Is it possible?
Is it possible that most of the taste found in cigars are mind over matter and therefore wishful thinking, ultimately leading to tasting, different flavors? I have surmised that the taste buds actually become dead to differentiation of taste the more one smokes and hence the taste are actually created within the creative devises of our left hemisphere of the brain. Could this be the true development of the pallet, a deception of our own brains?
I know that people such as those who have been in the tobacco business all of their lives can distinguish where a certain tobacco came from and its true identity.
My thought is this though:
As novices can, even with those with extensive experience, really distinguish such taste variations as subtle as they claim, really be on target all of the time or is my original conclusion valid?
example: if you've never eaten (or smelled) a walnut, how would you be able to ID that flavor in a cigar, drink, food, etc.
every person experiences taste/flavors differently and some people are considered "supertasters".
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If you play a note on an instrument, I can pick up my guitar and almost always hit that exact note. How? I don't know. What I can't do is tell you if that note is a C, or an A, or what, until I look at the keyboard. But, lots of people can. I read an article once about Jimi Hendrix, stating that he "saw" musical notes as colors. I brought this to the attention of my father, a professional musician, who said "I can do that, too", much to my surprise. He then went on to tell me of an experience he'd had sitting in an orchestra pit, and someone played a note and asked: "Is that a G?",
"No, it's an A, it's peach" said Dad
At which point one of the women in the violin sections looked startled and asked "How'd you know it was peach?"
It seems that she, too, had that ability. Not only that, but their colors all matched!
(I'm saying "A" and "peach", which may not be the exact match, due to human error in memory, but the concept is the point)
So, even though we all tend to think that our individual experience is universal, to believe that just because you are unable to taste these things that it is all just power of suggestion for the rest of us, falls a bit short of the mark.
I hope you read through the "Developing your Palate" and other excellent threads by Kuzi and others, learn to use your nose, etc., and may be able to develop a greater appreciation. Much the way that I learn to play music, even though I don't have perfect pitch, or much talent in general. I still enjoy it, it brings me a great deal of satisfaction. But, when it comes to performing, I leave it to those who have talent. Many of whom are unable to determine what the heck I'm getting so excited about when I give them a cigar.
To each our own.
"There is nothing so in need of reforming as another person's bad habits." Mark Twain
If more than one country is in a blend i can tell you 90% of the time if nicaraguan tobacco is in there. Other tobaccos are harder to recognize in a blend to me.
i am 100% sure that there are other people on this forum that can make similar claims. a few names come to mind but im not going to put anyone on the spot.
what keeps me from making claims of higher percentages is that there are so many factors that go into a cigar. the biggest one is fermentation. its amazing what chemicals are created in fermentation. whats even more amazing is how the body senses them.
and then there is always the "taste is subjective" thing. mood, mouth ph, RH of the cigar, what you ate last, what you are drinking with the cigar, and countless other factors can influence taste. even though the same cigar can taste a bit different on different days, there are still differences from one cigar to another cigar on that same day.
it is very easy to see differences if you smoke two different cigars either back to back or two different cigars at the same time.
if you do back to back i would recommend an Avo Classic first, then a Camacho triple maduro. these cigars have so little in common that i would venture to say if you cant tell the difference then your taste buds are legitimately broken (if thats the case, and you still wanna smoke cigars just smoke the cheapest cigars you can find with zero burn issues.)
if side by side i would do a Camacho Ecuador and San Lotano Habano. they have similar elements but are still different enough to pick out things that make them unique. the short time between the puffs of each cigar will keep it fresh enough that a less drastic change in flavors is needed to understand the difference. in this example, the Camacho Ecuador has a much more citrus flavor to it than the San Lotano Habano, and the San Lotano Habano will have a much more earthy/woodyspice quality to it.
There are many things that affect what you taste and how you taste. Colds, allergies, stuffed up nose, etc.
Over smoking can also dull the taste buds.
Using chewing tobacco or smoking cigarettes can also have a dramatic change in tastes.
If you use seasoning spice on meat, do you taste the seasonings? If no, then you probably have dulled tastes buds.
Do you have sinus problems? If yes, that can account for a lot of it.
Is it only cigars that you have trouble distinguishing flavors or is there some foods that are bland to you?
Have you ever tried a pipe with flavored tobacco or a flavored cigar? Is it the same taste?
It shouldn't be and if it is, then you might have a taste problem and it might be something to have looked at.
There should be a marked difference it tastes between something like a Connecticut vs Maduro wrapper or Cameroon wrapper. It should be a noticeable taste.
Then the question of "Do all cigars SMELL the same to you?"
They shouldn't. Just as a rose smells different than a magnolia, different tobaccos have different smells.
Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy cigars and that's close enough.
how long does it take you to smoke a toro? or a robusto?
I'm not saying that people are making things up, but more reading into things to try and explain the flavor of a cigar and try and find a way to differentiate it from another cigar that is very similar. To me there are several cigars that i find so similar that they are almost the same cigar to me, but if you read reviews you would think they are completely different because of the off the wall things the reviewers are pulling out.
These days nailing down factories is getting easier, let alone regions. All the Casa and Plasencia made boutiques have similar flavors. One thing is for sure, Cuban tobacco is unmistakable.
it isnt that hard if you are willing to spend the time to learn it. its way more work than it sounds.
i guess in the end the real deal is if you like a cigar or not.
i found where my willingness to work to understand cigars ends. i did get to a point were it was more work than it was worth. there are a few guys here that are willing to work harder than i am, and i have a ton of respect for those guys. i never got into this hobby to become an insider. i just wanna enjoy. too much work at it and it becomes just that.
If you can't taste the difference in two smokes that different simultaneously, you might not even have a tongue.
a robusto takes most people over an hour to finish.