The human tongue is able to determine 4 basic tastes : sweet, salted, acid and bitter. That’s all ! The rest is a matter of flavor related to the sense of smell. When testing cigars, only sweetness, acidity and bitterness are concerned. A salted taste could be given by a chlorinated soil or fertilizer. In this case, the tobacco does not burn! If, by bad luck, there is a salted leaf in your cigar, you’ll feel promptly nauseous ! Any tobacco buyer knows that and avoids purchasing such a material.
Taste and Flavor
Taste is discerned on the tongue, flavors with the nose. Almost everybody is able to perceive the four basic tastes (sweet, salted, acid and bitter). Flavors are another matter. Few people are gifted for discerning and recognizing flavors. Often, one can feel a flavor and not be able to name it. It is also matter of memory. It is possible to improve the sense of smell by specific training.Her response takewithme.com.
Some “experts”, after having tested cigars, give a very esoteric description of their feelings. Do you often put your nose in a hare’s hair? Probably not, so forget it! Just remember the flavors you meet and like in the nature : fruits, forest, spices for example, it is enough to enjoy your smoke.
Understand that a average rating is something tricky! Let’s imagine that 3 smokers are blind testing two cigars. The first cigar gets 3 times an 8 rating. The average is 8. The second cigar gets 6, 8 and 10. The average is 8 too. Are the cigars equivalent ?
Is The Cigar Good Or Bad?
Taste is a personal matter, and consequently, it is a subjective matter. As soon as a cigar is well constructed and can be smoked, everyone has the right to like it or not. A cigar you may like may not be enjoyable to others. You don’t need to convince anyone that you are right using fancy words! Just say ” I like it ” or ” I don’t like it “. It’ll show respect for other’s opinions. A bad cigar is the one that makes you and others sick because of green or badly processed tobacco.
The blind smoking test is one of the best traps that human brain has invented! It is a very good way to learn humbleness!
As soon as one speaks of taste, it involves subjectivity. The name, the brand, the ring, the color, the appearance of the cigar are going to affect your appreciation. Even the meal you just ate before smoking! Do you drink coffee or Cognac while smoking? Be cautious and critical about published tests and ratings, as long as the procedure is not clearly disclosed!
Formal or Casual?
There are two ways to organize smoking tests. The first one (“scientific”) is to have all the smokers in the same place and keep them in the same environment for the smoking sessions. They receive a list of criteria to analyze and a form to quote their evaluation. In this case, external factors are minimized. You can make a statistical calculation and say what characteristic is significantly present in the cigar. The other way (“casual”) is to have people in different places, smoking by themselves in their usual environment. As external factors are various and numerous, it is not possible to make any objective calculation and you just get tendencies, which are very helpful sometimes if you have to choose between two prototypes for a new product. But in both cases, if it is not a blind test, it is not valid.