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The Art of Cigar Blending with Michael Giannini: Blending Inspiration (video)

Michael Giannini of La Gloria Cubana and Foundry Cigars is known for his unique approach to cigar blending. In this video he explains what he looks for with each of his blends.


So when I’m blending, part of my philosophy is there are only five things you can taste, sweet, sour, salt, bitter, and umami. And umami, they’re still working on, it’s about me flavors. But when I’m blending cigars for a specific project, I’m always looking, one, for a very unique and different tobacco; two, I’m trying to hit all five of those things that I mentioned. And the reason that is because the greatest meals you’ve ever had in your life is about hitting all parts of your palate and actually getting the chef to be able to taste every piece of component that he put in there. And that’s how I think about it when I’m blending.

I want the Ligero from Nicaragua. I want the Allures or whatever fillers that we’re using, the binder, and also the wrapper. And all those fillers and binder and wrapper all to be in balance and also that you could taste each component of what we’re trying to create with the blend. What I love about that is in balance I can hit your whole palate. To me, that’s when you truly enjoy a cigar. So I get asked a lot of questions about, “Hey, man, is this mild, medium, or full bodied?” My honest answer is I really don’t know what that means. What I translate that into is are you looking for something that has a lot of flavor. Does it hit those five components, sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami?