After several years of cigar smoking, I can truly say that I know my palate very well - I know what I like and don't like as it pertains to flavor profiles, complexity, body, and strength. I have found that I am starting to be able to discern certain regions of origin based on taste. I absolutely love Honduran and Nicaraguan cigars, and I have discovered that I am now able to distinguish these cigars from those manufactured in other regions. Periodically, when trying a cigar for the first time, I like to smoke it before learning about its country of origin and its type of binder and filler. I am always intrigued by the various combinations of tobacco from differing regions that are used for binders and fillers.
Like the finest wines of the world, the flavor and aroma of a cigar is directly related to its country of origin. The best cigar tobacco is grown in the tropical zone of the globe, along the equator between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, where the variations in sunlight, temperature, humidity, soil conditions, and a host of other factors like the people and their skills and traditions all converge to create the distinct characteristics in tobacco leaves.
Whether you are novice smoker, or a connoisseur with a refined palate, it is important to understand that each cigar-cultivating region has its specific advantages and challenges that influence the smoking experience. Towards this end, Smokeasy will provide a glimpse into some of the amazing and finest cigar tobaccos produced around the world. In this 6-part weekly series, we will cover:
Africa - Cameroon and the Central African Republic
Asia - Indonesia (Sumatra) and the Philippines
The Caribbean - Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica
North America - United States (Connecticut River Valley) and Mexico
Central America - Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua
South America - Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela
A true aficionado will enjoy some insight into the countries of origin of their favorite cigars, as well as the growth and expansion of the industry by virtue of the influence and role of other countries in their cigar tobacco production. Enjoy the journey!