Cigar Glossary

Cigar Glossary

Freshly picked tobacco leaves are hung in air-vented, covered barns and allowed to dry in the breeze. This allows the tobacco to concentrate, while getting rid of any unwanted chemicals.

Yellowish wrapper leaf grown in shade.

The fragrance of a cigar when lit.

This is a small piece of tobacco leaf cut separate from the main wrapper, and then placed in the slit of the wrapper to finish the cap for the head of the cigar. This allows the cap to appear to be part of the same leaf.

The fermentation stage is completed, now the tobacco leaves are packed up into a bundle and placed in burlap. This serves as a way to safely transport the leaves, and it allows the leaves to continue aging.

Usually a colorful strip of paper which identifies the line and maker of the cigar. Cigar bands are often printed with the name of the brand, country of origin, and/or indication that the cigar is hand-rolled.

The main body of the cigar.

A cigar with a small rounded head that flairs out to a wider shape and can reach a gauge of up to 52. Belicoso is often used to describe Coronas or Corona Gordas with a tapered head.

A leaf which is coarse and tough in nature that is used to hold the filler in place. This is then covered by a more attractive wrapper tobacco. It is one of the three main components in a cigar.

A mix of tobacco in a cigar. This determines the character and balance of the cigar. Traditionally, up to five types of filler leaves can be used.

As a cigar ages, sometimes the oils produced during the fermentation process create a fine white powder. This can be wiped off and does not affect the cigar in the least. This is not mold, which can be identified by its bluish green color.

This is the fragrance of the wrapper and open-foot of the cigar before it has been lit. A properly stored cigar should retain its bouquet, and a badly stored cigar can lose its bouquet.

The slightly square look taken on by cigars packed tightly in a box.

The container used to package cigars. Usually holding 25 to 50 cigars, these boxes come in many shapes and sizes. Cigars can be sold in natural cedar boxes, tins, basswood, or even cardboard boxes covered in decorative paper.

Up to four different types of filler tobacco blended to create the body of the cigar. The bunch is held together by the binder.

Usually 25 or 50 cigars bound or wrapped in plastic.

A Spanish cedar cigar box. These are preferable when buying cigars for aging.

A dark red to dark brown wrapper grown in Cameroon. This is a highly sought out wrapper. Due to high demand, the Cameroon wrapper is now being grown throughout the world.

Sometimes referred to as Double Claro, this light green wrapper gets its color from heat curing before the fermentation process begins. Not widely seen these days.

Also referred to as Natural, this wrapper is pale green to light brown (like milky chocolate). Claro means clear or “lite” in Spanish.

A lounge or establishment that caters to the cigar smoker. Fine cigars are available for purchase and smoking, along with fine adult beverages (in some locations) to enhance the experience.

A cigar averaging 6 ¾” to 7 ¾” inches in length and a 45 to 48 ring size.

A small cigar, 6 inches or less in length with a cigar ring size of 30 or less. Average length would be in the neighborhood of 4 inches (also referred to as cigarillo).

A crescent shaped knife used by cigar rollers to trim and cut the leaves.

The term cedar in cigar making is deceiving. The Spanish cedar used in aging rooms and cigar humidors is actually from Central and South America from seven or so species of trees in the Mahogany family. The Spanish cedar imparts a delicate woodsy flavor to your cigars and holds humidity nicely. It is not the cedar we use in closets.

When workers moisten the aged tobacco to make it easier for the hand rollers to handle.

Cuban term for wrapper. Also called a binder.

Also referred to as the crown or flag, a circular piece of wrapper leaf placed at the head of the cigar.

The ability of a cigar brand or line to provide the same high level of taste.

A medium-brown to brownish-red shade of wrapper tobacco. Colorado cigars are usually aromatic and are associated with well-matured cigars.

A shade darker brown than the Colorado, with a yellowish-orange tint.

Darker than the Colorado Claro, this medium to almost dark brown wrapper produces a fuller flavor.

