Get the Most from Each Smoke: How to Enjoy Your Cigar

From first moments to the last ash, here are the basics on enjoying your cigar:

Storing Your Cigars

Great care has been taken to ensure that your cigars arrive in peak condition. All cigars are stored in our humidor until they are ready for shipping. It has been our experience that under normal conditions, your cigars wil stay fresh in their plastic wrapper for up to one week. If you are not planning on enjoying your cigars right away, or if storage conditions are not normal, may we suggest that you remove the cigars from their plastic wrappers and place them in a humidor. Optimum cigar storage conditions are “70/70″ –70˚F and 70% humidity. If you do not have a humidor, your cigars may be sotred in a plastic container, such as Tupperware, with a moist sponge or paper towel. (Be careful not to place the cigars too close to the sponge, or you risk mold.) Also, keep the plastic container in a cool place, away from the sunlight or radiators. A closet or drawer would work, but do not place them in the refrigerator.

Cutting Your Cigars

Most smokers have their own favorite way to snip off the end of a cigar, such as scissors, piercer, knife, guillotine, or his own teeth. The most favorable method is with a sharp guillotine cigar clipper. Simply cut off the end of the cigar, just enough to expose the filler leaves. Generally cut right before the curved end straightens out in the cigar.

Lighting Your Cigars

The most effective way to light a cigar is with a “butane” lighter or a wooden match. If your matches are short in length, use two of them to get a broader flame. The simple rule when lighting your cigar is: never let the cigar touch the flame. Just hold the cigar in your hand, with the end of the cigar above the flame, until the flame dances up. Rotate the cigar over the flame to “warm” and blacken the tip. As you take the first few puffs, continue rotating the cigar to regulate the burn.

Smoking Your Cigars

Never inhale your cigar, just draw the smoke to the back of your palate, let the smoke linger inside your mouth, then blow out slowly. Even with the perfect lighting job, a cigar may go out occasionally. Smoke your cigar at least one time each minute, this will ensure your cigar stays lit and consistent. If your cigar goes out, re-light it with the same procedure as you would from the beginning. Be aware that after several re-lights, the cigar may tend to get harsh.

Enjoying Your Cigars

If your cigar looks shiny, this indicates a more spicy and full-bodied cigar. There is no direct correlation between color and flavor of a cigar. The characteristics of a very high quality cigar are: an even, smooth wrapper (not bumpy); a black ring at the base of the ash that burns at an even rate with the ash; a distinctive aroma that dissipates quickly; and a long, healthy, white ash.

Hint: For a more special added flavor, dip the mouth-end (head) of your cigar in a glass of Cognac!

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