How to smoke a cigar

Cigar Lounge Essentials

  • Xikar Silver Trezo Lighter ($70)
  • Xikar Cigar Cutter ($27)
  • Partagas Serie E No. 2 Cigar ($14.50)
  • Eames Lounge Chair ($4,935+)
  • Derek Rose Smoking Jacket ($700)

Finally, what’s a cigar lounge without the essentials? Just a room if you ask us. That’s why if you’re going to do this right, might as well have the right gear to keep you comfortable during the nightly cigar smoking ritual. A lounge chair is necessary, and of course, a smoking jacket is imperative too. Also, a box Cuban cigars wouldn’t hurt either, now that they’re legal. Add in a triple jet flame lighter and granite grey cigar cutter with stainless steel blades in the mix and you have a recipe for an evening well spent. Now all you need is to update that bar cart with some after dinner spirits.

Cigars are large rolls of tobacco that are wrapped in a tobacco leaf.

Cigarillos are longer, slimmer versions of the typical large cigars. Cigarillos do not usually have a filter, but sometimes have wood or plastic tips.

Little cigars look like cigarettes. They also have a filter like cigarettes. But, instead of being wrapped in white paper, they are wrapped in processed tobacco that looks like brown paper.

Both little cigars and cigarillos come in a variety of flavours that can make them more appealing.

Cigars and cigarillos are not less harmful than cigarettes. Consider the pros and cons below and YOU be the judge.

PROS

  • Cigars are sometimes seen as a symbol of luxury and success.2
  • Cigars, little cigars, and cigarillos are often smoked with friends and in many cultures, to celebrate a special occasion.3
  • Some people may choose to smoke cigars, little cigars, and cigarillos because they burn slower, have ‘fun’ flavours that hide the harsh taste of tobacco, or they cost less than cigarettes.3

CONS

Cigars, little cigars, and cigarillos…

  • have more cancer-causing substances, tar and other toxins4 because of the way the tobacco is processed (cigar tobacco is cured and fermented). = higher rates of lung cancer, coronary heart disease and lung disease among cigar smokers compared to those who do not smoke cigars.6
  • contain more nicotine (this gets you hooked even after just a few puffs) and higher levels of carbon monoxide, especially in the smoke formed just by lighting one up.5
  • directly expose toxins to smokers’ lips, mouth, tongue, throat, and voice box and these toxins can also be swallowed with saliva, inhaled or not.6
  • cause gums to pull away from teeth leading to tooth loss and other oral diseases.3

Note: It may be cheap and it may be fun, and that’s the industry’s agenda. All just part of the marketing tactic to make it appealing and easy for youth and young adults to try them and to make you think they are less harmful than cigarettes. The industry also keeps the prices low to get you hooked young. The younger you start, the more money they get! #customersforlife. Sneaky.

Don’t believe us? See what others are saying:

  1. Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey, 2012
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). Cigars, Smoking and Tobacco Use. Retrieved September 2, 2016 from http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/tobacco_industry/cigars/
  3. Yates, E. A., Dubray, J., Schwartz, R., Kirst, M., Lacombe-Duncan, A., Suwal, J., & Hatcher, J. (2014). Patterns of cigarillo use among Canadian young adults in two urban settings. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 105 (1): e11-e14.
  4. National Cancer Institute. (2010). Cigar Smoking and Cancer. Retrieved April 21, 2015 from http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/causes-prevention/risk/tobacco/cigarsfact-sheet
  5. American Cancer Society. (2014). How Are Cigars Different from Cigarettes? Retrieved April 22, 2015 from http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/tobaccocancer/cigarsmoking/cigar-smoking-cigars-vs-cigarettes
  6. National Cancer Institute. (1998). Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph 9: Cigars: Health Effects and Trends. Retrieved July 20, 2015 from http://www.cancercontrol.cancer.gov/tcrb/monographs/9/index.html

Cutting the Cigar

This is something all men who smoke cigars should know how to do.  It does not involve:

  • scissors
  • Swiss Army knife knock-offs
  • your own teeth

Especially not your teeth!

