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"As concerns tobacco, there are many superstitions. And the chiefest is this—that there is a standard governing the matter, whereas there is nothing of the kind. Each man's preference is the only standard for him, the only one which can command him. A congress of all the tobacco-lovers in the world could not elect a standard which would be binding upon you or me, or would even influence us."
-- Mark Twain, Concerning Tobacco (1893)
If a cigar is under-filled, constructed by skimping on the number of leaves in the filler, it will draw easily. Some consider an easy draw to be a benefit, but the ultra-easy draw will be offset by hot burning and harshness. In an under-filled cigar, there are too many air pockets, causing a fast burn and a hot smoke.
If a cigar is over-filled, it will be hard to draw, sometimes impossible (termed "plugged"). A hard-to-draw cigar gives a much lower volume of smoke, resulting in less taste and aroma and a lot of frustration.
You can use the best, most expensive tobacco in the world, put together by the most creative and knowledgeable blenders, but if the cigar is not constructed properly, none of the intrinsic quality of that tobacco can be brought home to the smoker.
Many smokers, new and experienced alike, often confuse concepts of body and flavor. Most smokers use these two primary components to define a cigar's character:
Body - also referred to as profile or intensity, primarily by the descriptive term full, medium, or light.
Flavor - the actual taste of the cigar.
The ring gauge of the cigar will give you a general indication of how full the body is. The larger the ring size, generally, the fuller, smoother, cooler, and slower the smoke will be.
Ultimately, experience will be your guide. When selecting a cigar, personal taste, occasion, and size should all be considered.
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