Smoking Cuban or Nicaragua cigars for the first time can be a very intimidating, overwhelming, and scary experience. As a beginner or an experienced cigar smoker, you can learn along the way that some mistakes worsen the smoking experience. You can easily avoid most mistakes in smoking when you have this guide by your side.
If you are looking forward to having the best cigar smoking experience, we have compiled this guide for you. Keep reading for a step-by-step guide to smoking a cigar like a pro.
1. Choose your cigar wisely
The first step to smoking the right cigar is choosing the best stogie in the first place. As a beginner, you may lack the skills to choose the best stick for the party. In that case, you can rely on your friends for some tips or read how to choose the right cigar.
Smoking a cigar is like drinking a glass of wine – you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy wine. If you want to learn of the best cigar in the market, go through some online reviews on the best cigars.
Alternatively, you can ask a friend who has been smoking a particular cigar brand why they prefer that brand. An experienced smoker will always recommend to you the best cigar for beginners. If you can reach a specialist cigar retailer for some recommendations, they can also help you choose the best cigar for a beginner.
2. Always shop for quality cigars
There is more to enjoying a perfect cigar. You have to consider the quality of the filler, binder, and wrapper. The profile or note comes out if only you pick a high-quality cigar on the shelf. If you shop your cigar from a retailer, you can have the time to inspect the cigar for quality before paying for it. Most cigars are handmade, but that doesn’t mean they may not be defective.
Another factor to consider is the originality of the cigar. For most distributed cigars like Davidoff, you are likely to find a counterfeit in the market. Check for the mark of quality in your favorite cigar when shopping. It’s the only way you can be sure of smoking the original brand from the manufacturer.
Check the shape, color, spots, ridges, and hardness when choosing a quality cigar. Ask about the cigar’s storage conditions and, if possible, touch to feel the cigar before paying for it. Roll the cigar between your fingers and feel a slight cracking sound. This way, you test for the humidity level. If the cigar is too dry, the cracking sound is a bit louder.
3. Cut the cigar cap
Once you are ready to smoke your first stogie, equip yourself with the right tools to cut the cap. Most refined and handmade cigars have a small piece of the wrapper at the tip to protect the filler. The cap protects and keeps the filler intact before you smoke it.
You can cut the cap in different ways using V-cuts, guillotines, and punches. The choice of a cut depends on the type of cigar you want to smoke.
Do not cut the cap with your teeth – this is not the best way to treat your expensive cigar. When you tear the cap by biting it, you can end up with some tobacco between your teeth.
Make a careful and decisive cut of the cap to avoid unraveling the cigar wrapper as you smoke. To safely secure the cigar wrapper and make your smoking comfortable, you can cut the cap just below one of the cigar head seams. To avoid tearing the wrapper, cut the cap fast and decisively.
4. Make the first draw
Before lighting the cigar, you have to make the first dry draw after removing the cap. This is known as a pre-light, or raw draw light like many cigar enthusiasts call it. Having a raw draw of your cigar helps you determine how the cigar will taste or feel when your light it. You can easily detect the amount of draw you should expect from the cigar once you light it and start smoking.
Additionally, when you put the cigar between your lips and grip it, you can feel what is yet to come once you light it up.
Tasting your cigar before you smoke is one way of finding out all the aromas you get afterward. You are likely to enjoy all the flavors in any cigar by just having a raw draw.
5. Light it up
It is that time to take the matchbox and light up your Robusta cigar. When it comes to lighting up your cigar, there are tools you need to do it the right way. Tools like a fluid-filled lighter and cardboard match affect the taste of your cigar, and you should avoid them by all means.
If you are fond of using a matchstick, you should wait until the sulfur burns out entirely before you can expose your cigar to the flame. Choose longer matches if possible since most mild and medium cigars may not burn on short ones. Most cigar smokers prefer butane and torch lighters because they don’t affect your cigar flavors and are easy to use.
Here are the critical steps to lighting your cigar like a pro:
- Toast the foot: hold your cigar to the outside edge, then rotate it to toast the edge evenly.
- Burn the filler: bring the cigar close to the flame and make a draw to ignite it.
- Release the raw draw: Create a flame by taking a final puff on the cigar against the lighter.
- Blow on the cigar: blow the cherry to ensure the cigar has an even burn across the foot.
When you light up your cigar, you should remember to rotate it evenly so that it burns out the right way. Your cigar will have an uneven burn when you expose one side of the foot to the flame.
6. Draw without inhaling
Taking a draw of your cigar for the first time is one hell of a task. If you want to learn to smoke a cigar, you can start by taking the pre-light draws before lighting the cigar.
You should not inhale your cigar because it can provoke coughing. When taking a draw, you want to focus on sipping the cigar just like you do to your coffee. For cigars, you take a draw by creating pressure on the center of your tongue—it’s like drinking through a straw. Once you draw the cigar, you should allow it to float on your palate for some seconds, then blowback out of your mouth.
Take it easy on your cigar. Space each puff between every 30 seconds as you take a rest sipping some mineral water to clear your palate. When you take more puffs without spacing, your cigar burns unevenly. This is likely to affect the aroma of your cigar.
Don’t forget to hold your cigar between the index and thumb finger. If the cigar is a bit long, allow the other fingers to rest on the body. Another tip for holding your cigar is by allowing the head to sit on the hollow thumb and the body braced between the middle and index fingers.
We all begin somewhere when it comes to smoking cigars and drinking a glass of the best whisky. If you are passionate about smoking cigars, you can follow the tips we have shared to make your journey swift. Start by getting the best quality cigar for beginners to have a great experience smoking.