In most cases, the best cutting option is straight cut. Use a single bladed cigar cutter to chop off the head in one motion and leave the wrapper intact.

Stackhouse Guillotine Cutter Price:

Cut the cap on the ‘head’ (that’s the end you smoke — the end you light is called the ‘foot’) to create enough of an opening to smoke it comfortably while not distorting the shape of the cigar.

Lighting the Cigar

Go with a butane torch lighter. It might not look as cool as when guys in the movies use a match. But it’s the best bet, especially for beginners.

Vertigo Excalibur Lighter Price:

Avoid cigarette lighters. The cigar can take on the taste of the lighter fluid, mucking up the flavor of your cherished first smoke.

Smoking the Cigar

A cigar is so much more than a simple cigarette. Smoking one is not about getting a tobacco fix. This is a way to enjoy the company of friends and relax.

Hold the smoke in your mouth, enjoy it, and then blow it out. While smoking, slowly rotate the cigar to get an even burn.

Experienced smokers: Do not take a drag off it like you would a cigarette – and do not inhale. If you inhale, you run the risk of coughing out a lung or blowing chunks.

As for basic cigar smoking etiquette…

  • Don’t light up your cigar with someone else’s.
  • Cigars are not supposed to be shared. Don’t ask your friend to try a puff of his cigar.
  • Never blow cigar smoke in someone’s face.
  • Cigar smoke can be unpleasant for non-smokers — always make sure the people around you are comfortable with the smoke.
  • Don’t stub your cigar out like you would a cigarette when you’re done. Just lay it down in the ashtray and allow it to go out on its own.
  • While it’s up for debate, etiquette dictates removing the band when you start smoking. Since this general rule is very rarely followed, it’s really up to you if you want to leave it on.

Setting Up Your Humidor

You’ll need a thermometer to put inside your humidor, as well as a digital hygrometer — that’s an instrument that measures humidity. That way you always know if your humidor is working at its ideal settings. Try to keep the humidity between 68% and 72% and temperature at about 65-70° F.

To get your humidor up and running, you’ll need to complete a few steps.

  1. Prepare your humidifier. It’s the device inside the humidor that keeps the interior humidity level stable. Depending on your specific model, you’ll probably need to fill it with distilled water or propylene glycol. Make sure to follow the instructions.
  2. Wipe down the inside and let it dry. Use distilled water and wait until it’s totally dry, usually about an hour.
  3. Place a small glass of distilled water inside the humidor. Put your hygrometer and thermometer in there as well.
  4. Wait 48 hours. Keep an eye on the glass so it never goes totally empty. Add more as the interior walls of the humidor absorb the water.

You’re all set! Watch the humidity level for a few days to make sure it’s stable.

For longer-term humidification, you’ll need these little jars of activator beads; just add water and the beads will slowly release moisture as needed to maintain that 65-70% humidity!

The Short List

Best Cigar for Beginners: Nat Sherman Sterling Series

An approachable, balanced, and affordable cigar with fantastic construction. A prime example of the pleasant nuance of a Connecticut wrapper.Tasting Notes: Connecticut wrappers impart a creamy, buttery flavor, with notes of cocoa, wood, and toasted bread. This cigar in particular is the perfect pairing with a cup of coffee.Filler: DominicanBinder: DominicanWrapper: Ecuadorian-grown ConnecticutPrice: $132+, box of 10

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Best Cigar for the Money: Davidoff White Label Short Perfecto

The quality of the tobacco here is extremely high, and it’s a benchmark of construction. It’s smaller than other Davidoff cigars, meaning it won’t won’t break the bank, and it is an excellent example of a mild-bodied cigar that’s still rich and complex.Tasting Notes: Starts with hay and buttery smoke, transitioning into earthiness and even a touch of pepper spice in its final third.Filler: Dominican RepublicBinder: Dominican RepublicWrapper: Ecuadorian-grown ConnecticutPrice: $18+

