His father is one of the cigar industry’s legendary master blenders; Avo was his adopted uncle, he knows the cigar business inside and out. He’s also just a really nice guy: Klaas Pieter Kelner, Davidoff Cigars Brand Ambassador, who talks with us about growing up at the heart of the business, the appreciation of a fine cigar, and more
Q.I was wondering if you could tell me a bit about how cigars are ‘flavored’ for lack of a better term. It’s my understanding that cigarettes are treated with several things, including chemicals that are bad for us. What is used to achieve the different flavoring for cigars?
Cliff H. in Oklahoma
A. There are several methods by which tobacco is flavored, but most manufacturers prefer to keep it under wraps. However, a few years ago at a trade show, I did get some information out of one person who worked for a flavored cigar manufacturer. This person told me that the tobaccos were hung in a special room in which they were misted with the flavorings. This allowed the tobaccos to naturally absorb the mist as they would, say, rain water, thus, the flavorings actually work their way into the pores of the leaves.
That’s one method (assuming they were telling me the truth), but I’m not sure how others do it. I presume some “soak” the tobaccos, or flavor the cigars after rolling via some kind of injection method.
With regard chemicals or artificial flavorings, I’m not aware of which manufacturers use them. However, I know that CAO uses very high quality, all-natural extracts for their “CAO flavours” line. Tatiana cigars are also one of the better flavored cigar brands, and have moved to even more “exotic” flavor combinations over the last two years.
Finally, before posting this answer I contacted one manufacturer to ask if they would be willing to shed some light on their process without giving away any trade secrets, but they declined. So, I guess it will just have to remain a mystery until somebody someday spills the beans.