Here are five fast rules to not looking like a total cigar newbie
1. Size Matters: Selecting a cigar size is counter-intuitive. Cigars with a narrower ring gauge are actually stronger than cigars with a larger ring gauge. The trick here is the tobacco-to-air ratio. Bigger ring gauge cigars are normally mellower than smaller ring gauge cigars. So if you are a newbie to this experience, a larger cigar will normally be a bit milder
2. Lighting: Don’t worry about matches or cedar spills or any of that here. You will most likely be using a lighter (torch or soft flame, the same rule applies). You want to use the HEAT from the flame to light your cigar. DO NOT shove the foot of your cigar deep into the middle of the flame. You are not doing welding here guys–just light the cigar. Bonus: toast the foot of the cigar lightly prior to lighting; it actually makes it easier and will light more evenly.
3. Cutting: You need to cut the “cap” off the cigar. That’s the end closest to the cigar band. The rule of thumb here is less is more. It’s better to cut too little of the cap than cut too much off and risk damaging the cigar’s delicate wrapper. So remember, “just the tip”.
4. Rhythm: Good cigars are 100% natural and thus won’t stay lit without you smoking it. There is a balance here– smoke too slow, the cigar will go out. Smoke too fast the cherry (the lit part) will overheat and be harsh and acrid. Pick a medium pace or rhythm, and you’ll be fine. You will notice the newbie relighting their cigar over and over again. You can just smirk to yourself quietly.
5. Finished: When you are finally finished with the cigar, do NOT grind or snuff the cigar out. Mashing the cigar out in an ashtray will create a harsh odor that isn’t pleasant for you and the others around you. Premium cigars are all natural and will go out on their own naturally, within a few minutes. Just place the cigar in the ashtray and nature will take its course.
Words by @purorogers
Photos by @zirbmaa