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Am I pallette challenged?

KingoftheCoveKingoftheCove Posts: 932 ✭✭✭
I am only 7 or 8 months back into this after a 15 year hiatus, but I'm starting to wonder if I'm missing something.
Some of the flavors I read mentioned in reviews here and other places are simply amazing.

I pretty much only detect earthy/leathery, cedar, coffee, peppery, sweetness, and "chocolatey" (not strong chocolate, but it's the best way to describe it.)
Pretty sure my smoking method is OK - I have 4 or 5 different puffing techniques I use throughout a smoke.

Now I do have some physical issues which may play a part. 45 years of surfing, 37 of them in cold water, has pretty much trashed my sinuses and ears. Also had three broken noses and one nose surgery - pretty sure that's not helping.

Still, I can "sense" a nice tobacco and good cigar - can't describe it, but I "feel" it somehow.
I read kuzi's piece on developing your pallette - excellent work as always.

Then again - maybe I need to smoke better cigars...........but I don't think that's the case because I've found several in my $$ wheelhouse that I like a lot.

I think there's only one solution.........................practice more.

But I am wondering about one phenomena (I'm sure this has been discussed) - why is it that a dog stick will stay with you (in your mouth) until the next day!!.......while the "cigar mouth" from a good smoke vanishes within an hour or two?

Comments

  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    KingoftheCove:
    I think there's only one solution.........................practice more.

    bingo
    KingoftheCove:
    But I am wondering about one phenomena (I'm sure this has been discussed) - why is it that a dog stick will stay with you (in your mouth) until the next day!!.......while the "cigar mouth" from a good smoke vanishes within an hour or two?

    im not too sure about that one. i suspect it is how the tobacco is fermented. but to be honest, that may be a guess.
  • j0z3rj0z3r Posts: 9,403
    KingoftheCove:
    But I am wondering about one phenomena (I'm sure this has been discussed) - why is it that a dog stick will stay with you (in your mouth) until the next day!!.......while the "cigar mouth" from a good smoke vanishes within an hour or two?

    That's the stigma effect. A cigar is so nasty that you can't get the taste out of your mouth...it's embedded in your taste buds to remind you to never smoke that cigar again. Kinda like the hot stove burner...you tell a kid it'll burn him and he doesn't understand, but when he burns himself...well, lesson learned.
  • madurofanmadurofan Posts: 6,152
    Well first off, everyone's palette is different don't expect to taste the same things others do.

    Second, I don't care what anyone says its a cigar not a Baskin Robbins, there are not 21 flavors. I've never once tasted "Shitake mushrooms grown on a north facing slope during a particularly wet season" (that is an actual quote that I read in a cigar review, I'll never forget it, the reviewer was being serious).
    Some of the best blenders in the world will tell you they don't get all these flavors and such. I did a tasting with Henke Kelner once, (in case you don't know that is the man behind AVO, Davidoff, Cusano, to name a few) and he told us he only gets 4 "flavors" from a cigar. I wish I could find the tasting sheet he gave us but I remember one being Salty. They were not specific things. That is from the man who makes what are largely regarded as the most consistent cigars in the world, Davidoff.

    That being said occasionally I pick up thinks that remind me of something, the Cuvee Rouge has this flavor to it that reminds me of the finish of a very hardy red wine. I had a cigar once that had a flavor that reminded me of a eucalyptus cough drop. But thats few and far between. When someone tells me they pick up hints of this or a little of that I like to read about it but I don't expect to taste it myself, if I do I know I have a similar palette to that person and will pay a little closer attention to their reviews. However, when someone starts getting very specific and list a ton of things they taste(i.e. a review in Cigar Aficionado) I write them off as full of **** and/or pretentious.
  • KingoftheCoveKingoftheCove Posts: 932 ✭✭✭
    madurofan:
    I did a tasting with Henke Kelner once, (in case you don't know that is the man behind AVO, Davidoff, Cusano, to name a few) and he told us he only gets 4 "flavors" from a cigar.

    Interesting - so what you're telling me, in a roundabout way, is that I have a more sophisticated palette than Mr Kelner!!
    Now I don't feel so bad about my lack of taste................................

