Welcome to Bespoke Unit’s Cigar Glossary.
Below you will find more than 100+ cigar terms including industry lingo and technical terminology, as well as in-depth cigar resources for further reading.
How To Use The Cigar Glossary
Find A Term: Click on any letter in the “Alphabet Key” below to jump to a list of cigar terms that begin with that particular letter.
Learn A New Term: You may come across a new word or phrase while reading a definition. Click on any word or phrase that is linked for a full definition.
Explore Cigar Topics: Many terms include a “Learn More” section after the definition with a link to an in-depth resource or guide on that topic.
A more complex technique of rolling cigars by folding the leaves like an accordion known also as the Entubar method in Cuba.
A specific location in a cigar factory where rolled cigars are aged properly.
Rarely seen today, amatistas are sealed glass jars that contain 25 to 50 cigars.
American Market Selection
A byproduct from tobacco fermentation. In large quantities the chemical is undesirable as it taints the flavour with an overwhelming unpleasant and bitter taste.
An unstandardised unit of measurement for fermented tobacco.
A paper ring that wraps around the cigar. They often feature the brand and are largely decorative. However, it has been suggested that they were introduced to hold the cigar together or even to prevent nicotine stains when holding the cigar.
Learn More: Parts Of A Cigar [Diagram]
Spanish for “Binder”.
A specific Figurado vitola with a short taper.
A tough and elastic tobacco leaf that holds the filler tobacco in place.
Learn More: Parts Of A Cigar [Binder]
The process of mixing various types of tobacco leaves in order to create a distinctive taste.
Easily mistaken for mould, bloom appears as a white powder on the surface of a cigar. This desirable trait is caused by tobacco oils crystallising on the surface of a cigar during a long ageing process.
A method of rolling cigars where the leaves are laid one on top of another.
The odor produced by a collection of aromas.
Box Pressed Cigars
These are cigars that are tightly packed into a box, which causes them to develop a square shape.
Brother Of The Leaf (BOTL)
Internet slang for a cigar enthusiast often employed in forums and social networks.
An alternative to wooden boxes where cigars are distributed in cellophane wrapping in order to reduce costs.
Learn More: Cigar Wrappers [Candela]
A faulty cigar where one side burns faster than the other. The resulting shape resembles a canoe.
Spanish for Binder sometimes referred to as the Capa.
An aromatic wood from Spain or Asia often used for making and lining cigar boxes due to its ability to absorb moisture.
A cheaply-made cigar.
A cigar vitola that is around 7 inches long named after the famous British Prime Minister.
Learn More: Cigar Shapes & Sizes [Churchill]
A short and thin machine-made cigar.
A particularly pale cigar wrapper often grown in the shade.
Learn More: Cigar Wrapper Colours [Claro]
A small wooden box made to carry a single cigar.
A medium-brown coloured cigar, which is among the most common.
Learn More: Cigar Wrapper Colours [Colorado]
A Cuban seed mostly made famous by the Camacho brand.
The most classic cigar vitola that is just over 5 inches long.
Learn More: Cigar Sizes [Corona]
Three Panatela cigars braided together, which is named after the Spanish word for “Snake”.
Learn More: Cigar Shapes [Culebra]
A process that takes place directly after cultivation where leaves are hung in a barn to remove moisture before fermentation. Depending on the time allocated, the leaves will change colour from greens and yellow to darker hues of brown.
A very large cigar vitola also known as the Prominente in Cuba. Favoured by Winston Churchill, they are larger than Coronas but not twice as much.
Learn More: Cigar Sizes [Double Corona]
The process of sucking smoke through a lit cigar. The draw can vary in handmade cigars and can risk being too tight or too loose, which affects the burning temperature.
A process where the air is sucked through an unlit cigar after cutting in order to taste its aromas.
The tobacco leaves inside a cigar that produces the smoke and majority of the cigar’s flavours.
Wrapper leaf that is used for capping cigars. A small piece of flag leaf should be kept on a cigar when cutting to prevent it from unraveling during the smoke.
The lighting end of a cigar.
Also known as the Double Toro, Gordos are large and thick cigars whose name means “Fat” in Spanish.
Learn More: Cigar Sizes [Gordo]
Learn More: Cigar Sizes [Gordito]
One of the largest cigar sizes also known as the “Presidente” in Cuba. They come in over a whopping 9 inches with around a 47 ring gauge.
Learn More: Types Of Cigar Cutters [Guillotine]
A term used to signify a cigar made solely from Cuban tobacco.
The Cuban state-owned distributor of their native cigars.
The end of the cigar that’s put in the mouth. It is often capped and requires clipping before doing so.
