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6 Steps to Properly Smoke a Cigar

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Enjoying a smooth cigar and a cold drink can be an enjoyable way to wind down at the end of a long, busy day. But if you’re new to the cigar scene, there are a few things you need to know before you get started.

First, you need a cigar.

When picking out a cigar, steer clear of gas stations and convenience stores. Brick and mortar cigar stores will have the quality you’re looking for and employees willing to help you find the best cigar for your taste. As a novice, you can ask for a mild, affordable cigar and the salespeople will be able to direct you in the right direction.

Keep in mind the size of your cigar – the length and diameter are related to the intensity. If you’re a new smoker, try a long, skinny cigar rather and a short one that could be too intense for a beginner. Make sure there are no lumps, the tobacco at the end is not discolored and the wrapper is clear and clean. And most importantly, before you buy, confirm with the seller that your cigar is one hundred percent tobacco for the best cigar smoking experience.

Then you need to cut it.cigar-cutter-770474_960_720

The purpose of cutting a cigar is to create an opening in order to smoke it, without making too large of a hole that causes the cigar to lose its shape. To do this, you can use a single-blade cutter to slice off the head of the cigar. Bring the blade down toward the cigar and ensure the blade is positioned at the right spot: where the cap of the cigar meets the wrapper. Then, you’ll use a swift chopping motion with the blade to cut off the top of the cigar, leaving the rest of the wrapper in tact without tears.

If you use a double-bladed cutter that cuts the cigar from both sides at the same time, you’re more likely to make a clean cut and prevent the wrapper from tearing. You can do this by laying the cutter on a flat surface with the cigar through it, using the surface as leverage for the quick slice.

Next, you’ll need to light it.

You’re so close to enjoying your cigar! All you need to do now is light it. The best way to do this is to use an actual cigar lighter, not just any lighter from a gas station or convenience store. This is also a better alternative to matches, because matches contain ammonia that can spread to the cigar and change the way it tastes. However, if you have nothing else, use long matches that do not contain sulfur; if you can’t ensure they don’t, give the match time once it has been lit to allow the sulfur to burn away.

Now, it’s time to smoke it.

While smoking the cigar, it is considered good manners to remove the band. It needs to stay in place to prevent the tobacco from tearing in the processes leading up to your enjoyment of it, but afterwards you can discard it. It’s recommended to remove it after about twelve puffs of the cigar. At this time, it’s a great idea to enjoy a nice glass of wine, bourbon or cognac with your cigar and some good conversation with your companions.

If you need to relight it…

If you let your conversation distract you from your cigar and it happens to go out, draw on the cigar to test it. If you only get a small waft of smoke, try to dislodge the ash and relight it. You’ll have the most success with this tactic if the cigar is still warm. If a cigar is cold and you try to cut the end of the cigar to remove ash, smoke or ash will still be inside the barrel or body of the cigar which can add a bad taste to the tobacco. If your cigar has gone cold, it’s in your best interest to go ahead and light up a new one.

cigar and wineWhen you’re done, you’ll need to put it out.

Cigars are not like cigarettes, so you won’t smash its end into an ashtray when you’re finished smoking. Instead, place the butt in the ashtray and let it burn out on its own. Because cigars are not made with chemicals that make them burn, letting them smolder and eventually extinguish is the best way to end your session.

Need a great place to try this out? Come to BLEND Bar.


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BLEND Bar • Cigar with Davidoff Cigars® is Indianapolis and Nashville’s premier cocktail lounge and cigar bar. BLEND’s selection of premium cigars is second to none, and our walk-in humidor is one of the largest in the US. BLEND is the only appointed merchant for Davidoff cigars in Indiana, so cigar aficionados are sure to find what they are looking for.

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