We all start as beginners in everything we do in life. The same goes for cigar smoking. You might look at your older uncle smoking like a true cigar aficionado and think that you’d ridicule yourself if you’d attempted it. But truth be told, he was once like you.
You see, in the cigar vs. cigarette world, smoking a cigar is a ritual. It involves cutting, toasting, and lighting it before enjoying it, leaving room for many mistakes that might lessen the experience. Although we advocate that there’s no right or wrong way of cigar smoking as long as you enjoy it, we still want to make sure that you don’t compromise your enjoyment.
In this guide, we’ll shed some light on how to smoke a cigar with style as well as common pitfalls to avoid. After all, you don’t want to do something that others consider poor taste or break the rules and etiquette.
4 Tips on How to Smoke a Cigar for Beginners
Hold on! Before jumping into our tips and tricks on how to smoke a cigar with style, make sure you find a mild cigar to start with. Some cigars can be too strong for beginners and ultimately ruin the experience. Plus, mild-flavored cigars tend to be a bit more affordable, so you won’t mind smoking them incorrectly at the beginning.
Don’t know how to choose the right cigars? Read our guide on what qualities to look for when buying cigars.
Once you’ve decided on your cigar, it’s time to get to the real deal. You might think, how hard can cigar smoking be? You just avoid the burning pit, suck the smoke in, and exhale. Well, we hate to break it to you, but the process can be a bit more complex.
So here’s our guide on how to smoke a cigar like a pro:
1. Prevent Cigars From Drying Out
When a cigar dries out, it loses its flavor, burns out faster, and peels or cracks more easily. So you want to ensure that your cigars are always humidified by keeping them in their cellophane packaging and a container that keeps them fresh for an extended period. Just make sure you don’t buy more cigars than you can smoke within a few days, or you’ll risk drying them out.
However, if you plan to commit to storing cigars for a while, then a humidifier is a must. Humidifiers can be box-like furniture or even entire rooms where cigars are stored in the proper temperatures that keep them fresh and worthy of smoking. Prices can range from $50 to $200 or more, so if this exceeds your budget expectations, you can purchase some humid-pouches – plastic humidifying bags.
2. Buy a Cigar Cutter
Unlike cigarettes, you can’t just put a cigar in your mouth and start puffing. Handmade cigars come with a small piece of wrapper leaf at the head, also known as the cap. This secures the wrapper and the cigar contents. So before smoking, you need to carefully cut the end without any tearing and unraveling.
You might have seen some “badasses” in movies biting cigars end off with their mouths. Well, that’s the fastest way to screw your cigar and should be the absolute last thought in your mind. So instead, you should use a knife or scissors, or ideally purchase a cigar cutter that clips off the end with a fast and strong motion.
There are many different styles of cutters and ways to cut a cigar. In the beginning, we simply recommend a guillotine cutter, one of the most common straight cigar cutters. You simply hold the cigar in one hand and the cutter with the other, insert the cigar’s cap in the cutter at about an eighth to a sixteenth of an inch and cut off. Careful, though, not to cut too deep into the body, as it’ll unravel the cigar.
3. Light Your Cigar With Butane or Wooden Matches
Did you know that the lighter you use can ultimately affect those first draws of your cigar smoking? For the best smoking experience, we suggest using a butane lighter or wooden matches. You want to stay away from candles (especially scented ones are a no-no), cardboard matches, or fluid-fuelled lighters.
As for lighting, things are a bit different from cigarette smoking. Take your time to rotate the flame around the cigar, and don’t let it touch it. Let the heat do the work for you until you see the tobacco from the outer cigar glow. When the burn is equal across the whole cigar foot, you’re ready to take your first draw.
4. Smoke It With Style
You might wonder, do you inhale the cigar? And the answer is no. Trust us, you won’t like it. So instead, let the smoke flow in your mouth, taste it, and blow it out. Don’t smoke too fast, as this will ruin the flavor, or too slow, as you’ll have to relight it continually. So instead, take your time to enjoy this premium experience with your favorite drink, music, and quality conversations.
The preferred and most common way of holding a cigar is between the thumb and the index finger. If the cigar is too long, you may rest your fingers across its body. Unlike cigarette smoking, we don’t recommend holding it between the index and middle finger as this loosens your grip, and you’ll risk dropping it. Make sure you flick the ashes when they’re down at about half an inch, and you’ll be good to go.
Enjoy a Premium Cigar Smoking Experience
And that’s a wrap! Now that you know the basics of how to smoke a cigar with style, it’s time to pour your favorite whiskey, pick your favorite flavored cigar, and enjoy a unique smoking experience. Remember to add personal touches to your cigar rituals, but always keep it classy.
Now it’s your turn! If you’re looking for your next batch of high-quality cigars, take a look at our exclusive collection at Sigars.com, delivered right to your door.