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How To Taste The Most Flavors In A Cigar

by Bryan Glynn, February 19, 2014
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ipw0061Following up to the poll I did last week where many of you gave me your feedback answering to one of four questions about how you experience flavors in a cigar, here are my best tips and tricks for getting the most flavors possible out of a cigar. The results were a little surprising to me, with 9% of respondents saying they taste zero flavors in a cigar. If I can help just one person start to open their world by experiencing at least some flavors, well then mission accomplished. This is expanding a bit on the tips I gave in my How To Smoke A Cigar video (which incidentally turned in to the most popular video on the subject in the WORLD) which was geared towards everyone especially new smokers. This is for those that have been smoking for a while to help them change the experience for the better. As always, everything is just my opinion, but based on a LOT of experience. Enjoy!

  • Christopher

    Super informative. Thanks Bryan. I had my first Oliva V Melanio today…no problems tasting flavors there, what a cigar!

    • BCamara

      I completely agree. The Melanio is one of the first cigars I smoked and still one of my favorites!

    • KinG

      oh man, Oliva V Melanio Maduro is my favorite. Gotta love that line. I haven’t actually tried the Oliva V Melanio. I need to soon enough!

  • yairbarojas

    Bryan! Wow, you hit the nail in the head with the last tip: Holding your breath while taking a puff…thats me. I just always did that because I was afraid of accidentally inhaling the smoke and making me cough or feel a bit nauseous.

    I’ll try to inhale and exhale while taking a puff of the cigar. Thanks again brother!

  • WishIHadAHumidor

    Great Video as always. Lots of good and accurate info.

  • MCoontz

    Bryan, you are so passionate about your cigar experience and passing that passion on to us, and I personally thank you for that. I’ve been following you for about 2 months now and I have to say thanks to you my cigar experience has changed and become so much more enjoyable. Your “how to smoke a cigar” was so helpful for me. I was smoking way to fast. I now get really excited when I taste something new that I had never experienced before. I’ve been smoking cigars again now for about a year. In the past two months, thanks to you, I have tasted cream, nuts, salt, and dark chocolate. Not to mention your typical wood, and tobacco. I’ve experience barn yard hay etc. It’s been great. Thanks so much!

  • Tuck29S

    I dip wintergreen snuff daily and fell in the median of your sample. It will be interesting to see if I’m in the 8% after quitting.

  • kpoper

    Very good information. While I taste some things I think the hold my breath may have locked other taste out.

    Good Job Bryan!

  • hisunkc

    What a good tips! Thank you.

  • yosef5

    I can not get the video to come up on the flavors

  • niclash

    Hi Bryan! I really like your humidor setup video, and i can see that alot others also like it! Dont you think its time for a mew update on that with better quality?

    Thanks for the awesome videos! Keep it up!

  • yosef5

    I can not get the video on flavors to go
    What can I do?


    I can’t get over the fact that 8% of the group can’t taste anything in their cigars. Perhaps these are the people that are smoking Gurkha’s! Sorry………It was just too easy!

    • padron80

      What are you talking about gurka’s are great for starting up a bond fire.

      • ohiodirtbag

        the ghost is pretty good if you can get over the huge plume of smoke.. you can use it as a smoke bomb if you were james bond escaping capture from LE CHIFFRE..

  • PsycotikMind

    Wow! Thanks for the tip, Bryan. I never realized I held my breath when inhaling. I used to get the flavors just on the tip of my tongue. Now, I’m getting a mouthful of flavor.

  • kmthiebaud

    Great video thanks, Bryan!

  • socks

    Very informative

  • cameronjm

    Wow, thanks Bryan a great tip. I just realized that sometimes I could taste and other times I couldn’t and it all goes back to whether I was holding my breath or not. I wasn’t even conscious to the fact that I was or wasn’t breathing.

    I love the site and all of your videos. Keep up the great work!

  • padron80

    Its not rocket science just smoke the fucking thing.

    • Since you can’t be civil and I’ve given you enough chances to not be a troll, here’s the door (banned).

      • cameronjm

        Very good. I am no prude but I can’s stand people that cus in their posts just to get a rise out of people.

      • ohiodirtbag


        on another note.. i was one of the ones who put i just like it or not.. i get the flavors and some really come through but just cant get to saying they taste like food flavors.. maybe if i was water boarded.. but there are some the flavors are just so good but i forget what i smoked and go back to searching the next great cigar.. love the smell though, just so good.
        also, try walking into a horse barn with cigars in your pocket..it’s funny..horses love the smell.they will try and take it from you if you let them. well, that’s my opinion..oh yeah.GO BUCKS..F- MICHIGAN!

  • emurphy0220

    Bryan, thanks for the tips. I can pick out the big flavors usually, but struggle sometimes with it. Sat down tonight with a Rocky Patel Edge, and I’m definitely picking up stuff I’ve never tasted before. I still couldn’t tell you what I’m tasting, but baby steps…..

