Cigars 101

“Finish” Defined

Reading Time: < 1 minute

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.

2 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ronald Krebs
4 years ago

I haven’t chomped on leather or hay or “earthiness” since, oh, forever.. So how the how do these “reviewers” know what they’re talking about

Partagas Decadas 2021 Cigar Review (Video) – Puff Pass Repeat
2 months ago

[…] smoke. The flavors appear to have weakened but for a sharp leathery taste, and even the spicy finish has left the building. Yet with a little over two inches remaining, a combination of caramel-like […]

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
cigar advisor news-alec bradley taste of the world chunk sampler fathers day 2022 release-cover

Cigar News: Alec Bradley Cigar Co. Introduces ‘Taste of the World Chunk’ Sampler for Father’s Day 2022

Reading Time: 2 minutes Originally created as a gift to their dad from Alec and Bradley Rubin, Alec Bradley Cigars has released a special ‘Taste of the World Chunk’ limited edition sampler for Father’s Day 2022. Presented with eight exclusive 4¼” x 60 vitolas, learn more about this special sampler here.

Read More

FAN MAIL: MORE BURNING CIGAR QUESTIONS ANSWERED (PART 45)

Reading Time: 3 minutes Have you ever wondered what makes a cigar “earthy?” Do you know how to bleed a cigar lighter and why it’s important? Those questions, including how long premium cigars can survive without a humidor are answered in this month’s Fan Mail videos. Watch now.

Read More
top 6 best rated aleck bradley cigars under $10 cover

2021 CA Report: Top 6 Best-Rated Alec Bradley Cigars Under $10

Reading Time: 6 minutes Finding the best Alec Bradley Cigars according to Famous Smoke Shop customers is easy. Getting them each for under $10? Now that’s a challenge. See which AB blends made the cut!

Read More
top After-dinner cigar picks best after dinner cigar thanksgiving cigar

2017 CA Report: Top Thanksgiving After-Dinner Cigar Picks

No Thanksgiving dinner is complete until the after-dinner cigar. But what will fill the gap between dessert and turkey coma? Try out these 10 top picks!
Read More