A Beginners Guide to Cigar Smoking: What Goes Into Making A Premium Cigar
I'm guessing if you're reading this article you most likely enjoy smoking premium cigars, but do you know what the process of making one looks like? Many of us enjoy the luxury that comes along with smoking a premium hand made cigar; however very few know the effort that goes into making the cigars. Making premium cigars like Padron, Davidoff, and Ashton can be an extremely labor intensive process that can take several years, to go from seed to shelf. The purpose of this article will be to better acquaint ourselves with the process, and hopefully provide a new appreciation for the product we love.
Every cigar begins with a seed. The seed itself is extremely small, its equivalent to roughly the size of a candy sprinkle.Just a bottle cap full of seeds is capable of planting an entire row of crops. The seeds are first transformed into seedlings, this takes about 60 days. Once they become seedlings they can be planted in the fields; where they are fully grown in only 90 days. Planting the seedlings in some cases can be done by hand. This though is dependent on the terrain and producer. The plants themselves are capable of growing up to 10 feets tall depending on variety and growing location.Once the tobacco is fully matured, the leaves can be harvested.
The harvested tobacco leaves are then cured in a: a curing barn, where it will spend upwards of a month drying and turn from a vibrant green leaf into a rich brown one; this process typically takes 20 to 30 days. Some companies like Davidoff for example go above and beyond the initial fermentation process.After this initial fermentation process, Davidoff implements two cycles of aging and fermentation. In cycle one the first aging requires 18 to 24 months and 40 days of fermentation.During cycle two the second round of aging takes one to three years. That said, some of Davidoff’s rarest tobaccos used in cigars like, the Royal Release may wait upwards of a decade.
From this point the tobacco is ready to be blended by one of the master blenders. This is when the cigars we know and love are created by the refined palates of the factories blenders. Once the blend is painstakingly tested and eventually approved for production, it is sent along to be rolled by the factories Torcedores, or cigar-rolling craftsman.They typically work in pairs.One selects exactly the right amount of tobacco for a perfect draw and full and appropriate flavor. The other rolls the bundle, placing the aromatic tips of the leaves at the foot for a serene balance of flavor. Once rolls the cigars typically are aged again to ensure that the flavors “marry” and the blend will be as balanced as possible. From here the cigars a packaged and sent to the markey for us to enjoy.