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Taking a Draw That Allows You to Taste...Help Please?

Hi guys,

I'm fairly new to the cigar life, but not smoking necessarily. I smoked cigarettes on occasion (maybe a dozen per year), smoked a ton of the green stuff in college, and would smoke a cigar on the rare occasion that I was offered one. About a month ago, one of my best friends showed me his humidor and had me smoke an AB Prensado. HDe sent me home with a dozen issues of Cigar Afficianado and a fantastic sampler of some really great sticks. Before I knew it, I was ordering a humidor and visiting my local cigar shop almost daily. dr

Like many other beginners, I would imagine, I'm not tasting all of the fantastic flavors that I read in descriptions aside from some pretty obvious overall flavors. I'm pretty sure that my problem is how I'm drawing on the cigar. I definitely understand how to draw, and from the research that I've done, I understand that the idea is to draw very slowly to allow the smoke to be as cool in temperature as possible. 

When end I try to take a slow draw, I end up with barely any smoke in my mouth, although I seem to get a bit of a good taste. When I try to draw a moderate amount of smoke, I end up tasting almost nothing but the harsh smokey taste. Im kind of just confused in general...are you supposed to be able to taste the flavors in a mouth full of smoke? 

So Im trying to find the happy medium here...a draw that fills my mouth with smoke but is cool enough to allow me to taste everything...does that make sense?

Comments

  • jarublajarubla Posts: 2,329 ✭✭✭✭✭
    How are you cutting your stick?

    Also, as far as libations go, I try to drink just water with my cigars. May not be directly related, but it will not muddle the flavors as much. What you eat and drink can affect palate.

    Another comment that is wandering into the weeds; try and write down your thoughts about what you are tasting. Can help to isolate some of the flavors you are seeking
    “There’ll be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read ’em but all that’s gonna matter is that little dash between ’em.” -Kevin Welch
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 9,805 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Each person is different and will tastes things differently. I rarely taste a lot of things that those reviewers speak of. My thoughts are more on bitter, sweet, savory and such. A lot of times, I get the grassy or cedary tastes.

    But on those very rare occasions that you will get those nutty, fruity tastes, make note of what you were doing, what it was that you were smoking and how you were smoming it. It may be somerhing you are different that time.

    Its easy to tell a person how to do sonething based on what works for you, but since taste is very subjective, its likely not gonna work for you.

    What it boils down to is, read a lot, throw out 80% of the BS and try differwnt things suggested and different cigars.

    Wish I could be more help, but just know that your taste buds will change to the cigars over time.
    In Fumo Pax
    Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy cigars and that's close enough.

    Wylaff said:
    Atmospheric pressure and crap.
  • SleevePlzSleevePlz Goodrich, MIPosts: 6,249 ✭✭✭✭
    Start with the Developing Your Palate thread. It is stickied at the top of the Cigar 101 sub-forum. Also, retrohale. You smell more than you taste. 
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • genareddoggenareddog South eastern indianaPosts: 3,087 ✭✭✭✭✭
    0patience said:
    Each person is different and will tastes things differently. I rarely taste a lot of things that those reviewers speak of. My thoughts are more on bitter, sweet, savory and such. A lot of times, I get the grassy or cedary tastes.

    But on those very rare occasions that you will get those nutty, fruity tastes, make note of what you were doing, what it was that you were smoking and how you were smoming it. It may be somerhing you are different that time.

    Its easy to tell a person how to do sonething based on what works for you, but since taste is very subjective, its likely not gonna work for you.

    What it boils down to is, read a lot, throw out 80% of the BS and try differwnt things suggested and different cigars.

    Wish I could be more help, but just know that your taste buds will change to the cigars over time.
    Agree. I have tried to pick out all the different taste that so many say and at first thought there was something wrong with me. Keep trying different sticks and buy what you enjoy. 
  • HrycajHrycaj Posts: 62 ✭✭
    I got better flavor when I took advice given here of keeping smoke/ "chewing it" in mouth combined with retrohale.

    further on the retrohale- can anyone tell me how that should work? When I feel like I'm doing it "right" I'm not seeing smoke exhaled. When I do see smoke from my nose I feel I've done wrong and overdone it since I'll get burning or discomfort and don't see improved flavor.
  • WylaffWylaff Reno, NVPosts: 4,976 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Taste buds can get overwhelmed. I personally do a couple small puffs for flavor followed by a long draw for smoke.
    "Cooking isn't about struggling; It's about pleasure. It's like sǝx, with a wider variety of sauces."

