Many people interested in cigar smoking may turn to books to gain information about the pursuit. However, this often leads to more confusion because the writing contains parlance they may not be familiar with. New terms can make learning about cigars more daunting and confusing. However, knowing the jargon can help any cigar novice communicate like an expert.

Get Smart on Cigar Terminology

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Here are a few words and definitions you should know if you are looking to get smart about cigars:

  • Aficionado — A cigar smoker who feels he is an expert on the subject of cigars.
  • Amatista — A glass jar that holds either 25 or 50 cigars, sealed and labeled “factory fresh.”
  • Band — A paper ring that is wrapped around the head of the cigar. It binds the cigar together and may bear the name of the cigar brand or country of origin.
  • Barrel — The main body of a cigar.
  • Belicoso – A pyramid-shaped but short cigar that has a tapered head.
  • Binder — The tobacco leaf that holds together the filler leaves with the wrapper.
  • Blend — The mixture of different tobacco types in a cigar. A blend includes the filler leaves inside, the outer wrapper and the binder.
  • Bloom — This occurs when the cigar exudes oils as part of its natural aging process. It can appear as a white powder on the outside of the cigar.
  • Bouquet — The smell of a fine cigar.
  • Bullet cutter — A cigar punch used to cut open one end of the cigar.
  • Bundle — The filler leaves used inside of the cigar to create the body of the cigar.
  • Capa — The outside wrapper of the cigar.
  • Cedar — A common type of wood used to create cigar boxes and humidors.
  • Churchill — A 7-inch cigar with a 48 gauge that is popular in Europe. It references former English prime minister Winston Churchill who was rarely seen without a cigar in hand.
  • Corojos — Tobacco plants that provide wrapper leaves for cigars.
  • Corona — A straight-sided cigar with an open foot and rounded and closed head. Corona is the most popular cigar shape.
  • Cuban seed — Tobacco plants that are grown in different countries with seeds originating from Cuba.
  • Diademas — A long 8-inch cigar with a tapered and closed head.
  • Draw — The amount of air pulled through a lit cigar.
  • Entubar — A Cuban method of rolling a cigar the reportedly creates greater airflow through the cigar.
  • Filler leaves — The tobacco leaves used in the cigar’s body.
  • Foot — The end of the cigar that you light when smoking.
  • Gorda — A cigar with a large ring gauge.
  • Habano — This means the cigar was made in Cuba.
  • Hand — Single tobacco leaves tied together and hung after harvest.
  • Handmade — A cigar made entirely by hand.
  • Hand-rolled — A cigar rolled by hand.
  • Humidor — A room or a box that has humidity controls and is used to preserve the freshness of a cigar collection.
  • Ligero — A filler type of tobacco.
  • Nub — When you’ve smoked a cigar so much that it’s so small you can barely hold it.
  • Panetela — A long cigar that is also thin.
  • Parejos — Straight-sided cigars.
  • Partido — A tobacco growing area in Cuba.
  • Perfecto — A cigar that is closed at both ends.
  • Puro — A cigar blend using tobacco varieties from the same country.
  • Ring gauge — The measure of the diameter of a cigar.
  • Robusto — A short cigar that has a high-number gauge.
  • Sun-grown — Tobacco that is grown in direct sunlight.
  • Torcedores — Rollers used to roll cigars.
  • Torpedo — A cigar with a closed foot and a pointed head, bulging in the middle.
  • Vega — Another name for a tobacco plantation.
  • Vitola — A general term used in reference to cigar shapes. Robusto and torpedo are vitolas.
  • Wheel — A bundle composed of 100 cigars.
  • Wrapper — A quality tobacco leaf wrapper that goes around the bunch and binder.

Knowing the meaning behind tobacco jargon and using words correctly can help you make a good impression on other cigar aficionados and, most importantly, get greater enjoyment out of your cigar buying and smoking experience.