“ALL YOU WANTED TO KNOW
WRITTEN BY BRAD BERKO
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. CIGAR HISTORY 1
2. CIGAR MANUFACTURING COUNTRIES & CUBA 1
3. DOES IT MATTER WHERE A CIGAR IS MADE? 2
4. CIGAR CONSTRUCTION 2
a. Wrapper 2
b. Binder 4
c. Filler 4
5. QUALITIES OF A WELL MADE CIGAR 5
a. Consistent construction 5
b. Wrapper 5
c. Cap 5
6. CIGAR SHAPES & SIZES 6
7. THE CIGAR BAND 8
8. RITES & RITUALS OF CIGAR SMOKING 8
a. Cutting the cigar 8
b. Lighting the cigar 9
9. TEST SMOKING A CIGAR 11
10. WHAT TO DO WITH THE CIGAR’S ASH 11
11. HOW DO YOU SMOKE A CIGAR? 11
12. HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN A CIGAR IS FINISHED? 12
13. HOW DO YOU END A FINE CIGAR? 12
14. CAN A CIGAR BE RELIGHTED? 12
15. CIGAR STORAGE – HUMIDORS 12
1. CIGAR HISTORY
The joy of smoking rolled tobacco leaves began in the Americas hundreds of years ago. Tobacco was first cultivated in the Americas and was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492. Columbus then introduced it to Europe upon his return voyage.
Native Indians used tobacco in ceremonial affairs such as smoking the pipe of peace. The word ‘cigar’ was derived from the Spanish word ‘cigarro’ which was in turn adopted from the word ‘seekar or seekar’ being the Indian Mayan name for smoking. Taino Indians used the name ‘cohiba’ for tobacco. Many present day Havana cigars use old Indian names for labels and sizes.
2. CIGAR MANUFACTURING COUNTRIES AND CUBA
Cigars need to be grown in humid and warm regions. The most popular is in the Caribbean with the Dominican Republic being the most popular. Other popular countries in which cigars are grown is Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Jamaica.
Cuba had historically been the leading country from which premium cigars were exported to the United States. However, in 1962 the United States Congress enacted the Trading With the Enemies Act and a trade embargo has since been enforced against Cuba. Since that time it is illegal to bring Cuban cigars into the United States.
Even with the U.S. embargo of Cuban cigars, that tiny island nation continues to be the premier cigar manufacturing center in the world. All Cuban cigars are called ‘Puros’ meaning pure. A ‘Puro’ cigar is made purely of tobaccos from the country where the cigars were rolled. This is by law (in Cuba). In recent times, Cuba has been hit hard by nature and the collapse of the former Soviet Union, it’s former and primary supporter. The resulting loss of economic aid from the former Soviet Union and a series of tobacco blights have combined to potentially undermine the consistency of Cuban cigar production and tobacco quality.
In the year’s since the embargo, the legend and inaccessibility of the Cuban cigar has combined in the psychology of the American consumer, making the Cuban cigar a coveted status symbol that is difficult to compete with. The best comparison to be made between illegal Cuban cigars and other legal ones is to compare French wines with California wines. One is different than the other. Is one better than the other? That is a matter of opinion!
3. DOES IT MATTER WHERE A CIGAR IS MADE?
Many people believe that the country where the cigar is rolled determines the flavor of the cigar. THIS IS NOT TRUE!!
a. A cigar’s flavor is determined by the tobaccos used in the rolling of that cigar.
b. Most cigars are made from tobaccos from many different countries. Tobacco taste is affected by many variables including soil, climate and aging.
c. Each of these variables leaves its own fingerprint on the tobacco’s flavor. It takes the skill of a master tobacco blender to combine the different tobacco leaves together into blends and combinations to deliver the flavor of a brand.
d. The country of manufacture is only as important as the skill of the cigar rollers to be found in that country. Generally speaking, countries with a long tradition of cigar rolling in their culture tend to make better constructed cigars than those with no or little tradition at all.
e. If we had Cuban tobacco, we could roll Cuban cigars in Iowa – if you could find the cigar rollers!