Best Cigar for Special Occasions: Illusione Epernay

This box-pressed cigar was designed to cater to the European profile — it’s milder than many Americans prefer — and it was named for the famous Champagne region. Just like a bottle of bubbly, it might be best saved for special celebratory moments.Tasting Notes: Distinct floral notes give way to honey, coffee and cedar.Binder: NicaraguaFiller: NicaraguaWrapper: Corojo, NicaraguaPrice: $230+, box of 25

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Cigar Terms to Know

Wrapper: The single leaf that literally wraps the outside of the cigar. It imparts around 60 percent of the cigar’s final flavors. Its flavors have to do with its country of origin, the way it’s grown (in the sun or shaded) and the type of tobacco plant. Different examples include Connecticut, maduro, claro and oscuro.

Filler: The innermost leaves rolled within a cigar, almost always a blend of different types of leaves.

Binder: The tobacco that helps hold a cigar together. It must be the strongest leaf in a cigar, but also imparts flavor.

Ring Gauge: The diameter of a cigar, measured by sixty-fourths of an inch. The bigger the ring gauge, the bigger the diameter.

Head/Cap: The end of a cigar that is cut and put in your mouth. Make sure not to cut off the entire cap, which will unravel the wrapper.

Foot: The end of a cigar that is lit. Smell this end before lighting to get a whiff of all the tobacco inside.

Strength and Body: Are not the same. The strength of a cigar has to do with how powerfully its nicotine affects the smoker; the body has to do with the impact of the cigar’s flavors in the mouth, its mouthfeel, and its overall richness.

A cigar’s wrapper imparts around 60 percent of the cigar’s final flavors. Its flavors have to do with its country of origin, the way it’s grown (in the sun or shaded), and the type of tobacco plant.

How to Smoke a Cigar

Step 1: Cut the cigar.

“Before you light it, you’ve got to cut it. The trick with a cut is when you look at any cigar, any shape, you can see where the roller has rolled an extra cap line between the wrapper of the cigar and head of the cigar. When you cut, you want to cut just above that line. You’re only removing the cap. You’re not cutting into the wrapper. If you cut into the wrapper, i.e. you cut a little too much off of the top, it will start to unravel and fall apart in your mouth. There are several different kinds of cuts: A straight cut is the classic way to do it.” — Pierre Rogers

Step 2. Toast the foot.

“[Use] a match or a butane lighter. You want to use the heat, not the flame. You want the cigar to be a quarter inch to an inch above the flame, and you want to toast the foot of that cigar. Rotate the cigar and toast. You should be literally toasting it. Browning just the edges, just barely. Don’t get any char or flame on the wrapper. — Pierre Rogers

Step 3: Draw and rotate.

“Once it’s evenly toasted, still using just the heat, draw and rotate. That should only take a moment to light it if you’ve properly toasted it, since the cigar is primed to make that happen. The different types of tobacco in there are meant to be smoked in a linear fashion; you don’t want a third of the bottom to be lit, because then you’re only tasting that one piece, and destroying the profile. Another obvious but overlooked tip: when using a match to light, let the head burn off, and only use the stick of wood to light the cigar. Allow the sulfur head to dissipate, because you don’t want to pull any of that into the cigar.” — Pierre Rogers

Step 4: Keep the cherry cool.

“One of my tips about maximizing the enjoyment of any cigar, cheap or expensive, new or old, is to keep the cherry cooler. You do that by taking long, slow, easy draws on the cigar. Don’t take short pulls where you heat up that cherry. That’s a way to create acidity, acridness, and a burnt carbon taste. — Pierre Rogers

Step 5: Taste the cigar.

