Want to make the most of your cigar-smoking experience? Some hints:

Source of Ignition: Always light up using a match, lighter, or a fancy cedar spill. For the match, wait until the sulfur burns off and the flame is constant before lighting to avoid the sulfur taste. Long wooden stove matches work the best. If you are using a lighter, avoid gasoline powered ones, as they impart a foul flavor. Flameless or butane lighters are favored. If you like a little drama in your life, use a cedar spill, which is a long strip of Spanish cedar available at most smoke shops. Ignite the spill first, then light your cigar from it. The cedar offers a cool, clean light with a fresh aroma.

Technique: Place the cigar in your mouth and gently roll it about one-half inch from the flame. This preheats the tobacco, before the flame actually ignites the cigar. The key is always use a slow turning motion to establish an even burn. When you feel your cigar is lit, double-check the glowing “foot.” If done properly, you should see an even glow. If it appears uneven, blow on the lit end to generate additional heat.

Relighting: Gently tap off any remaining ash. Blow through the cigar to clear out the old smoke. If the cigar has dried out a bit, dampen the leaves by gently (and inconspicuously) running the cigar across your lips. Follow the usual steps used for lighting a cigar – whether it’s a fresh out-of-the-wrapper one, or the last inches of a favorite too good to discard.

Take a Close Look at this Month’s Cigar Selections . . . Featured Countries of Origin from your Favorite Cigar of the Month Club: NICARAGUA and HONDURAS

1) GRAYCLIFF ORIGINAL PGXNationality: Honduran   Appearance: MEDIUM bodied, 6.0; 50 ring; A smooth stunner in a rarely-seen Indonesian wrapper

Personality: A masterpiece of smooth flavor, her wrapper leaf is draped over a motley crew of international long-fillers. Her blend booms out clouds of rich smoke with layers of earth, spice and a satisfying mellow sweetness.

2) ACID LTD. DEF SEANationality: Nicaraguan Appearance:  MEDIUM bodied, 6.0; 52 ring; Wrapped in a well-cured, red-hued Sumatra seed leaf

Personality: Sweet with soothing aromas and nuances, this is a highly unique smoke layered with rich tobacco flavors. The key to her success? Experimental blending of honey water, jasmine and double-cured sugar cane extract. How sweet she is!

3)  NICA LIBRE POTENCIA DOUBLE ROBUSTONationality: Nicaraguan Appearance: FULL bodied, 5.0; 54 ring; Exquisite bundled in a dark reddish Habano sun-grown wrapper

Personality: From a small batch family, she’s got plenty to offer. Her robust blend of aged ligeros brings you deep, complex flavor. She’s small yet powerful, smooth and refined, loaded with layers of coffee, spices, earth and dark chocolate.

4) 5 VEGAS GOLD BARNationality: Honduran Appearance: MILD bodied, 6.0; 62 ring; Wrapped in a gorgeous Connecticut shade wrapper

Personality: Using five year aged long-fillers, this vitola is packed to the gills with the classic 5 Vegas Gold flavors of cream, nuts, light cedar and pleasant, natural tobacco. She offers you a bit more flavor, without any extra show of strength.

5) PERDOMO SLOW-AGED 826 GLORIOSO NATURALNationality: Nicaraguan  Appearance: MILD-MEDIUM bodied, 6.0; 52 ring; In an oily, delicate, natural CT Broadleaf wrap

Personality: Deliciously smooth, creamy, robust and vivacious, she delivers coffee-like notes backed by a velvety delivery. Slow-aged, inside she’s got four different long-leaves, including a choice strain of ligero leaf that amps up her flavor profile.

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Tracie Burket
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