There is plenty of advice out there on how to select, store, and smoke cigars. Rather than repeat what everyone knows or says, here are 10 quick, lesser-known tips, courtesy of Tobacco Junction, to make your cigar smoking experiences more pleasurable.
- An easy way to get a perfect cut from most double-bladed guillotine cutters is to lay it flat on a table, place the cigar in it straight up, and snip. This method makes it easy to not only get a straight cut, but with most cutters it nips just the right amount of the head off your cigar.
- A great way to keep your cigar burning evenly is to rotate the slow-burning side to the bottom. I know this seems odd, but the bottom side will burn faster because the oxygen the cigars need to feed the flame isn't being displaced by the smoke. Try it and see!
- Your cigar a little tight? First thing to try is to gently squeeze and massage it; many times this will loosen the bunch enough to fix the problem. But if that doesn't work, go for the gusto and use a skewer or ice pick to just poke a hole through its length. Word of warning though: Do this before you light it and be very careful!
- To prevent your cigar from going out between puffs, give it a couple of extra quick, short draws coupled with quick exhales before you take a long draw of smoke to savor against your palate each time. You will be amazed at how this simple practice helps to improve any difficult burning cigar.
- Ignore what everyone keeps telling you about 70% being the ideal relative humidity for cigar storage. Many cigars are too wet at this level and draw poorly and taste sour. You will enjoy a much better smoking experience keeping your stogies closer to 65% RH.
- Don't become overwhelmed about relative humidity. Cigar smoking is meant to be relaxing; stressing over your humidor humidity level is a waste of time! The goal is to keep it stable ... your cigars will be just fine anywhere between 60% and 72%. In my opinion, they smoke best around 65-66%, but they are not going be harmed at a few points higher or lower. The goal is to find what you like and to maintain that level.
- A quick and easy way to check how good your humidor's seal is is to empty it, place an energized flashlight inside, close the lid, and inspect it in a dark room. If there are any leaks or gaps, the light will shine right through.
- Your butane lighter doesn't seem to be working as well as it used to? Purge it! What does this mean? Purging is simple: Next time your lighter is empty, depress the fill stem and allow the air that is trapped within the empty gas reservoir to be expelled. You will know it is properly purged when you cease to hear any hissing.
- It is best to wait five minutes or so after a cigar is lit before you try to remove the band. The heat of the cigar will loosen any glue that may have come in contact with your cigar's wrapper and will prevent you from tearing the leaf as your remove the ring.
- Want to relight a cigar that you left sitting for a while? The best way to do this is tap off any remaining ash, then gently blow through the cigar to clear any stale air. Then, as you light it, continue to blow gently through the cigar with the flame at the foot for about three seconds before you take your first draw. Doing this simple set of actions will greatly reduce any initial sour flavor from a relit cigar.