4. CIGAR CONSTRUCTION
What goes into cigars? The answer to this question is the key to assessing the quality of a specific cigar. All but the thinnest cigars include three elements: (a) the filler tobacco at the center, (b) a binder leaf which holds the filler together and (c) the outer wrapper, which is rolled around the binder. Cigars which are made by hand (as opposed to machine-made cigars) use ‘long filler’ tobacco: leaves which run the length of a cigar. In a handmade cigar, the filler, binder and wrapper are combined manually by hand to create a cigar. The ‘cap’ is the last item constructed onto the cigar by the roller.
Let’s examine the three tobacco’s that comprise a premium cigar a little closer:
a. WRAPPER – WHAT IS IT?
The wrapper is like the expensive wrapping paper with which you would wrap an important gift. It is made up of half a tobacco leaf and is rolled around the body of the cigar. The wrapper of a cigar is carefully selected not only for its taste, but for its beauty. (The wrapper can contribute up to 70% of the total flavor of a cigar.) It must be flawless, for the wrapper is all you see when you look at a fine cigar. The wrapper should not be dry; it should not flake or crumble when touched. The quality of a cigar is often judged by it’s wrapper.
Generally speaking, the lighter the wrapper color, the milder the taste (i.e., Connecticut Shade). The darker the wrapper, the more full-bodied the cigar will be (i.e., maduro wrappers). Cigars are usually described as ‘mild, medium or full-bodied’ (just like referring to wines). Cigar novices will prefer a milder cigar while an experienced cigar smoker may prefer a darker wrapper for a fuller bodied taste.
· Although there are approximately 100 different wrapper shades identified by all the major manufacturers, the two most popular are Connecticut Shade wrappers (from the State of Connecticut, USA) and a maduro wrapper.
Connecticut Shade is the most expensive tobacco in the world! This wrapper gets its name from where and how it is grown. The fields where the wrapper plants are grown are covered by tents made of translucent material. The tents filter and diffuse the sunlight before it reaches the plants. This makes the leaves smooth, with a thin and fine texture and a delicate red-brown color. Under the cover of the tent, beneficial heat and humidity are trapped, creating a tropical growing environment. The tent also protects the plants from wind, rain and hail. Connecticut Shade is world famous for its smooth complexion, wonderful light brown shade and a delicate, smooth, yet complex flavor.
· The term ‘maduro’ comes from the Spanish word for ‘ripe’. The leaves are said to be ripe because they come from the top of the tobacco plant and are the last to be picked; therefore, they are darker, thicker and richer than their brothers from the lower part of the plant.
Maduro wrapper cigars are easy to identify because they are dark brown to black in color. The dark brown color comes about because after harvesting the leaves are arranged in large square piles called ‘bulks’. The pressure from the weight of the bulks and bacterial action create heat and fermentation; the tobacco is said to ‘sweat’. As the tobacco sweats, it becomes progressively darker and sweeter to the taste; impurities are driven out. Once a pre-determined temperature is reached, the bulk is broken down, re-stacked, and the process is repeated again and again until the desired color and taste are achieved.
· Another popular wrapper comes from West Africa and is called a ‘Cameroon’ wrapper. These wrappers are darker in color than a Connecticut Shade but not quite as dark as a maduro. Cigars made with Cameroon wrappers offer a taste in the middle of a mild-bodied Connecticut Shade and the fullest-bodied maduro cigars. The traditional farming methods and the rich soil of Western Africa give this wrapper a distinctive rich taste and dark brown color when properly aged.
b. BINDER – WHAT IS IT?
If you were to remove the wrapper layer from a cigar, the next layer you would see is called the binder. The binder does just what the name implies – it binds the cigar together. Binder tobacco is not seen by the cigar smoker. Because it is not seen, the tobacco used is not selected for its flawless beauty, but rather for its function. Binder tobacco is picked for its strength, flavor and burning characteristics. Good binder tobacco acts as a fuse; it insures a long, slow, even burn while the cigar is being smoked.
c. FILLER – WHAT IS IT?
Filler tobaccos are the innermost leaves of the cigar. The leaves that make up the filler tobaccos make up the majority of the volume of the cigar, but oddly, they do not contribute the majority of the flavor of the cigar. (The wrapper contributes the majority of the cigar’s flavor – up to 70%.)
All quality, premium cigars use ‘long filler’ leaf. This means that the filler leaves are whole and intact. Inexpensive machine-rolled cigars use ‘chopped’ or short filler tobacco. Chopped filler uses broken leaves and tobacco scraps. The use of long filler leaves is evidenced by the long cylindrical ash that grows on a premium cigar. The ash of an inexpensive cigar, using chopped or short filler flakes, drops off like a cigarette ash.
