Determing Flavours Poll : How deep is the flavour palate of FOH members?


Determining Flavours:   

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I received another couple of  emails over the weekend asking effectively  how many members can determine flavours and how wide/deep their palate ability is. 

The subject is discussed regularly because it appears to be a constant source of frustration particularly to newer cigar smokers (but not exclusively so)! Have a crack at the poll and provide any advice that you can. :ok:

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All of the above. I didn’t when I first started out though. But I think that was more because I didn’t think about cigars that way and didn’t try to pick out any flavors. It was only after a couple of years, when meeting other afficionados, that I started to hear others describe tasting different flavors. And it started clicking even more when I started drinking more spirits and finding some overlap sometimes.

Flavor is all connotations of experience though. If you have never tasted bergamot for example, you can’t pinpoint that flavor when you taste it in a cigar or anything else for that matter.

And most importantly, it’s all so very subjective. And I can see why a newer cigar smoker can get frustrated by this, because we describe our cigar experiences by these entirely subjective flavors. Is it really necessary to be able to pick out and name all these nuances you taste? I don’t think so. As long as you enjoy the experience, who cares? 

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Most of them I've always been able to taste right away as long as they stand out.  I've got such a specific notion of what honey or peppers taste like that I haven't been able to pull those flavors from a cigar.  I've also had plenty of cigars that are flavorful but I can't put the puzzle together very well to describe what the flavor blend is.  It's more important to me to enjoy the cigar rather than try to describe it in detail.

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I believe it’s mostly subjective but still real. 🤓

Mostly I just know if I like it and to what degree above or below other cigars. 

I can be easily lead with suggestions of flavour elements, but I think we all can.

Objectively they taste of cigars because they’re cigars, but within that ‘reminders’ of other flavours absolutely exist.

I don’t know if I’m talking bollocks. I don’t think I am.

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In my person experience it less to do about palate and more to do with flexibility of thought and how much the given smoker wants to open up about their thoughts, or appear to be in touch with their emotional/sensory side etc.     For example it's usually John Rambo types that insist.......I mean........insist!!!  that "cigars just taste of cigars",  and that they do not smoke cigars for enjoyment, rather that they are excellent as warding off mosquitos, whilst on black ops deep in the jungle. and or they can self suture wounds with cherry red embers of a faithful stogie!. 

In all seriousness, I just think not enough is said within the community about how tangential flavour notes can be within cigars. For example if watching a FOH review, and either Ken or Rob, says 'it's dripping with molten chocolate" In my head as an experienced smoker I know that essentially equates to I tiny percentage of what it would actually be like to eat molten chocolate.    When thinking about that, it would be hugely disapointing to someone new to cigars, as they would be like WFT? I'm just not getting what their getting. 

Also it's hugely important to be an adventurous eater/drinker.  The spectrum of our personal reference is either limited or expanded to our own personal reference library. In the past i've worked with people who have eaten the same sandwich for work for 5years straight.......it did not surprise me that he was stifled and unable to communicate much interest in flavour, as they were just not experiencing it.           It's not a critique, whatever floats peoples boats,  I know people who are adamant "they don't like music".......I mean any music. 

In conclusion I'll think their maybe people out their with dead palates etc, but I'm convinced the majority of them, just don't like or are comfortable with talking about sensory stuff, like it denotes some sort of soft underbelly. 

55 minutes ago, Zebra said:

‘reminders’

'Reminders' is a brilliant was or putting it.   Sensory stuff that evokes past memory or experience. The smell of freshly cut grass in the summer,  Christmas pudding flaming with brandy, wet dog by the fire (see = Guantanemera) etc, etc.   It's why I love cigars, it's a deeply relaxing, but supremely rich sensory experience, one that can evoke all sorts of memories and emotions.     With all that said, I think it's always important to prepare those wanting stark amazing flavours from cigars, that yes, sometimes you can get that....but more often than not, it's a lilting journey from one thing to the next, and the less you force it, the more it gives. 

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It takes experience & time, totally depends on how many you regularly smoke.

Just like developing a solid wine palate- you need to taste, taste & more tasting

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it probably took me a couple of years before I started finding new flavors in cigars.

 

I used to smoke with a friend who had a wonderful taste palate.

once, we were trying a stick, and I said I tasted peppercorns.

She said " What color peppercorns "?

I tasted white, she tasted green.

 

I tried the cigar again, and I had to agree with green peppercorns.

we had several chances to try cigars together, and her palate was easily better than mine.

I usually do find something interesting in a cigar, the most surprising flavor so far is cherry.

 

I have found road tar, kerosene, soap, old paper, roots, lots of different flavors.

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I like how their is a duplicate in the list, yet the results don't match up!

To me, the game changer was my drink.  Cold brew coffee with just the right amount of milk and sugar.  Not to much to be overpowering, but just enough to compliment and enhance the flavor of the cigar.  I can't drink anything but that now.  Coke, orange juice, water, port, etc . . .  all fail.

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2 hours ago, Monterey said:

I like how their is a duplicate in the list, yet the results don't match up!

 

it was a long day :D

I will fix it up now :cigar:

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Anyone go through a spell where your ability pick out flavors in cigars gets wonky?  What helped you get back on track.   I have not been smoking as many cigars lately and wonder if it that is part of it.

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... last question.

Do you really think a fat cigar in a polished box tastes 10 times better than a skinny cigar in a drab topper?

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24 minutes ago, BeerPimp said:

Anyone go through a spell where your ability pick out flavors in cigars gets wonky?  What helped you get back on track.   I have not been smoking as many cigars lately and wonder if it that is part of it.

For me it is usually the opposite: smoking too many cigars. And the cure is usually taking a break from cigars. But seasonal allergies and minor illness can affect it just as much.

 

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7 minutes ago, Bijan said:

For me it is usually the opposite: smoking too many cigars. And the cure is usually taking a break from cigars. But seasonal allergies and minor illness can affect it just as much.

 

Yeah I'm in a middle of one of those right now. My palette seems to be at like 20% as it should be. No fun! 

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10 hours ago, Bijan said:

For me the main thing that unlocked most of the flavours was retro-haling. Without that I'd only get a limited subset of flavours.

Also reading reviews, on the forum and elsewhere, helps narrow things down.

This is me as well. Retro-haling was a game changer.

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I can pick out some flavors, some of the time. Whether all I get is tobacco is another story. I feel like I can tell the difference between different cigars and know what I enjoy but am not confident in telling someone else cigar “x” is a chocolate bomb etc. 

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When I smoked casually, I was one of those people who tasted only tobacco - it was either "nice tobacco" or "nasty tobacco." Now I can pick up all the above flavors fairly consistently. Aside from experience, by far the most important change I made was slowing down. I didn't realize how detrimental it is to be puffing 3+ times per minute or double puffing to correct burns. Same goes for drawing too hard. No palate can overcome an overheated cigar.

Beyond that as others have said, retrohaling was a revelation. The importance depends IME on the flavor - e.g. I can get cocoa/chocolate without retrohaling, but grass and citrus only reveal themselves to me when I retrohale. NB the first few retrohales of a smoke can tingle or even sting a bit, so don't write it off immediately.

For those who just can't retrohale regularly because it's uncomfortable, it can be helpful to passively allow some smoke into your olfactory region by not holding your breath to draw.

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i answered 5+ years, not because it took that long to learn to taste cigars, but it took that long to develop a palate capable of identifying many different flavors. i think those who can identify several different flavors, do so with other things: coffee, wine, and food in general. desire to develop the skill is as necessary as remembered past (flavor) experience.

that said, i do think it is easy to enjoy cigars without identifying a kaleidoscope of flavors. it takes concentration to work out flavors, and often i just want to enjoy the sensations without putting words to what i'm tasting.

-dobbs

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In the start I could distinguish a "creamy" cigar from a "peppery" cigar. Tried to retrohale a bit more which helped, but I found retrohaling itself kind of hard. Smoked for about a 8 months and decided I wanted a change so I bought a smoking pipe. You might think 8 months is not even babysteps in regards of smoking cigars, but hold your horses: it helped! As you might know pipe tobacco comes in varieties, virginia tobacco is more grassy were burley is more earthy chocolaty and perique is in your face peppery. Most are a mix of tobaccos, some are not. And this opened up my palette somehow, maybe just because my brain was somehow prepped from knowing what to expect. My first cigars after smoking pipe were amazing! I picked up more doughy flavors, sometimes leather, more floral notes, actually got transitions. Got flavors in NC's which weren't present before. So I truly think pipesmoking have not only resetted but also enhanced my smoking experiences.

Verstuurd vanaf mijn VOG-L29 met Tapatalk

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