Cigars 101

“Finish” Defined

Q. I read a lot of cigar descriptions describing the “finish”, a long finish or a short finish. What exactly is a “finish,” and what is the difference between “long” and “short?”
– Vic Vergalito
A. The “finish” is the taste that lingers on your palate after you’ve blown the smoke out of your mouth. The term is also used for wine tasting. With regard to cigars, the length of the finish is usually dependent on the strength or and/or complexity of the cigar. Milder cigars tend to have a shorter finish, while heavier cigars will have a longer finish. Sometimes the finish is where you’ll pick up those nuances of “leather, cocoa, pepper, cedar,” etc., but the aroma plays a big part in it, too. The more “flavors” your palate is able to detect, often the more complex the smoke. The finish can help you determine how well-balanced the cigar is, too.

A “clean finish” is one in which the smoke disperses the flavors on the palate long enough to be savored without lingering. You could say it’s a short finish with all the properties of a long finish. Moreover, after the cigar is put out, the taste doesn’t linger in your mouth.

Of course, like the flavor of a cigar, the finish is also subjective. To determine the finish of your cigar, take a puff, swirl the smoke around in your mouth a little before blowing it out, then concentrate on what you taste afterwards. Blowing some of the remaining smoke out through the nose will also help you define some of the flavors in the cigar.

Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

Show all Gary Korb's Articles
nowsmoking ramon allones by AJ Fernandez cigar review Cigar Advisor Cover

#nowsmoking: Ramon Allones by AJ Fernandez Toro

This cigar has charted the “Top 25 Cigars of 2018” lists of Cigar Journal, Cigar Aficionado, and Cigar Advisor. Find out why, and what else you need to know about it, in our quick Ramon Allones cigar review – click & read now…

Read More
5 things about pa broadleaf tobacco cacover

5 Things You Need To Know About… Pennsylvania Broadleaf Tobacco

Cheesesteaks, Yuengling (pronounced ying-ling), and potholes the size of moon craters are as Pennsylvanian as it gets – but what about the tobacco? We spent a day at the Drew Estate PA Barn Smoker which, as a life-long Pennsylvanian, led me down the rabbit-hole of what goes into growing and using this heavy tobacco in cigars – and why some say it’s making a comeback.

Read More
nowsmoking july 23 2018 foundation cigar the tabernacle cigar review torpedo CACover

#NowSmoking: The Tabernacle

Trending: #nowsmoking The Tabernacle Torpedo from Foundation Cigars...see our 10-second cigar review here, and share! Find us on Instagram: @famoussmokeshop and @cigaradvisor
Read More
still more cigar questions

Still More Cigar Questions: Answered (Pt. IV)

The inbox is full of still more cigar questions from smokers who want to get more out of their cigars. Check out our video answers - they may help you, too!
Read More