In this audio podcast, Dominican Republic native, Francisco Batista, talks to Gary Korb about his gig as General Manager and Premium Cigar Master Blender for Agio Caribbean Tobacco, whose brands include Royal Agio Cigars’ highly-acclaimed Balmoral and San Pedro de Macoris cigars. Click and listen now!
Cigar Q&A: Can Mild Cigars be Flavorful?
Can mild cigars be flavorful?
Q. I had an interesting experience recently when I ordered some Indian Tabac Super Fuerte Maduros, which I liked tremendously,and then ordered the same product with a natural wrapper and found them much too mild. This was a good lesson as to how much the wrapper matters as I assume the filler was the same in both smokes. My question is, how does one discern flavor in a mild cigar? In experiencing the above cigars it seemed to me it was all about flavor, the maduro (strong) had it and the natural (medium body) did not. It may be the case the that I simply don’t have an educated palate but I’m puzzled when you describe a cigar as both mild and flavorful. I’m sure it’s me, but what’s the deal?
– Steve K.
A. Depending on the blend, anywhere from 20% to as much as 60% of a cigar’s flavor can come from the wrapper. But don’t write-off all mild cigars. There are plenty of good cigars with natural wrappers that are classified as “mild and/or medium” in strength and have lots of flavor. The Casa Toraño, Avo XO, and Rocky Patel American Market Selection immediately come to mind. Note that practically all premium cigars have Ligero in them, which is the strongest tobacco. Of course, the amount of flavor and strength depends on the curing process and how all the other tobaccos (other fillers, binder, and wrapper) “marry.”
Moreover, where Maduro cigars are concerned, when Maduro is done right, the flavor is “sweeter,” not stronger, which many newer cigar smokers perceive Maduro to be. There are dozens of mild to medium-bodied Maduro cigars out there to be had.
You hit the nail on the head when you referred to the “experience” one acquires over time. There are also some cigar smokers who crave nothing but robust and spicy cigars. By the nature of your palate, you may be in that camp. But once you hook into the right milder blend, you’ll know it.