Flavor Buildup?

We all know that cigars can get hotter, stronger and usually bitter as they smoke down. What causes this?

The buildup of tar, moisture and nicotine can heavily affect a cigar's flavor.

Tobacco is like a natural filter. With every puff you take, certain properties of the cigar are captured in the tobacco. As the moisture builds up, the intact flavors are heightened toward the end of the smoke.

The way you cut a cigar can increase or decrease the concentration of flavor towards the end. A narrow opening at the head of the cigar, caused by a punch or wedge cut, acts as a collecting point for the tar and moisture.

A broad opening, cut, for example, by a scissors or guillotine, will decrease the flavor buildup.

Check out this video detailing the proper way to cut a cigar.

Have a question for the Cigar Aficionado editors? Submit it here

Log in if you're already registered.

Or register for Cigar Aficionado today—it's free.

Registration allows you to:
  • Keep track of your favorite cigars in your personal humidor.
  • Comment on all our stories.

Forgot your password?

Ratings & Reviews

Search our database of more than 17,000 cigar tasting notes by score, brand, country, size, price range, year, wrapper and more, plus add your favorites to your Personal Humidor.