    I hate myself, and I don't regret any of it.

    At any given time the urge to sing "In The Jungle" is just a whim away... A whim away... A whim away...

  • peter4jcpeter4jc Milwaukee, WIPosts: 9,059 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You may just have a cigar that's going to be rough on the retro.  Even those that work well for retrohaling often need to be smoked a half inch down before the initial what I'd call pepper transitions into the actual flavor of the cigar.  Just like the draw the retrohale should be at a relaxed pace.  Hope that helps... it may just take some time and practice.

    That thread (IIRC) had a video or link from Cigar Obsession that suggests a 3-4 second draw.  I've found that to help, and believe the idea of not overheating a cigar to yield the biggest benefit to flavor.  Watching the shape of the cherry so that it's not pointy (going to fast) and making sure the cherry extends to, and is burning the wrapper (going too slow and the cherry gets small and sinks down into the center) is how to determine the correct pace.  That's assuming the construction is good... man, do I hate a cigar with a tight draw, or a one that won't produce smoke unless you draw the hell out of it.
    "I could've had a Mi Querida!"   Nick Bardis
  • CrisiusCrisius Hoquiam, WAPosts: 430 ✭✭✭
    peter4jc said:
    You may just have a cigar that's going to be rough on the retro.  Even those that work well for retrohaling often need to be smoked a half inch down before the initial what I'd call pepper transitions into the actual flavor of the cigar.  Just like the draw the retrohale should be at a relaxed pace.  Hope that helps... it may just take some time and practice.

    That thread (IIRC) had a video or link from Cigar Obsession that suggests a 3-4 second draw.  I've found that to help, and believe the idea of not overheating a cigar to yield the biggest benefit to flavor.  Watching the shape of the cherry so that it's not pointy (going to fast) and making sure the cherry extends to, and is burning the wrapper (going too slow and the cherry gets small and sinks down into the center) is how to determine the correct pace.  That's assuming the construction is good... man, do I hate a cigar with a tight draw, or a one that won't produce smoke unless you draw the hell out of it.
    I tend to smoke rather quickly, not on purpose just get a good flavor and want more of it. So I get the "pointy" end on more than a few cigars but I always get smoke in my mouth.

    I found that building up my "taste" of things took time. One of the best pieces of advice I got was from @jd50ae to read about what flavor you might be getting out of something like in a review or a magazine and eat/drink something close to that. If you are getting espresso/coffee notes in what you are reading, take a couple beans and pop em in your mouth and then after getting used to that flavor, take a puff of the cigar and you will be more in tune with that flavor.

    Personally, I taste cedar in just about anything I smoke. But after a year, I can now pick up and get something out of a full cigar. I'm sure my palate is not as refined as say @Bigshizza or @Bob_Luken, but I would like to think that I know what I am picking out of a cigar without reading a review. I also find that if I have multiples I will smoke the first one without reading too much about it, kinda chew on the flavor a bit and see what I can pick out on my own. After that first one I do go and look at reviews for the cigar and look mainly at the flavor profile. What other people have gotten out of it. I find I'm really in tune with stuff that is a little more "gritty", I don't pick up on a lot of sweetness unless it's something from Drew Estate, but I get the earthiness, leathery, coffee-ish flavors. Though I also get the creaminess out of certain items as well, but that tends to be from more medium cigars. In food I'm not a fan of spicy foods, I have a really heightened sense of when something has spicy spices in them and in turn I can usually tell if they are in the cigar as well. Though I actually like them in the cigars oddly enough.