    • cameronjm

      I am just barely learning to pick out subtle flavors of a cigar. I can esily tell if it is something I like or don’t like and can tell the difference between mild, medium and full flavor but I can’t tell you what exactly the flavors are.

      I did however smoke one yesterday and could distinguish a definite flavor (thanks to your tip of breathing naturally through the nose while drawing on the cigar) a definite flavor of hay and horse stable earthiness.

      Let the training of my pallette begin!

  • cigarman33322

    I thought everyone could taste a cigar Bryan! lol….It is not rocket science to me how to taste pepper and spice ect!

  • Raz Amzaleg

    Hey Bryan, i just quit smoking cigarettes, i just throw them to the garbage !! 🙂

    And i must say that i have been always taste the flavors with the cigars, and all of the flavors, but i quit my addiction for the obssesion 😉

    Thank you very much man!

    • Wow I did this just to help people taste cigars better but if I can help someone quits cigarettes- even cooler! Congratulations – don’t look back!

      • Raz Amzaleg

        I will not look back never!
        Thank you so much man 🙂

  • Davexoxo

    I would like to add that if I smoke more than one cigar a day the flavor of the second cigar will be greatly affected, even if it has been several hours between.

    Also If you find yourself not getting the same flavors from your cigars, take a break from smoking for a few days to let your taste buds re-adjust. I have to do this also sometimes.

    Yeah, and taking up cigar smoking is one of the best ways to quit cigarette smoking probably. I can no longer stand the thought of smoking a cigarette, or even the smell of them, after I took up cigar smoking.

  • Mikey Mazur

    I watched this video about two ago. And I had no clue about the breathing through your nose. I have smoked on and off for about 16 yrs def not an avid smoker. As soon as he said if you eat spicy food all I could think was ohh damn that’s all I eat. Since seeing this video I have smoked 3 cigars and I def notice a huge difference. I can taste the more predominate flavors still cant taste anything subtle like some of you pros out there. On a side note I love how cigars look all huge on youtube then seem to look tiny in my big hands. Hell even the 60 ring seems almost too thin but that is a side note. I just recently found this page and the YT channel. I LOVE IT!

  • canesbucs

    Thank you for the video. I’ve been smoking a short time and spending a lot of time learning tips, techniques, humidors, lighting…. Never dreamed smoking would be such an art. I missed your poll, but I would have answered your poll in the 8-9% who do not taste individual flavors. I can ‘taste’ the cigar, love the texture, and enjoy the smoking experience, but I cannot pick out and describe individual flavors. I blamed that on an ‘uneducated’ palate.

    This video turned on the light for me. I dip a can of Copenhagen Southern daily and put hot sauce on everything but my cereal. I couldn’t imagine eating any meal without covering it in condiments for more, fuller flavor. I had no idea this was causing me to lose my sense of taste.

    Thanks for all the tips, videos, and advise you make available for the rookies; I’m learning new things here every day.

  • hbelton

    I too missed the survey but would have been in the 9% unable to discern the individual flavors. After giving your tips a try, I now find many more flavors in my sticks. Thank you for the site and your tips, will make a lot of difference for me.

  • Robi

    I have been smoking cigars now for the best part of 15 years and love the aromour. I am one of those that although can taste flavours from time to time, pretty much fell into the 9% group. After watching this clip I started experimenting slowly taking in the smoke while breathing through my nose. Once the smoke started expelling from my nostrils I breathed out. To my great delight I finally started for the first time really tasting the flavours. After only a short time of practice I can now identify various notes. Thanks so much Brian. Cheers

  • Trockman5150

    Great information here on how to get flavors from your smoke but I didn’t see the mention of drinking water to clean your pallete prior to smoking. Does this help?

  • RickyRem

    Breathing through my nose while drawing has been the biggest help for me. Thanks for the advice.

  • Preset21

    Thanks for this discussion topic Bryan. I fall into your third group really. Only the obvious. I find this personally frustrating because I really would like to be able to grab so many of the other flavors other people can identify in their sticks.

    When I first started smoking cigars regularly it was like that too. I was also a regular tobacco/snuf/cigarette user. I figured it may have had an effect on my low ability to pull out more than the obvious flavors. However, I came off of nicotine almost two years ago and just recently have had a couple of cigars. I had hoped with the long stint of not chewing that I would better be able to pull out some more flavors. But it hasn’t happened. It’s just the way my pallet is.

    As Bryan mentioned in the video, some people just have a pallet that can identify the flavors better. I associate this as the “perfect pallet”.

    My daughter has “perfect pitch”. That means she is tuned to be able very easily create and hear audio. Usually this is related to music. Like the “perfect pitch”, I think the “perfect pallet” is a gift to some people. Like Julia Child and Christopher Kimball (America’s Test Kitchen, http://www.americastestkitchen.com/tour) whose pallets are especially well tuned to flavors. Julia Childs would never eat spicy food for concern of burning her pallet.

    With all that said, I totally understand that some people have a very good ability to extract unique flavors from the cigars. I trust what they have to share. I know that my flavor experience will not be like theirs, but it does help me try to sense a broader spectrum of cigar flavors.


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