Anyone can walk into a drugstore and buy a $2 cigar. But buying more expensive, high-end cigars takes a bit more finesse. Sure, if you pay for one, the retailer will give it to you. However, actually looking at various cigars and selecting one requires you to know a little more about tobacco and cigars. Here are some key terms you should seek to understand if you plan on shopping for high-end cigars.
The term "banda" refers to the binding, which is the leaves that actually hold the cigar together. Cigar descriptions may tell you that the banda is mild, potent, or shade-grown. Since the binder is only a few leaves, its quality is less important than that of the wrapper leaves or the filling, but it is still something to consider. Don't buy a cigar if you don't like the way the banda is described. For instance, if you like mild cigars, don't buy one advertised as having a "strong banda."
A bethune cigar is one that has been infused with herbs or liquor. These cigars have unique, high-end flavors, but they're a bit of an acquired taste.
You may see some cigars advertised as having a candela wrapper. This means the cigar has been wrapped in green tobacco leaves. These leaves give the cigar a milder flavor than most, but some find them to be overly herbal.
If you see a cigar advertised as having a "mild finish" or a 'lingering finish," that's how the maker is describing the flavor in your mouth just after you exhale.
Ligero is a term used to describe the cigar filling. It means the filling is really strongly flavored. Less-strong filling is described as viso, and mild filling is called seco. The filling is the biggest determinant of the cigar's overall flavor, so pay close attention to these terms when they're using in a cigar's description.
Tobacco wrappers used on cigars are sometimes described as oscuro. This means the wrapper is extra dark, extra intense, and extra strongly flavored. If you're after a mild cigar, definitely do not buy one with an oscuro wrapper.
As you shop for high-end cigars from various vendors, keep an eye out for these key terms. Once you know their meaning, they can really help you pick out cigars that have the flavor profile and characteristics that you're looking for.
Talk to a cigar supplier to learn more about your options, such as Rocky Patel cigars.