    Seriously though, I agree with you. Some of the reviews I read are simply amazing - makes me wonder if the reviewer is smoking a cigar, or a big fat spliff of AK-47 (maybe both??).....(not that I'd know anything about that sort of thing - having quit the green weed back in 81................. but living here in santa cruz........well, you get a lot of second hand exposure and knowledge...............and then there's my wife................bad girl...)

  • JonathanEJonathanE Posts: 401
    madurofan:
    I did a tasting with Henke Kelner once, (in case you don't know that is the man behind AVO, Davidoff, Cusano, to name a few) and he told us he only gets 4 "flavors" from a cigar. ...when someone starts getting very specific and list a ton of things they taste (i.e. a review in Cigar Aficionado) I write them off as full of **** and/or pretentious.
    I could take that personally, haha, but I know what you mean. Those of us who write with flowery pens don't taste anything more than anyone else. That's a fact of cigar. What we do is use eight words to describe one flavor! ...and, yes, that is VERY pallet specific.

    If you want to be technical about it, unless you're smoking a cedar plank, you're not smelling cedar. And unless you've infused your cigar witih cocoa, you're not tasting chocolate in your smoke. When I describe a cigar, I am using familiar substances whose smells remind me of what I've got burning in front of me at the time.

    If you want to be even more technical, there's only one taste/smell/flavor in cigars, not four, and a few varying shades of that one flavor:

    Tobacco.

    JDE

  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    JonathanE:
    madurofan:
    I did a tasting with Henke Kelner once, (in case you don't know that is the man behind AVO, Davidoff, Cusano, to name a few) and he told us he only gets 4 "flavors" from a cigar. ...when someone starts getting very specific and list a ton of things they taste (i.e. a review in Cigar Aficionado) I write them off as full of **** and/or pretentious.
    I could take that personally, haha, but I know what you mean. Those of us who write with flowery pens don't taste anything more than anyone else. That's a fact of cigar. What we do is use eight words to describe one flavor! ...and, yes, that is VERY pallet specific.

    If you want to be technical about it, unless you're smoking a cedar plank, you're not smelling cedar. And unless you've infused your cigar witih cocoa, you're not tasting chocolate in your smoke. When I describe a cigar, I am using familiar substances whose smells remind me of what I've got burning in front of me at the time.

    If you want to be even more technical, there's only one taste/smell/flavor in cigars, not four, and a few varying shades of that one flavor:

    Tobacco.

    JDE

    this is why i find myself getting tired of reviewing some times. there are flavors in cigars that i taste in 75% of cigars. i feel that i am repeating myself quite a bit.

    when i point out flavors in cigars that i have i am pointing out the impression i get from them. i know it tastes like "tobacco"
    putting down that a cigar tastes like "tobacco" in a review is a bit asinine. we know it tastes like tobacco; its a cigar for **** sake.

    the fermentation process creates chemicals and sugars int he leaf. these chemicals and sugars have complex tastes that lean in the direction of other flavors. because fermentation is such a complex process, i am not surprised when people tell me they taste coffee, coco, almonds, basil, cedar, oak, peat, etc...
    there are more than four potential flavors in cigars. i dont see how there could be given the complex nature of curing, fermenting, blending.

  • boydmcgowanboydmcgowan Posts: 1,101
    kuzi16:
    JonathanE:
    madurofan:
    I did a tasting with Henke Kelner once, (in case you don't know that is the man behind AVO, Davidoff, Cusano, to name a few) and he told us he only gets 4 "flavors" from a cigar. ...when someone starts getting very specific and list a ton of things they taste (i.e. a review in Cigar Aficionado) I write them off as full of **** and/or pretentious.
    I could take that personally, haha, but I know what you mean. Those of us who write with flowery pens don't taste anything more than anyone else. That's a fact of cigar. What we do is use eight words to describe one flavor! ...and, yes, that is VERY pallet specific.

