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In 1984, food scientist Ann C. Noble created the world’s first ‘flavor wheel’. Her wheel focused on the terms wine connoisseurs use to describe the flavors they encounter during wine tastings. It was a big hit with the wine nuts, and soon spawned hundreds of variations for other products where taste and aroma were the key descriptive elements.
Whereas a color wheel contains all colors known to man, flavor wheels focus on specific products and the most common flavors associated with them. They don’t claim to describe every flavor under the sun, but can be helpful tools to visualize the ‘spectrum’ of taste. Besides wine, you can find flavor wheels for coffee, beer, whiskey, brandy, cheese, chocolate, and, of course, cigars.
The flavor wheel above is the most comprehensive I found, listing flavors such as “attic”, “pencil wood” and “feline musk” among the more standard tastes like “cocoa” and “coffee”. A much simpler wheel is out there, but that’s about all I found in terms of cigar flavor wheels. Well, except for the very tongue-in-cheek Moki’s Dogrocket Tasting Wheel.
There’s definitely room for improvement, and if any of our esteemed readers have some time on their hands I for one would love to see a new and improved cigar flavor wheel out there. It could be a great tool for cigar reviews and aficionados alike, giving us a huge stable of adjectives to fuel our descriptions.