Updated: Oct 23, 2020
While some may think that blending a cigar is the same as rolling a cigarette this is so far form the truth. A cigar blender has to be a master of his craft. His goal is to create blends that make the palate of the customers explode with flavor. Sounds easy? If it were than everyone would be doing it. To find the perfect blend years have to go into it. The experience, skill, and trial and error could take a lifetime. We are lucky that there are masters among us to take on this task.
When blending the tobacco, the blender’s goal is to enchant the human palate. Sounds magical when you say it that way right? It actually is. A well-blended cigar should not be one or two dimensional. It should be a tasteful journey and hit several buds in the mouth. Sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami should be the goal. Umami is generally described as a meat flavor, but can have other tastes as well.
So how does it all happen? You blend tobacco leaves with each having a specific flavor profile. Here is where the trial and error and science comes in. It meticulous. You can't just throw the flavors in there roll it up and hope for the best. It is very calculated and measured. Once you find your perfect blend you have to be able to replicate it to share with the world.
Blenders must know what each tobacco tastes like. Then they use their judgment to take those individual flavors and mix them to perfection. Then comes the even bigger question to wrestle with. Will the top cigar experts want to smoke and enjoy this? While this is a very basic explanation the full version could be an entire library of books.
The three stages of blending and wrapping in the most basic form are:
Stage 1: The Wrapper: This is what holds the final stage together. The reason it is mentioned first is because of the wrapper being an important part of the taste of the overall cigar.
Stage 2: The Filler or the Blended Leaves of the Tobacco: Several different types of tobacco leaves are combined and rolled up together. The filler is the inside of the cigar.
Stage 3: Final Stage: The Binder: This is usually a strong tobacco leaf that’s used to wrap the cigar and the last stage of the taste process. The wrapper is carefully wrapped around the filler to hold and shape the cigar before ageing process.
I highly recommend you dig deeper into this art form. It will be mind blowing if you do.