The Ultimate Guide to Cigar Body, Strength & Flavour

Cigars can vary in body, strength and flavour, and it can be hard to know which is right for you. Whether you’re a seasoned cigar smoker or a beginner, knowing the difference in strength and body of cigars will help you find the type that you enjoy most.

What is the difference between cigar strength and cigar body?

Body and strength have strong correlations because tobacco leaves with the most nicotine are also the most flavourful. Therefore, it’s typical that when describing a cigar’s strength and body, the same descriptors are used – mild, medium and full. 

Strength refers to the nicotine content, and the body is a reflection of the depth and fullness of the cigar. 

What makes a cigar mild or strong?

When talking about strength, a mild cigar would have lower nicotine content than a strong cigar. In terms of the body, a mild cigar is similar to a light beer compared to a strong ale. It generally works out that the higher the tobacco content, the stronger the body.

Cigars vary wildly in terms of strength. Some people prefer the strong taste and kick of a full-bodied cigar, while others go for a mild yet satisfying smoke. Strength does not indicate the flavour of a cigar; a mild cigar can have just as much of a flavour profile as a full-bodied cigar. 

Is a darker cigar stronger?

In general, the darker the colour of tobacco, the stronger the flavour might be. This is because darker tobacco leaves have spent a long time on the tobacco plant, allowing it to mature and become stronger. However, just because the outside of a cigar is darker, the filling may not be.

What is a mild cigar and who are they best for?

A mild cigar is best for a beginner or transitioning cigarette smoker as they are well-balanced in terms of flavour and smoothness. However, you don’t have to be a beginner to appreciate a mild cigar. A mild cigar can display just as much complexity and richness as a strong cigar. There are also times when a mild cigar makes more sense than a strong one, for example, when you’re out in the sun, and a strong cigar could make you feel light-headed. 

What is a medium cigar and who are they best for?

Medium-bodied cigars are arguably the most popular type of cigar. Medium cigars are the perfect compromise for those looking for something less strong than a full-bodied cigar but a bit more impactful than a mild cigar. Medium cigars pair well with various cocktails and alcoholic drinks but can also be enjoyed earlier in the day. The medium cigar is all about balance. 

What is a full-bodied cigar and who are they best for?

A full-bodied cigar is the cigar aficionado’s cigar of choice. It’s big on flavour, as well as nicotine content. Full-bodied cigars are also referred to as bold and should only be enjoyed by people who have smoked cigars before. Full-bodied cigars pack a powerful punch and are often enjoyed after a meal. When smoking stronger cigars, remember to pace yourself to smoke and enjoy it slowly. Full-bodied cigars also pair well with stronger drinks like whiskey and coffee, which help to balance the intensity of the cigar.

Many fantastic cigar brands create flavourful and complex cigars regardless of strength and body. Even seasoned cigar smokers can enjoy a mild or medium cigar, depending on the occasion. Full-bodied cigars should be enjoyed by smokers who are accustomed to the stronger kick of a more nicotine-heavy cigar.