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Stogie Commentary: A Test of Taste

29 Nov 2007

The next time you snicker at someone recounting some exotic taste he encountered in a cigar, consider this: There are apples that taste like roses. Others are reminiscent of popcorn or fennel, while some gave forth the aroma of tin or cat urine. And there were lots of other flavors recounted by food writer Harold McGee, who recently was able to munch a vast array of fruit.

Tobacco PlantMcGee, in a New York Times column, described many of the apples he tried at a U.S. Agriculture Department facility that maintains “the world’s most extensive collection of apple varieties and relatives.” He also spoke to scientists involved in experiments on apples for new tastes.

Now I like apples as much as the next guy, but it was the varied flavors McGee described that really grabbed my attention. He explained that some apples contain the cis-rose that creates the smell of roses, while other chemicals created different aromas in others.

So, is it really a stretch that some cigars may have a taste of, say, licorice? If apples can contain anise, there’s no reason to think it couldn’t be found in some tobacco strains. They’re all plants.

My point is the next time you’re rolling a mouthful of smoke around your tongue and you think you detect something new, don’t be surprised. Just keep your fingers crossed that it isn’t cat urine.

George E

photo credit: Flickr

Drew Estate

3 Responses to “Stogie Commentary: A Test of Taste”

  1. Anderson Friday, November 30, 2007 at 4:34 am #

    In your series on bargain smokes, George, did you ever come across a cigar that tastes like feline pee? I hope for your sake you didn't…

  2. Cigar Jack Friday, November 30, 2007 at 9:35 am #

    @Anderson: Just thinking I might stumble across that flavor has me trembling in fear of any bargain cigars, thanks! LOL

    I've had a few cigars where I've stumbled across the anise or licorice flavor. Lately I've had a couple that made me think of Buttered Popcorn.

  3. George E Friday, November 30, 2007 at 4:57 pm #

    I have had some pretty foul tasting cigars, but so far I've been spared cat urine!