Have you ever experienced an earthy tasting note while smoking a cigar? If you haven’t, this article will initially be a strange read for you, but my hope is that by the time we’re done you know exactly where we’re coming from.
Earthy sensations from a cigar are different than tasting notes such as chocolate, cream, and pepper. These flavors are often experienced with our tongue and are easier to identify while enjoying a cigar. Earth, leather, cedar, and others are tasting notes that we identify more with our sense of smell.
As it would happen, our olfactory system is a vital part of how we taste anything and everything. If you don’t believe me, hold your nose and try to taste something. I’ll wait.
And smells can trigger powerful memories, much more so than our other senses. For this reason, I used to use different colognes and highlighters when studying different subjects in college. Always seemed to give me an edge on test day.
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So how does earth manifest itself into a cigar experience? That’s a great question, and for the most part it’s entirely subjective. Once you identify with a particular type of earth and recognize it a couple times in a cigar, you’ll notice that it’s present in tons of cigars in all shapes, sizes, and blends. If only for a puff or two, several notes like pepper, cedar, and earth can be found here and there.
And there are a dozen different ways (probably more) to translate an earthy taste from a cigar into words. There’s wet or dank earth, dry dirt, loam, and a host of other descriptors. Part of the reason why it’s so hard to pinpoint as just earth is because there’s an entire ecosystem going on in soil that changes how we perceive it with our sense of smell.
Sometimes a cigar will remind you of the forest floor. Sometimes it’ll combine with other flavorful sensations that create a complex experience that you can’t really put into words. And sometimes it’ll just taste like smelling a handful of dirt from your front yard.
If you notice below, several of the cigars feature a Broadleaf wrapper grown from Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Nicaragua. Broadleaf in general is considered earthy and sweet, and these are all excellent representations of an earthy sensation – albeit in completely different ways.
Additional Tasting Kits:
Black Label Deliverance Nocturne
Just like last time, we’re starting with the quintessential earthy cigar. Deliverance is what I’d call an Earth Bomb, and it really spans the whole range of what I consider earthy sensations. Initially it’s gritty and dry, sometimes it’s soft, smooth and subtle, and other times it reminds me of smelling a handful of freshly scooped earth from the yard.
Of course, there is more under the hood than just earth once you fire up the Deliverance Nocturne, but this cigar is a dead ringer throughout its entirety for anyone wanting to experience earth.
Sean Williams, a Cohiba Brand Ambassador and Blender, said the following, “Cohiba Royale was created with the cigar connoisseur in mind, bringing to life the microclimates and fertiles soils of the Carribean and Central American in a way that is unique to the brand.”
Now, I’m only smoked three of these cigars so far, but each and every time the first inch was the most extreme earthy sensation that I’ve ever experienced in a cigar. When Sean says they wanted to bring those soils to life, he wasn’t joking! It’s bold, it’s earthy, it’s the Cohiba Royale.
Drew Estate Undercrown Maduro
I can sum up the Undercrown in two words: spicy earth. Out of every cigar listed today, the Undercrown Maduro is by far the most consistent with the longest track record. Drew Estate was slinging this earthy one-two punch before most of these other cigars were even conceptualized.
Undercrowns are also smoke bombs, flooding your area with smoke from every puff and even in your ashtray. And that, to me, is what adds another dimension to the earthy sensations of this cigar. Take in the aroma of this lit cigar resting on a stand or tray and tell me that isn’t an earthy scent!
Espinosa and r/Cigars Sombrero de Copa
Sombrero de Copa was created in collaboration with Reddit’s r/cigars community, our very own Andrew of Small Batch Cigar, and Erik Espinosa. Espinosa described it as an earthy Laranja, and I couldn’t agree more!
If you’ve never had an Espinosa Laranja, it’s a distinctive blend that has a unique citrus tasting note throughout. Rounded out with an earthy sensation, this cigar is something you’ve got to try! It was also highly rated by our Blind Review Panel, earning a spot in our Top 10 Blind Reviews for the year.
Foundation Tabernacle Havana Seed CT #142
Every time I fire up a Tabernacle Havana Seed Corona, I’m greeted by the richest, most appetizing earthy sensation that I can think of. I say that because earth sometimes gets a bad rap – and this cigar proves it. It’s also worth noting that this cigar was featured in our Editor’s Choice Top 10 Awards twice, as well as receiving accolades in our Top 10 Blind Reviews.
But that isn’t the full story. After freshly tilled earth floods my senses, sweet and spicy notes come out to play and ramp up the experience to another level. This is where earth (as a tasting note) shines the most in my opinion, when it can accentuate other flavors rather than dominate. Here it sets the stage early on and is then contrasted in various ways.