Cigar 101

LIGHTING THE CIGAR: The Slow Burn

"Do not ask me to describe the charms of reverie, or the contemplative ecstasy into which the smoke of our cigar plunges us."

– Jules Bandeau

 

Toasting with a drink is an act of celebration. Lighting a cigar is a toast in this sense, too, but it is also an actual “toasting” of the cigar’s foot. In the proper lighting of cigar, the flame never touches the cigar. The way you light a cigar affects how it will taste and how it will burn, so lighting up correctly is paramount. The best lighters are butane because of their colorless, odorless fuel. Long cedar wood smokers’ matches are another good option. Never choose a kerosene lighter or a cardboard match impregnated with chemicals, for they will despoil the treasure.

INTERNATIONAL CONNOISSEUR’S GUIDE TO CIGARS
By Jane Resnick

CUTTING THE CIGAR: The Opening Act

"I have made it a rule never to smoke more than one cigar at a time."

– Mark Twain

 

Any act of satisfying pleasure has preparatory rituals. Cigar smoking has many. First, there is anticipatory delight. Then there is simple motion of taking the cigar in hand and engaging all the senses, rolling it gently with your fingers to feel its suppleness, its physicality. Relishing its color and shape. Inhaling its enticing bouquet unhurriedly. The time spent in these ceremonial moments is not just a prelude, but the initial step in the arc of your total satisfaction.

INTERNATIONAL CONNOISSEUR’S GUIDE TO CIGARS
By Jane Resnick

CHOOSING A CIGAR: The Art of Selection

"As concerns tobacco, there are many superstitions. And the chiefest is this–that there is a standard governing the matter, whereas there is nothing of the kind. Each man’s preference is the only standard for him, the only one which he can accept, the only one which can command him. A congress of all the tobacco-lovers in the world could not elect a standard which would be binding upon you or me, or would even much influence us."

– Mark Twain “Concerning Tobacco,” 1893

 

humidor

It is an axiom of cigars smoking that there is no perfect cigar. There is only the right cigar for you, the one that gratifies your taste buds and sense of smell. The joy of searching for the best cigar is in the journey itself–one smoke at a time. The devilish number of different cigars makes choosing one seem like picking a winning lottery number, but with a little knowledge and curiosity, you can embark on a quest that is its own reward.

INTERNATIONAL CONNOISSEUR’S GUIDE TO CIGARS
By Jane Resnick

HUMIDORS: The Well-Kept Cigar

"To smoke is human; to smoke cigars is divine."

– Anonymous

 

Some valuables, like paintings and jewelry, are meant to be displayed and worn, but cigars, perhaps the most precious of all, must be kept in the closet. Well, not actually in the closet, but certainly in a dark place without fluctuation in the climate. That means a humidor or any reasonable facsimile that your budget allows. Cigars should be stored at a temperature of 68-70 degrees and 70-72 percent humidity. This recreation of the tropical climate of the tobacco’s first home keeps cigars from becoming dry and brittle, extends their lives, and even supplies an environment for “aging,” if that is desirable. It is not that cigars are temperamental, they are simply botanical and cannot survive under conditions that would be harmful to the plant they once were. Hence the humidor.

 

INTERNATIONAL CONNOISSEUR’S GUIDE TO CIGARS
By Jane Resnick

How to Smoke a Cigar

How to Smoke a Cigar

How to Choose a Cigar

How to Choose a Cigar

Humidors 101

Humidors 101

How to use the Punch Cutter

How to use the Punch Cutter

How to use the V-Cutter

How to use the V-Cutter

Know Your Cigars

Cigar Shapes and Sizes