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Cigar 101

What Is a Cigar Cold Taste?

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

The cold taste of a cigar is simply the taste you perceive prior to lighting up. Also called the cold draw, dry draw, or pre-light taste, the cold taste is like a preview to the flavor profile you’ll experience from a premium cigar when you light it up. After you cut your cigar, put it in your mouth, and pull air through it – just like if you had already fired it up.

The way the wrapper leaf tastes on your lips and the aroma and taste of the air reaching your palate offers a tangible indication of what’s to come. It’s kind of like talking to someone on the phone before you meet them in person. Taking a few cold draws from a cigar may not completely mirror the flavors you inevitably perceive, but they can tell you if the cigar is going to be on the spicy or sweeter side and they will hint at specific tasting notes.

My Father Le Bijou 1922, for example, provokes the palate with polarizing peppery and potent notes of earthy spices and espresso beans the second you put it up to your lips. Arturo Fuente Anejo foretells of a buttery and sweet profile of dark chocolate and black pepper. The cold taste of a cigar is a genuine reflection of its character, but never rely on the cold taste solely to reach any conclusions about a cigar. The real assessment comes after you smoke it. And that’s the fun part.

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