The last component that goes into the construction of a cigar is THE CAP. The cap is a small circular piece of tobacco that is applied over the ‘head’ of the cigar. (The head is the round, closed end of the cigar that you put in your mouth.) The cap gives a nice finished look to the cigar and also serves to hold the tail end of the wrapper leaf closed. The head also helps keep the cigar wrapper from unraveling when the cigar is cut for lighting.
5. QUALITIES OF A WELL MADE CIGAR
a. CONSISTENT CONSTRUCTION
A quality cigar should exhibit the following construction traits cigar to cigar, box to box. It has been said that anyone can make a few thousand cigars, but only the very best manufacturers can produce millions of consistently great cigars year after year.
· The cigar should be well filled with tobacco. A well made cigar should feel like your finger – resilient to the touch but not rock hard; nor should it be spongy or soft.
· The cigar should feel consistently firm throughout its length. There should be no soft spots which indicate voids or pockets where there is little tobacco; nor should there be hard spots or knots that indicate compressed tobacco or twigs that could block the draw of smoke through the cigar.
· You can test a cigar by feeling or gently pinching it between your thumb and forefinger along the length of the cigar while turning it in your hand from the foot (the end of the cigar you light) to the head (the end of the cigar you place in your mouth).
· The cross-section of the cigar should be regular in shape. It may be completely round or slightly square, depending upon the boxing style.
The wrapper should:
· be smooth, the roll edges or seams should be flat, not puckered.
· not have large unsightly veins.
· be even-colored throughout.
· have some oil content that can be seen as a sheen or shine.
· be pliable and not dry or flaky.
· be stretched evenly over the cigar body, no twists or bumps.
· not be patched.
· have roll lines evenly spaced.
The cap should:
· match the wrapper in color and texture.
· be neatly applied, not crooked or rough.
· cover the head and be round and domed, well filled, not hollow or flat in appearance.
· be well fixed and not loose.
6. CIGAR SHAPES AND SIZES
There are cigars of every shape and size for every smoker and to match every occasion. All cigars are measured in length and by a unit of measurement called a ring for the diameter of the cigar. One ring is 1/64th of an inch. A cigar whose dimensions are written as 7 x 32 would be described as a relatively thin cigar, 7 inches long and 32/64ths of an inch in diameter, or ½” wide. (As opposed to a larger ring gauge cigar measuring 5 x 50, or 5 inches long and 50/64ths of an inch in diameter.) RULE OF THUMB – ASSUMING YOU ARE SMOKING A CIGAR WITH THE SAME TOBACCOS, THE LONGER THE LENGTH AND THE FATTER THE DIAMETER, THE COOLER AND FULLER TASTING THE CIGAR WILL BE. The relationship between length and diameter of the cigar directly affects the taste and smoking characteristic of the cigar.
a. Large Ring Size
· The increased volume found in a larger ring sized cigar allows a master blender to add more leaves of filler tobacco to the cigar. This can give a cigar a more complex combination of tastes. As more filler leaves are used, the wrapper becomes less dominant in the overall taste of the cigar.
· The larger the diameter, the longer the cigar takes to smoke.
· The larger the diameter, (many people find) the more awkward the cigar is to smoke, hold and carry.
b. Small Ring Size
· The smaller volumes inherent in small ring gauged cigars mean that less filler tobaccos can be used in the cigar, allowing less complex blends.
· The wrapper flavor becomes even more predominant in smaller ring gauged cigars (because there is less filler tobaccos).
· Smaller diameter cigars tend to smoke faster.
· The smaller ring sized cigars, (some people find) are elegant – easy to carry and hold in the mouth.
c. Long Length
· The longer the length of the cigar, the cooler the smoke. As the smoke is pulled (drawn) along the length of the cigar, the cooler it becomes as it travels to the mouth.
· Increased length = increased smoking time.
d. Short Length
· Shorter cigars tend to smoke hotter as the smoke has less chance to cool down as it travels to the mouth.
· Shorter cigars burn faster and take less time to smoke.
The most popular sized cigars come in the following dimensions:
Panatela (6 x 38) – Very popular in Europe – sleek and elegant shape. Women often feel more comfortable with this size.