Originating in the Connecticut River Valley of the United States, this leaf is grown in full sunlight. The wrapper is used for maduro cigars. This produces a dense dark brown color.

Known for its light brown color and smooth flawless appearance, this mild wrapper is considered by many to be some of the finest cigar wrapper leaves available. Originating in the Connecticut River Valley, U.S., it is grown under large cheesecloth tents.

The top two leaves of a tobacco plant are referred to as the Corona. Commonly, it is the classic cigar size, typically being 5 1/2 to 6 ¼ long with a 42 to 45 ring size.

The process of drying newly harvested tobaccos.

Made from three braided cigars. In Spanish it means snake.

The twisted finish on the head of a cigar. Some premium cigar manufacturers are now using this technique. This method is also referred to as Pigtail & Fancy Tail.

A device used to clip or puncture the cap of a cigar to prepare it for smoking.

The removal of flowers that sprout from the top of tobacco plants. This allows the plant to grow higher quality and bigger leaves.

Two consecutive binder leaves wrapped over the filler to provide extra firmness and stability.

The company that distributes Cuban cigars worldwide.

A cigar made from Cuban tobacco and made in Cuba.

A vegetable-based adhesive used to secure the wrapper leaf.  

A single or double blade cigar cutter with the blades mounted in a sliding mechanism and a round hole in which to secure the cap for cutting.

Traditional four pocket shirt worn by cigar makers.

A huge cigar. Averages 9¼ inches long with a 47 cigar ring size.

The end of the cigar you light.


Term which refers to the taste that lingers on your palate after a puff. Mild cigars do not have much finish, but stronger, more full-bodied cigars have distinctive flavors that linger.

The individual tobacco used in the body of the cigar. A fine cigar usually contains between two to five different types of filler. Handmade cigars have long fillers where machine made cigars usually contain smaller-cut leaf.

An unusually shaped cigar that does not have straight sides such as Belicosos, Torpedos, Pyramids, Perfectos and Culebras.

Placed in large piles, tobacco leaves are moistened and allowed to use their own self-generated heat to remove many of the chemicals and impurities. Temperatures may reach 140 degrees before the bulk is broken down. Also referred to as bulking, curing, mulling or sweating.

Also referred to as Curly Head & Pigtail.

Factory where cigars are rolled.

Cooling cabinets in which cigars are kept at the factory for a few weeks after they have been rolled.

A color designation for wrapper leaves that are somewhat lighter in color than Maduro, specially selected for taste and bouquet. Also referred to as Naturals.

Cigars packed in a box three layers deep, with eight on the top, nine in the middle and eight on the bottom.

Also referred to as Dutch Cigars which do not require humidification. Most are machine made.

The flow of smoke from a cigar.

A cigar size, usually measuring between 6¾ & 7¾ inches long with a cigar ring size between 48 & 55.

An extra light cigar wrapper.

A group of similar tobacco leaves tied on the bottom by their stems.  

A cigar which has entirely been bunched and rolled by hand.

In most cases the wrapper on the outside was put on by hand, but the rest may be done by machines.

The closed end of the cigar opposite from the end one lights.

A cigar which is hot and has less filler than needed. Being a fast, awkward burn with bitter taste. This cigar was not rolled correctly.

A box, container, or room designed to maintain a 65 to 75 percent level of humidity and temperature of 65 degrees to 75 degrees. 70 degrees and 70 percent is considered ideal. Most humidors are made from Spanish cedar.

A device used to measure humidity.

Cutter that pierces a hole in the cigar.

A person who read to the cigar rollers while they were working. This was meant to educate and entertain the roller. Today, radios and CD players have replaced them.

These are the leaves from the top section of the tobacco plant. Exposure to the sun creates a stronger, robust flavor, while producing an oily texture.

The length of the leaf runs the entire length of the cigar. Used for better cigars.

A cigar size that varies from 6¼ to 7 ¼ inches in length and a 40 45 cigar ring gauge. There are many variations.

Cigars that are machine made and are made from short filler and tobacco scraps.

A cigar very dark brown in color. Almost like black coffee.

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