Difference Between Flavored and Infused Cigars
Have you ever had a flavored cigar, have you ever had an infused cigar? Are they the same, what is the process and what is the craze behind these cigars. All these questions are going to be answered today because there is a lot of speculation that they are the same. Flavored tobacco has been around for years, with a massive spike in popularity around 1997 tripling its sales in the United States between 1997 and 2007. Most young people are attracted to flavored tobacco, such as little cigars or cigarillos. These short filled cigars are usually cut open, marijuana is added, the cigar is carefully placed back together and it is then smoked. Premium cigars such as the ones sold at Frontline Cigars cannot be cut open because of the long filler tobacco. The long filler tobacco is hand rolled so tightly that if you cut it open there is absolutely no chance of fixing it or smoking it. With short filled tobacco, they are "short filled" which leaves room for other things to be placed into the cigar and then reused.
Flavoring cigars is a process, depending on the factory it could take less than six months if the product is rushed or it could take years to cure the flavors into the tobacco. There are many cigars on the market today that are forced into stores that aren't cured properly and there are many issues with the cigar from burn issues to heat throughout the wrapper. Flavoring of cigars usually starts with the tobaccos being sprayed with wine, syrup, brandy or extract such as vanilla or coconut. There are many different extracts that can be used to flavor a cigar but that is up to the brand and the factories to decide what the consumer wants or what will sell. After the tobaccos are sprayed they are placed inside a curing room so the tobacco can absorb the flavoring. The longer the tobacco absorbs or ages the flavor the more present the flavor is captured in the cigar. A lot of times the wrapper is soaked in the flavoring, not cured and released to the market. There is an issue with this because you can not only have burn issues because the flavoring has not dried completely and the other tobaccos such as the binder and filler have not absorbed the flavoring causing different flavor profiles which can be very unappealing to your pallet.
Infused cigars are typically referred to as flavored which is similar but not quite as this process might be somewhat similar but not the same. Infused cigars such as Acid cigars are infused but the folks at Drew Estate do not give any perspective as to how this process is done. Acid is the most popular infused cigar in the United States. Other infused cigars take it to a different level, for example there is a company that burns sweet wood as the tobaccos are hung from above the fire absorbing the sweetness from the burning wood. Other companies use coffee to infuse their cigars. This is done like smoking meat, where the flavors from the wood are burnt like in the first example but with coffee and it is absorbed. So they burn coffee, not exactly, the coffee is placed into buckets or barrels and the tobaccos absorb the coffee flavoring. Although absorption is similar in flavoring and infused the one difference is flavoring is added or sprayed on the tobacco and then absorbed where as infused the flavoring is not sprayed but 100% absorbed into the tobacco for years.
Can You Flavor or Infuse Cigars Yourself?
There are a lot of consumers that have tried to infuse their own cigars which can work or can go very wrong. First, you do not want to dip the cigar in what you want that cigar to be infused with. For example we will use bourbon as an example. Take your choice of bourbon and pour about half into a glass, then take a container with a top that can securely seal the glass and the cigar inside. Then take a cigar, might be a Blue Line, a Defender or a United Classic and place the cigar inside the container with the glass of bourbon. Secure the lid and let the cigar absorb the flavors of the bourbon for about a month, yes a month. Now if you don't want to use these cigars because you like them so much try an Odyssey Connecticut or Odyssey Full, this cigar is low cost and for the first time you might want to use a a cigar that is inexpensive. After the process is complete remove the cigar from the container and smell it, does it have the flavor you want? Does it need to absorb more? You might need to place the cigar back into the container and let the absorption continue for a couple more weeks. When you are complete taste the cigar, don't cut the cap yet, just place it in your mouth and puff it like your going to smoke it, this is called a cold draw, usually done with a cut cap but for this we want to leave the cap in place. If you are satisfied with your experiment you can now cut and light the cigar. This can be done with other liquids such as coffee, scotch or and other flavored drinks you want your cigar to taste like.
So we covered the difference between flavored and infused cigars, we hope all your questions were answered if not leave us a comment and we can add the content or question to a later post. Remember, absorption is the only similarity besides the flavors being sprayed or directly absorbed. There are many ways you the consumer can do this on your own or just purchase these cigars. Frontline Cigars does carry a wide range of flavored and infused cigars, here is the link. For a recommendation, you may be new to smoking infused or flavored cigars we would recommend the Isla del sol or the Macanudo M if you like coffee. If not, the Deadwood tobacco brand made by Drew Estate are also infused along with the most popular cigar the Acid by Drew Estate. The link for all the infused or flavored cigars is right below. We hope you enjoyed this article and hope you find a cigar on our website that fits your pallet as we are always here to help you pick something out we think you will enjoy.