How to Smoke a Cigar

Posted on October 08, 2010 by forgetfulgentleman | 1 Comment

So you saw "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" and now you have a hankering for Gucci loafers, Oxxford suits and...maybe a nice cigar. Here's Forgetful Gentleman's guide on how to light and smoke it like a smug, Goya loving, cigar chomping Josh Brolin.

Lighting Your Cigar

First, warm the cigar by holding the foot (the open end) about one inch over a short flame. Rotate your cigar for a few seconds until you start to see a small black ring form around the entire wrapper.

Once your cigar is pre-heated, you’re ready to light it. The most important thing is to be patient! Lighting a cigar is not like lighting a cigarette or a candle, it’s a much more delicate process. During both the warming and lighting process, never let your cigar come in direct contact with the flame. Lighting your cigar directly from the flame will carbonize the tobacco, which in turn will harm the flavor.

Hold your cigar at a slight angle away from the flame, rotate the cigar and puff gently. Rotating the cigar will ensure even heating of all sides (think roasting a marshmallow). When it’s ready to light, the flame will leap from the lighter or match up onto the foot of your cigar even though no direct contact has been made.

Once lit, remove the cigar from your mouth and examine it for an even burn. If it’s dramatically uneven, you can repeat the lighting process on the less burned side without rotation. If its just slightly uneven, a soft blow on the side in question will accelerate the burn and usually even it out. If you’ve done this correctly you should see a glowing ring around the circumference of the cigar with a smooth, rounded ash at the tip.

Smoke Your Cigar

Some cigar smokers prefer to blow their first puff back through the cigar to rid it from any sulfuric or gaseous flavors that may have been created by the lighter or match. If you choose to do so, make sure you never give your cigar more than one outward blow.

Lighting a cigar is an investment in time. Savor it, don’t rush it! Puff too fiercely and your cigar will burn too hot and quickly become unpleasant. Purists consider it an abomination to relight a cigar but find yourself engrossed in good conversation and sometimes the need might arise. A cigar that has extinguished itself naturally can be re-lighted for up about an hour; any longer than that and it’s likely to taste stale and sour. When you’re finished smoking, never stub out a cigar as that will instantly create a stale, foul smell in the air. Rather, leave your cigar to die naturally and with dignity.

The Tools

Never use anything that might impact the natural flavor of your cigar. This means if you’re using matches, make sure the sulfuric head has completely burned out before using it or use sulfur free matches. If you prefer lighters, make sure to use butane not oil-based lighters. If available, the best option is to use a strip of cedar called a spill. Never use a candle as the wax will almost always alter a cigar’s flavor.

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1 Response


January 25, 2012

Using oil based lighters is a big mistake that I have learned the hard way. I wasted a couple of Cohiban Behike because I was not aware that the lighters can make a difference.newport cigarettes

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