We have all asked it, “What is a good, mild cigar?” Time after time, we search for the ever elusive “mild” cigar. We read all the reviews, we compare brands, we talk to other cigar smokers, and sometimes we even ask “that guy down there at the smoke shop.” And yet everyone has a different answer and idea!
I asked TobaccoPlace.Net about this problem and he claims that few questions exasperate a tobacconist more that that question. I asked him why and we sat down as he explained. Afterward, I began to understand and here is what I remember from that enlightening conversation…
Zen and The Art of Mild Cigars
The problem with the concept of a “mild” cigar is that mild really means nothing. A person could garner the same response from a trained tobacconist by asking, “What is a good, purple cigar?” Most cigar enthusists, when using the term mild, are substituting this term for whatever traits or charcteristics they consider best in cigars. A simple trip to any commercial humidor will testify to the fact that every cigar smoker is as different as the variety of brands available!
TobaccoPlace.Net contends that the term “mild” is best defined by either light or smooth. Usually when a cigar enthusiast is using this term he really means one or the other. This is not always true, however, as TobaccoPlace.Net recalls a day when an older (somewhat crusty) gentleman entered the humidor and declared, “I want a good, mild cigar (he pronounced it SEE-gaar) like that Te-Amo!” Whether you love Te-Amo cigars or not, it would be difficult to classify them as either light or especially smooth. But generally, mild can be understood by either light or smooth.
The Idea of Light Cigars…
A light cigar is simply a cigar that has little flavor. On the surface this might seem a bad thing, but think of it in terms of coffee. What is the difference between 2 scoops of coffee in the maker or 4 scoops? Less scoops is less flavor while, of course, more scoops is more. In the end, it is simply a matter of taste.
When someone begins enjoying cigars, usually they begin with lighter blends and then over time, begin to gravitate towards richer blends as the mature. Most people begin with Macanudo and then may experiment with Don Diego, and then Ashton and so on. This is the best and most natural progression for the true cigar aficionado.
If you find that you enjoy Macanudo, Don Diego, Ashton, Creedo, Temple Hall, etc. then for you a mild cigar may mean a light cigar. Talk to your tobacconist about these brands when you are seeking a recommendation and you should be happier with the results.
The Idea of Smooth Cigars…
A smooth cigar is simply a cigar whose characteristics blend and meld well into a pleasant overall experience. This may seem to be an ambiguous definition, but any regular cigar smoker can tell of times when a cigar did not deliver as it should. Some of these flavors and features are purely subjective. For instance, a person may not like sweet cigars while another enjoys nutty tones. Other attributes, such as construction, can be seen as universal. I don’t know any cigar lover that enjoys an irregular burn or a peeling wrapper!
A smooth cigar may be light, rich, or anywhere in flavor between. If you enjoy Punch, Hoyo de Monterrey, or Padron then you like a full bodied smoke; whereas an Avo or Montesino would be more medium bodied. Under the proper circumstances, any or all could be considered a smooth cigar.
If you find that you enjoy any of the richer blends, then approach your cigar smoking with the idea of smoothness or flavor strength with a trained tobacconist. He or she will steer you in the right direction.
I hope this will help you on your quest for the perfect cigar! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact the trained professionals at Tobacco Place.