    If you want to be technical about it, unless you're smoking a cedar plank, you're not smelling cedar. And unless you've infused your cigar witih cocoa, you're not tasting chocolate in your smoke. When I describe a cigar, I am using familiar substances whose smells remind me of what I've got burning in front of me at the time.

    If you want to be even more technical, there's only one taste/smell/flavor in cigars, not four, and a few varying shades of that one flavor:

    Tobacco.

    JDE

    this is why i find myself getting tired of reviewing some times. there are flavors in cigars that i taste in 75% of cigars. i feel that i am repeating myself quite a bit.

    when i point out flavors in cigars that i have i am pointing out the impression i get from them. i know it tastes like "tobacco"
    putting down that a cigar tastes like "tobacco" in a review is a bit asinine. we know it tastes like tobacco; its a cigar for **** sake.

    the fermentation process creates chemicals and sugars int he leaf. these chemicals and sugars have complex tastes that lean in the direction of other flavors. because fermentation is such a complex process, i am not surprised when people tell me they taste coffee, coco, almonds, basil, cedar, oak, peat, etc...
    there are more than four potential flavors in cigars. i dont see how there could be given the complex nature of curing, fermenting, blending.


    Not the most complex palate here but figured I'd chime in anyway.

    first off, Kuzi, I could see how you'd feel repetitive but really appreciate your reviews and wanted to mention why. The thing that I'm the most interested in is the fact that your so informative about the tobaccos used. I've learned so much about where its from, what theyve done to it, and how those traits represent themselves in the cigar. That is priceless info, so thank you for that.

    The other point I wanted to throw out there is that tobacco does taste like tobacco. obviously. But aside from general tastes, (salty, sweet, etc,) I do believe that other flavors are actually shared with other typs of crops grown in similar regions. Why can't tobacco and cocoa share a similar taste when their only grown 10 miles apart. Of course they will. so I do think that there are valid flavors that are present in cigars from other crops grown in similar regions, like Coffee, Cocoa, Nuts, maybe some fruit, etc. I also think that tobacco can pick up valid flavors either its curing process, or its surroundings, like woodiness (Cedar or Oak), mustiness, or general sweet fruit flavors. Or finally maybe we're just reminded of things, like cream, barnyard, grass, or leather.

    Just offering up an opinion from a simple palate kind of guy, who does pick up some flavors, just not too many.

    shitake mushrooms . . . . LOL. I'm right there with you on the super pretentious reviews maddie. Hilarious.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    boydmcgowan:

    Not the most complex palate here but figured I'd chime in anyway.

    first off, Kuzi, I could see how you'd feel repetitive but really appreciate your reviews and wanted to mention why. The thing that I'm the most interested in is the fact that your so informative about the tobaccos used. I've learned so much about where its from, what theyve done to it, and how those traits represent themselves in the cigar. That is priceless info, so thank you for that.

    The other point I wanted to throw out there is that tobacco does taste like tobacco. obviously. But aside from general tastes, (salty, sweet, etc,) I do believe that other flavors are actually shared with other typs of crops grown in similar regions. Why can't tobacco and cocoa share a similar taste when their only grown 10 miles apart. Of course they will. so I do think that there are valid flavors that are present in cigars from other crops grown in similar regions, like Coffee, Cocoa, Nuts, maybe some fruit, etc. I also think that tobacco can pick up valid flavors either its curing process, or its surroundings, like woodiness (Cedar or Oak), mustiness, or general sweet fruit flavors. Or finally maybe we're just reminded of things, like cream, barnyard, grass, or leather.

    Just offering up an opinion from a simple palate kind of guy, who does pick up some flavors, just not too many.

    shitake mushrooms . . . . LOL. I'm right there with you on the super pretentious reviews maddie. Hilarious.
    seriously... have you read my blending 101 thread?

    i cover a bunch of what you are talking about right there in that thread. pleas feel free to read it, bump it, or ask questions about it.
    its there so everyone can learn, and in a way so i can learn as well.
  • madurofanmadurofan Posts: 6,152
    I think you guys may have misunderstood what I was trying to say, I think boyd got it. I've read tons of "flowery" reviews. I'm not talking about being descriptive with the pen, I'm talking about the blantant bullsh1t artists we've all seen.