Robusto (5 x 50) – Great trade-off between time and flavor; big cigar flavor and coolness in a smaller cigar. This shape is also called ‘Rothschild’.
Corona (5 ½ x 42) – Second most popular size in the United States although it is losing ground to larger diameter cigars.
Lonsdale (6 ½ x 42) – This has always been the most popular cigar in the U.S. although it is also losing ground to larger diameter cigars.
Corona Gorda (6 x 50) – Means ‘fat coronas’; also sometimes called a ‘Toro’.
Churchill (7 x 47) – Second largest size category; term often used to describe a large cigar.
Double Corona (7 ½ x 50+) – Largest sized cigars, good after dinner cigars will have the fullest flavor and the coolest smoke. These cigars take an hour plus to smoke.
Figurado-Shaped Cigars. The word ‘Figurado’ means ‘shaped’. The various types of figurados are:
a. Perfecto – Cigars that are pointed or tapered at both ends.
b. Pyramid – Cigars that are pointed at one end and whose sides are slanted, not parallel.
c. Belicoso/Torpedo – Cigars with one pointed end and parallel sides.
In SUMMARY, finding the ‘perfect cigar’ shape or size is a trade off between, size and comfort, size and time, size and flavor. Cigars come in so many different sizes because so many different people have so many needs and tastes. Cigar smokers are always on the eternal quest to find the perfect cigar. A short, thin cigar may be perfect when you don’t have time to sit down and savor your regular large cigar. A long, fat cigar may be perfect at the end of the day when you can set aside an hour or two to savor the flavor of a large cigar.
7. THE CIGAR BAND
The cigar band counts for fifty percent (50%) of the total cigar flavor – JUST KIDDING!!!! The cigar band has had many functions in holding the wrapper together, protecting the fingers of the smoker from being soiled and displaying the brand of the cigar.
It is the personal choice of smokers to leave the band of the cigar on down to the very end or to take it off before lighting. If someone chooses to remove the band, they should wait until they’ve smoked the cigar 1/3 of the way down. Removing the band from a cold cigar increases the likelihood that the cigar wrapper will tear and ruin the cigar. A partially smoked cigar is a warm cigar. Warm cigars become softer and more pliable, while loosening any glue that may have adhered to the delicate wrapper. General rule with most cigar smokers, the more expensive and rarer the cigar, the more likelihood is that the band will remain on the cigar right down to the very end.
8. RITES AND RITUALS OF CIGAR SMOKING – CUTTING & LIGHTING
There is a lot of myth and mystique associated with cigar smoking and it can be very intimidating at first. Half of the pleasure of cigar smoking is in the rituals associated with cutting, lighting and the care and feeding of premium cigars. In dealing with a client who orders a cigar from you the general rule of thumb is that the more experienced the cigar smoker is, the more likely he (or she) will have their own cutter and lighter and not need any further help from you. However, all other cigar smokers (and they will be in the majority), will ask for your help with either cutting and/or lighting their cigar. You should always offer to provide this service for the client and let them advise you as to what they would like.
a. CUTTING THE CIGAR
· Cigars are basically tubes closed at one end (sometimes both, but rarely), through which you suck or draw smoke from the lit end (called the ‘foot’) to your mouth (which end is called the ‘head’) where the flavor is rolled on the palette and savored. The smoke is then exhaled from the mouth. Cigars are not generally inhaled (like cigarettes). Much of the enjoyment of cigar smoking comes from savoring the complex flavors and tastes on the palate (as in tasting and enjoying wine).
· As the ‘tube’ or cigar is closed on one end (the ‘head’), the first step is to open this closed end like a straw so we can enjoy the flavor.
· The most popular instrument used in cutting cigars is a ‘guillotine’ cutter. This cutter is a tool that incorporates a straight razor blade that is pushed through the cap of the
cigar, giving you a straight cut that is round in cross-section. (A double-edged guillotine is superior in making the cleanest cut possible, rather than a single-edged guillotine, and cuts the cigar from both sides of the cap at once.) The cigar should be cut at its ‘shoulder’ giving you the largest opening of the head and therefore the easiest draw. The shoulder is the area where the domed head of the cigar begins its downward curve to the parallel sides. Do not cut off the entire head of the cigar, as the cigar will unravel without its cap. (As a general rule it is always better to cut less than more and to make a second cut if the first one is not satisfactory.)
