Friday, August 2, 2013

CIGAR 101 - The cigar-smoking experience is very personal; It’s comparable to finding your favorite beer.

The cigar-smoking experience is very personal. Everyone has different tastes, so make sure to try a few different varieties in order to discover your cigar of choice. It’s comparable to finding your favorite beer. You possibly didn’t know it was your favorite until you tried some with different variations: more hops, less wheat, maybe some orange zest. But when you finally found your favorite beer, you knew it was the one. Cigars are going to be exactly same way.

Let’s quickly talk about the key parts of the cigar…

The head of the cigar: This is the end that you put in your mouth. It’s sealed off and will require cutting; a guillotine or punch cut is preferred to reduce the chance of smooshing the cigar up; however, a sharp knife might do. Please do not use your teeth!

The foot of the cigar: This is the side that you light; try to slightly toast the edges before you light up.

 The filler: A good, consistent blend of dried and fermented tobacco.

The wrapper: The outside of the cigar. A lot of the cigar’s flavor comes from this outer layer… 60% -70% of it. It differs in color from light to dark and there are many good ones( but that’s another article).

How do you know if your cigar is good ?

There are two general elements involved in the making of a fine, handmade cigar: QUALITY TOBACCO AND QUALITY CONSTRUCTION and the CONSISTENCY in both of those.

Look at the aesthetics and smell the aroma. It should feel good to the touch too. The construction of the cigar aids the taste and draw of the cigar. If a cigar has been made with less leaves in the filler; then it will feel to be smoked easy; which may not always be a good thing. If a cigar is under filled then when you draw on the cigar it will burn faster and maybe unevenly.

If you overfill the cigar and it will be much harder to draw a smooth smoke. It will be tight. So the correct amount of filler in the construction is essential to a good cigar.

While smoking…the ash should be relatively firm and get to an inch long without difficulty (except in small ring gauges). A falling ash is not necessarily a sign of a poorly constructed cigar, but, if your cigars develop a firm, even ash while you're smoking, it is an indication that they are well made.

A poorly made cigar if inferior quality is used, the cigars will produce a harsh, rough, musty taste with an unpleasant, penetrating aroma that usually brings negative vibes.

So it goes without saying that reputation is important. Ask your tobacconist if you get the chance; usually they are aware of what the folks are saying and how they are selling. GO EXPLORE!