Creaminess is a popular sensory feature, which many of us tend to seek in cigars.
Differently from the “dry” or “bitter” or “sour” characteristics, which are very common in cigars too, the “creamy” one sounds more appealing to many cigar lovers. I still remember a prominent cigar manufacturer and blender who was disappointed by our analysis of one of his cigars. The cigar did not display creaminess and our cigar profile reflected that fact. The absence of creaminess in a cigar is totally normal, just like the absence of ripe fruit or any other descriptor. However, the brand owner had apparently adopted the descriptor “creamy” in his own promotional language; he probably found it very appealing for himself, but could not substantiate it.
Why is “creamy” in cigars so appealing?
Creaminess characterizes many fat-containing foods, particularly dairy foods such as ice creams, yoghurts and sauces. In other words, one of the most immediate reasons for appeal is that our mother’s (or Nestle’s) milk trained our “palate” to like the “creamy” sensation in foods and drinks. Of course, our taste preferences change overtime. Such changes are mostly driven by our cultural development and, especially when talking about luxury products such as premium cigars, by social posturing. These can create a disconnect between what we call “stated” and “actual” preference. In the case of “creamy”, according to Cigar Sense data, such disconnect is minimal. This means that when people say they like “creamy”, they actually like cigars that present “creamy”. This is not always the case for other descriptors like “bitter” or “animal”.
What is “creamy”?
It has for a long time been considered as a tactile sensation, often also described as smooth, soft, silky, slippery, greasy, unctuous and more. So, creaminess has been explained as a physical process, based on tactile receptors in the mouth. In fact, “creamy” is a mouthfeel, a tactile sensation, not to be confused with “fat”, which is explained as a chemical process based on taste buds. Ultimately, “fat” has become a real taste, the sixth one (oleogustus is placed next to sour, bitter, sweet, salty and savory). And there is now enough scientific evidence for this.
How does “creamy” show up in cigars and is it always a good thing?
What we can observe when listening to quite some cigar lovers, is that they tend to describe as “creamy” a cigar they like. They tend to use “creamy” as an element to judge a whole cigar’s quality: saying “this cigar is creamy” almost corresponds to saying “this cigar is well balanced”.
While it’s true that creaminess can impart a certain smoothness in the overall backbone (learn more) of the cigar, there are cases in which the creamy sensation may not be positive for everyone. For example, someone may be extremely sensitive to the fat taste or the creamy sensation itself. There are also cases where the smoker is not particularly sensitive to these sensations, but “creamy” presents itself as a coating layer in the mouth and is almost sensed in the nose as well. Not everybody likes this last manifestation of “creamy”.
Did you ever have this?
You can easily find the cigars that present the appropriate intensity of creaminess for you. Here is the link to log-in or sign-up for free.
And if you wish to learn much more about tastes and tactile sensations in cigars, A Cigar Tasting Course may be for you.