The Cigar…is something that commands respect. It is made for all the senses and all the pleasures; for the nose, the palate, the fingers, the eyes…
A good cigar contains the promise of a totally pleasurable experience – Zino Davidoff
I really enjoy the moments I get to have a cigar and a glass of vodka martini after a long hectic week, either with some friends or alone.
But you know what I really enjoy more…the feeling of a cool breeze caressing my bearded cheek when I’m sitting by the poolside in a nice hang out spot, as I sip my favorite Martini – Vodka Martini (shaken not stirred). Drawing in the sweet scent of chocolate notes from the tip of my Montecristo Sublime Cigar after I light it up, puff twice, hold the smoke in my mouth, it drifts from my lips as I watch the thread of smoke circle heavenward in a slow flight on its quest to combine with the great eternal oneness – until it breaks apart.
Believe me, nothing beats this feeling!
I’m quite sure there are a few MR KOACHMAN readers who enjoy the same ritual and a handful of others who are curious about cigars – how to choose the right kind, cut the cigar, light the cigar and finally, smoke it.
If you are not a smoker or you’ve never felt comfortable with the art of cigar smoking, please click here to read other style articles that will surely appeal to you.
For the beginners and all cigar aficionados, here is a quick reference cigar guide containing some important tips to keep in mind. If you follow these rules, not only will you look like a pro, you will get a more enjoyable smoking experience.
HOW TO SMOKE A CIGAR LIKE AN AFFICIANADO
1. CHOOSE YOUR CIGAR
When you are new to cigar smoking, you need to only choose mild cigars– they have less intense flavor and most suitable for beginners. The longer and wider a cigar
TIP: The longer and wider a cigar is, the more intense it will be and smoking the shorter and wide one is an intense experience better enjoyed by veteran smokers.
So for a start when you walk into a cigar store to make your purchase go for the longer and thinner ones or better still tell the shopkeeper you are looking for a nice, mild and affordable cigar and he will fix that for you.
Verify the quality of the cigar by squeezing it slightly to make sure there are no lumps in it, and check to ensure that the tobacco at the end of it or the wrapper isn’t discolored. Avoid purchasing cigars that fail this test.
2. CUT YOUR CIGAR
Before you light up, you will need to cut into the cap, which is placed on the head of the cigar, this is so as to create enough of an opening to smoke comfortably. Biting the end off should be avoided at all costs.
Here is a better way to do this –
Hold the cigar with one hand and a cutter (preferably a single blade cutter also known as guillotine cutter) with the other. Place the head of the cigar into the cutter and cut into its cap in one quick chop. If you do it slowly, you could tear the wrapper. Don’t cut too much; Aim for about 1/8 of an inch (0.15 to 0.3 cm) down.
3. TOAST THE FOOT OF YOUR CIGAR
First, you will need to choose the right lighter. Long wood matches or a butane torch lighter are preferable and can be bought from any cigar store. Avoid the use of paper matches, candle light or cigarette lighter because they may alter the flavor of the cigar.
Once you’ve got the right lighter –
Warm the tobacco in the foot of the cigar (which is the part you will actually light). Hold the cigar at a 45 degree angle, then apply the flame to the foot without touching it, then rotate the cigar a few times in order to warm the tobacco for easier lighting.
4. LIGHT YOUR CIGAR
Light the cigar by holding the flame just under the foot without letting the flame actually touch the cigar, then gently puff a few times (make sure not to inhale the smoke) until you feel the smoke in your mouth.
You will have to ensure the cigar is evenly lit to avoid the cigar burning unevenly. To do this –
Turn the lit end (the foot) towards your mouth and lightly blow on it until the entire end is glowing. If it’s still not evenly lit, re-light until this is achieved.
5. SMOKE YOUR CIGAR
You must know that smoking a cigar is not like smoking a cigarette. DO NOT INHALE the cigar smoke as this can cause severe coughing. Draw in through your mouth and pretend you are sucking on a straw, hold the smoke in your mouth while closing off your nasal passage, enjoy it and then blow it out. The flavor is meant to be savored, but not inhaled. Do this four or five times until your cigar starts producing thick white smoke, at this point, it is sufficiently lit.
And as you smoke, you should rotate the cigar every 30 seconds to a minute, to get an even burn and keep the cigar in good form. Do not rush the smoking, relax and enjoy it, smoking it should take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours.
6. ENJOY YOUR CIGAR WITH AN ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE.
An alcoholic beverage is known to enhance the smoking experience and can bring out the flavors of the cigar.
Some great beverages you can enjoy with your cigar include cognac, bourbon or scotch, or red wine — especially Cabernet Sauvignon or Mourvedre. In addition, you can enjoy your cigar with a Martini or a coffee-based beverage.
These beverages are the perfect companion to almost any cigar.
As you smoke, your cigar will begin to develop a head of ash on the tip. A big ash is a sign of a quality cigar — Let the ash grow to about an inch before tapping off. Do not smash the cigar in the ashtray or tap it off as you would with a cigarette. A gentle tap or roll along the edge of the ashtray will do.
When you are finally done smoking, please don’t crush your cigar in the ashtray. Simply put down the cigar and it will extinguish itself after a minute or two. Please note that relighting a cigar after this period has passed will result to the cigar having a strong and bitter taste. If you are not comfortable smoking it after this time, you can throw it out.
Congrats, you’ve officially joined the club. Take these tips and apply them the next time you’re about to enjoy a cigar.
As we mentioned in No 5 Rule in our article TOP 13 QUALITIES THAT MAKE YOU A CLASSY GENTLEMAN. The classy man smokes only the finest cigars if at all he has to smoke something. If you choose to indulge in this ritual do not abuse this privilege. Never smoke to impress anyone, only smoke during special occasions with your close friends.
Let us know about your first cigar smoking experience? Did you embarrass yourself by lighting the wrong end or coughing till no end? Which is your favorite Cigar? How does the cigar taste for you? What alcoholic beverage do you enjoy with your cigar?
RELATED ARTICLE : The Gentleman’s Staple Drinks | Cocktails, Whisky and Wine
Do not inhale the cigar! Especially if you are very conscious of the health effects, you will know that they can be minimized, (but never eliminated) if you don’t inhale.
Although cigar smokers have lower rates of lung cancer, coronary heart disease, and lung disease than cigarette smokers, they have higher rates of these diseases than those who do not smoke cigars.
Your health risk is proportional to your exposure. People who use any type of tobacco product should be encouraged to quit.
Till you hear from me again… Continue to Do Well, Live Well and Dress Very Well. Be Classy!
Yours in Style,
Kobi O. Mbagwu (Mr. Kobi)
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