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Cigar Glossary
arrow Main arrow History arrow Ingredients arrow Accessories & Etiquette
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Amarillo - A yellow wrapper leaf grown under shade.
Aging – Storing cigars under humidified conditions for extended periods of time.
Air Curing – The process of hanging freshly picked tobacco leaves in a covered barn with a natural circulation of air to allow the flavors to concentrate and prevent the tobacco from drying out.
Band - A paper ring around the head of most cigars. Cigar bands are often printed with the name of the brand, country of origin, and/or indication that the cigar is hand-rolled. They often have colorful graphics, which have made them a popular collectors item.
Barrel - The main body of the cigar.
Binder – A tough, coarse leaf that goes around the filler, holding it in place.
Blend - The mix tobacco in a cigar, including up to five types of filler leaves, a binder leaf and an outer wrapper.
Boite Nature - The cedar box in which many cigars are sold.
Book Style (also, Booking) - A rolling method by which the cigar maker lays the filler leaves atop one another, then rolls them up like a scroll. Book style, or booking, is common in Honduras. The alternate style is based on the old Cuban method called entubar.
Bouquet - The smell or nose of a fine cigar.
Box - The container used to package cigars.
Box pressure – The tight packaging of cigars pressed in such a manner that they retain a slightly square shape.
Bunch - Up to four different types of filler tobacco blended to create the body of the cigar. The bunch is held together by the binder.
Bundle – A method of packaging cigars in groups of 10 or 25, rather than using a box; generally wrapped in plastic to save money and less expensive than boxed cigars.
Candela - A bright green shade of wrapper, achieved by a heat-curing process that fixes the chlorophyll content of the wrapper while it's still in the barn. Also referred to as double claro.
Cap – The tip section of the cigar where a leaf of tobacco is carefully applied to the head preventing the wrapper from unraveling.
Capa - The cigar's wrapper (also called the binder).
Case - A cigar case serves as a mobile humidor, protecting cigars from damage and the outside environment while they are being carried around.
Chaveta - The semi-circular blade used in a cigar factory for cutting the wrapper leaf.
Cheroot – A small cigar.
Cigar Drill – Type of cigar cutter used to drill a hole in the head; also known as a pinhole cutter
Cigarillo – A small cigar made from cigar-leaf tobacco containing short filler to promote proper, even burning.
Claro – A light-colored wrapper; usually mild.
Culebra - A cigar made of three Panetelas braided together.
Cutter – A device used to remove or puncture the cap of tobacco used to seal the tip of a cigar.
Draw - The flow of smoke from a cigar.
Entubar - A rolling method originating in Cuba where the roller folds each individual filler leaf back on itself, then bunches the leaves together; generally thought to create superior air flow through the cigar resulting in a more even draw and burn.
Fermentation – The process of placing air-cured tobacco leaves in large piles allowing them to heat up; releases many chemicals and impurities that could ruin the tobacco’s flavor.
Filler - The main ingredient comprising the bulk of the cigar and affecting its strength; cigars are made with either long filler (made of long tobacco leaves) or short filler (made of leaves, stems, and other scraps of tobacco generated by a machine).
Finish - A tasting term, which refers to the taste that lingers on your palate after a puff. Mild cigars do not have much finish, either in terms of length or complexity, but stronger, more full-bodied cigars have distinctive flavors that linger.
Flag – see cap
Foot - The end of the cigar that is lit.
Habana - A designation which, when inscribed on a cigar band, indicates that a cigar is Cuban.
Handmade - A cigar made entirely by hand, instead of machines, with high-quality wrapper and long filler; all premium cigars are handmade.
Head – see cap.
Heat curing – Accelerating the natural drying process of tobacco using heat.
Homogenized Binder – Pulverized and reconstituted tobacco blended with natural blenders; used as a wrapper for a number of cigarillos.
Humidor - A container designed for storing cigars or other tobacco products at a constant level of humidity.
Hygrometer - A device that measures the level of relative humidity (percentage of moisture in the air).
Long Filler - Filler tobacco that runs the length of the body of the cigar, rather than chopped pieces found in machine-made cigars.
Machine-made - Cigars made entirely by machine, using heavier-weight wrappers and binders and short filler.
Maduro - A very dark brown cigar; generally considered the traditional Cuban cigar color.
Pinhole cutter – see cigar drill.
Planchas - Boards on which tobacco leaves are spread before fermentation.
Plug - A blockage that sometimes occurs in the tobacco that can prevent a cigar from drawing properly.
Primings - The rows of leaves on a tobacco plant; more rows is indicative of stronger tobacco.
Puncture cutter – A cutter containing a very sharp blade rolled into a circle with the thickness about the size of a pencil.
Ring Gauge - The standard measurement of the diameter of a cigar expressed in 64ths of an inch; a ring gauge of 50 is a diameter of 50/64 inches.
Scissors cutter - A cutter appearing as a pair of scissors with two curves blades at the end producing a straight cut.
Seco - The Spanish word for dry, seco is a type of filler tobacco; often contributes aroma and is usually medium-bodied.
Shade-grown - Wrapper leaves that have been grown under a cheesecloth tent, called a tapado. The filtered sunlight creates a thinner, more elastic leaf.
Short Filler – The middle of a cigar filled with scraps of tobacco rather than long leaves; generally made by machines; short filler burns quicker and hotter than long filler.
Shoulder - The area of a cigar where the cap meets the body.

Spanish Cedar -

The kind of wood that is used to make most cigar boxes and humidors.
Spill - A strip of cedar used to light a cigar when using a candle or a fluid lighter.
Straight cutter – The most common of all cutters, which cuts the head of the cigar in a straight line using either one or two blades.
Tercio – A burlap-wrapped bale containing aged individual tobacco leaves used to protect and transport the tobacco and storing it during the aging process
Torcedor - A cigar roller.
Totalamente a Mano – Cigar made totally by hand; a description created in Cuba to differentiate between the Cuban method of making cigars by hand and the semi-mechanized techniques used elsewhere that can legally be described as “Hecho a mano” or “Hand-Made”.
V-cutter – A cutter creating a top-to-bottom slice resembling a v-shaped wedge through the head of the cigar.
Vega - A tobacco plantation.
Vein - The rib of the tobacco leaf; a quality cigar should not be too veined.
Wrapper - A silky leaf of tobacco that makes the cigar look and feel attractive; the part of the cigar that is tasted.
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