    I understand that we are all tasting tobacco, the way it tastes reminds us of something else and typically thats subjective.

    Now I'll be the first to say that I don't have an ultra refined palette, its better than average but I'm not inline with professional tasters. However, if you can smoke a cigar and claim to taste 21 different flavors (and in the case of CA thats all found within the first inch)I honestly believe you are full of ****.

    In the case of Henke I don't know if that's literally all he tastes or all that he concerns himself with but they are generic like sweet, salty, woody. Don't quote those flavors as I'm just guessing until I find that sheet.
  • JonathanEJonathanE Posts: 401
    madurofan:
    I think you guys may have misunderstood what I was trying to say, I think boyd got it. I've read tons of "flowery" reviews. I'm not talking about being descriptive with the pen, I'm talking about the blantant bullsh1t artists we've all seen.

    I understand that we are all tasting tobacco, the way it tastes reminds us of something else and typically thats subjective.

    Now I'll be the first to say that I don't have an ultra refined palette, its better than average but I'm not inline with professional tasters. However, if you can smoke a cigar and claim to taste 21 different flavors (and in the case of CA thats all found within the first inch)I honestly believe you are full of ****.

    In the case of Henke I don't know if that's literally all he tastes or all that he concerns himself with but they are generic like sweet, salty, woody. Don't quote those flavors as I'm just guessing until I find that sheet.
    The CA practice of smoking a cigar for the first inch only during their tastings is pretty funny to me. I would say that it takes MORE than an inch for the flavor to fully develop.

    JDE

  • madurofanmadurofan Posts: 6,152
    JonathanE:
    madurofan:
    I think you guys may have misunderstood what I was trying to say, I think boyd got it. I've read tons of "flowery" reviews. I'm not talking about being descriptive with the pen, I'm talking about the blantant bullsh1t artists we've all seen.

    I understand that we are all tasting tobacco, the way it tastes reminds us of something else and typically thats subjective.

    Now I'll be the first to say that I don't have an ultra refined palette, its better than average but I'm not inline with professional tasters. However, if you can smoke a cigar and claim to taste 21 different flavors (and in the case of CA thats all found within the first inch)I honestly believe you are full of ****.

    In the case of Henke I don't know if that's literally all he tastes or all that he concerns himself with but they are generic like sweet, salty, woody. Don't quote those flavors as I'm just guessing until I find that sheet.
    The CA practice of smoking a cigar for the first inch only during their tastings is pretty funny to me. I would say that it takes MORE than an inch for the flavor to fully develop.

    JDE

    I've always hoped and prayed they don't do this with the ultra rare super aged cigars they review occasionally.
  • BlueRingsBlueRings Posts: 367
    I do reviews and the flavors that I taste are based off many factors that can change with each cigar, even the same vitola and brand from the same box. The flavors that come from each cigar has different nuances that are memories of other flavors. Similar to how people have different experiences with wine, coffee, or perfume. I read others reviews after I publish mine and some nuances are caught and some not or completely different.

    Prior to indulging in reviews I worked on picking up what others experienced and sometimes they where dead on and sometimes I was disappointed and thought to myself what the hell were they thinking. I'm sure some feel the same way about my reviews. It is fun to see others enjoy the same things you do and have similar experiences. That is why we make friends with one another and others don't. I guess its the same thing as making friends, you have close ones, occasional ones, and ones you can't stand. Enjoyment is the overall experience for me.

