The Process of Creating A Cigar Blend: Part 1

Brandon Hayes
Cigar Blending Title


Let’s take a first look into the blending thought process. In the coming weeks, we will phone some legendary cigar makers for their take on the process.  For me, a blend starts with tobacco selection.  I start by considering what flavors I am looking to achieve in the cigar. I start thinking about what tobaccos (varietals and growing region) that deliver the desired flavors I have in mind.

For example: If I am looking to make a cigar that has a spicy component, I would look at tobaccos from Esteli, Nicaragua.  If I want to balance that with a more creamy and sweeter tobacco I may look at a tobacco from Jalapa, Nicaragua. If I wanted to add a nutty component, I may choose a Corojo from Honduras.

I smoke each tobacco independently to see what flavors they deliver. I also make notes as to what part of the palate the tobacco stimulates (You can read more about this here).  After I have my notes on each tobacco I am working with, I can start putting the pieces of the puzzle together. A sophisticated blend should hit each part of the palate. This can be a difficult balancing act, trying to ensure one tobacco doesn’t overpower the other.

I start with combining two tobaccos that I have selected and see how they compliment one another. Ultimately tobaccos that add value to the others are chosen. This process is repeated over and over again as you add additional tobaccos to the mix. This helps create a multi-dimensional blend with layers of flavor and palate stimulation. We can also take a deeper look at how primings and strength play a role in this process, but we will save that for future educational series.  

Stay tuned for next week, when we talk with Matt Booth from Room101.

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