Cigar smoking has a cool, traditional feel that many associate with high society and sophistication. However, becoming a cigar smoker isn’t quite the same as just buying a pack of cigarettes and lighting up. There are several key elements to becoming a cigar smoker. The following are five tips for the first timer.
Cigars are not impulse buys at a gas station. It’s important to buy a quality cigar for your first cigar or you are unlikely to want to smoke another one. Visit a local tobacco shop to get expert advice and a high quality product. By telling them you have never smoked a cigar before, they can advise you on mild or medium-bodied products. Full-bodied cigars are typically too much for beginners.
The next important step before smoking a cigar is properly cutting it. You will need a cigar cutter for this job. Using your teeth, scissors or a knife will ultimately create an uneven cut and cause you to end up with bits of wrapper in your mouth when you try to smoke it. Place the cutter on a table and stand the end to be cut in the middle of it to get an accurate cut amount. Generally, what you are cutting is the cap of the cigar, which is usually slightly visible if you look closely. You don’t want to cut any more than this or the cigar will fall apart or burn unevenly.
Butane lighters or matches are the best methods of lighting a cigar. Don’t use cigarette lighters as they can impart bad flavors to the cigar due to the fluid used. Do not light the cigar in your mouth either. Instead, hold it in your hand and use the lighter to evenly light the tip of the cigar. In order to get the best flavors, you want your cigar to burn evenly and that starts with lighting it evenly.
The first and most important tip for actually smoking a cigar is to absolutely not inhale. Cigar smokers do not inhale cigar smoke. It’s unfiltered and extremely acrid. The other key is not to smoke it too fast. When you smoke too fast, the cigar burns hot and imparts bitter flavors. If you smoke it too slow, however, it will likely go out.
Cigars have strong flavors and also tar, which makes it necessary to cleanse the palate while smoking. You can drink water or soda, but many cigar smokers also like to enjoy alcohol like bourbon, cognac, brandy or port with their smoke.
It will probably take a few times of smoking to get it right and find out what type of cigar you enjoy.