Whether it’s to save time, laziness, or simply the “cool factor”, newer (and stranger) cigar terms seem to pop up constantly! Sometimes, as with the infamous “Herf”, no one really even knows their origins… Nevertheless, it can be an enormous help navigating the cigar community to simply have the basics of cigar terms, buzzwords, and acronyms under your belt!
Use this page as a quick and easy reference to the most commonly used cigar terms.
The crystallization of oils, forming on the surface of a cigar’s wrapper. This is a rare, highly sought-after quality that shows a cigar has been well-aged. Also referred to as “plume”. Often confused with mold.
A person who is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about cigars.
Popular cigar magazine.
An uneven burn – when a cigar burns more quickly on one side over the other.
A cigar manufactured in Cuba.
Cellophane used to store and protect cigars.
A bundle of cigars that is delivered (passed along) to a predetermined list of participants. Each member of the Cigar Pass will choose cigars to take from the bundle, replacing them with cigars of similar or greater value.
Pulling smoke through a cigar and into the mouth. Cigars can be described as having an easy, medium, or firm draw – this is a common factor to consider when rating a cigar.
Removing a cigar from its humidor prior to smoking it (usually around 1 day) in an attempt to bring the humidity down, making for a better burn (In theory).
The Cuban version of a “limited edition” cigar.
An event or gathering of cigar smokers, with the intention of smoking cigars together.
Island South of Miami
Referring to Cuba.
A cigar that has been produced in a limited quantity, usually a single-run production.
A type of tobacco leaf found near the top of the plant. These leafs are among the strongest found on a tobacco plant, they are used to give a cigar strength, body, and spice.
A cigar that uses a maduro wrapper.
A bundle of cigars. Mazos are bound with a ribbon after rolling, they are then unbound and placed in cellophane, or placed into the cigar box in mazo form, known as a “Cabinet Selection”.
Living fungus that may grow on cigars, potentially spreading throughout entire humidors. Mold has a web, or fuzz-like appearance and is often three-dimensional in structure. Mold is found in blue, white, green, gray, and yellow hues on cigars. Often confused for the desirable plume (or bloom).
A cigar that uses a natural wrapper.
A cigar manufactured outside of Cuba.
Off The Truck
A term used to describe a cigar that was smoked without proper acclimation.
Pay it forward
A special cigar-giving event in where a large group of participants send cigars to other participants. No person sends cigars to the same person they receive cigars from. Created as a response to the (sometimes) negative outlook towards cigar bombing.
The crystallization of oils, forming on the surface of a cigar’s wrapper. This is a rare, highly sought-after quality that shows a cigar has been well-aged. Also referred to as “bloom”. Often confused with mold.
Blow into, rather than draw on the cigar in an effort to reignite the cigar’s burning ember. Also used to rid the cigar of unwanted tarry flavors, as tar builds up around the head after continuously drawing on the cigar.
Spanish for “pure”, puro is used to describe a cigar that consists of tobaccos entirely of a single country. All Cuban cigars are puros, as they use only Cuban tobaccos.
Exhaling smoke through the nostrils. This is done to increase sensitivity to a cigar’s flavor.
Measurement to determine the size (thickness) of a cigar, measured as 1/64″ of the cigar’s diameter – i.e. a cigar with a ring gauge of 64 is 1 inch in diameter.
Used to describe humidity levels of cigar humidors. Commonly used RH levels are between 64% – 70%.
Typically made from Spanish cedar, spills are strips of wood used to light a cigar. They are commonly thought to be the purest method by which to light a cigar, as there are no unwanted flavors or aromas.
Applying flame (not directly) to the foot of a cigar before making the first draw. Used to create an even burn.
An uneven burn, occurring on the inside of the cigar. This occurs when the cigar’s filler burns more quickly than the wrapper, resulting in (often) many touchups. Often caused by over-humidification or thick, oily wrappers.
Describing a cigar’s size and shape – a 5″ x 52 cigar is classified as a robusto vitola.
We have intentionally included only what we feel are the more common terms as well as terms people often ask about. If you see a cigar term or phrase you’d like added to the list, simply let us know in the comments below!