Cigars can have a degree of sweetness one of two ways: through flavor infusing or through the natural flavors of the tobacco. Cigars that are infused (think rum or cognac dipped) will usually have their sweetness bolder and more upfront, because those are the flavors imparted by the infusion process.
However, it is not impossible to find a sweet cigar that is "natural," meaning no infusion whatsoever - and these kinds of sticks are what we are going to be focusing on today. The degree of sweetness one gets from a natural cigar is going to vary from person to person, so feel free to deviate somewhat from some of the recommendations on this list.
We are going to work from the outside in and start with a cigar's wrapper, as this is going to be one of the simpler ways to find sweetness in a cigar. Several types of wrappers from different areas of the world are known for sweetness in some form or another, most notable the Maduro, the Sumatra, and the Oscuro, sometimes called the Double Maduro or Maduro Maduro (these names can also reference different kinds of cigars all together).
These three kinds of wrappers have degrees of sweetness that is more than just a hint:
- Sumatra is going to be less sweet overall, but mildest on this list. Because Sumatra wrappers are so mild, they are used in a variety of cigars. These are usually popular with infused cigar makers because they are mild. They will also have a small tinge of spice and a slightly sweet finish.
- Maduro is next. If you've ever heard someone mention a "dessert cigar," they were probably talking about something wrapped in a Maduro. These leaves are aged and fermented for a number of years (how long will depend on maker, style, etc.) and it is this aging that will bring out the sweetness of the leaf. The tasting notes for some can be dark chocolate, caramel, molasses, brown sugar, etc.
- Oscuro is last because it is a Maduro leaf that has been aged for longer than a 'standard' Maduro. This will cause it to have sweetness similar to a Maduro, but also more body and bolder flavors, which may overpower some of the sweetness.
Cigars are more than just wrappers though, and different kinds of filler in unique combinations will also produce sweetness as well that might work with or against the wrapper leaves. The sweeter leaves come from Jamaica, Mexico, and some varieties from the Dominican Republic.
Keep in mind that nearly all cigars are made with a combination of filler leaves from different countries or regions of the same country. You are going to get roughly half of the stick's flavor from the wrapper and the other half from the filler, so keep that in mind as well. If you are looking for sweet that is really palatable, you might want to look for Maduro wrappers. These are also extremely popular, so finding them should not be exceedingly difficult.
Find that True “Sweet” Cigar Spot that Meets Your Stogie Smoking Needs
Overall, there are many ways that a cigar can be sweet if you will, without being infused with flavors or dipped in liquor flavor. The best types of sweet cigars can be those with 100% natural flavors that change and develop as the stick is smoked. Remember what you like, and if you have a relationship with your local smoke shop, consider asking for assistance whenever you think you might need it!