Strength VS Body
When looking through the selection of your favorite cigar shop, you may have heard the tobacconist mention both the body and strength of a cigar. And in this short story, we will explain the difference so that you’re one step closer to finding your perfect cigar.
Welcome to sigars.com. The cigar industry is an online marketplace for premium small-batch cigars delivered right to your door. Now when we’re talking about cigars, the most important details that are mentioned are things such as the size, the blend, the flavor profile, the country of origin, as well as the strength and the body.
The strength of a cigar refers exclusively to the cigar’s nicotine. Nicotine is a naturally occurring chemical derived from plants of the night-shaven family, which primarily includes the tobacco plant. But nicotine is also found in foods like tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant. Maybe that’s why potatoes were so bomb growing up.
Whenever I heard the word nicotine, I immediately correlated that with cigarettes, which just isn’t my jam. But what I discovered is that premium cigars are made entirely from whole-leaf tobacco. Meaning their nicotine content is not measured in any laboratory setting. Cigarettes on the other hand are made up of chopped-up homogenized tobacco, along with hundreds of other chemicals and additives.
Besides nicotine, we experience the strength of smoking the same way we would experience the effects of drugs and alcohol. Some of the effects that nicotine can have on the body include an increase in your respiratory rate or dilation of blood vessels. Other sensations may be experienced in the head as a feeling of lightheadedness. And that’s why sometimes when you’re smoking a cigar and you stand up, you’re just like, whoa, come on, sit back down.
You’ll commonly hear the magnitude of a cigar’s strength described as light, light to medium, medium, medium to full, or full.
Premium cigars are comprised of different primings from the tobacco plant. Priming when discussing tobacco refers to different sections of leaves on a tobacco plant: the lower the leaves are on the plant, you’re going to get a more mellow feeling and the higher you go, you’re going to get more full feelings.
So basically what mainly determines the tobacco’s taste is how high is the leaf from the tobacco plant that you’re using. A common misconception of new cigar smokers is assuming that the strength and harshness or bitterness of a cigar go hand in hand. Totally not the case. Cigars are harsher because the tobacco hasn’t been fully fermented or aged, which results in an offensive and unbalanced flavor profile.
The main thing to understand here is that strength has nothing to do with a non-pleasant cigar. So if you’re smoking a cigar that has a very strong blend, but it’s deliberate and smooth taste, you may think that you’re just chilling on cruise control until you stand up. And then you’re like, Ooh, maybe I should sit back down.
In this example, the cigar blend is full in both body and strength. Now that we have a background in the strength of a cigar, let’s talk about the body of a cigar.
The body refers to the density of its smoke and how it resonates on the pallet and our senses. We experienced the body of a cigar by examining the effect that the tobacco profile has on our taste and touch receptors within our mouth and nose.
Some of the common terms used to describe these senses are things like texture, richness, and overall mouthfeel. Similar to when you’re rating a cigar’s strength, the body of a cigar is typically rated as light, light to medium, medium, medium to full, or full. A full-body cigar will feel very heavy in the nose and the mouth, therefore the greater the impact you feel and sense within your nose and mouth, the greater the body of the cigar.
So hopefully you’re now one step closer to finding the perfect cigar because now you understand the difference between a cigar’s strength and body. Thank you for sharing some of your time with me.