What is a cigar?
A cigar is bigger than a cigarette and is meant to be enjoyed for a much longer periode of time than a cigarette.The smoke from a cigar is not supposed to get into the lungs, but to be held in the mouth so you can taste the variety of flavors.
A cigar consists of tobacco that can be divided into 3 parts
- The wrapper
- The binder
- The filler
- The wrapper is the outer leaf surrounding the cigar. Often this is the finest and most expensive leaf on the cigar. Besides making the cigar look nice, the wrapper can have an influence on the overall tasting experience. If the cigar has a dark colored wrapper it often contains a higher amount of sugar and therefore have a sweetness to its taste. A lighter colored wrapper indicates that it has been harvested earlier and has a more mild taste.
- The binder gives the cigar intensity and keeps the cigar filling in place.
- The filler represents the mostpart of the cigar and the mixture consist of minimum 2, most often 4, different kinds of tobacco.The combination of leafs gives the cigar its unique flavors.
The cigars can also be placed in two separated categories, by how they are made. By hand or by machine.
Most cigars are made by machine today and hand rolled cigars are rare. The craft of hand rolled cigars are delicate an unique. Therefore they are more expensive than the ones made by machine.
How to choose the right cigar
It can be difficult to find the right cigar when there is so many to choose from, and if you ask 10 different cigar smokers for advice, you will get 10 different answers.
If you start with a mild cigar, you can always work your way up. If you decide to start with a strong intensity, be aware that the taste experience can be too overwhelming.
We usually say that Cuban cigars are strong and Dominican cigars are mild. You find cuban cigars here and dominicans here.
As mentioned earlier above, the handmade cigars are expensive, so my advice is, to go to a store, where they have a section for cigars and where you can get guidance from experienced personnel. Tell him or her about your taste preferences and let them guide you on your way to your first cigar. You should also be sure that the cigars have been kept properly under the right conditions in a humidor.
Try smelling the different cigars. If you like the smell, you will most likely like the taste too.
How to cut and smoke your new cigar
Some cigars come pre-cut, which means it is ready to be lit and others don’t. If you buy a cigar that is not pre-cut, you need a cigar cutter and the cut you make has to be precise or it can influence the smoking experience. You will see a cap on the end you are supposed to cut. It is marked by an outer line so its just a small tip of the cigar you have to cut off.
Take a look at our cigar clippers here.
Once you have cut the tip of, you can light your cigar with either matches or a lighter. Make sure to rotate the cigar while lighting it, to get an even burn. We recommend cigar lighters like these.
Dont inhale the smoke but let it sit in your mouth so you can taste the different flavors.
When you are done smoking your cigar, just leave it in the ashtray until it goes out by itself. You can also leave it in a vertical position in the ashtray and let it burn out.
Taking good care of your cigars
If you have decided that cigarsmoking is for you, it is important that you storage your cigars correct. When you buy cigars, they should be smoked within a couple of days, because you risk them being dry and the taste gets compromised.
I recommend that you buy a humidor to keep your cigars fresh.
What is a humidor?
A humidor is a box that controls the humidity inside the box. The main function is to keep the moisture level well balanced and protect the tobacco you put in it. Some humidors have a hygrometer that monitors humidity. It comes in many sizes and price ranges. You usually pay for the finish of the box and the size.
If you don’t want to spend the money on a humidor, you can put one or two cigars in a ziplock bag. Use a small humidity-control bag from Boveda, like this and put it in the ziplock bag. Keep the bag out of sunlight at a max of 20 degrees celsius. Choose XIKAR 69% from Boveda if you use a ziplock bag.
Taking good care of your humidor
Should you decided to buy a humidor, there is some preparation to be done before you put your precious cigars in it.
Put som distilled water on a cloth and moist the tree inside your humidor. Just moist it, dont put too much water on it. Put a small bowl with distilled water inside the box and fill the moisture element* with distilled water or use a humidifying solution.
(*Instead of filling the moisture element with distilled water, you can also use the small humidity-control bags from Boveda in your humidor. Note that you have to choose either to fill the moisture element or to use the small bag from Boveda. You can't use both at the same time because they will work against each other. If your humidor is made entirely from wood you should use XIKAR 72% from Boveda)
Wait for 24 hours and repeat the process. The second time you can leave the small bowl of water out. Check the hygrometer, it should not be less than 72%. If so, you have to repeat the process a third time og get your hygrometer checket.
You can see the selection of beautiful humidors by clicking here.
Now you have reached the end of our cigar guide and we hope that you feel equipped enough to go out and experience the world of cigars.