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Cigar 101

Can Two of the Same Cigars Taste Different?

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Two of the same cigars can taste different – but that doesn’t mean one is better than the other. Certain factors influence the way cigars taste, like how long you’ve been aging them, whether they’re from the same year, the chemistry of your palate, and even how you cut and light them. Let’s take a look at the main reasons why two identical cigars can sometimes taste different.

The Chemistry in Your Mouth

The chemistry in your mouth is the most common reason two of the same cigars can taste different. What you’ve had to eat or drink before you smoke affects the chemistry in your palate. If you’re drinking a coffee with your first cigar of the day versus sipping on a bourbon with the same cigar after dinner, the blend will resonate differently on your palate.

The taste receptors on your tongue are sharper when your palate is hydrated. Two of the same cigars smoked back to back can even taste different because the first one can linger on your palate and affect your perception of the second one. For the greatest consistency in taste, cleanse your palate between cigars and stay hydrated while you’re smoking.

Aging Cigars in Your Humidor

When you buy a box of cigars and age them in your humidor, their flavor will evolve over time. Smoking a cigar from a box you just opened may taste different from the remaining cigars in the box after they’ve been resting in your humidor for several weeks. Most cigar lovers store a variety of different cigars in their humidors, and their flavors meld as a result. Your favorite Nicaraguan cigars may impart some of their taste to your favorite Dominicans. This can cause two of the same cigars to taste different.

Cutting & Lighting Your Cigar

A cigar’s intensity changes based on how you cut it. A punch cut and V-cut concentrate the heat and the flavor in a cigar’s profile with more intensity than a traditional straight cut, which allows for a cooler, looser draw.

How you light a cigar can also change the way it tastes. Firing up with a butane torch versus traditional cedar matches affects how fast your cigar ignites and how hot its initial flavors become. Cutting and lighting two cigars differently can reveal subtle differences in their taste.

Smoking Fast or Slow

Another common reason two identical cigars can taste different is how fast or slow you smoke. If you’re leisurely puffing every minute or so and giving each draw plenty of time to ruminate on your palate, you’ll perceive more flavor than if you’re huffing it down in a hurry because you’ve run out of time to finish the whole thing. Drawing too frequently on a cigar can make it burn hot and lead to a dry palate.

Different Crop Years

If you smoke two of the same cigars that were rolled years apart, you may notice distinguishing characteristics between them. Changes in the growing conditions and climate can impact the tobaccos cultivated for a cigar’s binder, filler, and wrapper.

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