Written by Staff

Thursday, 27 December 2007

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tips and trickstobacco faqs

It may sound surprising to a newcomer to cigar smoking but, if all other things are equal, the lighting of a cigar can either enhance the smoking experience … or almost destroy it. Any odor from whatever you may use to light a cigar can permeate the cigar leaf and turn an excellent cigar into something you might never want to touch again.

So if the implement you use to light a cigar is important just what should it be? Basically the best tool for lighting a cigar is anything that burns with an odorless flame. Matches or a butane powered lighter are ideal for lighting a cigar while a petrol lighter (lighter that uses liquid fuel)  … or a candle … are never recommended.

The odors from candles or petrol powered lighters will be drawn up into the cigar and the natural flavor of the tobacco leaf will be ruined. So before you even think about lighting a cigar, be sure to have the right implements handy so that you don’t ruin the experience.

Cutting a Cigar
If the cigar you’re smoking is a premium or hand-rolled cigar then you can be sure that the head of the cigar will be sealed and before you can light the cigar you will have to remove the sealed end. While you might see some cigar smokers piercing the end with a match this is not recommended at all.

You may see other cigar smokers using their teeth or even fingernails to remove the sealed end of a cigar but we do not recommend that since it is too easy to damage the cigar. Instead use a pair of cigar scissors or a guillotine cutter to remove the cap. Make sure that the cut is clean so that you don’t tear the wrapping when you are removing the end.

New cigar smokers always want to know the right spot to make that all important cut and the best place would have to be just where the thickness of the cigar begins to taper towards the end.

The other point to be aware of is not to try and remove the band when you are cutting the cigar prior to lighting it. Instead leave the band in place until you have smoked some of the cigar and then you will find that the cigar … and band … have heated up and the band can be removed quite easily without damaging the wrapping.

Lighting a Cigar
Smoking a cigar is an experience not to be rushed but to be savored … just as drinking a fine wine or whiskey should never be rushed … so don’t try and rush the lighting of the cigar. Instead take your time and make sure it is well alight because a partially lit cigar does not burn evenly and does not draw well and the period of quiet reflection or contemplation that you may be looking forward to will be ruined.

One trick used by many cigar smokers to ensure a cigar is easy to light is to char the end but not damage other parts of the wrapper. If you char the end you are preparing it for lighting and you will find that the cigar will light far more easily than one that has not been prepared.

When it comes to actually lighting your cigar hold it between the thumb and forefinger of one hand and place it in your mouth. Position the other end over the flame from the match or lighter that you are using … but don’t place it in the flame.

Then begin puffing on the cigar while slowly rotating between your fingers. By puffing on the cigar you will draw the flame up and into the leaf and by rotating it you will ensure that it lights evenly and will burn evenly too.

Remember those points and you should enjoy your cigar every time.


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