Cigar Blog 101

Cigars and cigar aficionados discuss their favorite cigars, humidors, cigar accessories and more.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Finding the Right Cigar Blend and Presentation

As we discussed in our last post, tobaccos are selected for a brand name after the owner is satisfied with the elements involved in the process. See “Creating a Cigar Brand”.

Now, after days of testing the blends, by as many as ten people – all of whom have a palate that is sensitive to various tastes of the combination of filler, binder and wrapper based on years of cigar manufacturing – one blend is finally chosen.

It may not appear as important to the actual smoking of this selection, but type of box band (ring), latch of the box, weight of the cellophane, seal of the country of origin, all now must be decided.

Once that is done, the next task will be to decide the variety of shapes (sizes) to accompany the making of this new cigar. There are approximately 25-30 shapes available. Deciding the shape has market implications of consumer acceptance.

We have yet to discuss the variety of wrappers, as many as 10-15 from the following: US; Indonesia; Equador; Honduras; Nicaraugua; and Mexico. Each wrapper has a distinctive affect on taste and appearance.

But that will be next time.

By Al Remp, product specialist and trainer, Thompson Cigar.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Free Luxury Wardrobe & Worlds Finest Cigars!

PRIZES: 1 winner will receive one (1) $2,500 Premium Cigar Package from Thompson Cigar and one (1) $2,500 Luxury Wardrobe from Jos. A. Bank Clothiers.

Thompson Cigar and Jos A. Bank have teamed up for this exclusive sweepstakes. You are automatically entered into the Contest when you complete and transmit the on-screen entry form before 11:59 PM EST April 30 th, 2006. One entry per person.

Click here to register.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Creating a Cigar Brand

In our last discussion, we talked about the beginnings of making a cigar, from seed to storage of tobacco.

Now comes step #1, the selection of fillers, binders and wrappers from the variety of tobaccos to create a cigar based on a specific appearance, taste and aroma that a specific brand will portray, as "smokable and enjoyable".

Step #2 is to create a brand name to carry all of step #1 that will be recognized for specific differences.

Brand names are registered and protected by law, so the brand name becomes a treasure.

You can be assured that once both are matched, that brand becomes associated with a distinctive appearance and has a taste specific and aromas you will enjoy.

Every brand prides itself on consistency, which began from seed, growing selection of tobaccos, brand name and awareness of every phase so that you will enjoy that most unique pleasure, smoking a cigar.

By Al Remp, product specialist and trainer, Thompson Cigar.

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Friday, March 17, 2006

Cigar Blog Press Release

In case you missed it, here is a link to our press release sent out on March 16 via PR Web.

Cigar Blog 101 Highlights Advice and History From Cigar Industry Veteran

Thank you for all of your support, Al Remp is writing some great columns for the coming months and we promise to publish great tips, advice and news about three or four times a week. So be sure to subscribe using one of the Cigar Blog RSS buttons on the right side of the blog or visit often.

Feel free to add comments. We love feedback.

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Selecting the Right Cigar Leafs for Manufacturing

Now that we have discussed various types of cigar tastes - mild, medium and full body - and the taste senstations and time of day for your smoking pleasures, we will discuss selecting cigars based on how they are manufactured.

Here's the process: seeds; planting; weather; location of the farm; harvesting; drying barns; curing; fermenting; selection; stripping; examination. This is followed by storage for several years at perfect internal temperatures of each bale and finally a complete inventory by brand name to ensure consistent taste from Box #1 to Box #10,000.

This is an exact science and every manufacturer strives for it. The pride of accomplishment rests with you, the consumer.

There are so many necessary steps before a type of cigar is manufactured, the man hours invovled really make this product unique.

More to follow...

By Al Remp, product specialist and trainer, Thompson Cigar.

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Monday, March 13, 2006

Cigar Tasting Wheel - Excellent Reference

Cigar Jack's Cigar Review Blog posted a really good graphic today - the Cigar Tasting Wheel. It calls attention to the tastes associated with the following cigar basics:

One of the members at Club Stogie found a somewhat similar Cigar Tasting Wheel at Both of them look very useful.

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

When to enjoy Cigars - by Al Remp

Your introduction to cigars – regardless of the fact that you are either a long-time cigar connoisseur or are still seeking that perfect pleasure, rests with when you enjoy them.

I have always believed that certain blends are enjoyed better at certain times of the day.

Remembering that an early morning cigar will awaken the taste buds, a more mild cigar coupled with a fine coffee or espresso would be ideal.

In the Afternoon, after talking, eating, etc. all day, the choice should be a cigar of medium strength.

And by day’s end, a fine meal and total relaxation – a cigar could be more to full body. All senses are prepared to accept a cigar of this type.

I am certain that a full body cigar, before the four sensory areas of the mouth are ready, may, for some cigar smokers, create an experience that is not acceptable and considered harsh.

Al Remp, product specialist and trainer, Thompson Cigar

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Cigar Wrapper Shades

Candela - A green color that was first popularized in the U.S. in the 1800's and early 1900's.

Claro - Pale to light brown, this is the classic color of a Connecticut shade grown tobacco wrapper. This color can also be referred to as natural.

Colorado Claro - Darker brown in color and similar to a Cameroon wrapper from West Africa.

Colorado - A reddish brown wrapper most often seen in well-aged and mature cigars.

Colorado Maduro - A dark brown wrapper, usually seen on cigars produced in Honduras, Nicaragua and sometimes in Cuba.

Double Claro - A greenish-brown wrapper that produces a somewhat light and bland taste.

Maduro - A dark, almost coffee-like color associated with full flavored and slightly sweet-tasting cigars.

Oscuro - Very dark, strong-flavored wrapper produced in Mexico, Brazil and Nicaragua.

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Monday, March 06, 2006

Cigar Podcast - Dogwatch Social Club

We listened to the Dogwatch Social Club Podcast last week and liked what we heard. Dale and Bob spent about an hour talking about their cigar of the week. Bob is located on the East Coast of Florida in Palm Bay. Dale is still living in Colorado but would love to move to the Sunshine state soon.

This is a great way to promote the industry and help educate cigar lovers about different brands. Congratulations Bob and Dale. We'll keep listening.

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How to select a single cigar

Squeeze gently up and down the length of the body, checking for lumps or soft spots. A well-made cigar shouldn't have any. The cigar should have some give, but not be too soft. Rolling it between your fingers can damage the wrapper; just squeeze gently.

The wrapper should be smooth and tight and the ends should be undamaged. Check the size of the veins - smaller veins usually smoke smoother. Check the tobacco in the exposed end. Most cigars are made from a blend of tobaccos, so some color variation is normal, but extreme or abrupt color changes could indicate an inferior leaf, or that the leaves weren't laid together properly in the bunching process.

Follow the guidelines above and you're sure to end up with a winner. Now head off to your favorite cigar smoking spot, light up, and enjoy!

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