Cigar smoking is a true art that requires no less skill than cigar making. In order to appreciate the flavor and aroma of a cigar and get a unique pleasure, it is recommended to strictly follow some unspoken rules.
Inspection and quality control
Remember, even the most famous brands cigars can contain defects. So pay attention to the appearance of your chosen one. Its color should not be unnecessarily dull, otherwise it may be overdry due to improper storage. There should be no stains or mold on the surface, no holes that are caused by bugs. Take the cigar in your hands, the surface should be supple and firm. Gently palpate it to check the quality of the twist. The content should be homogeneous, then the combustion is light and even. Press the foot of the cigar, it should gently and quickly regain its shape. Twist the stick gently between your fingers, if all is well, you will hear a faint crackle. This means the cigar is stored at the correct temperature and humidity level. If the sound is too loud, then the cigar is too dry, if, on the contrary, you won’t hear anything at all, perhaps the storage room has high humidity, and this is fraught with the development of mold and the appearance of pests. Read more on the blog about cigar humidors.
After completing your tasting you will want to get rid of the cigar. Remember, this is not a cigarette that you put out once, put out, and you’re done. You leave the stick on the edge of the ashtray and it burns itself out, only after that you remove the remains of cold ashes. Otherwise, the whole room will be filled with a not very pleasant smell of smoke.
A tough choice
It is difficult for a beginner to decide on the choice of his first cigar on his own. Tobacco stores have a huge selection of goods brought from different countries. Cigars differ in appearance – shape, size, color, not to mention taste, strength and aroma. But as you know, cigars are like wine, and you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy a good glass. The best place to start is to ask a friend who smokes cigars for advice. If there isn’t one, a salesman can help you make the right choice. Just do not hide the fact that you are a beginner. Cigars come in strong, medium strength and weak. It is best to start by buying a soft, hand-rolled vitola. Connoisseurs recommend to choose classical, rather voluminous formats robusto, corona. Thin miniature cigars though they have a low strength, during the tasting they create a hot smoke, so it will be difficult for you to catch the nuances of the aromatic bouquet and to feel their flavor in full. And don’t chase the brand and the price. Luxury models have a depth and complexity of flavor, which you have not yet grown to appreciate. It is better to buy mid-price products of a classic popular brand.
Remove the label or not
The cigar label is a decorative element, a mark of distinction for the brand, and helps identify the brand. Many smokers remove it when they start a tasting. But while the vitola has not yet been lit and is in its cold state, this is quite a difficult process, and it can cause the wrapper to tear. We suggest you remove the paper ring carefully after lighting it, when the first third has been smoked.
Once the tasting is complete, you will want to dispose of the cigar. Remember, this is not a cigar that is once, put out, and done. You leave the stick on the edge of the ashtray and it burns itself out, only after that you remove the remains of cold ashes. Otherwise, the whole room will be filled with a not very pleasant smell of smoke.
Cigar smoking etiquette
Cigar etiquette involves the observance of a number of rules, the most important of which can be called without exaggeration attention to the cigar. The cigar will not tolerate any haste. If you have decided to smoke a cigar, find at least half an hour of free time to give it to a whimsical and noble cigar filled with exotic and bright flavors.
So, if you happen to have an excellent cigar in your hands, take your time to improvise. Follow a few simple steps to enjoy the proper process of smoking it.
- Before you smoke it, first carefully cut off the tip of the cigar with a special device called a cigar cutter (also called cigar cutter or cigar cutter guillotine). Of course you can use a regular knife, scissors, an awl or finally your own teeth, but you will only ruin an expensive cigar. The cutter blades should be sharp enough to do their job on the first try and not to damage the cover sheet. The cutting line should be a few millimeters from the tip.
- Never use a gasoline lighter, this is a sure way to kill the delicate flavor of the tobacco. Its leaves are very easily susceptible to odors and will instantly absorb the heavy smell of gasoline. Smoke from candles, paper, and cheap cardboard matches has the same unpleasant effect.
- Light your cigar slowly. First, bring the cigar to the fire at right angles and rotate it around its axis until it smolders equally on all sides. Then, while clasping the cigar with your lips, gently sip it at a close distance from the fire. Finally, make sure the cigar burns evenly by lightly puffing on the lit tip.
- Every cigar, regardless of size or strength, is crafted by the master for the enjoyment of the smoking process. Take your time, relax, smoke slowly, enjoy the subtle aroma and rich flavor. Unlike cigarettes, cigars should not be inhaled.
- When finished, do not extinguish the cigar, just put it in an ashtray, it will go out by itself. If a cigar suddenly went out while smoking, light it again before it had time to cool, otherwise you can throw it away immediately.
- Traditionally, cigars are combined with noble strong drinks: whiskey, rum, cognac… You can choose any one you like. The most important thing is that the flavors of the cigar and the drink should not overpower each other, but create a sophisticated combination. If you don’t drink alcohol, a cup of freshly brewed black coffee will nicely complement your smoking.
If you follow these simple rules, you will give yourself many minutes of pleasant rest and luxurious pleasure! Slowly sipping a cigar smoke and enjoying the exceptional taste, there is no need to rush anywhere. Use this time to think and mentally solve the problems of the day. Only in this case you will fully appreciate all the subtleties of cigar-smoking skill.