Cigars have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity over the past decade or so, and for good reason – a quality cigar smoked properly is an experience like no other. But cigar smoking isn’t something you should just dive into blindly. Everything from making the right purchase to the way you light a cigar can make or break the entire deal.
Here are eight things you should know about smoking a cigar…
If you don’t remember anything else, at least remember this: All cigars are definitely not made the same. If you’re looking for a quality cigar smoking experience, picking up a two dollar box of Dutch Masters will not do the trick (unless you’re planning to tear them open and fill them with weed, in which case those are exactly what you want).
At the very least, find something handmade. White Owls, Phillies, Dutch Masters and anything else sitting behind the counter at your local bodega are machine rolled trash. If you’re looking for the good stuff, find a tobacconist in your area. They should have their cigars nicely stored and displayed in a humidor, which will likely be a large cabinet with glass doors or, even more awesomely, an actual room. You’ll know it when you see it.
If the place you’re buying your cigar from doesn’t have a humidor, you’re in the wrong place. Pick us up a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos and get the hell out of there.
The Colour and the Shape
So you’ve found a humidor. Excellent! Now what?
Cigars come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Instead of bombarding you with information about what differentiates a Churchill from a Lonsdale and such, we’ll try to make this part as basic as possible. If you’re looking for a full-bodied smoke with lots of complex flavors, go for something with a dark wrapper (maduro). If you’re more the born to be mild type, go for a lighter colored wrapper.
The ring gauge of the cigar (exactly what it sounds like, think finger size) also plays into the complexity of the smoke. A larger ring gauge allows for a more complex mix of tobaccos, more smoke, etc.