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 second installment of the Develop Your Palate series. Our first sampler to develop your palate discussed cream, cedar, dark chocolate, pepper, and earth.
Today’s Tasting Notes:
Additional Tasting Notes:
Volume III: Peanuts, Floral, Hickory, Grass, Honey
Develop Your Palate – Leather | Illusione Rothchildes
As mentioned in our first article on developing your palate, leather is one of those classic tasting notes that is more associated with our sense of smell than our sense of taste. And for that reason, leather can be a very nuanced note because of all the different types of smells associated with it.
Consider faux leather, rough side out boot leather, old versus new leather, that Italian leather sofa that your significant other won’t let you put in your office, and any other type of leather in your memory bank. The smells and sensations are different, yet firm inside your mind. Once lit, the Illusione Rothchildes will take you on a roller coaster ride of thick, chewy leather.
Develop Your Palate – Citrus | Espinosa Laranja Reserva
There’s so many other robust flavors battling for your attention that citrus, as a secondary flavor, is often overlooked unless it’s in your face. That is, until the Espinosa Laranja Reserva entered the scene, a cigar that’s named after the orange hue of the wrapper as well as the orange zest deeply ingrained in the flavor profile.
While it’s true that lemon is more common to cigars than orange tasting notes are, our goal is to identify a cigar with an abundance of a certain flavor to assist in developing your palate. And, when you fire up the Laranja, you’ll swear that Erik Espinosa grew this tobacco in an orange grove.
Develop Your Palate – Milk Chocolate | Caldwell The King is Dead
In contrast with dark chocolate, milk chocolate is a more refined flavor that is smoother, easier on the palate, and generally harder to come by in the cigar world. Caldwell’s The King is Dead utilizes a negrito wrapper that imparts strong sensations of milk chocolate or chocolate milk depending on how you perceive it.
This cigar was blended to be part of a two cigar experience with The King is Dead to be enjoyed first, quickly followed by Long Live the King. From the first moment that you set fire to The King is Dead, you’ll be transported back to a time when you could eat as much chocolate as you wanted without impunity.
Develop Your Palate – Cinnamon | Caldwell Long Live the King
Cinnamon is a hard flavor to pinpoint in cigars because it’s rarely unaccompanied – usually it’s noted as exotic spices, warm spices, or Christmas spices when a reviewer feels that there are more things at play than just cinnamon. This complicates things until you enjoy a Long Live the King, particularly in the My Style is Jalapeno (lancero) vitola.
Because this cigar is so unique, it’s developed a love/hate relationship amongst cigar enthusiasts. But love it or hate it, once you’ve finished this cigar you’ll be able to identify cinnamon from here on out. And, if you’re a fan of cinnamon, this intoxicating combo will have your head spinning in all the right ways.
Develop Your Palate – Cherry | Foundation Cigar Co’s El Gueguense
As noted with our recent Blind Review of Viaje’s Juntos, cherry can easily be interpreted in different ways. The distinct sweetness that we’d all probably identify in a blind food taste test may present itself as different fruits or even floral notes when detected in a cigar. This is most likely due to the fact that it’s a secondary tasting note much like citrus and cinnamon.
While we’ve worked hard to only showcase cigars that make it easy for you to detect, this one may you to focus more than the others. El Gueguense is a testament to Nicholas Melillo’s blending prowess and suitably conveys a very complex experience with multiple transitions.
Cherry particularly shines in this blend when enjoyed slowly.
TIPS YOU CAN TASTE
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.