Learn More: Parts Of A Cigar [Diagram]
Hecho A Mano
Spanish for “made by hand” often labelled on hand-rolled cigars.
Scraps of tobacco that have been bound together into a sheet using cellulose.
The Republic of Honduras is among the leading so-called “New World” cigar-growing nations. It shares its borders with Nicaragua, which produces comparable quality cigars.
La Casa del Habano
A cigar store that is part-owned by Habanos S.A. and an officially-recognised producer.
A cigar size that is similar to a Panatela but somewhat longer.
Learn More: Cigar Sizes [Lancero]
Someone who would read to the other cigar rollers in the factory. Although a dying practice, it can still be found in some locations.
The strongest basic priming from a tobacco plant, which is found at the highest point.
Filler tobacco made from whole leaves or larger pieces that run through its entire length. The presence of long filler often suggests that the cigar was handmade.
Also known as the Cervantes in Cuba, the Lonsdale was named after an English lord. It is slightly longer and thicker than a Panatela.
Learn More: Cigar Sizes [Lonsdale]
When a cigar is referred to as “machine-made” it means that it was rolled using a device rather than by hand.
The smallest and most potent leaves found at the top of the tobacco plant’s Ligero.
Learn More: Parts Of A Tobacco Plant [Diagram]
When a cigar is stored in an environment that’s too humid, it will develop mould, which will ruin the tobacco.
Small burning holes that appear under the cigar’s ember along the wrapper.
Famed for its potent tobacco in Estelí, Nicaragua is a New-World cigar country in Central America similar to its neighbouring Honduras.
A well-cured and aged cigar stored in prime conditions will feature a glistening sheen on the wrapper. These natural oils produce the best flavours and is a highly-desirable trait.
A long and thin vitola that was often considered a cigar ideal for women. Although its popularity waned, it has experienced a resurgence of late.
Learn More: Cigar Sizes [Panatela]
A type of Figurado vitola that features a bulge in the centre and is pointed on each end.
One of the smallest cigar vitolas that is around 5 inches long. For those seeking a more affordable yet premium cigar, it’s an ideal option.
The Spanish term for a “pyramid” cigar. This is a type of Figurado that tapers all the way down the body.
Learn More: Types of Figurado Cigars [Pirámede]
A tobacco plant features several layers that are cultivated one after another from the bottom upwards. These are known as “primings”.
See Double Corona.
A special liquid used as an alternative to water for maintaining the humidity in a humidor.
A Spanish term used to suggest a cigar has only been made using the tobacco of a single country. For example, all Cuban cigars are traditionally Puros.
A cigar’s diameter measured by 64ths of an inch or millimetres.
Learn More: How Are Cigars Measured?
Now perceived as the most popular cigar size, a Robusto is typically a 5×50 cigar that provides a short but full smoke.
The art of assembling a cigar by bunching and rolling the tobacco leaves together.
An unpleasant phenomenon where small parts of the wrapper burn unevenly during smoking.
Small leaves found at the base of the tobacco plant. They’re rarely used and often discarded to improve growth.
Learn More: Types Of Cigar Cutters [Scissors]
The layer of leaves just above the Volado on the tobacco plant. They’re thin and large with little strength but with some intoxicating aromas.
Learn More: Parts Of A Tobacco Plant [Seco]
Some tobacco leaves are grown under cheesecloth tents, which makes them thinner and less potent in flavour. Connecticut shade is one of the most famous examples of this technique.
This consists of small pieces of tobacco used to fill a machine-made cigar.
Sister Of The Leaf [SOTL]
The feminine variant of Brother Of The Leaf [BOTL] that’s growing in popularity and employed on social networks and forums.
An annoying occurrence when the cigar’s ash begins to split on the stack.
Ash that remains at the end of the cigar when burning rather than falling off. A stack is a desirable aspect that improve the smoking temperature and indicates a quality-made cigar.
The act of trying to keep a long ash, or “stack,” on your cigar for as long as possible. Some smokers will compete by trying to smoke an entire cigar without losing any ash.
The Spanish name given to cheesecloth tents for growing tobacco in the shade.
Small beetles that can burrow inside cigars and leaf holes and traces in their wake. A single beetle can ruin the entire contents of a humidor.
Learn More: Cigar Sizes [Toro]
Cigars that are supplied in metallic tubes for safe transport and easy storage.
A type of burning issue where the interior of the cigar burns faster than the outside.
A part of the tobacco leaf that is sometimes visible in cigars. Traditionally, pronounced veins are seen as unattractive and indicative of rushed curing. However, it is sometimes an intentional feature of some cigars.
Learn More: Cigar Vitolas
One of the lowest cultivated layers on the tobacco plant. These particular leaves are large and thin. However, they are almost flavourless whilst offering excellent combustion.