“Allow the smoke to come into your palate from the tip of your tongue, front to back and side to side. You don’t want to push all that smoke out too rapidly. Just gently exhale the smoke. Obviously, with cigars, you’re not inhaling. It’s just for the flavor. So think about how that flavor hits your tongue. Start with the basic ones. Is it salty? Sweet? Bitter? Sour? Those are basics. We tend to all agree on those things. — Pierre Rogers

Step 6: Ash the Cigar

“The best way to do it is a light touch on the bottashtray ash tray, and roll the cigar to let the ash fall off. The real reason you do it is to control the temperature of the cherry, the lit part. You want to keep it well lit but cool. There’s a perfect ratio. If you don’t smoke your cigar fast enough, because there are no additives in a cigar, it’ll go out. The cherry gets too cool. However if you start puffing away on it, and the cherry becomes really bright, it becomes bitter and acrid, and you don’t want that. So there’s this balance that you’re always trying to strike between keeping your cherry fully lit but as cool as possible.” — Pierre Rogers

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Best Mild Cigars

“A mild cigar is similar to a great cup of coffee with a touch of half and half in it,” Rogers says. “It’s warm and rich, but it’s also soft and very approachable.” According to him, the best examples come from the Dominican Republic; they also tend to have a Connecticut wrapper, which is golden and light in color. “The flavor tends to be very subtle and soft,” Rogers says. “No sharp edges, no bitterness. Something that on a fresh palate with nothing in your stomach you can really enjoy, and it won’t disrupt your day. That’s what a great mild cigar is to me.”

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Nat Sherman Sterling Series

Most Approachable Mild Cigar: An approachable, balanced, and affordable cigar with fantastic construction. “They do a great job with all the finesse that goes into it — the branding, packaging, and the nuance of the cigar itself — and at a very reasonable price point,” Rogers says. It’s a prime example of the pleasant nuance of a Connecticut wrapper.Tasting Notes: Connecticut wrappers impart a creamy, buttery flavor, with notes of cocoa, wood, and toasted bread. This cigar in particular is the perfect pairing with a cup of coffee.Filler: DominicanBinder: DominicanWrapper: Ecuadorian-grown ConnecticutPrice: $132+, box of 10

Davidoff White Label Short Perfecto

Best Short Smoke: “Davidoff is the Mercedes-Benz of cigars,” Rogers says. That means high quality — at a high price. The quality of the tobacco inside is extremely high, and it’s a benchmark of construction. But this smaller cigar won’t break the bank, and it is an excellent example of a mild-bodied cigar that’s still rich and complex.Tasting Notes: It starts with hay and buttery smoke, transitioning into earthiness and even a touch of pepper spice in its final third.Filler: Dominican RepublicBinder: Dominican RepublicWrapper: Ecuadorian-grown ConnecticutPrice: $18+

Foundation Highclere Castle

Best Mild Yet Complex Blend: Nicholas Melillo, the founder of Foundation Cigar Company, hails from “the great state of Connecticut.” That means he has a great appreciation for the light-colored wrapper that bears the Connecticut name, and the creamy smoke it produces. The Highclere Castle uses Nicaraguan filler and Brazilian binder to add complexity to the mild flavors.Tasting Notes: Creamy, with pepper, citrus, and leather.Filler: NicaraguaBinder: BrazilWrapper: Ecuadorian-grown ConnecticutPrice: $216+, box of 20

Best Medium Cigars

An increase in the body of the cigar has a lot to do with with how its smoke feels in your mouth. “Is there an oiliness there? A richness?” Rogers asks. “Wine people call it mouthfeel, and it’s no different with cigars.” Medium cigars are what most people end up smoking — they’re a great middle ground. “It provides enough strength that can be paired nicely with everything from a coffee to a bourbon. Flavors tend to be richer, the mouthfeel warmer and oilier. The smoke tends to be denser and richer,” Rogers says.

