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Written by Puff Staff

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

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In this cigar FAQ, I will show you several tips for getting the most out of your cigar smoking experience. These "tricks of the trade" can benefit both new and veteran smokers alike. So light up your favorite stick, settle back, and prepare to increase your smoking IQ a couple notches.

I've been doing a number of reviews over the past few years and have decided to deviate from the standard path in this week's article du jour. Telling you what I think about a given cigar or sharing my opinion on which stogies you would enjoy is one thing, but what good is smoking a great cigar recommended by a friend or yours truly, if you aren't taking full advantage of techniques passed down from generation to generation tailor made to help you get the most out of that $15 piece of glorious tobacco? You paid for it - might as well get your moneys worth!

With that in mind, I am sharing some of the tools of the trade - little pieces of cigar advice I have picked up over the years. Some you may know, others you may not. And of course, if you have any to share that are not included in this article, you can always join in and leave your two cents in the old comment section.

Cigar Tip #1: Purging a Cigar

You ever smoke a cigar and find that it has a sort of bitter taste to it? Usually right around the end part? Nothing is worse than ending on a sour note. This bitterness you taste occurs because you have not properly purged your cigar.

Why does this occur? That foulness forms from a combination of oil and tar that build up as smoke (naturally) travels through the un-burnt tobacco in your cigar as you puff it. The act of "purging" your cigar involves removing this bitter buildup.

Another trick some cigar smokers use - and you can use if you are feeling the pinch or have an empty box and are desperate - is to purge an old stogie you have lying around. Maybe you didn't have time to finish it and couldn't bear the thought of tossing our beloved in the garbage. Sometimes purging can breathe new life into that dead cigar. Give it a short next time you have an old smoke lying around and see if it works for you.

The Process (or How to Purge a Cigar)

The first step is to clear the end of your cigar of any ash or ashy debris. I suggest doing this whether you taste the bitterness, you are lighting up an old cigar, or even if your cigar just needs to be relit. Next, light the cigar and make sure the end is really hot (caveat: don't touch it to test the temperature!). Once it is lit, take a couple sips of air, place the cigar into your mouth, and gently blow out.

Next, remove your lips from the cigar, take another inhale of breath, put the stogie back in your mouth, and blow out all the air again. Rinse and repeat three times. Note - you want a gentle blow. You aren't jazz legend Louis Armstrong here. It is a cigar, not a trumpet.

Now resume smoking the cigar. That bitterness should be gone. If not, try another round of purging. If it is still bitter, it may well be time to move on.






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