Cigars have been a known to build relationships, and celebrate events and milestones. Whether you’re a seasoned smoker or a beginner looking to explore the world of cigars, there’s no denying the allure of a hand-crafted cigar. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take a closer look at how to select, smoke, and enjoy a cigar like a true aficionado.
Selecting the Right Cigar
The first step in enjoying a cigar is selecting the right one for your tastes and preferences. With so many brands, shapes, and sizes to choose from, it can be overwhelming for a new smoker. However, with a little bit of knowledge and understanding, you can easily find the perfect cigar for you. Always ask your local tobacconist questions if you are ever in doubt as they can help guide you along the way.
Size and Shape
The size and shape of a cigar is an important factor to consider when selecting a cigar. Common sizes include Robusto, Churchill, Toro, and Corona. Each of these sizes comes with its own unique characteristics and smoking experience for every occasion and time commitment. Robusto cigars are medium sized with a shorter smoking time, while Churchill cigars are larger and offer a longer smoking time. Toro cigars can vary in size from medium to large, and many times are known for their well-balanced flavor. Lastly, Corona cigars are smaller but still offer an amazing experience that is enjoyed by many individuals.
Strength and Flavor
Strength and flavor are two factors to consider as well when selecting a cigar. When someone talks about the strength of a cigar, they are referring to the intensity of the nicotine in the cigar, and it is typically rated on a scale from mild to full. Mild cigars are great for beginners and those who prefer a lighter smoking experience, while full-strength cigars are recommended for more experienced smokers.
Brand and Origin
The brand and origin of a cigar can also be considered when selecting a cigar. Brands like RoMa Craft, Drew Estate, and Ashton each has their own unique history and reputation. As for the origin of the cigar, different regions and countries offer different growing conditions and climates that impact the flavor and experience. Make sure to ask your tobacconist to show you cigars from the Dominican, Nicaraguan, and other regions to taste the difference for yourself!
Preparing and Lighting Your Cigar
Once you’ve selected the cigar you want to enjoy, the next step is preparing and lighting it. This process influences the smoking experience, as it can impact the overall flavor and quality of the cigar.
Cutting Your Cigar
To prepare your cigar, you’ll need to cut the cap (the end you put in your mouth) off. A straight cut is commonly used as it provides a clean cut and allows the smoke to flow easily. Some smokers prefer to use a guillotine cutter, while others prefer a punch cutter or a V-cutter. Whichever method you choose, make sure the cut is clean and even to avoid damaging the cigar. See cutter examples HERE
Toasting and Lighting Your Cigar
After cutting your cigar, it’s time to light it. Toasting the foot (the end you light) of the cigar helps to evenly distribute the heat and prevent the cigar from burning unevenly. To toast the foot of your cigar, hold it above the flame and gently rotate it until the entire foot is evenly toasted. Then, place the cigar in your mouth and draw gently on the cigar while lighting it. Make sure to rotate the cigar as you continue to light. You can see examples of cigar lighters HERE
Once the cigar is lit, draw smoke into your mouth and enjoy the flavors you taste making sure not to inhale as the smoke from a cigar is meant to be enjoyed on the palate.
And Voila! You have properly selected, cut, and lit your cigar. Now it is time to relax and enjoy your smoking experience. Sit around with friends and enjoy the conversation.
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