 70 to 72 percent relative humidity, the level at which they should be stored.
Panetela-- A long, thin cigar shape.
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-- A cutter used to pierce a small hole in the closed end of a cigar. Also called a “Lance”.
Plug-- A blockage that sometimes occurs in the tobacco that can prevent a cigar from drawing properly. A plug can sometimes be alleviated by gently massaging or rolling the cigar between your fingers.
Plume (also called Bloom)-- A naturally occurring phenomenon in the cigar aging process, also called plume, caused by the oils that exude from the tobacco. It appears as a fine white powder and can be brushed off. Not to be confused with mold, this is bluish and stains the wrapper.
Pre-Castro Cigar-- A Cuban cigar made before Fidel Castro's rise to power in January 1959.
Pre-embargo Cigar-- A Cuban cigar made before President Kennedy enacted the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba in 1962.
Puro-- A Spanish term used to distinguish a cigar from a cigarette. Modern usage refers to a cigar blended with tobaccos from a single country. (All Cuban cigars use 100 percent Cuban tobacco, so all Cuban cigars, according to modern usage, are Puro’s.)
Pyramid-- A sharply tapered cigar with a wide, open foot and a closed head.
Ring Gauge-- The circumference of cigars. A measurement for the diameter of a cigar, based on 64ths of an inch. A 40 ring gauge cigar is 40/64ths of an inch thick.
Robusto-- A substantial, but short cigar; traditionally 5 to 5 1/2 inches by a 50 ring gauge.
Smoking Time-- A 5-inch cigar with a 50 ring gauge, such as a Robusto, should provide anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes of smoking pleasure. A double corona, a 7 1/2-inch cigar with a 50 ring gauge, may give over an hour's worth of smoking time. A thinner cigar, such as a Lonsdale, smokes in less time than a cigar with a 50 ring gauge.
Shoulder-- The area of a cigar where the cap meets the body. If you cut into the shoulder, the cigar will begin to unravel while you are smoking. This will ruin the cigar.
Special Solution-- A solution of 50 percent water, 50 percent propylene glycol. Added to your humidification device every three to six months, its presence will keep water from evaporating beyond 70 percent relative humidity.
Spill-- A strip of cedar used to light a cigar when using a candle or a fluid lighter, both of which can alter the taste of the cigar. This is by far the best way to light a cigar because it will not add any impurities to the taste of the cigar.
Tooth-- The grain pattern characteristic of less smooth wrapper leaf, such as leaf from Cameroon.
Torpedo-- A cigar shape that features a closed foot, a pointed head and a bulge in the middle.
Tubos-- Cigars packed in individual wood, metal or glass tubes to keep them fresh and safe from minor damage.
Tunneling-- The unwelcome phenomenon of having your cigar burn unevenly. To prevent it, rotate your cigar now and then.
Vein-- A structural part of a leaf; or the rib of the tobacco leaf; prominent veins can be a defect in wrappers. A quality cigar should not have a lot of veins in the wrapper.
Vintage-- When a vintage is used for a cigar, it usually refers to the year the tobacco was harvested as also with Wine. This is not the year the cigar was made.
Wrapper-- A high-quality tobacco leaf wrapped around the finished bunch and binder. It is very elastic and, at its best, unblemished. Good wrappers usually have no visible veins. Colors may vary due to the maturing process.
Wedge Cut-- A V-shaped cut made in the closed end of a cigar.
12-02-2008, 06:21 PM #3
Here is another L4 Article™, thank you Jason P. Lasher (JLasher22443)
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12-02-2008, 06:39 PM #4
12-02-2008, 08:05 PM #5
12-02-2008, 08:45 PM #6
What a great reference point! Thanks and keep them coming!
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12-02-2008, 09:56 PM #7
Raw the Capa (outer wrapper) is not the same as the Binder wrappers are chosen for smoothness of color and provide for the visual appeal while the binder is a leaf below that.
12-03-2008, 02:38 PM #8
Thanks deckind, esthete, BuzzedHornet, and The Head for your comments. These terms are basically info that I have researched and found online or heard along the way. I really appreciate the feed back that I receive from everyone here at L4P and by all means if you see something that could be useful on this topic please comment or add your own terms.
However the term Capa in my opinion is very close to what I have written from doing a lot of research on this term. If you Google search (Cigar Term Capa) and read a few of the sites terms and definitions of what Capa is; you will find that I am pretty close with my term.
I apologize if I am wrong or incorrect in any of my terminologies and the descriptions of these terms. And by all means I am not perfect; so if you find something that I have done incorrectly, please comment.
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12-03-2008, 06:47 PM #9
I have never heard the capa used to describe the wrapper and binder as it was stated above only to describe the Binder
I was taught this when I was on a tobacco plantation in Honduras for a Cigar Retreat with Rocky Patel a few years back.
An amazing glossary of terms though Lasher and an enjoyable read!
12-04-2008, 03:54 AM #10
Excellent information. I'm surprised at all those terms.
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