    But at the end of the day, you may not get the same tastes or feelings from a cigar that the man next to you got. Or even the guy across the country that reviewed it got. I find I enjoy a cigar more for myself. And if it isn't what someone else enjoys or even if they can't taste what I can, I'm happy because at the end of a long day it's just me and a habit I enjoy. So the biggest piece of advice is find what works for you while smoking, whether it's big long draws, slow draws, fast draws, etc and do it. There is no wrong way once you have the basics down, (Don't inhale, don't soak it in water (you know who you are) and that's about it. Sit, listen, learn and pick what works best for you. :smile: 
  • onestrangeoneonestrangeone Austin, TxPosts: 2,444 ✭✭✭✭✭
     If your new to the retro-hale maybe try letting about 1/2  to 3/4 of the smoke out of your mouth then with your mouth partly open slowly let the rest pass out thru your nose. It might help with the burn and still give you more 'taste'.
  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken already sucked before joining forum,.....just sayin'.Posts: 8,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Welcome. I didn't read all of these other replies so I may repeat something someone else already covered but, Here's my two cents worth.

    As far as taste goes, feel free to ignore all the verbose descriptions that the ******* ***  reviewers are telling you. I know damn well that I can taste different stuff in different cigars but I'm not at all good at putting a label on any of it. And by now, I'm very OK with that. Smoke what you like. Buy more of those that you do like. Toss the crappy ones. 

    Use retrohale to expand your taste experience. If it's too harsh, back off on the amount. Try blowing almost all but not entirely all of the smoke away and then try it at a lesser level until you find out what level is tolerable. Also a smokeless retrohale (after the smoke is already all expelled) can enhance your flavor experience. In both cases, keep your jaw down a bit, lips closed and your tongue dropped down to expose both the tongue and entire roof of your mouth during retrohale. You want air/smoke to be swirling around inside your mouth before it escapes through your nose. 

    Assuming your cut is good and the flow of air is sufficient. Your draw technique might benifit from a little "monkey see monkey do". Watch what others are doing then, try their method. You may already be doing it mostly right but, see how others are doing it.

    One good source for "how too" advice is cigarobsession.com/
  • RhamlinRhamlin WVPosts: 7,802 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I wish I could taste a lot of the flavor's I read in reviews but I don't. Pretty much just the basics cocoa, spice, pepper, sometimes licorice or cinnamon. But I've never really applied myself though. But I've found from reading reviews from people who tend to like the same types of cigars I do that when they like something chances are good I will to. 
  • johncieerajohncieera Posts: 7
    Its best to draw the cigar slowly and hold a medium amount of smoke in your mouth to get a real taste of the tobacco leaves. This is outlined in the cigar principles of smoking. There are a ton of cigars out there you must find the best ones for you, not through the the so called reviews from others.
  • miller65rodmiller65rod MidwestPosts: 5,630 ✭✭✭✭✭
    On cigars I am trying to figure out which i don't most of the time, I only consume water. It seems to help alot. I taste a lot more flavors esp. later in the smoke when I rinse my pallet with H20. I will drink liquor with a cigar later on once I have sampled with just water. 

    I don't think many talk enough about it, but I believe the toasting of the cigar can influence taste and cause construction issues. I may be wrong, I am far from a  cigar expert. But I have seen others rush to get it lit and it ends up bitter, falling apart etc.. I go nice and slow and rarely taste bitter. I do sometimes get a metallic taste in fresh gars. I know many have spoken about it. I am smoking mostly 2014 stock right now and they are smoking great.
    Free Cuba
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  • webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 6,757 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Smoke slow.

    Take a hit, set it down, do something else for two or three, come back, hit it up once or twice to get the smoke flowing, take a hit, then set it down.


    Less haste = more flavors.


    “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)


  • HrycajHrycaj Posts: 62 ✭✭
    With toasting- done right will the foot glow or is that too much?
  • WylaffWylaff Reno, NVPosts: 4,976 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I toast it until it glows fairly evenly, but don't draw through until its even.
    "Cooking isn't about struggling; It's about pleasure. It's like sǝx, with a wider variety of sauces."

    I hate myself, and I don't regret any of it.

    At any given time the urge to sing "In The Jungle" is just a whim away... A whim away... A whim away...

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