We do a lot of reviews on the site thanks to the generous members who take the time to post their opinions and experiences about various cigars. We took the time to come up with a fairly comprehensive list of cigar flavors we have enjoyed (or not.) That list is found below.
I thought I would take the time to describe some process around tasting cigars. I'm sure it is not complete, but it should be a decent guide to help members get started in both tasting cigar flavors and describing them. The thing to remember is that whether you are tasting anything such as wine, beer, coffee, or cigars, it will take practice over time of smoking various cigars as well as concentration.
Another key fact to keep in mind is that taste is very subjective and many people will taste things differently. Some people will also have the ability to taste broader ranges of flavors than others. So one person's description of flavor can, and likely will, vary from another person. That's why its helpful to be able to read multiple reviews of a cigar to help gather a general sense of a cigar's characteristics.
A taste is tied to your memory of things you have tasted in foods and aromas of things you have smelled previously. Taste is very much tied to your sense of smell. It is not uncommon to describe the flavor in terms of things you have smelled. Leather is a great example used to describe cigars in this manner. While most people have probably not tasted leather, you have likely experienced the pleasant smell of a fresh leather jacket or leather car seats. In smoking cigars leather is a very common term used in describing the taste of a cigar.
Because of the strong connection between the sense of taste and the sense of smell, a common way to distinguish flavors of a cigar is to exhale through the nose. Your olfactory senses along with the taste receptors in your mouth will help derive more flavors in the smoke and wrapper. That's not to say you should exhale all smoke through the nose all the time, but exhale a little smoke through the nose as well as exhaling through the mouth. Exhale slowly and let the smoke roll around your tongue to hit the various taste receptors.
The more you smoke and concentrate on flavors, the better you will get at discerning the various flavors over time. Practice makes perfect!
Following is a list of flavor descriptors as described and categorized by members of Cigar Geeks. This should get you started on trying to experience flavors. Think about this list as you are smoking and see which ones are more appropriate to the cigar you are enjoying.