Illusione Epernay

Best Box-Pressed Cigar: “This is a fantastic box pressed cigar,” Rogers says, indicating its squared-off shape from quite literally being pressed into a box. It was designed to cater to the favored European profile — milder than Americans prefer — and named for the famous Champagne region. And just like a bottle of bubbly, it might be best saved for special celebratory moments.Tasting Notes: Distinct floral notes give way to honey, coffee and cedar.Binder: NicaraguaFiller: NicaraguaWrapper: Corojo, NicaraguaPrice: $230+, box of 25

Tatuaje Tattoo Series

Best Spicy Cigar: Founder Pete Johnson and master blender Don ‘Pepin’ Garcia are well respected for making cigars that consistently receive high scores from reviewers. The secret may be “Cuban-esque” flavors, stemming from Cuban-seed Nicaraguan-grown tobacco.Tasting Notes: More spice and pepper than other medium-bodied cigars, though it also features cocoa, sweet cream and cedar notes.Binder: NicaraguaFiller: NicaraguaWrapper: Habano, EcuadorPrice: $146+, box of 50

Camacho BG Meyer Gigantes

Best Big Stick: Part of a bolder series of cigars made by Camacho, the Gigantes is a play on the 6-inch by 54-inch cigar format, with a large ring gauge. But bigger cigars aren’t necessarily more intense: a larger size means more airflow and less density of the tobacco.Tasting Notes: Grassy and earthy, with subtle spice, mocha, woodiness, and a berry sweetness.Binder: BrazilFiller: Nicaragua, Dominican RepublicWrapper: Habano,Price: $33+, pack of five

Padron 1926 Series

Best Mellow Smoke: Padron is a beloved cigar-making institution, founded by Jose Orlando Padron, a Cuban refugee living in Miami, in 1964. The 1926 series is their most limited, and the natural wrapper version (as opposed to the darker, pungent maduro) is a mellow, smooth smoke.Tasting Notes: Caramel sweetness, a cedar-y tang, and notes of black and cayenne pepper.Binder: NicaraguaFiller: NicaraguaWrapper: Natural, NicaraguaPrice: $56+, pack of four

Ashton ESG

Most Balanced Smoke: While Ashton is generally thought of as an entry-level cigar, the ESG (Estate Sun Grown) jacks up the price tag. “Because of that high cost, it doesn’t get fair press,” Rogers says. Its sun-grown wrapper (as opposed to the more common shade-grown) creates a more oily, pungent leaf.Tasting Notes: Oily nuts, leather, earth and cedar, with a light, creamy smoke.Binder: Dominican RepublicFiller: Dominican RepublicWrapper: Sun-grown, Dominican RepublicPrice: $20+

Best Full-Bodied Cigars

Full-bodied cigars can go in a few different directions, particularly, becoming spicy. “You can have a few different kinds of spice,” Rogers says. “A white pepper, black pepper, or even a cayenne pepper.” Those larger flavors can hold their own against a steak dinner or a peaty Scotch. “But the key here remains balance. Strength is not flavor. When you smoke that cigar, you want the palate to be full of flavor. Rich, complex. That’s what makes a great full cigar — not the strength,” Rogers says.

Arturo Fuente Anejo

Best Cognac Barrel-Aged Cigar: In 1998, the OpusX’s downfall was to cigar smokers’ benefit: After Hurricane Georges created a shortage of wrapper tobacco, the brand switched to Connecticut broadleaf maduro wrapper aged in Cognac barrels, and the Anejo was born. The OpusX returned, of course, but the Anejo stuck around, treasured for the sweetness that wrapper layered atop the spicy, robust binder and filler.Tasting Notes: Cognac, oily sweetness, butter and nuts.Binder: Dominican RepublicFiller: Dominican RepublicWrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf aged in Cognac barrels, AmericaPrice: $10+

