Written by Puff Staff

Friday, 06 September 2013

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Lighting Cigars With MatchesWhile using a lighter to fire up your smokes may be the fastest and easiest method, many cigar lovers prefer matches. Lighting your cigar with a match does require a bit of finesse, but the result can be a better tasting smoke. Since smoking cigars is supposed to be relaxing and pleasurable, there’s nothing wrong with taking things a bit slowly.




The flame from a match is cooler than the flame from a lighter, meaning you’ll get a cooler, smoother smoke if you use a match. The torch can “over-burn” your cigar, a problem you won’t have when using a wooden match. A lighter can also taint your cigar with the foul scent of butane. That’s why some connoisseurs will only use a wooden match with a long stem to light their premium cigars.

Types of matches

Not all matches are created equal, and you don’t want to ruin the taste of a fine cigar with an inferior match. That’s why you should never, ever light a cigar with a paper match. Those little free matchbooks you bring home from your favorite bar are saturated with a nasty substance called sulfur. This chemical causes the matches to light quickly when struck against the sandpaper pad on the pack and also keeps them burning without going out. Unfortunately, burning sulfur produces a gas called sulfur dioxide. This gas smells really, really rank, and your expensive premium cigar will absorb the odor. The smell has been compared to rotten eggs, certainly one of the last things you want a high quality smoke to absorb.

The best matches for lighting cigars are the long, wooden kind. Wood matches are not treated with sulfur, so you don’t risk passing that sulfur dioxide smell to your cigar. The ideal wood matches are the ones made by cigar companies especially for the purpose of lighting cigars. They’re longer than standard matches, more like the ones you use to light a fire in the fireplace. Most cigar matches are reasonably priced and totally worth it.

The main reason you need a longer match is that you must wait for the phosphorus in the match to burn off before you allow it to meet the cigar. Try this with a tiny little match and you’ll burn your fingers before the cigar is anywhere near being properly lit!

Cigar matches

Many serious cigar aficionados swear by Davidoff matches because they’re made of cedar, so they smell delicious and won’t taint your fine cigars with unwanted scents. They’re also three and a third inches long, just right for lighting your cigars. A box of 40 sells for $4.00 at many B&Ms.

Another favorite is the line of Collectable Romeo y Julieta wooden cigar matches. These are a generous four inches long and come in a fancy display box. These go for $4.50 per box at Amazon.

For the true collector, Amazon has authentic wooden cigar matches by Cohiba selling for $29.99 per five assorted boxes. Also at Amazon, Montecristo wooden cigar matches are four inches long and come in a fancy display box for $4.50.


Cohiba Cigar Matches

Tommy Bahama has its own Cigar Club box of matches available on the site, where a box of 56 four-inch matches sells for $4.00. The Viejo Cigars box of matches in the same size and quantity is also $4.00.

We're just 'warming up' here...get it, so keep reading because there are more techniques and tips for getting the perfect light for your cigar.


0 # seniorBob Cione 2013-09-08 17:04
great article..I was in the bar business many years and it took me back in °!! ;=)

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0 # RE: Find Your Perfect Match – For Lighting a Cigar, That Isirie 2013-09-10 11:30
The most important detail of the 3 match method which was also excluded from this article is the fact you do not cut the cap until you get to the third match. The is to prevent any contaminates from potentially being drawn in while toasting the foot.

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0 # NoneMDSPHOTO 2013-09-10 16:24
A yes Hellboy learned this proper way of lighting a cigar in his second movie.

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