· Other cigar cutters used today are:
1. V-Cut. This cut removes a small elliptical slice from the head of the cigar. The V-cut leaves little margin for error in cutting the cigar and leaves much of the cap in place to protect the wrapper from unraveling. However, the cut that is made is small and could affect the cigar’s taste and draw.
2. Punch/Bullet Cut. A circular blade (like a hollow, open-ended bullet casing) is inserted into the head of the cigar, twisted slightly, and a shallow circular plug is removed from the cigar head (like a cookie cutter). This cutter is small and compact and easy to carry with you at all times. The hole in the cap is neat and relatively large and there is little possibility of damage to the cigar. On the negative side, this cut can compress the tobaccos in the head of the cigar and cause a poor draw. Also, the cutter is not always of suitable size for the head of all cigars.
3. Biting. Although this is not a cutter, there are still many people biting off the heads of their cigars like you might see in an old John Wayne western movie! The only positive to this method of cutting is that you never lose your cutter. However, there are many negatives including
(a) social ostracism; (b) stuck with tobacco in your mouth;
and (c) Martha Stewart says it’s “in poor taste”.
b. LIGHTING THE CIGAR
After having cut at the head of the cigar, the next step is to offer to your client to light the ‘foot’ of their cigar.
· Before giving the cigar to your client to light, you can first offer to ‘toast’ their cigar. Hold the cigar in your hand, place
the foot of the cigar about an inch above the flame (never
touching the flame) at a 45 degree angle to the flame. ‘Toast’ the cigar by rolling it between the fingers, roasting the outside diameter of the cigars. Blow through the cigar after embers appear on the end. What you are trying to do is to pre-char, or roast, the foot of the cigar to insure an even burn all around the end of the cigar.
· The cigar is now handed to your client. They should begin to gently draw air through the head of the cigar while you still hold the flame source an inch below the toasted foot. Now instruct your client to continue drawing in the smoke, while they rotate their cigar over the flame until the foot is evenly lit and smoke is flowing freely into their mouth. They should remove the cigar from their mouth and you should look closely at the cigar to make sure all is burning well, carefully applying the flame to any missed spots. An evenly lit cigar will insure an even burn throughout the length of the cigar.
There are several methods for lighting a cigar. The consensus among all cigar smokers is to stay away from gasoline lighters or sulphur-based matches as these lighting sources impart undesirable and unnatural flavors to your cigar. You want to use a clean flame source to light cigars which include:
· Butane lighters – the best one being a ‘torch’ lighter. Butane is clean and odorless and the flames are adjustable and long-lasting.
· Proper cigar matches – the most traditional method of lighting a cigar. A proper cigar match should be at least 3 inches long and the heads should be made with chemicals that produce no odors. You should use two matches held side by side when lighting a cigar; this yields a wider flame base and longer lasting burn. When the matches are struck, allow the chemicals in the heads to burn off completely before lighting the cigar.
· Cedar strips – half the enjoyment of cigar smoking is in the rituals associated with smoking them. The truest expression of this ritual is lighting your cigar with a cedar strip. The cedar strip is ignited by a separate flame source and then used as the flame source itself for lighting the cigar. These strips commonly come from splitting sheets of cedar found in cigar boxes or that come inside the tube of a tubed cigar. The use of the strip allows you to light the cigar with real Spanish cedar, marrying the complementary flavors of tobacco and the aroma of cedar.
9. TEST SMOKING A CIGAR
The true test of the quality of a cigar is in the smoking. Indicators to the quality of a cigar can be found by observing the following characteristics once the cigar is lit:
a. The ash should be long and cylindrical. The ash on a good cigar should be able to grow to at least 1-1 ½ inches before falling off. A long ash is an indicator that only higher quality whole tobacco leaves were used in the filler tobaccos of the cigar. Lesser quality short filler tobaccos are used in inexpensive machine-rolled cigars. Short filler ash tends to flake off like a cigarette.
b. The ash should be white with a dark ring forming at its base. This indicates that the tobacco used in the cigar was thoroughly aged.
c. The smoke should travel smoothly along the length of the cigar to your mouth for the duration of the smoke. You should not get a hernia drawing on the cigar. The cigar should not go out halfway through (if you are consistently and regularly smoking it) or become plugged.
d. The cigar should burn evenly. The cigar should not burn faster down one side or burn concave at the end. If the cigar was lighted unevenly, a well constructed cigar should even out on its own accord.
e. To judge or smell the aroma of a cigar, slowly wave the lit end under your chin and let the smoke waft up your nose; then smell the aroma of your cigar.