Padron Series 3000 Maduro

Best Maduro Cigar: Padron grows its own maduro wrappers rather than sourcing them, then wraps them around long-aged Nicaraguan binder and filler. The result is one of the most balanced full-bodied cigars around.Tasting Notes: A “barnyard” earthiness that gives way to cocoa sweetness and oily nuttiness.Binder: NicaraguaFiller: NicaraguaWrapper: NicaraguaPrice: $7+

Ashton VSG

Best Affordable Full-Bodied Cigar: This is Rogers’s pick for an affordable, full-bodied cigar, with plenty of flavor and solid construction despite Ashton’s entry-level price. Its bold flavors are thanks in part to a sun-grown Ecuadorian wrapper that’s oily and rich.Tasting Notes: Cedar, espresso, and dark chocolate.Binder: Dominican RepublicFiller: Dominican RepublicWrapper: Sun-grown, EcuadorPrice: $12+

Fuente Fuente OpusX

Best Collector’s Cigar: When it was released in 1995, the OpusX proved that Dominican-grown, Cuban-seed tobacco could be the best in the industry. Ever since its release, it’s been considered one of the best full-bodied cigars on the market, and is a collector’s favorite.Tasting Notes: Cayenne pepper and leather.Binder: Dominican RepublicFiller: Dominican RepublicWrapper: Dominican RepublicPrice: $13+

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CigarsJFKTHE HISTORY OF CIGAR SMOKING

It’s easy to say that Christopher Columbus discovered cigars. However, like America, cigars were around way before Columbus supposedly discovered them. Instead, it’d be more accurate to say he simply helped introduce cigars to mainstream culture.

Truthfully, the famous explorer and his sailors witnessed local natives in the Caribbean rolling up and smoking dried up tobacco leaves, which were foreign to the explorers at the time. They enjoyed smoking these primitive cigars so much that they loaded up on the substance and returned to Spain. Soon enough, cigar-rolling techniques were perfected, and cigar smoking spread throughout the world.

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Eventually, cigar smoking became a wildly popular activity among men in the early 20th century. Masculine men such as Babe Ruth and John Wayne were continually depicted in the media smoking cigars. Orson Welles intentionally wrote cigar-smoking characters into his films, and it’s said that Mark Twain smoked as little as 22 cigars a day. He was supposedly quoted as saying, “If smoking is not allowed in Heaven, I shall not go.”

Over time, cigars became Cuba’s main export, and we all know how that worked out. Because of Fidel Castro and the impending Cuban Missile Crisis, John F. Kennedy authorized a trade embargo with Cuba in 1962, making Cuban cigars illegal in the United States. However, Kennedy, the sly cigar lover, had his press secretary order 1,200 hand rolled Cuban cigars just hours before the embargo was authorized. Cuban cigars are still illegal in America today…so don’t buy them.

CigarsHandRolledHAND-ROLLED VS. MACHINE MADE

The method by which they are made is the easiest way to categorize cigars since there are only two groups: hand-rolled and machine made.

Hand-rolled cigars are the preferred choice for beginners and connoisseurs alike. Machine made cigars such as Dutch Masters may contain preservatives and chemicals whereas hand-rolled cigars are made with pure tobacco. The filler in hand-rolled cigars as well as the binder to hold the filler and the outer wrapper are all made from 100% tobacco leaves.

Additionally, cigar tobacco is grown in several places around the globe, but some of the highest quality tobacco Brazil, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Honduras. Generally speaking, tobacco in hand-rolled cigars tastes better than that of machine made cigars. Plus, who really wants to taste a grape flavored cigar anyway?

For more information on various types of cigars, check out Smoker’s Land.

CigarsShopGETTING STARTED

Hold on there. Before just jumping into cigar smoking, find a nice, mild cigar to start with. Some cigars may be a bit too strong for beginners and may ultimately ruin the entire experience. Mild-flavored cigars are also slightly cheaper, which may make it easier to ease into the hobby. You also won’t have to worry much about lighting an expensive cigar incorrectly or cutting off too much of the cap of an expensive cigar.

