How To Smoke A Cigar Properly
Lighting the cigar correctly is a vital part of the process, not
only from the view of ensuring it burns smoothly and evenly, but
the ritualistic element is part of the pleasure of cigar
smoking. Handmade cigars need to be cut before lighting. Using a
sharp knife, scissors or ideally a cigar cutter, remove the
closed end of the cigar, leaving about one eighth of an inch
(3mm) of the cap remaining. Make the cut quick and clean; to
avoid damaging the wrapper leaves. The real trick is to be
decisive, once you have lined up the cut, do it in one quick
motion; a tentative, squeezed cut will tear the leaves.
To light the cigar, hold the cigar horizontally and bring the
flame up to meet the end, (remember to use an odourless light,
not a petrol lighter) revolving the cigar so the end is
uniformly charred, blowing on the charred end will create a
slight glow, which aids the smooth burning of the cigar.
Now draw slowly on the cigar, whilst holding the flame almost
but not quite, touching the cigar. Slowly rotate the cigar in
the flame to ensure an even burn. Blowing gently on the lit end
also helps evenness.
Once the cigar is lit, allow the smoke to waft around your
mouth, enjoying the flavour. Do not puff too hard and cause
overheating nor inhale like a cigarette. A good cigar will
create an ash that can get as long as an inch (2.4cm.) Don't
flick this too often, unlike a cigarette, or risk the cigar
going out or burning unevenly. Should the cigar go out, simply
knock any burnt ash from the end and start the lighting process
from the beginning.
When the cigar is about an inch (2.5cm) from the middle of the
band, it is time to give it up. Lay the cigar in an ashtray and
it will soon extinguish itself. Remember to dispose of the butt
as soon as possible. The old saying goes that, "The only time a
Havana resembles a cheap cigar is in the ashtray."