Cigar Glossary

Every art, science, game and hobby has its vocabulary.  You know – the cool words that make you sound in the know and part of the scene.

But there’s more to talking the talk than trying to sound impressive.  If you’re serious about cigars and cigar culture, you need to be able to communicate clearly in order to make sure you get what you want.

So here are some important terms and terminology for you to master.  


Amatista—A glass jar usually containing 50 cigars (sometimes 25), sealed and sold “factory fresh

Band— A ring of paper wrapped around the closed head of most cigars, often bearing the name of the brand, country of origin, and/or indication that the cigar is hand-rolled.

Barrel – The body of a cigar.

Binder leaves – the intermediate leaves that hold the leaves of the filler tobacco together.

Blend— The mixture of different types of tobacco in a cigar, including up to five types of filler leaves, a binder leaf and an outer wrapper. 

Bloom – A harmless white film caused by tobacco oils rising to the surface of the cigar wrapper.  Usually indicates a strong taste.  

Bouquet—Used to describe the smell of a fine cigar and, of course fine wine, but strangely not the smell of a fine bunch of flowers.   

Bunch – The intermediate cluster of filler tobacco in a cigar.

Cap – The small flag of wrapper leaf and vegetable gum-based glue that a cigar roller uses to seal the head of a cigar. 

Chaveta – The knife used in a cigar factory for cutting the wrapper leaf. 

Cigarillos – Thin, three-inch cigars, popular in Europe, generally machine-made, and often with homogenized wrappers. 

Credo – A humidification device that CHEMCIALLY regulates the environment of a humidor.  Now a generic term, Credo was the brand name of a manufacturer of PG-based humidification devices for humidors.    

Draw – The amount of air that gets pulled through a lit cigar. 

Flag Leaves –  Used instead of a cap. Flags are sometimes tied off in a pigtail or a curly head.  

Hot – A cigar draw that is too easy, often because it has been under-filled during rolling.

Inhale – The big No-No of cigar smoking.  Do you inhale?  Don’t’!

Long Filler – The bunch of tobacco found at the center of the cigar, which contains the whole leaf running from head to foot.  (See also Short Filler)

Foot – The end of the cigar that you light. 

Head – The end of the cigar that you put into your mouth. (see Cap)

Humidor – A cigar storage box with controlled humidity.  Humidor is most likely used for wooden boxes with unfinished interiors.  (See also Igloodor and Tupperdor)  

Hygrometer – A device to measure relative humidity (no good humidor should be without one).

Igloodor – An insulated storage container for cigars, usually somewhat large.

Long Filler – Tobacco leaf that is long enough to run the entire length of a cigar’s bunch. 

Piercer – Used to cut/pierce a small hole in the end of a cigar (also called a ‘lance’)

Plugged – A cigar draw that is too tight,  (A little massaging of the cigar may relieve a plugged draw)

Propylene Glycol (PG) – Employed in the humidification of tobacco products.  

Ring Gauge – The diameter of a cigar’s barrel, expressed in 64ths of an inch.  A half-inch cigar would be a 32 ring. (32/64) 

S.A (Sociedad Anonyma). – The Spanish-language equivalent of Incorporated – Inc. that is likely to appear on any box of cigars

Short Filler – The bunch of tobacco found at the center of the cigar comprised of scraps of tobacco sometimes the trimmings of long filler. (See Long Filler)

Shoulder – Where the head of the cigar meets the barrel. 

Tobacco Beetle – Hopefully not found in your humidor. Unfortunately, the Tobacco Beetle does not discern between your expensive and inexpensive cigars – it will go after anything  – often destroying your humidors entire contents.

Tunneling—The uneven burning of a cigar

Tupperdor – An airtight plastic container used for storing cigars.  

  • Vuelta Abajo— A valley in Cuba that arguably produces the best cigar tobacco in the world. 

Wrapper – A leaf of (usually) high quality tobacco wound around the center of the cigar.  The wrapper leaf is chosen for its texture, veining, elasticity and complexion.