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Cigar Tasting Tips with Rick Rodriguez of CAO (Video)

There’s no real wrong way to smoke a cigar, but as Rick Rodriguez of CAO explains, there are some tips and tricks out there to help you enjoy the flavor of your cigars a little more. In this brief video Rick demonstrates some tasting techniques that will help you get the most out of your favorite smokes.


Hey guys. I’m Rick Rodriguez, the Head Blender for CAO. I get asked, “How do I smoke a cigar?” and “How do I receive more flavor from my cigar?” or “What do I look as far as flavors?” There are a couple of lessons to be learned, but for me, the longer you are able to keep the cigar smoke in your mouth, the more flavor you’re going to receive from that cigar.

Sometimes, you guys, when we’re smoking, we tend to just draw and release. Like this. You can get some flavor, but what I think is sometimes we release that smoke too quickly. An old cigar guy in the factory taught me, “Do you ever chew your cigar smoke?” I said, “Chew my cigar smoke? What do you mean?” He said, “Ricky, you need to, when you receive that smoke in your mouth, keep it there a little bit longer and rotate that cigar smoke in your mouth. I tend to chew that smoke and really rotate that cigar flavor in my mouth and then release it.”

So he taught me to draw and really rotate that tobacco flavor in my mouth, that smoke in my mouth. Chewing allows that cigar smoke to touch different sides of your palate and it really enhances the flavor of that cigar. We’re typical Americans and we want everything very fast, but when you’re smoking cigars, you need to take your time and relax. Enjoy the moment. So, if you can, every five or six intakes, chew your tobacco, rotate that smoke in your mouth and then release that smoke. You’ll be amazed at how much more flavor you’re going to get or receive from your cigar.

Don’t be embarrassed, there’s a lot of things that we can get away with while smoking a cigar that typically you can’t. So if you want to chew and you want to make that funny face, do that, because every cigar guy that really truly understands cigar smoking will realize what you’re doing. They’re not going to make fun of you. So enjoy your cigar, smoke it in the right way and get that flavor that we want you to receive through that cigar.