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 third installment of the Develop Your Palate series. In case you missed it, here are our first and second articles to Develop Your Palate - Iconic Cigars for Classic Tasting Notes:
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!
TODAY’S TASTING NOTES:
DEVELOP YOUR PALATE – PEANUTS | DUNBARTON SOBREMESA SHORT CHURCHILL
There are as many varieties of peanut sensations as there are nuts: the peanut shell versus the legume itself, roasted peanuts, boiled peanuts, peanut butter, and everything else that you see on the shelf. Oh yeah, did you notice that peanuts aren’t actually nuts, but legumes? For our purposes, Sobremesa delivers sensations of roasted peanuts as well as what some have described as peanut butter.
It’s smooth, savory, and dead on for tasting peanuts in a cigar. Unfortunately the Sobremesa Short Churchill is a masterpiece of a cigar and delivers a very complex and commanding experience. Peanuts aren’t the only flavor competing for your attention in this cigar, but we think it’s worth the extra homework for this one!
DEVELOP YOUR PALATE – FLORAL | CURIVARI RESERVA LIMITADA
Floral notes are those that remind us of flowers. Much like we’ve discussed in the past with leather, earth, and cedar, floral notes are something we discern from a cigar based off of a sensation or smell. Of course, different flowers carry different scents, so it’s entirely possible that you may classify your experience with more specificity.
The Curivari Reserva Limitada reminds me very much of the Vegueros Mananitas, a Cuban cigar that transports you to a Flower Garden when you close your eyes. As soon as you fire up this particular Curivari, expect a similar experience and let us know if you’re reminded of a specific flower!
DEVELOP YOUR PALATE – HICKORY | DREW ESTATE KENTUCKY FIRE CURED
There are a few cigars in today’s market that provide hickory tasting notes, but none do it quite like the Drew Estate Kentucky Fire Cured (KFC) line. In fact, we’re practically cheating here, but the KFC will take you on a hickory roller coaster that will train your palate to detect mesquite from a mile away!
KFC cigars are stalk cut before being fire cured (like smoking meat) to give them their unmistakable hickory and BBQ taste. It’s akin to Latakia tobacco for pipe smokers, and something that every cigar smoker should try at least once! Oh, we should also note that Kentucky Fire Cured tobacco is so popular in Italy that it’s a key ingredient in the infamous Toscano cigars – what would be the National Cigar of Italy, if they had such a thing.
DEVELOP YOUR PALATE – GRASS | LA PALINA FUEGO VERDE
If you’ve never seen a Candela cigar before, rest assured that this shade of green was purposefully created and not a sign of an immature or underdeveloped wrapper. It’s actually harder to produce this shade of wrapper but can be accomplished in less time than traditional curing. And once upon a time, Candela was the preferred cigar for the American Market.
Grass isn't usually the first flavor that someone seeks out in a cigar, but it can be quite pleasant and slightly sweet. Candela thrives under cooler conditions, and it’s suggested to smoke this cigar slowly to get the most from the experience. Once lit, expect several different grassy nuances to seize your palate in the first third.
DEVELOP YOUR PALATE – HONEY | WARPED VILLA SOMBRA
Honey is a remarkable flavor that, once noticed in a cigar, has a tendency to become a defining characteristic. We have over 300 types of honey in the United States alone, but for the most part we use it generically when discussing cigars. And it’s rare enough in cigars that it pulls you out of your seat and demands that you pay attention.
Enter the Warped Villa Sombra, a cigar that tastes like Honey Nut Cheerios! Honey starts early and is quickly joined by a grain cereal sensation. With care to enjoy the Villa Sombra slowly, hints of honey will stay with you well into the second third. And, as an added bonus, lots of people describe a strawberry impression late in this cigar.
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.