Nestor Plasencia Jr. joins Cigar Advisor’s Gary Korb for another Master Blenders video podcast: watch them talk about the Plasencia family’s 154 years of tobacco growing, the success of Alma Fuerte cigars, how they grow and create hybrid tobaccos, and more.
Is bigger better? When it comes to cigars, not necessarily
One of my favorites is the Liga Undercrown by Drew Estate – I love Liga Undercrowns! They are a fantastic smoke all around. The first one I tried was indeed a Toro, and for me it was an instant top-10 cigar! TONS of flavor, about an hour and fifteen minutes burn time, huge smoke and a great aroma. But recently, instead of my usual Toro, I went with the newly released Corona Viva (5 5/8″ x 46), and found it to be just as good, if not, better. In my book, the flavor was a little more defined, but I must admit I was disappointed that it did not last as long as I would have liked. This is the main reason smaller cigars are not favorites in my book. With that being said, when I tried the massive Gordito (6″ x 60), it smoked for about two-and-a-half hours before I threw the rest in the woods, and stumbled back to my house to take a nap.
Subjectivity strikes again
So what is the right answer to our question – IS bigger really better? Well I’m afraid that answer can only be determined by each individual cigar smoker. The great thing about enjoying a fine cigar is getting a chance to try a variety of sizes and shapes, and learn what appeals to your palate. Enjoyment is shared, but strength, tastes and flavors are all subjective. Each cigar size brings out different qualities, different flavor notes, and can also affect the overall strength Remember: the bigger the cigar, the more nicotine (see the Inch by E.P. Carrillo cigars No.64 at right). You’ll also want to take into account the “mouth feel,” which is how comfortable a particular cigar feels in your mouth. The comfort factor plays a big part in your overall enjoyment of smoking a fine cigar.
So, what’s the answer?
My answer to our question, IS bigger really better? No. I don’t believe bigger cigars are always better. Find a size that suits you best. For those of you who buy big cigars to get the most for your money, you may not realize it, but you’re missing an important part of the overall experience.
Smoke for the enjoyment, and if you’re looking to get more bang for your buck, try some exclusive brands. Many of them are made by the very same manufacturers who produce the pricier cigars (see Bayamo at left). You may just discover that, in the long run, bigger isn’t that much better after all.