The Perfect Way to Choose Cigar for the First Time

It’s that moment when you walk inside a cigar shop to grab your favorite smoke, but you have no idea what makes the best stogie for the cold. When choosing a cigar for the first time, you are likely to scratch your head.  To make the process of choosing a good cigar less tedious, you may have to break it down into two.

First, you can highlight your preferences based on the shape, boy, and cigar size.  Once you have checked on these three specs, you can choose the cigar based on its smoke quality.

If you’re a beginner smoker or just looking forward to having your first puff this year, we are here for help. Here we give you a guide on how you can select a quality cigar that meets your preferences.

Parts of a Cigar Explained

Even before choosing your favorite cigar, you should know some essentials of a cigar. A quality cigar is easy to spot once you know the physical qualities of one. Here are the four essential parts of a quality cigar you should know before walking into a cigar shop.

  • Cigar head: This is that part of a cigar you put in your mouth. Sometimes you cut this part using a sharp knife, guillotine, or your mouth. If you don’t know how to cut the cigar head, you can ask the shop guy to help you.
  • The foot: the cigar foot is the part of the cigar you light. This part is already cut.
  • The filler: cigar filler is the inside content of your smoke. It is made of fermented and dried tobacco to bring out a unique smoke and aroma.
  • The wrapper/duh: this is the outside of the cigar. When choosing a cigar, you want to ensure it has a quality wrapper because most of its flavor comes from the wrapper. This is probably why most people will go for a Cuban cigar; the flavor and aroma are just out of this world.

It’s time to talk about choosing an ideal cigar as a beginner. Here is what you should consider most when selecting your cigars.

How to Choose a Good Cigar

Focus on the size, shape, and composition

Experienced smokers will advise you to focus on the fermentation conditions and the cigar origin when choosing a perfect smoke. However, shape, size, and composition are the three essential variables most people will look into when choosing cigars.


Talking of cigar size, it’s the circumference or ring gauge and length of the cigar. The cigar size is measured in 1/64th inches.  For example, a cigar that measures 6 x 46  is 46/64th of an inch and six inches long.  When choosing your cigar, you should look for one with the largest circumference. A  large ring gauge means there is a lot of filler in the cigar, which comes with aroma and flavor.


Cigars come in different body shapes, from light, dark, to the middle. We all have different tastes, meaning you have to try different cigar shapes to determine which one works better for you. If you drink beer, you are likely to choose a cigar based on your beer preferences. For instance, if you like dark stouts, you are likely to go for dark cigars. Mellow stogies are the best option for those who prefer lighter beers.  If you cannot choose your favorite cigar based on your beer options, you can as well get a small sampler pack to help you select your favorite cigar.


Cigars come in two different shapes; figurado and parejos. Parejos are the classic cigars with one rounded end that needs cutting and another open lot for lighting it up. Most cigars fall under the parejos category but come in distinct aroma and flavors.

Any cigar that has no round end or the classic parejos shape falls on the figurado category.  Figurado cigars have a bullet-like shape and are tapered with a sharp point at the closed end. The cigar has a sharp tip to concentrate more smoke and ensure you get the best flavor when smoking.

Shopping for cigars by shape is a bit tricky, especially if you are more concerned about the aroma and flavor and nothing else. Most smokers find nothing essential in the cigar shape as long as the composition is perfect.

Focus more on quality when choosing your cigar

Body, size, and shape of a cigar are just the cigar’s physicals attributes and have nothing to do with its quality. If you are looking for the best cigars as a beginner, you want to focus more on the filler’s quality. There are a lot of bad and good quality cigars with perfect shape, size, and body. Therefore, focusing more on the filler quality is your only trick to getting a stronger puff.

Here is how to evaluate your cigar based on its quality:

  • Check the wrapper: like mentioned earlier, the cigar wrappers say a lot about its quality. You can judge your cigar by its cover. Since the wrapper determines the kind of flavor and aroma you get from the smoke, you want to ensure the cigar has a high-quality wrapper – like what we see in most Cuban cigars.
  • Color uniformity: check if the cigar you are about to buy has a uniform color.  The cigar should not have spots or places that are darker than others. Since cigars are normally stored in a humidor, it should not have any traces of mold or spots. Ensure the cigar body has a uniform color.
  • It should not be dry: when shopping for a quality cigar, you should ensure it is not dry. Dry cigars light up faster and give you no room to enjoy the aroma. The cigar should feel firm and have no crackles. Most cigars that have not been stored properly will dry up and burn too hot. Avoid dry cigars for the best experience of your first puff.
  • Uniform fill: another factor to consider most when buying a cigar is the tobacco filler’s uniformity. When you squeeze the cigar a bit, you should feel some uniformity in the fill. The cigar should not have bulges and divots. If the tobacco filling is not done correctly, you are not likely to enjoy the smoke.
  • Can you feel the smell: a good cigar gives a perfect aroma even before you light it up. Sniff the cigar by holding it close to your nose, breathe in and deep, and gauze what flavor or aroma it gives. If the cigar has a fresh smell, it is likely to have the best taste when you smoke it. Don’t buy the cigar before sniffing it and feeling the smell. You won’t like the awful smell when you finally light the stogie.

Final Thoughts

What happens when you just can’t find a perfect cigar from your local cigar shop? You ask for help from an experienced smoker to help you choose some quality cigar. In this guide, we have mentioned some tips you can apply when selecting a cigar based on composition, shape, body, and size.

There are different cigar brands out there, and sometimes it is worth trying several clouds of smoke before you land on a special one. As a beginner, you can always start your smoking journey with some Corona and Robust size cigars. Lastly, don’t forget to rotate your cigar when it burns to get that amazing aroma and flavor.

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