We’ve all seen movies or TV shows where the characters are smoking cigars in some sort of swanky lounge or private club, but it can seem a bit intimidating if you’re new to cigar smoking. Don’t worry; while there is etiquette to follow and tricks of the trade, the basics of cigar smoking are not difficult to master. By the end of this guide, you’ll be a cigar-smoking aficionado! We’ll go over the basics of choosing, readying, lighting, and finally, smoking your cigar.
Selecting a Cigar
The first step in a successful cigar-smoking experience is selecting a cigar. Depending on your tastes, you can choose from a wide array of shapes, wrappers, and sizes. Beginners should look for mild smokes or cigars with a Connecticut Shade wrapper. Many cigar shops and online retailers offer sampler packs so that you can get a variety of blends in one neat package. When selecting a cigar, always make sure the cigar is firm and free of imperfections.
Cuts to a Cigar
Now that you’ve selected your cigar, it’s time to prepare it for smoking. The first step is to cut the cigar. Cigar cutters come in two main types: straight and V-Cut. Straight cutters were the first type, and they cleanly cut the head of the cigar in one straight line. V-Cut cutters, as the name implies, cut a ‘V’ shape in the head of the cigar. They resemble a punch but are much more precise and less intrusive, allowing for a fuller smoking experience.
Lighting a Cigar
And finally, it’s time to light your cigar. You have a variety of options here, including matches and lighters. The traditional option is to use a long, wooden match, allowing you to light the end without singeing your fingers. If you don’t have a match, a dupont lighter will work perfectly. Whichever you choose, make sure the flame is even and consistent. Hold the cigar at a slight angle, and rotate it as you light it to avoid hot spots.
Toasting and Lighting
When you have your flame source ready, it’s time to toast the foot of your cigar. Place the end of the cigar near the flame, but not directly in it. Begin rotating the cigar until you’ve achieved an even char.
Once the cigar has been toasted, it’s time to light it. Take a few puffs, but be careful not to draw too quickly. This will ensure an even burn and avoid overheating the tobacco. Once your cigar is lit and producing a steady stream of smoke, the fun can begin!
Drawing and Exhaling
When it comes to cigar smoking, it’s all about mastering the draw. Too hard, and you’ll draw too much smoke and burn your throat. Too soft, and you’ll get an uneven burn and not get the full flavor out of the cigar. Ideally, you’ll puff on the cigar every few seconds to keep it burning and to keep an even draw
When exhaling, blow the smoke away from your face and others around you. This is a basic courtesy that all cigar smokers adhere to, so be mindful of it.
Enjoying and Savoring
Now, you’ve reached the final step in the smoking process: enjoying the flavor of your cigar. As you puff your cigar, take note of the flavors that come through. Every cigar has its own unique taste, so pay attention and try to pick up on the nuances of each smoke.
Getting the most out of a cigar-smoking experience requires some knowledge, but once you have the basics down, it’s easy to progress to more advanced smoking techniques. Mastering the art of cigar smoking isn’t as complicated as it may seem at first, but it can certainly be a rewarding experience. With a little bit of practice and patience, you can be sure to make the most out of your cigar-smoking sessions.