Each country's cigar production has its own taste and character. Cigars are made all over the world, with tobacco grown in different soils, cured by different processes, and rolled with different techniques, each element contributing to the taste and flavor of individual brands and types.
One of the biggest challenges facing cigar manufacturers is providing consistency in their blends; a feat almost impossible given all the variables that contribute to a finished product. The only agreements among makers seem to be that a wrapper has the greatest potential impact on overtones and undertones of taste, and filler (the heart of the cigar) determines overall strength or weakness (or fullness of body). As no two cigars taste exactly the same, adding a stronger tobacco one year and a weaker one the next to achieve the same balance creates the illusion of consistency; no such thing ever really exists.
Generally speaking, a binder, even one of relatively weak tobacco, will have some impact on the quality of the smoke, while the filler will determine overall strength; the wrapper will add a great deal of character, or not much at all, depending upon its condition, seed origin and type.
The aging process also contributes to taste and flavor although the impact on overall quality is considered less important. Although the aging process changes the taste of tobacco, it doesn. t affect its quality; in some countries, people smoke and enjoy younger tobaccos.
Conversely, the manufacturing process can have a dramatic effect on the taste, flavor and quality of a finished cigar. Here is where a beautifully made cigar of a modest blend can compare favorably or better than a fine blend used in an improperly made cigar.
While the experts may differ in their opinions of which element cause what effect, they all seem to agree on this. Taste is not acquired because we know the chemical analysis of the tobacco.
Its the romance in the encounter that makes a great cigar. Knowing some basics will add to experience. And yes, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.