    As far as aftertaste, I guess that it is like coffee, the oils and acids remain after the enjoyment is gone.
  • KingoftheCoveKingoftheCove Posts: 932 ✭✭✭
    BlueRings:
    As far as aftertaste, I guess that it is like coffee, the oils and acids remain after the enjoyment is gone.
    Maybe.......but I'm still curious as to why (for me at least, and a few others I've spoken with) a dog stick stays in your mouth, 6, 8, 10+ hours!
    A fine cigar "fades away" sometimes in less than an hour.
    I'm not convinced this is the "stigma effect" as mentioned above. I do find it quite curious.
    I'm leaning more towards Kuzi's theory on the fermentation, etc.
    Sort of like good versus cheap champagne. You can drink quite a bit of good champagne, and have fun, and wake up fine. Try that with cheap champagne........and you pay the price.............
  • BlueRingsBlueRings Posts: 367
    I wonder if it is the solvents from food or drink after your experiance. I have noticed if I eat or drink something with a solvent effect it breaks the chain of oils and acid from my palette. Many factors can have an overall effect. Fermentation does increase oil production and breaks down the impurities in the tobacco so yes it is a factor in the smoothness or harshness of the product which can leave the unresolved impurities on your palette. IMO factors on the duration is very subjectable to food and drink and other factors.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    BlueRings:
    I wonder if it is the solvents from food or drink after your experiance. I have noticed if I eat or drink something with a solvent effect it breaks the chain of oils and acid from my palette. Many factors can have an overall effect. Fermentation does increase oil production and breaks down the impurities in the tobacco so yes it is a factor in the smoothness or harshness of the product which can leave the unresolved impurities on your palette. IMO factors on the duration is very subjectable to food and drink and other factors.
    thats very true. the pH in your mouth has a great deal to do with it. so this goes back to the food you eat or the beverage you drink.
    this is why many peoplel drink water with a review. this brings the pH in your mouth closer to neutral. many people will drink coffee or coke with cigars because the contrast between the alkaline cigar smoke and the acidic drink brings out flavors. if your mouth is to alkaline then you will not have the ability to discern flavors as much because the smoke is too close to what is already in your mouth.

    taste works best in contrast. this is why people like pretzels with chocolate (salt and sweet) and pineapple on pizza (sweet and spicy).
  • jlmartajlmarta 50 miles from ParadisePosts: 7,386 ✭✭✭✭✭
    kuzi16:
    taste works best in contrast. this is why people like pretzels with chocolate (salt and sweet) and pineapple on pizza (sweet and spicy).


    Pineapple on pizza!!??? Blasphemy!! That's not a pizza - it's an abomination!!(LOL)

    Marty

  • JonathanEJonathanE Posts: 401
    jlmarta:
    kuzi16:
    taste works best in contrast. this is why people like pretzels with chocolate (salt and sweet) and pineapple on pizza (sweet and spicy).


    Pineapple on pizza!!??? Blasphemy!! That's not a pizza - it's an abomination!!(LOL)

    Marty

    Hey, don't you be bad mouthin' my Hawaiin Pizza! Them's fightin' words...

    JDE

  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    i throw some crazy *** on pizzas...
    try Thia Peanut sauce and tandoori chicken instead of red sauce and pepperoni. some chives and maybe some roasted red pepper. no cheese.
    throw on a few cow mein noodles when it first comes out.... hell yeah.
  • JonathanEJonathanE Posts: 401
    kuzi16:
    i throw some crazy *** on pizzas...
    try Thia Peanut sauce and tandoori chicken instead of red sauce and pepperoni. some chives and maybe some roasted red pepper. no cheese.
    throw on a few cow mein noodles when it first comes out.... hell yeah.
    Wow... that's all I have to say about that!

  • JCizzleJCizzle NYCPosts: 1,912 ✭✭
    kuzi16:
    i throw some crazy *** on pizzas...
    try Thia Peanut sauce and tandoori chicken instead of red sauce and pepperoni. some chives and maybe some roasted red pepper. no cheese.
    throw on a few cow mein noodles when it first comes out.... hell yeah.
    Oh hell yeah, a Thai pizza. Now you're speaking my language.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this thread and I'm glad I read it because I'm glad I'm not the only one. I always knew cigars would taste similar, but lately I've found myself being very repetitive with my descriptions that I keep in a book. I swear, every cigar I have has a hint of peanut butter to it. That being said, I don't think this is a bad thing. I enjoy them just the same and I'm perfectly happy where I'm at with the hobby.
    Light 'em up.
  • madurofanmadurofan Posts: 6,152
    kuzi16:
    i throw some crazy *** on pizzas...
    try Thia Peanut sauce and tandoori chicken instead of red sauce and pepperoni. some chives and maybe some roasted red pepper. no cheese.
    throw on a few cow mein noodles when it first comes out.... hell yeah.
    I just wanna have dinner at your house once in my life. It will have to be a fall evening bc I wanna smoke a Cusano Corojo 97 with you. Its the one cigar you and I have ALWAYS seen eye to eye on.
  • The_KidThe_Kid Posts: 7,871 ✭✭✭
    KingoftheCove:
    madurofan:
    I did a tasting with Henke Kelner once, (in case you don't know that is the man behind AVO, Davidoff, Cusano, to name a few) and he told us he only gets 4 "flavors" from a cigar.

