A Beginner’s Guide to Selecting a Cigar at a Cigar Shop


For the uninitiated, walking into a cigar shop can be an overwhelming experience. With hundreds of different cigars to choose from, each with its unique characteristics and flavors, it’s hard to know where to start. But fear not, fellow novice smoker. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll cover the basics of selecting a cigar and help you navigate the humidor like a pro.

First things first, you need to consider your personal taste preferences and experience level. Are you looking for mild smoke or something more full-bodied? Do you enjoy sweeter or woodier flavors? If you’re new to smoking cigars, it’s best to start with milder options and work your way up to more robust ones. A good place to begin is with a Connecticut-wrapped cigar, which is known for its milder taste.

Once you have a general idea of what you’re looking for, it’s time to explore the humidor. Take your time and examine each cigar carefully. Check for any signs of damage, such as cracks or dryness, and give each cigar a gentle squeeze to ensure it’s packed correctly. You don’t want a cigar that’s too tight or too loose, as it can affect the overall smoking experience.

Next, pay attention to the wrapper. The wrapper is the outermost leaf of the cigar and is responsible for much of the flavor profile. A lighter wrapper typically means a milder flavor, while a darker wrapper is a sign of a more robust smoke. Additionally, a smooth wrapper usually means a more refined and enjoyable smoking experience.

But what about size and shape? Does it matter? It certainly does. The size and shape of a cigar can greatly affect the smoking experience. Generally, a thicker cigar means a slower burn time, while a thinner cigar is more efficient. Additionally, the shape can affect the overall draw and flavor, so it’s worth experimenting with different shapes and sizes to find what works for you.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Cigar shops are staffed by knowledgeable professionals who are there to help you find the perfect smoke. Don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations based on your preferences and experience level or for help selecting the perfect cutter or lighter.

Selecting a cigar is an art form, one that takes time and practice to master. But with these tips, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect smoke for your taste preferences. Remember to take your time, examine each cigar carefully, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. With a little patience and guidance, you’ll soon be enjoying the finer things in life, one puff at a time.