Cigar Aficionado's Glossary
of Cigar Terms
Tobacco that has been topped, or removed of its flower, seeds, and sometimes the entire upper portion of a tobacco plant. This causes the tobacco plant to redirect its energies from creation of the flower (which contains tobacco seeds) to the tobacco leaves. Topped tobacco is stronger than tobacco that has not been topped.Despalillo (dess-pah-LEE-yoh):
The Spanish term for deveining tobacco, which is the process that is more commonly called destemming or just stemming. The stem of a tobacco leaf is very thick, and needs to be completely or partially removed before the leaves can be rolled into cigars. For binder and wrapper tobacco, workers remove the entire stem, either by hand or by using a machine made specifically for such an action. For filler tobacco, a worker strips the bottom two thirds or so of the stem, leaving a leaf that somewhat resembles a frog looked at from above, so such leaves are known as frog’s legs.Destemming:
The stem of a tobacco leaf is very thick, and need to be completely or partially removed before the leaves can be rolled into cigars. For binder and wrapper tobacco, workers remove the entire stem, either by hand or by using a machine made specifically for such an action. For filler tobacco, a worker strips the bottom two thirds or so of the stem, leaving a leaf that somewhat resembles a frog looked at from above, so such leaves are known as frog’s legs. The process is more commonly called stemming.
A very large figurado with a closed and tapered head. Generally 8 inches or more long. One of the more popular diademas is the Salamone size. All Salamones are diademas, but not not all diademas are Salamones.Dipping:
A frowned upon method of dipping the end of your cigar in a glass of spirit. Don’t do it.Doghouse:
The top vent in a tobacco curing barn. It remains open, to encourage air flow.Dominican Republic:
The country that rolls more cigars by hand than any other nation. Most of the country’s cigars are made in Santiago, but some are rolled in La Romana. The Dominican Republic is also a tobacco producing country. Tobacco has been grown there for many years, but only recently high-quality wrapper tobacco has also been cultivated there.Double Claro:
A green shade of wrapper tobacco, 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. From about 1958 to the early 1970s, Americans smoked billions of cigars, and nearly all of them were candelas. They were so popular in the United States that the term American Market Seletion (abbreviated as AMS) was created by the major importer of Cuban cigars at the time to designate green or candela colored wrappers.Double Corona:
A big cigar, known as a prominente in Cuban cigar factories. The cigars generally measure 7 1/2 to 8 inches by a 49 to 52 ring gauge. The most famous one is the Hoyo de Monterrey Double Corona from Cuba, which once scored 99 points in a Cigar Aficionado taste test. To see all Double Corona cigar ratings, click here.Draw:
The amount of air that gets pulled through a lit cigar. It can be too easy (hot) or too tight (plugged.Draw Test Machine:
A device that sucks air through a cigar in a cigar factory (often an unfinished one) to determine if air will move through the cigar properly when lit. The introduction of draw testing machines, which were rare around 1990 but are now common in the majority of cigar factories, is one reason why faulty draws are less common than before.Dry Draw:
The act of clipping a cigar and sucking air through the cigar prior to lighting (also called a cold taste). This can tell you if a cigar will draw, and it will also give you a first impression of how the cigar may taste after lighting.Duty Free:
A popular way to buy cigars, especially when traveling. Cigars sold duty free are sold without certain taxes, and can therefore be bargains. While many duty-free shops provide excellent care for cigars, travelers should be cautious that cigars bought in a duty-free shop are properly humidified.