Cigar Terminology and Cigar Slang You Need To Know — Cigars Direct

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.

Band

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.

Barrel

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.

Binder

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.

Boite Nature

This is a cedar box full of cigars for sale.

Burros (aka "bulks") are big stacks of tobacco leaves being fermented.

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.

Capa

This is the wrapper leaf on the cigar.

Catador

A dream job for many cigar enthusiasts—this person is a professional cigar taster.

Chaveta

This is the name for the special knife that cigar rollers use to cut tobacco leaves.

Claro

A very light brown wrapper.

Colorado

A medium-brownish wrapper.

Corojos

A type of wrapper leaf that is generally grown under screening or gauze.

Culebra

A unique almost Frankenstein-like cigar made by twisting three cigars together.

Diademas

A massive cigar with a tapered head and long barrel.

Foot

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 Habana on the band, it usually means the cigar is Cuban.

Habana

If you see this on the band, it usually means the cigar is Cuban.

Half-wheel (“media ruedas”)

50 cigars bundled together.

Head

This is the end you cut and suck on when you are kicking back to enjoy your cigar.

Herf

A gathering of cigar smokers. Now you know what to call your gathering when you have the good ol’boys over.

Hot

If a cigar is underfilled, it may have a fast, loose draw that feels harsh.

Ligero

The leaf found at the top of the cigar plant burns slowly and adds body.

Long Filler

Machine-made cigars have chopped tobacco, but premium handmade cigars have leaves that run the length of the cigar called “long filler.”

Maduro

Used to indicate dark brown cigars.

Oil

If your cigar is oily, it was probably humidified properly.

Oscuro

Used to indicate a black cigar.

Man smoking a premium cigar by Cigars Direct

Plug

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.

Puro

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.

Rosado

These are what you call reddish cigars.

Seco

A mild leaf found in the middle of the tobacco plant stalk.

Shade-Grown

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.

Shoulder

This is where the cap of the cigar transitions into the body. Kind of like where your head meets your body.

Sun-Grown

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.

 Torcedor is a person who makes cigars

Torcedor

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.

Tunneling

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

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.

Plants have veins, and you don't want to see too many of them in your cigar.

Vein

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.

Vintage

This is usually a reference to the year of harvesting tobacco leaves in a cigar, not when the cigar was made.

Volado

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.

Yardgar

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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