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The body refers to the characteristics of the cigar - it’s intensity and its strength.
Cigars are described as full, medium, or mild bodied and each has its own qualities.
Knowing the distinction between the three will help you choose a cigar that suits you best!
Veteran smokers tend to favor fuller-bodied cigars, while newbies may gravitate towards cigars with a lighter body. But, of course, the style of cigar you choose should be entirely up to your own personal preference. It is important to note that there is a difference between full body and full flavor. They both play a significant role in a cigar's overall performance. Please refer to the Distinctions between Strength, Full Flavor and Full Body section below.
Mild Bodied Cigars
If you are new to smoking cigars, you might want to consider starting with something on the milder side. Mild bodied cigars are more flexible when it comes to where you can enjoy them and what you can enjoy them with. For the most part, they can be smoked at any time of day and pair well with just about any beverage.
Full Bodied Cigars
The full-bodied stogie will exhibit a strong character. Hearty and heavy, they are especially delightful after a large holiday meal. Their flavors are often more complex with numerous different layers. You’ll find that these also tend to be a bit spicier.
Distinctions between Strength, Full Flavor and Full Body
The strength of a cigar is the amount nicotine it packs, commonly called the "kick.” A strong can cigar deliver a lot of nicotine, and as a result, most smokers will experience a "nic buzz" from strong cigars. The extent of your buzz is also directly related to your condition at the time you light-up. For example, if you are over-tired, drunk, over-weight, thin, full-stomach, empty stomach, etc. A very strong cigar may produce unpleasant effects, such as, "dizzy, green, nauseous and sweaty” or depending on your physical condition at the time also very pleasant feelings, such as, "lucid, mildly euphoric and/or energized". Those are some of the effects of nicotine - a cigar’s strength.
Aside from its kick, nicotine can frequently be noted as a peppery or warming tingle on the lips and tongue, even before the cigar is lit. To enhance to your smoking experience, you might want to make a practice of tasting a cigar right before you light it up, for 15 seconds, or so. Just let your lips and tongue moisten the wrapper and the filler in the freshly clipped foot of your cigar. It’s a quick way to judge the strength of the smoke to come, and you’ll also get an idea of how much of the flavor of the cigar comes from the taste of the non-nicotine oils of the wrapper and clipped foot, as opposed to the smoke itself.
It’s also worth noting that young or “green” cigars, less than 3 months old, are at their peak nicotine concentrations. While aged cigars seem to mellow out and lose some strength over the years, a well-aged cigar (depending on quality), will take on a certain subtleties and interesting complexities that make a good cigar into a great one.
A full-flavored cigar, not to be confused with purposely flavored cigars, such as vanilla treated cigars like the secret process of Acid, or herb enhanced blends, is not necessarily a strong cigar. Flavor does not equal strength, even when the cigar is very flavorful. Nicotine does not give tobacco it’s unique tastes or flavors to any significant degree.
Aside from the particular seed variety, it is the soil and climate where the leaf is cultivated that contributes most to a cigar’s distinctive flavors. Also contributing is when and how the leaf is harvested and fermented. Other flavor factors include: aging, blending, construction, storage, and the density, length and girth of a cigar. Flavor refers specifically to the nature and depth the tastes of a cigar produce on the palate, lips and sometimes in the nose and throat as well.
The "nature" of a cigar’s flavors are most often expressed through adjectives used to describe the impression of flavor, scent, and aroma due to the conditions where the tobacco was grown. For example, flavor may be described as nutty, coffee, cherry, sweet, chocolate, green, fruity, leather, awesome, tasty, etc., similar to fine wine. The "depth" of flavor is a matter of degree, and can be anywhere from shallow to extreme which again, boils down to your personal style and preference for taste of the finer things in life.
Preface: Cigar Body is a highly debated subject. The term "body" here describes the overall impression you get while smoking a cigar, and does not incorporate guality. Body is a subjective aggregate of:
Flavor (nutty, smoky, coffee, bitter, woodsy, sweet, etc.), Depth of flavor (bland, hints, overtones, massive, etc.), Texture (creamy, smooth, biting, etc.), Volume of smoke per puff (thin, generous, thick, etc.), Aftertaste and its persistence on your palate (called the cigar’s “finish”), Strength (nicotine - to a much lesser degree).
A “full bodied cigar” is usually a stronger cigar with masses of flavor, volumes of smoke and a lingering aftertaste. It is full in so manydimensions, that many smokers refer to this complex set of sensory impressions as “lush” or “chewy” or “huge”.
At XO, we have also categorized body as more than just "Full" or "Mild".
We also recognize everything in-between for your smoking pleasure; to help ensure your cigar experience is just right for you
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