Smoking cigars is a longstanding, deep-rooted art that gentlemen have indulged in for centuries. A proper cigar smoke is one of life’s finest pleasures.
If you haven’t tried it, or have only had an occasional Swisher Sweet when you were young, it’s time to learn how to smoke cigars the right way.
Let’s take a look.
Machine Rolled or Hand Rolled?
You can buy cigars both ways. However, of the two options, hand rolled cigars are the preferred choice for aficionados and beginners alike. Most machine rolled cigars will contain chemicals and additives that negatively impact the flavor of the cigar.
Hand rolled cigars are made from pure tobacco, a tobacco-based binder to hold them together, and tobacco wrapper.
After they are put together, they’re aged for many months. This gives them better quality and flavor than any machine rolled cigar.
As a beginner, your first rule is to look for quality hand rolled cigars. It’s best to begin with a mild brand when you’re first starting out.
Cutting Your First Cigar
The first step to your cigar experience is cutting it. You can find small guillotine-style cutters made specifically for cigar cutting. There are also cigar scissors available on the market.
Other cigar smokers use a V-cutter, sharp knife or even their teeth. But leave that last option to the experts for now.
A beginner should have the best tool available for cutting their first cigar. A guillotine-style cutter will give you the smoothest cut without destroying the cigar’s head.
Make your cut just past the shoulder, at the head where the cigar evens out.
Lighting Your Cigar
Always use a wooden match or butane lighter to light your cigar. Other methods will change the tobacco’s taste.
Hold the cigar at a 45-degree angle over the flame. Rotate it slowly to get an even ignition at the foot. Toast the outer layers first to give it a head start. Next, light the filler by rotating the cigar while slowly puffing.
Once it’s lit, let it rest for a few moments, then enjoy.
What to Do With the Band?
Whether you leave the band on or remove it is completely up to you. Some cigar smokers say that leaving the band on leads to interesting conversations among smokers. Others believe it’s too flashy.
Just remember to be careful when removing the band. You could damage the wrapper and ruin the cigar. That would not be a good situation!
Enjoying Your First Cigar
For now, that’s all there is to begin your cigar smoking adventure. Of course, as time goes on you’ll learn what tastes you prefer and develop your own style.
Welcome to the gentleman’s world.