The Cigar Sense panel has now been intensively active since inception in 2014. Now, in early 2015, we isolated the aroma descriptors which have been most frequently used since the implementation of our methodology and have designed the Cigar Sense aromas wheel based on them.
Of course, the poetry that our panelists use in their free comments goes far beyond this. All of their data is preciously stored in our database and is currently mainly used to confirm our correct understanding of the diverse expressions in our multi-cultural team. But when we consolidate our expert data, we intentionally keep our analyses as schematic as possible. We focus on descriptions that are detailed enough to evoke the potential sensory experience that YOU are likely to have when smoking a particular cigar, eliminating as much as possible the subjectivity of our experience. In order to do this we need the systematic use of a taxonomy that all our experts agree to and adopt as support to the mental exercise of the cigar analysis.
Last year we have conducted a simple survey to define the Cigar Sense services. According to 87% of the respondents ‘flavor’ is the most important factor in the choice of their cigars.
Why is this an aromas and not a flavors wheel?
Flavor principally means “aroma by the mouth”, meaning the aromas you perceive when you retro-hale. However, in the common language, we realized that people refer to flavor when talking about taste as well.
In our cigar analyses we obviously focus on both, aromas and tastes (including trigeminal sensations), because both are very important in order to be able to provide personalized cigar recommendations.
However, through this aromas wheel we want to focus on aromas only and want to make sure there is no confusion as to what we mean by that.
This is why we designed an aromas wheel and not a flavors wheel. Here it is:
Why use the Cigar Sense aromas wheel?
It is a useful tool that helps associate descriptive terms to the aromas we perceive in a cigar.
Not only novice tasters, but also experienced smokers sometimes cannot name what they perceive. Identifying aromas in a cigar could be a challenge. On one hand the ability to name odors is culturally contingent and related to lifestyle and experience, on the other hand, smoking a cigar offers many different sensations at the same time: multiple aromas, tastes, tactile perceptions and, last but not least, the nicotine strength which is also often confused with some of the other sensations.
This tool can help the focus on one aroma at the time. Of course, this is not the only tool available to develop one’s nose, stay tuned for more tools.
How to use the Cigar Sense aromas wheel?
Probably the best way to learn to recognize cigar aromas is to compare cigars that have different aromatic profiles and look at the inner tier of the wheel for the words which best describe the flavor category, such as Nut or Wood, then go to the outside tiers for suggestions for more specific notes, such as Walnut or Cedar.
Let us know how this works for you!