The cigar you choose, the manner you cut it, light it, smoke it and above all which taste are your choice alone. However, in order to enjoy your cigar even more we would like to offer some practical advice.
There are four out of five senses necessary in order to choose out a cigar, or all five if you believe, as some do, that you become wiser by holding the cigar beside your ear and gently rolling it between your fingers.
The wrapper needs to be a feast for the eyes. You may have a preference for a light Claro colour or perhaps a dark Maduro. In any case, the colour needs to be uniform and there should be a shine to the wrapper. Don’t worry if there is a white or green spot on the wrapper. This is a natural occurrence, only a slight imperfection, which has long ago originated at the harvest and drying stage. Neither have any influence on the quality of the cigar
Gently squeeze the cigar between your index finger and thumb to test the condition. It needs to feel firm yet also slightly springy.
Enjoy the aromas of ripened leaves that the case emits – a foretaste of the enjoyment yet to come. The taste can only be judged through smoking – which creates quite a challenge in choice as you come to realise that you can choose from hundreds of different types and brands.
Newcomers are advised to start with the smaller variety. We advise these smokers to first try a vitola, such as a mareva, which you should find with virtually any brand.
Begin with a brand which has a milder flavour profile. For more experienced smokers time is the deciding factor in choice. Dont forget that a longfiller has been composed so that the taste intensity will increase during smoking.
It is a shame to set aside a cigar before it has had a chance to show you its true nature. Therefore choose a vitola for which you have the time.
You need to cut just above the point where the cap and the wrapper meet. (for a figurado this would be about 3mm from the cap).
The purpose is simple. You need to make an opening which is wide enough to guarantee a good draw and at the same time save enough of the cap so the wrapper does not come loose.
There are multiple accessoires which are suited for this. The most popular means is the cigar cutter with one or two blades. As an alternative special scissors can be used, beside a punch cutter or cigar drill with a circular blade. The latter removes a portion of the cap while keeping the form of the cigar intact yet is unable to remove a pointed end.
V-cutters are not reccomended as they can tear the cap. Neither should you drill through the cap with a match or cocktail stick, this causes the filler to compress and deteriorates the draw. You are better off not removing the band as it can cause the wrapper to come loose.
To light a cigar there are two important factors.
The first is to light your cigar with an odourless flame. Always use a gas-lighter, a match or a taper of cedar-wood. Never use a petrollighter or a candle as the aroma will enter the cigar.
The second is to take your time and be thorough. There is nothing which takes away the enjoyment of a cigar faster than the thin smoke you obtain when the cigar is not lit properly.
Here follows a small ritual to help you light the cigar correctly every time.
- Hold the cigar to the flame at a 90 degree angle and rotate it so that the whole surface of the foot glows evenly.
- Place the cigar between your lips and while holding the flame at a small 1cm distance, draw until it ignites. While still turning the cigar.
- Softly blow on the lit foot to check that the cigar is burning evenly.
A cigar needs to be smoked slowly. Smoke calmly and take small draws so that the cigar does not become too hot which would ruin the taste.
Cigarsmoke should never be inhaled like with a cigarette. Let the smoke circulate in your mouth and affect your tastebuds.
Relax yourself and enjoy the suble tastes and aromas of the tobacco in the blend.
If the cigar goes out, you can relight it. Make sure to first remove any ash so that the cigar is easier to light.
You can smoke the cigar for more than three quarters of its length. Don’t preoccupy yourself too much with the length and fate of the ash-cone. It is not done to nervously tap at the ash like with a cigarette. Let the ash fall when the time is ripe, in an ashtray of course.
If the tragic time has come to bid your cigar farewell do not push it out in the ash tray. Rest it calmly in the tray where it will extingush in its own time.