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Develop Your Palate: Iconic Cigars for Classic Tasting Notes (Vol. 4)

Develop Your Palate: Iconic Cigars for  Classic Tasting Notes (Vol. 4)

There are many ways to develop your palate but sometimes all it takes is that A ha! moment.  Below you’ll find our picks for cigars that contain an abundance of a certain flavor to help you break through to the next level of cigar enjoyment.

This is our fourth installment of the Develop Your Palate series. In case you missed it, here are our other articles to Develop Your Palate - Iconic Cigars for Classic Tasting Notes:

Volume ICream, Earth, Cedar, Dark Chocolate, Pepper

Volume IILeather, Citrus, Milk Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cherry

Volume III: Peanuts, Floral, Hickory, Grass, Honey

Every article describes how the flavor is experienced with each cigar as well as provides a sampler at a discount for you to compare notes.  If you’ve got a specific flavor that you’d like for us to analyze and write about, please drop us a note below!


Vanilla Malt


Maple Syrup


Graham Cracker

 Vanilla Malt | Warped Futuro 109

Look, we’re probably going to catch some slack for this one. Realistically, this cigar tastes like a Red  Pepper Vanilla Malt.  But as a wise man named Rich once said, there’s plenty of cigars that can showcase red pepper but very few that can represent vanilla. 

Learn how to Develop your Palate and Taste Vanilla in Cigars: Warped Futuro

The vanilla in this cigar is thick, chewy, malty, and just plain awesome when coupled with something spicy to snap us back to reality. And while this cigar reminds us of a McDonald’s Vanilla Malt, you won’t have to worry about the infamous tight draw of a Mac shake thanks to a 109 cap that gives you more control of the airflow. 

Barnyard | Crowned Heads Tennessee Waltz

The term barnyard is a word that captures multiple meanings all at once.  Or some reviewers might use it as a polite substitute for manure.  But the essence of this tasting note is the combined sensations of wood, hay, manure, leather, and even animal aromas.

Learn how to Develop your Palate and Taste Barnyard in Cigars: Crowned Heads TN Waltz

Note: We may have to alternate between the Yellow Rose and Tennessee Waltz in the sampler below due to availability, 

but both exemplify barnyard notes.

It’s not one thing alone, but the marriage of interplaying concepts and memories that makes it both harder and easier to understand. Luckily, smoking the Crowned Heads Tennessee Waltz is like visiting a ranch in June, saddling a horse, and taking a ride in the pasture. 

Maple Syrup | HVC Pan Caliente

Some may chock this up to the power of suggestion, but Pan Caliente translates into hotcakes or pancakes. And while I personally experience tasting notes of almond flour pancakes, the sweet, distinctive sensations of maple syrup always rise to the top.

Learn how to Develop your Palate and Taste Maple Syrup in Cigars: HVC Pan Caliente

If you’ve got pure maple syrup on hand, give it a smell prior to firing up this cigar. It’s quite different from pancake syrup and is a dead ringer for Pan Caliente – especially when enjoyed slowly.  We suggest smoking this cigar before breakfast so that you can have your pancakes and smoke them too.

Caramel | Serino Wayfarer

Caramel is a flavor that probably means slightly different things to different people, depending on how you’re usually exposed to it. To further complicate things, caramel impressions usually tag along with other flavors and are most noticeable in the finish.

Learn how to Develop your Palate and Taste Caramel in Cigars: Serino Wayfarer

The Serino Wayfarer picks up hints of caramel towards the end of the first third until it builds and becomes a dominant flavor past the midway point. If you’ve never experienced caramel in a cigar before, the Wayfarer is an excellent way to become acquainted as it bridges multiple concepts of caramel.

Graham Cracker | Casa Fernandez Guardian of the Farm

Ahhhh graham crackers. Did you know that these wheat treats were initially marketed to taste so bland that they helped you control your sexual ambitions?  While we can’t speak to the efficacy of the original intent, we can say that graham cracker seems to be one of the most universally enjoyed tasting notes in cigars. 

Learn how to Develop your Palate and Taste Graham Cracker in Cigars: Warped Guardian of the Farm

Guardian of the Farm gives us a unique opportunity to taste graham cracker in particular with the closed foot. By carefully applying heat to the wrapper leaf without completely torching the foot, we can isolate the wrapper and taste it without igniting the filler and binder tobacco.  Hang on tight with this smoke, because the wheat flour, graham cracker sensations don’t stop with the closed foot alone!


Contrary to popular belief, not every tasting note is actually tasted.  For instance, several flavors that cigar enthusiasts discuss are sensations or scents.  Leather, earth, and cedar are some of the most prominent notes that exemplify this notion, as they’re mentioned frequently but very rarely tasted. When we talk about these tasting notes, we’re talking about the smell. 

The act of tasting something is a perceived sensation (chemosensation) that comes from our nose, mouth, and throat. This is why many cigar enthusiasts like to retro hale, a technique that focuses some or all of the smoke up through the nasal passages.  It’s important to make the disctinction that this isn’t inhaling, but rather using all of your taste potential.

The hotter your tobacco gets, the less distinctive it will be. Bitter, acrid flavors will trump any of the finer tasting notes that you may get from your cigar. Slow and steady doesn’t just work for the tortoise, it works for cigar enthusiasts as well.

Drink pairings actively change your cigar experience much like different instagram filters change your picture. While training your palate to recognize certain flavors, it’s always suggested to drink a flavored beverage sparingly so that the cigar isn’t overpowered. 


Sample to Develop your Cigar Palate

Buy Our Tasting Notes Vol. 4 Sampler

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