Written by James Payne

Friday, 30 October 2009

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Hello and welcome back. It is another month and you know what that means – another Puff FAQ. As always, I will attempt to answer some of the most common – and less common – questions from both the newbie smoker and the old veteran gorilla as well. So without further ado, let’s get started.


As always, I will attempt to get a good blend of newer smoker questions as well as old hat questions into this article. I also invite you to join in the conversation and share your thoughts. If there is anything I have learned over the years it is that there is no single answer to any cigar-related question.

Okay, enough chit-chat. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

Question: My cigar starts out nice, smooth, and tasty, but halfway to three-quarters in it gets an acrid, bitter taste. What gives?

Answer: I see this question a lot, and not surprisingly the majority of the time it comes from newer smokers. There can be several reasons your cigar(s) flake out near the middle, and in all fairness I have to ask you a question back: Does this happen all the time?

I will assume for this question that it does, and the reason I will assume that is that you say it happens about midway to three quarters in. If it started off that way, I would say it’s the brand of cigar your are smoking…try a different stick.

Cigar smoking is not as simple as picking up a cigar and lighting it and puffing away. Just like guzzling a glass of wine can ruin the experience, “guzzling” a cigar can do the same thing.

Smoking too quickly can cause what is known as “overheating”. What this technically means is that you are smoking so quickly that your cigar becomes too hot and in turn creates a build-up of nicotine (the acrid taste).

The fix is simple enough and will benefit you in several ways: slow it down. Take a nice, even drag. Think of it as drinking wine. Don’t guzzle or gulp. Gently sip it and enjoy the experience. This should stop the acrid taste, as well as make your overall experience better. Also, it will have the added benefit of making your cigar last longer.

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