Cigar 101

Cigar 101

This page will outline some of the basic steps to choosing, cutting, lighting, and finishing your cigar.

Choosing a Cigar: First- to choose your cigar depends on the time of day, how many cigars you plan on smoking that day, and your own personal tolerance. To begin, if it is the morning time, you will likely want to pick out a milder cigar. This does not always mean the lightest-colored cigar, and if you do not know what type of cigar is considered mild, you should ask your tobacconist. Also, if you plan on smoking more than one cigar that day, you should definitely pick out a milder cigar first because you do not want to burn your palate before enjoying your remaining cigars for the day. Lastly, if you do not have a good tolerance for strong cigars, you should pick a mild-medium cigar. Again, your local tobacconist can best show you which cigar (or cigars) would be best for you.

Cutting a Cigar: Once you have chosen a cigar, you need to cut the cigar. Too often I see people cut off a half-inch, or even an entire inch, off the top of their cigars. There is absolutely no need for this. You only need to cut off the very “tip” of the cigar to the point where you have just enough of an opening for the smoke to flow through. Any cut much more than that and you could ruin the cigar.

Lighting a Cigar: After you have cut the cigar, now you need to light the cigar. Typically, I prefer a soft-flame to a torch. Using a soft-flame, I “toast” the foot by holding the flame against the foot of the cigar while slowly rotating the cigar. Once the foot has been heated up for a bit, you should begin to draw on the other end of the cigar while still holding the flame to the foot. When you notice you are able to draw a good amount of smoke from the cigar and the foot glows when you draw in smoke, that is when the cigar is lit.

Finishing a Cigar: Lastly, probably my biggest pet peeve is how people put out their cigars. Note: YOU DO NOT NEED TO JAM THE CIGAR INTO THE ASHTRAY WHEN FINISHED WITH THE CIGAR. In fact, the cigar will stay lit longer when you jam it into the cigar over and over again than when you simply place the cigar in the ashtray and allow it to cool off on its own.