    Interesting - so what you're telling me, in a roundabout way, is that I have a more sophisticated palette than Mr Kelner!!
    Now I don't feel so bad about my lack of taste................................

    Seriously though, I agree with you. Some of the reviews I read are simply amazing - makes me wonder if the reviewer is smoking a cigar, or a big fat spliff of AK-47 (maybe both??).....(not that I'd know anything about that sort of thing - having quit the green weed back in 81................. but living here in santa cruz........well, you get a lot of second hand exposure and knowledge...............and then there's my wife................bad girl...)

    YOU DOG!!!, Ahh poor me I cant taste cigars. ARRRRGH. You My Friend are a fortunate man I read your post about surfing and the like and breaking your nose and I was actually feeling bad. Then I find out your in SANTA CRUZ.. Forget about it. One of the best places on the face of Gods Green Earth, Or blue depending on your perspective. Then your talking bout the spleif and Im like I hate this man. No all kidding aside. I think it also has alot to do with what your eating and drinking prior and during . Theres alot of factors, some cigars I taste cigars others I get a few nuances here and there. Ive definately developed a sense for cameroon. If theres any cameroon in a cigar I can tell. Well at least I think I can. Next time your on the boardwalk smoke one for me.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    madurofan:
    kuzi16:
    i throw some crazy *** on pizzas...
    try Thia Peanut sauce and tandoori chicken instead of red sauce and pepperoni. some chives and maybe some roasted red pepper. no cheese.
    throw on a few cow mein noodles when it first comes out.... hell yeah.
    I just wanna have dinner at your house once in my life. It will have to be a fall evening bc I wanna smoke a Cusano Corojo 97 with you. Its the one cigar you and I have ALWAYS seen eye to eye on.
    if you are ever in the akron area you are more than welcome in my home.
    in the fall we have switched over to the camacho corojo. they stand up better to warm cigar and spiced rum.
  • madurofanmadurofan Posts: 6,152
    kuzi16:
    madurofan:
    kuzi16:
    i throw some crazy *** on pizzas...
    try Thia Peanut sauce and tandoori chicken instead of red sauce and pepperoni. some chives and maybe some roasted red pepper. no cheese.
    throw on a few cow mein noodles when it first comes out.... hell yeah.
    I just wanna have dinner at your house once in my life. It will have to be a fall evening bc I wanna smoke a Cusano Corojo 97 with you. Its the one cigar you and I have ALWAYS seen eye to eye on.
    if you are ever in the akron area you are more than welcome in my home.
    in the fall we have switched over to the camacho corojo. they stand up better to warm cigar and spiced rum.
    Can't do spiced rum with a cigar, I've tried repeatedly. Its just too damned sweet. I'll bring some Sam Smith Nut Brown Ale, phenomenal Fall beer.
  • mobyallanmobyallan Posts: 69

    "But I am wondering about one phenomena (I'm sure this has been discussed) - why is it that a dog stick will stay with you (in your mouth) until the next day!!.......while the "cigar mouth" from a good smoke vanishes within an hour or two?" (not sure why my quotes are messed up - maybe the iPad)

    This always gets me too. The other night I had a Perdomo Lot 23 and the next morning I didn't have the slightest cigar taste left in my mouth. I had another that night (don't remember what it was right now but it wasn't a dog) and I did have a heavy aftertaste in the am...either way I enjoyed them both but the Perdomo was better

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