“When creating fine cigars, it is paramount to blend the cigar for each individual palate without sacrificing quality. At Gurkha, we research the market, think about the consumer and what drives his or her tastes. Our goal is for every customer to be satisfied with what he or she finds when smoking our Gurkha cigars.” Kaizad Hansotia
With thousands of cigars on the market today, how can one know how to choose the best cigar possible whether you’re buying it for yourself or as a gift? Most experts recommend that you visit a local cigar lounge and allow the owner or sales person to guide you. Once you establish a baseline taste experience for your palate, then you can try some alternatives to broaden your palate.
So, let’s start with cigar 101…the basics of a cigar.
The head: This is the rounded end that goes in your mouth.
The foot: This is the flat, open side that you light.
The wrapper: This is the outside layer of tobacco that gives the cigar one of its primary flavor components. Wrappers are usually very high quality leaves, available in colors ranging from Double Claro, which is the lightest) to Oscuro, which is the darkest.
The binder: This is the intermediate leaf used to hold the filler tobacco together.
The filler:This is the inside tobacco that forms the center of the cigar. Filler typicallydetermine how strong a cigar smokes.
Then there’s the blending of wrapper, binder and filler that is what determines the overall flavor of the cigar. In order to make your experience a most enjoyable one, let’s review the flavor profiles of a cigar.
The body is the first thing to consider when looking for cigar. Decide if you are looking for a mild, medium or full-bodied cigar. Then you want to consider the size. How long do you want your first experience smoking a cigar to be? If it’s a short experience, then you want to look for a Toro-size cigar. If it’s longer, then you may want to try a Churchill. Cigars are measured two ways: the length, which is always in inches, and the ring gauge. The ring gaugeis the diameter of the cigar based upon 1/60th of an inch increments.
Then we have the flavor profile: What would you like your cigar to taste like? Sweet, smoky,spicy,chocolatey,leathery, peppery, woody, earthy, nutty, creamy,etc.
Next is the price: what type of budget did you have in mind? If this is your first time smoking a cigar, stay away from the higher-priced cigars since, at this point, you won’t be able to truly savor the distinguishing elements of an expensive cigar. Besides, price isn’t the most important factor in choosing a cigar. There are plenty of inexpensive cigars that hold top ratings from major cigar publications.
There’s also the rating to be considered. Most cigar publications rate cigars. Those with good scores are typically posted.It’s usually a safe bet to go with larger brands. The big cigar brands tend to use higher quality tobacco in their cigars
And finally, there’s the cigar’s construction. This will determine how smooth and even the draw is when you smoke it. You can test the construction of a cigar by rolling it between the thumb and index finger of your hand. You’re looking to see if it has any lumps. You’re also checking to see that the body is not too soft or void of filling. You want the cigar to have a nice even consistency and fill. A rough texture or any other mark of bad construction means a less smooth draw when you inhale. With a well-constructed cigar, the ash will maintain the shape of the cigar as it is smoked.
Whichever cigar you choose, always remember it’s the experience of smoking it that really counts. Enjoy your cigar in a great atmosphere surround by good company.
Kaizad Hansotia is the Founder and CEO of Gurkha Cigars. Gurkha, known for creating the finest, most expensive cigars in the world, produces five million cigars per year that are sold in more than 25 countries worldwide. The Gurkha Cigar Group Inc. is located at 6600 Hiatus Road, Tamarac, FL 33321. For information, visit www.gurkhacigars.com