There are no rules set in stone when it comes to cigar tasting, but below you will find Joya de Nicaragua’s guide to experiencing all the distinctions and subtleties of a premium cigar.

We’ve shared that we have ventured into growing tobacco in Jalapa. As mentioned in our post, we plan on using this tobacco in new and exciting blends. And today, we want to let you in on how we taste new blends to bring you the next generation of Joya de Nicaragua cigars.

Experimenting with New Blends

Experimenting with new blends is a process of constant learning, and through the years, we continue to upgrade and evolve our practices. Nowadays we utilize tobaccos from different origins and varieties; we run individual tests on various types of tobacco to understand their particular qualities and we request the input of external panels.

However, the most important factor is that as we look to increase our offer, we also become more demanding in what we expect of each blend.

Our process, can be summarized as follows by the numbers:

  • It can take 8 to 12 months for us to come up with a new blend
  • During that time, we can go through as a little as 6 blends to as many as 40 different blends
  • There is a panel of 7 to 9  people who taste the blends

The First Light and First Inch Are Key to the Experience

The first time you light the cigar, as well as the first inch you smoke, is key to your experience. In fact, during our tasting sessions we recommend that you only smoke one inch of each blend.

Also, we recommend that you take at least a 10-minute break when tasting a different blend and on that note, limit the number of blends you taste to 4 per session.  

Once you are done, don’t forget to write your evaluation on a tasting sheet.

Pro tip: Taking the same blends you tasted to a different setting is a huge game changer. This way, you will be able to assess how the environment or other emotional factors affected your appreciation of the cigar.

Don’t Forget to Cleanse your Palate

Cleansing your palate is essential to your experience because it helps you eliminate competing flavors. It also contributes to erasing the flavors and residues of the previous smokes from your tongue and palate.  

At Joya, we enjoy utilizing carbonated water and soda crackers. However, we know it’s also common to use water, milk or bread.

You Can Try This at Home

The most important takeaway from this post is that you use all these tips to smoke slowly, so you will be able to notice and take the best you can out of the cigar you smoke.

Our hope is that you can easily replicate this guide to tasting cigars anywhere you’d like and for any occasion. Happy tasting!