10. WHAT TO DO WITH THE CIGAR’S ASH
A cigar ash is more than something to be disposed of; it is a visible testament to the quality of your cigar. You should show off your ash as a tribute to the cigar maker and the quality of your cigar. Once your ash grows to about an inch, discretely position yourself by an ashtray in preparation for “the fall”. Simply laying the cigar down in the ashtray will usually cause the ash to fall gracefully. If that doesn’t work, lightly tapping should be enough to encourage the ash to dislodge. The only rule of thumb I use for ash length and how often you should tap it off into an ashtray is that when the ash falls off on to your shirt or pants, you know it was too long!
11. HOW DO YOU SMOKE A CIGAR?
All cigar smokers break down into four different types:
a. Inhalers – Not recommended. The smoke should be pulled/drawn into the mouth, allowed to linger on the palate, then exhaled.
b. Sippers – The preferred method of smoking cigars in which the cigar smoke is drawn into the mouth and onto the palate, savored and exhaled every few minutes. Sipping the cigar allows the smoke to remain cool and flavorful. This method brings out the best in a cigar.
c. Chewers – Everyone knows of these types. They chew the same cigar for hours (maybe even days!!), until all that is left is a flattened and soggy mess.
d. Puffers – The sure sign of a beginner is the constant puffing of a cigar, never pausing between puffs to discover the many complex and subtle flavors to be found in a quality cigar. Puffing like a chimney overheats the cigar, leading to uneven burn, hot acrid flavors and a generally unsatisfactory smoking experience.
12. HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN THE CIGAR IS FINISHED?
The flavors of the cigar get more intense and interesting as the cigar burns down. Some people recommend smoking till the ash falls behind your teeth. Others say it is better to smoke a cigar 2/3’s of the way down. Like many aspects of cigar smoking, it is a matter of personal preference (and your pocketbook). If you only smoke 2/3’s of a $15 cigar, then you just lit it with a $5 bill!
13. HOW DO YOU END A FINE CIGAR?
First and foremost, NEVER STUB OUT A CIGAR LIKE A CIGARETTE!!!!!!!! Stubbing out a cigar causes it to break apart, letting out unpleasant odors and creating an unsightly mess which will not endear one to their fellow smokers or the service staff. The proper method to dispose of a cigar is to simply lay it down in a cigar ashtray. Cigars have NO foreign additives that are found in some cigarettes designed to keep a cigarette burning when not being smoked. A cigar will die a quiet death and extinguish itself if simply laid down for its final rest and left alone.
14. CAN A CIGAR BE RELIGHTED?
It is possible to relight a cigar. A cigar, however, is never as good the second time around. The longer it sits between lightings, the less pleasant it becomes.
15. CIGAR STORAGE – HUMIDORS
Cigars are stored in a humidor to keep them fresh. A humidor recreates the mild humid climate of the Caribbean, where the tobaccos of the cigars were grown. The humidor creates this perfect environment. The correct ambiance is 70% humidity and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (give or take a couple of degrees). A sealed environment is required to keep both these elements stable. Each time you open and close your humidor your humidity
level will fall and rise. (Your humidor should come with a gauge, called a hygrometer, used to measure humidity. Some hygrometers also measure the temperature.)
Avoid large or rapid fluctuations in either temperature or humidity – they can swell the tobaccos and crack the cigar’s wrapper. A cigar that is too dry will smoke hot, fast and unevenly; too moist and it will be hard to light and even harder to draw. Either way you will be deprived of the pleasures afforded by a well maintained cigar.
Quality humidors come with cedar lining. Cedar is important for three reasons:
· It is virtually odorless;
· It absorbs any moisture in the humidor and allows an even distribution of humidity offering a fresh and natural environment to store your cigars; and
· It enhances the flavor of tobacco over a period of time, much like adding spice to food.
Always use distilled water only in a humidor. Tap water tends to cause mold and has additives that can destroy the effectiveness of some humidifiers over a period of time and can even alter the flavor of cigars.
THE ONLY THING LEFT IS TO LIGHT UP AND ENJOY YOUR OWN CIGAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!