Once you’ve decided on your cigar, inspect it for any imperfections. Check the wrapper for cracks or discolorations, and search for any hard or soft spots by gently squeezing the cigar. Soft spots may indicate your cigar has less tobacco in it than you’re going to want. Hard spots may indicate that the cigar has been packed too tightly and may result in a plugged cigar, making it hard to smoke. Although many seasoned cigar enthusiasts would rather replace the plugged cigar, massaging the plugged cigar to get rid of the plug can sometimes alleviate this issue.

CigarsHumidorHUMIDORS

Initially, we wouldn’t recommend heading out and purchasing a humidor immediately, as you may still be easing into the art of cigar smoking. Just don’t buy more cigars than you can smoke within a few days, and keep them safe in their cellophane packaging or a Tupperware container to prevent them from drying out. A dried out cigar burns quicker, loses its flavor and will peel or crack more easily.

However, if you plan on committing to this age-old past time, a humidor is a must. A humidor is a box-like piece of furniture, or even an entire room, that optimizes the humidity surrounding your cigars. Essentially, humidors keep your cigars fresh and worthy of smoking for an extended period of time.

However, a decent humidor can cost between $50 and $200 or more. If this is too steep for your budget, some tobacco shops sell humi-pouches, plastic bags with a humidified lining. These pouches are available in a variety of sizes and can keep your cigars fresh for up to 90 days.

CigarsCutterCUTTING YOUR CIGAR

If you don’t have a cigar cutter, biting the cigar with your teeth should be the absolute last thought on your mind. Using scissors or a sharp knife will work better, or you could just poke a hole in the end of the cigar. This will provide an acceptable passageway between the tobacco and your mouth without unraveling the cigar or getting bits of tobacco in your mouth.

That being said, buy a cigar cutter. This is the easiest way to provide the best smoking experience. There are a lot of different styles of cutters and ways to cut your cigar, but we’re going to simply recommend using a straight cut on your cigars with a guillotine cutter, the most common way to cut your cigars.

Holding your cigar and your cutter in each hand, insert the head of the cigar – the closed end – roughly an eighth to a sixteenth of an inch into the cutter. Then, simply cut the cap off. Avoid cutting into the body of the cigar, as it will cause your cigar to unravel.

CheapHumidors.com has a fairly in-depth infographic on different cigar cutters and how to use them.

CigarsLightingLIGHTING YOUR CIGAR

For the best cigar smoking experience, use butane lighters or wooden matches to light your cigar. Never use candles to light your cigar, especially scented ones. This can ruin the quality of your cigar. Also…a scented candle? Come on.

While lighting, without inhaling, puff and rotate your cigar while holding the flame just below the other end of your cigar. Be careful to not let your cigar actually touch the flame, let the heat from the flame to do all the work.

Continue this process until the tobacco around the outer rim your cigar begins to glow from the heat. The smoke should be easy to draw at this point, and you should be ready to enjoy your cigar. Keep the lighter or matches handy in case you accidentally let your cigar die out.

CigarsNicholsonENJOY!

Again, do not inhale the smoke. Trust us, you won’t like it. Allow the smoke to fill your mouth, taste it and blow it out. Continue to puff and rotate your cigar every once in a while. If you smoke it too fast, your cigar will burn fast and ruin the flavor. If you smoke it too slow, you’ll have to continually relight it. Flick the ashes once they’re down to about half an inch.

You may also want to choose a drink to accompany your cigar. Although we’ll always recommend whiskey – Scotch is the preferred whisky among cigar smokers – coffee drinks, martinis and Indian Pale Ales pair well with the full flavor of your cigar as well.

Once you’ve picked out your preferred cigar, pour your favorite drink and put on some relaxing music. You may find that, health problems aside, cigar smoking can be an extremely tranquil way to pass the time.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/47940731]

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