Cuban “Twang”


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I've never really understood the use of this word. I rarely get tangy/tart/sour notes in Cuban cigars, and definitely not to the degree that I would consider it emblematic.

The flavors that I most equate with Cubans are more in the realm of earth/bread/baking spices...but that's just me. Of course, I probably have the palate of a junkyard dog lol3.gif

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Mineral/earthiness that it slightly sour and a salty.

Twang is that salty/sour/citrus/tobacco flavor that is a characteristic of many Cuban cigars and which I have not found in many NC cigars. I love it. Sometimes it's subtle and very light and high, som

It tastes like plume. All cuban cigars have plume. Manure and plume. The best way I can tell is that the Cubans tend to be more plugged.

Capital* biggrin.pngbiggrin.pngbiggrin.png

Got it - thanks! My typos today are horrible! Tore the Opponens Pollicis in my left hand am plunking away with two fingers! Not doing a very good job, either. ok.gif

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Twang is that salty/sour/citrus/tobacco flavor that is a characteristic of many Cuban cigars and which I have not found in many NC cigars. I love it. Sometimes it's subtle and very light and high, sometimes it is deeper, more like grapefruit than lime. I find the deeper twang in the Partagas D4 for example. The marcas I find have the most intense twang are Partagas, La Gloria Cubana, and H. Upmann.

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Thanks to all for their thoughts on the term, and the inclusion of the thread from 2011 was very helpful as well.

So here is my follow up question if indeed "twang" or for those outside the U.S. "terroir" makes Cubans discernible from NCs does that mean if I gave 10 members 10 cigars, 5 CCs and 5 NCs, they would be able to clearly identify the CCs?

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Thanks to all for their thoughts on the term, and the inclusion of the thread from 2011 was very helpful as well.

So here is my follow up question if indeed "twang" or for those outside the U.S. "terroir" makes Cubans discernible from NCs does that mean if I gave 10 members 10 cigars, 5 CCs and 5 NCs, they would be able to clearly identify the CCs?

Since your close to me I'll take you up on that challenge. Let me know when you want my addy!

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For me, "twang" shows up on the retrohale only, and is a sour/sweet/metallic flavor (almost more of a sensation, kind of like pressing a 9volt against your tongue, but with a touch of sugar on the terminals). The cigars I find to have this flavor in the greatest abundance are HdM EEs and LGCs, but it may be that these are among the lightest cigars I smoke (maybe my palate just isn't refined enough to detect these flavor in a bolder blend).

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Its like Heaven. You try to describe it. An hour later, you're still explaining.

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We're only the slightest conversational tangent away from discussing "Cubanesque", at this point. smile.png

I'll put us on a heading toward that road.

I heard this term about ten years ago when I started smoking CCs more often. Lately however I have had some NC blends from Tat and Don Pepin which were really close to getting it. I've had a few I would swear smoked blind could be a CC. I've never claimed to have a refined palate per se, but I believe the people who are involved in the whole process from leaf selection to final rolling can make you taste almost any flavor they want you to taste. Some of them are like master chefs with the ability to mix ratios of certain tobaccos to get a taste to come forth. It would be interesting to know what guys like Hamlet and Hirochi Robaina think of this subject. What "twang" means to them.

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I have little doubt it could be adequately explained to them if the hypothetical opportunity arose.

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  • 2 years later...

This is inspired by a reddit post of all things.

Guy was somewhat of newbie cigar wise. Only had had non Cubans before. He was having his second or third cuban ever.

He says that someone came from the other room saying: "Hey, you're smoking a cuban aren't you?" 

He couldn't believe that someone could easily identify cuban cigars by smell alone. I told him that cuban tobacco had a particular aroma and taste that is very distinctive, and that with very little experience, one can easily pick Cubans from NonCubans from a lineup.

But I had a damn hard time describing what it was. The Cuban twang as it is sometimes call. It's easy to distinguish, but hard to describe.

So how would YOU describe it? Especially if you were describing it to an exclusively NC smoker. Or even better, to a pipe smoker. 

Let's see what you feel it is.

 

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24 minutes ago, ponfed said:

He says that someone came from the other room saying: "Hey, you're smoking a cuban aren't you?" 

 

I personally don't think this shows anything about that person being able to tell from the smell of the smoke.  Nobody is coming up to me and saying "hey, are you smoking a Nicaraguan cigar?"...it's always Cuban this, Cuban that.

That being said, I don't think I could tell a Cuban from a non-Cuban from second-hand smoke from another room.

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10 minutes ago, mt1 said:

I personally don't think this shows anything about that person being able to tell from the smell of the smoke.  Nobody is coming up to me and saying "hey, are you smoking a Nicaraguan cigar?"...it's always Cuban this, Cuban that.

That being said, I don't think I could tell a Cuban from a non-Cuban from second-hand smoke from another room.

I'm just relating the story as it has been told.

I do indeed think there is some exaggeration there. The hype of Cubans especially in the US cigar world is distorting for sure

But I do definitely believe that it's fairly easy to pick out a Cuban by taste and smell alone.

As far as the fact that nobody is asking about your Nicaraguan cigar... well I know that I personally haven't smoked enough NCs to individually identify their origin, so I can't speak on the distinctiveness of a Dominican vs an Ecuadorian vs a Nicaraguan. 

But a big factor might be the relative paucity of puros in the NC world.

Mixed origin abound and there is more different cigars in some producers catalog than there are marcas in Cuba.

Harder to pinpoint tobaccos geographic characteristics.

 

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9 minutes ago, ponfed said:

I'm just relating the story as it has been told.

I do indeed think there is some exaggeration there. The hype of Cubans especially in the US cigar world is distorting for sure

But I do definitely believe that it's fairly easy to pick out a Cuban by taste and smell alone.

As far as the fact that nobody is asking about your Nicaraguan cigar... well I know that I personally haven't smoked enough NCs to individually identify their origin, so I can't speak on the distinctiveness of a Dominican vs an Ecuadorian vs a Nicaraguan. 

But a big factor might be the relative paucity of puros in the NC world.

Mixed origin abound and there is more different cigars in some producers catalog than there are marcas in Cuba.

Harder to pinpoint tobaccos geographic characteristics.

 

Apologies, please don't take my post as any sort of attack or comment on you personally, I was just saying it's possibly just an offhand comment someone made.  I think I personally can tell a Cuban by taste (and maybe paired with smell) but on smell alone from the room next door? I don't think I can be 100% sure, but in my part of the world, nobody is smoking non-Cubans so I guess I can be right every time.

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I’ve always wondered what people meant by Cuban twang. For me Cuban cigars are distinctive for a bread flavor, slightly sweet—almost citrus. It’s most noticeable on the cold draw, and immediately after lighting.

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A scientific description, if one were even possible, might include something about the twang coming from the unique combination of copper and nickel rich minerals unique to the Cuban soil. I am sure that has a lot to do with it, but I am also sure a lot of us, me included, feel it is a lot more than that. As for describing that twang as a flavour component, well, I don't think I can. I've never been very good at coming up with comparative flavours, and the Cuban twang really is a unique thing to me, missing from NC's, even the ones that some say have it.

 

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