Cigar Terminology and Cigar Slang You Need To Know
No hobby is complete without its own jargon, slang, and terminology. Just your luck—this hobby is heavy on Spanish, too! We are here to help you get up to speed on common cigar terminology without the need for an English-Spanish dictionary.
It’s that colorful design wrapped around the cigar that has a picture of an attractive woman on it, or another branding imagery. This is how makers make their mark and identify their sticks at the individual level.
There are three main sections of a cigar. The barrel is known as the body of the cigar, as opposed to the head and foot that can be found at each end.
The binder leaf is used to wrap up the main filler leaves inside the cigar. The “wrapper” leaf then goes around the binder and the filler to complete this beautiful masterpiece of a smoke.
This is a cedar box full of cigars for sale.
Burros (aka “bulks”)
These are big stacks of tobacco leaves being fermented.
Candela (aka “double claro”)
A once-popular type of cigar wrapper leaf that stays green instead of turning brown like all the others.
This is the wrapper leaf on the cigar.
A dream job for many cigar enthusiasts—this person is a professional cigar taster.
This is the name for the special knife that cigar rollers use to cut tobacco leaves.
A very light brown wrapper.
A medium-brownish wrapper.
A type of wrapper leaf that is generally grown under screening or gauze.
A unique almost Frankenstein-like cigar made by twisting three cigars together.
A massive cigar with a tapered head and long barrel.
This end is often open. Apply fire to it and suck the head at the other end to begin enjoying your cigar.
If you see this on the band, it usually means the cigar is Cuban.
Half-wheel (“media ruedas”)
50 cigars bundled together.
This is the end you cut and suck on when you are kicking back to enjoy your cigar.
A gathering of cigar smokers. Now you know what to call your gathering when you have the good ol’boys over.
If a cigar is underfilled, it may have a fast, loose draw that feels harsh.
The leaf found at the top of the cigar plant burns slowly and adds body.
Machine-made cigars have chopped tobacco, but premium handmade cigars have leaves that run the length of the cigar called “long filler.”
Used to indicate dark brown cigars.
If your cigar is oily, it was probably humidified properly.
Used to indicate a black cigar.
When you’re sucking on a cigar and the fun abruptly stops, this sometimes indicates you have a plug. Don’t fret, a gentle rubbing of the barrel can sometimes fix the problem and get the party started again.
Many delicious cigars are blends, but some only use tobacco from one location. The latter are called puros to indicate that they are purely the product of one soil.
These are what you call reddish cigars.
A mild leaf found in the middle of the tobacco plant stalk.
Not all plants bathe in sunlight all day long. Some wrapper leaf is grown in the relative shade under a cheesecloth tent (aka a “tapado”). This creates a leaf that is thinner than usual and is easier to work into a smooth, even wrapper around a cigar.
This is where the cap of the cigar transitions into the body. Kind of like where your head meets your body.
Tobacco that is grown in the sun, of course! This leaf normally comes out thicker, stronger, and veinier than those not grown in full sun.
The person to whom we all should bow down in respect. This is the genius that makes your cigars. Try to make your own some time to get an appreciation for the level of skill that goes into this.
This is when your cigar starts burning unevenly, with one burn path streaking up the side of the cigar while the tip slowly loses heat and goes out. To prevent this, you need to turn it from time to time to ensure an even burn. As silly as it sounds, cigar smoking is a skill and sometimes takes some finesse.
Vegas are tobacco plantations. A singular plantation is a “vega”—not to be confused with Las Vegas, Nevada. Vegas truly are the playgrounds of the gods.
Just like people, plants have veins, too. And you generally don’t want to see too many of them growing too thick in your cigar. If you smoke a veiny cigar you’ll know why manufacturers try to avoid them.
This is usually a reference to the year of harvesting tobacco leaves in a cigar, not when the cigar was made.
The cigar leaf is found towards the bottom of the plant and burns fast and smoky. It’s a key part of many enjoyable blends.
Wrapper (aka “capa”)
This is a cigar’s first impression maker. The wrapper is the leaf that is wrapped around the outside of the cigar.
Not all cigars can be ultra-premium smokes that the community drools over. Some are just plain old smokes. You can buy these on the cheap and they often come in bundles.
We hope we cleared some things up for you. Happy smoking!
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