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102 Things Newbs Should Know *ORIG POST UPDATED*

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  • 102 Things Newbs Should Know *ORIG POST UPDATED*

     12-06-2011, 6:04 PM

    Gentlemen! Ive recently read a couple of posts by folks who are new to the forum or hobby, who didnt know some stuff that a lot of us take for granted. A while back, one of our BOTL posted up a list of things that would save a bunch of headaches when you first start in the hobby on his website (Wrapper Binder Filler) that is an excellent reference, which I have transcribed below. Hope it helps. :-)

    EDIT - Much thanks to kuzi for correcting the list on a few points.


    1. When buying a humidor, always get a bigger one than you think you need. If you think 50-count would be fine – get a 100-count, if you think 100-count is great for you – get a 200-count!

    2. Humidors can rarely be filled to capacity and numbers are very relative. It is actually advisable to not fill your humidor to the brim!

    3. You will amass a good cigar collection faster than you think . (More reasons for larger humidors)

    4. Always, always, always season a new humidor before putting the cigars in!

    5. Buy your humidor before you order cigar samplers so you can have time to season it.

    6. The humidifiers your humi will come with are pretty much useless in the long run. Get beads or gel.

    7. Do not leave cigars out of the humidor unless they are in a special travel case. They will dry out pretty quickly and smoke like dried leaves…

    8. Always use distilled water when recharging or seasoning! Tap water is a no-no.

    9. The hygrometer (measuring the relative humidity) that came with your humidor needs to be calibrated if it is to be remotely accurate! Always calibrate your hygrometers!

    10. If you can – buy a digital hygrometer – it will be much more accurate than your analog one. Its just a few bucks more – your cigars deserve it.

    11. Make sure you keep humidity at a generally accepted good level. Anywhere between 65 and 75 tops will do. There is no right humidity – especially if you humidor has a mix of cigars with different wrappers and fillers, which 99% of the cases it does.

    12. Don’t freak out if you humidity shoots up sometimes to 80, but don’t let it stay there! Mold is very easy to grow in such nice conditions.

    13. Keep temperature at a reasonable level as well. Cooler could be better. Levels between 65 and 75 are ok.

    14. Make sure you watch out for tobacco beetles and mold! If you find any on the cigars – examine ALL cigars and isolate the bad ones. Then, clean the humidor thoroughly. Google to learn more about this.

    15. Some cigar wrappers can have little hairs – it does not necessarily mean they have mold. Run your finger down the wrapper and see if it goes away. If it is mold you’ll be able to wipe it off with your finger. Little hairs are ok.

    16. Don’t get caught up in the “storing cigars with cellophane versus no cellophane” argument! In most cases (and what most people do) you will keep your stogies in the cello. It will protect them and it still lets moisture get in. And no – it does not affect the flavor.

    17. Always let cigars rest at least a week in your humi after they have arrived in the mail for you. It lets them settle down and normalize their humidity.

    18. Make sure your humidor has a good seal. Google “humidor seal dollar bill test” and follow the instructions.

    19. Do NOT attempt to flavor sticks by dipping them in any liquids! This has never worked to good results. Learn more about flavored sticks and how its done before you try at home.

    20. Keep your flavored sticks and your regular sticks separate (separate humis)! Otherwise the flavored ones might intrude on the others and change their profiles. Sometimes quite a lot.

    21. Don’t buy a Cuban cigar from the local 7/11 or other similar store. It is NOT a Cuban cigar – its a waste of money.

    22. Real Cubans don’t necessarily taste better than cigars you can buy here. Most of the times you would actually end with far worse Cubans than the cheapest cigars you could have bought in the US.

    23. If you want to have drinks with a cigar without changing the way you perceive its flavor, have an ice water. It will soothe your throat and keep the flavor coming.

    24. There are no bad drinks to have with cigars – its all up to you! Some like me even prefer chocolate milk.

    25. Get a butane lighter! Do NOT use regular cigarette lighters! The gas in them will give a bad flavor to your cigars.

    26. Puff slowly – take breaks between puffs, otherwise your cigar will become bitter!

    27. Toast the cigar and puff on it slowly and deeply when you light it. You don’t want to heat it too much and make it bitter.

    28. Yellowish cellophane could actually mean good things for your cigar! Look up – “plume” and be happy to have a blooming well-aged cigar.

    29. Cracked wrappers means most likely too low humidity and dry cigars.
    kuzi16:
    29 needs to be edited. cracked wrappers dont happen to dry cigars unless they have also been handled roughly. a cracked wrapper before it is smoked could mean that it is way over humidified. a cracked wrapper as you smoke it means that the air is WAY more moist than the cigar.
    30. If you raise humidity too quickly too much though, you can still get cracked wrappers because the filler expands quicker than the wrapper and makes the cigar “explode”.

    31. A cigar should never feel too spongy – don’t humidify cigars too much.

    32. Cigars can be aged. Just like good wine.

    33. There are no too old cigars if they have been kept and aged properly.
    kuzi16:
    33 is only sorta right as well. it will still be able to be smoked after a loooooong time but there will be a point where it is not worth it.
    34. Aging cigars requires different steps than simply keeping them in the humi at a nice humidity. Google it!

    35. Whether you punch, cut, or spike a cigar – its all up to you – there is no perfect method! Just make sure you don’t cut too much.

    36. A punch can be a safer bet and easier to get right for a beginner.

    37. Sometimes cigars can develop plugs – areas in which it is very hard for air to pass through. This makes the draw horrible and the cigar possibly unsmokable. There are some ways around it – google!

    38. It is ok to throw out a cigar your are not enjoying or tastes bad. Don’t feel compelled to smoke it till the end!

    39. If you smoke a cigar for a while and then let it go out – don’t relight and smoke it later on! It would have dried out quite a lot and would taste worse.

    40. However, you can re-light a cigar that has gone out within several minutes, even an hour sometimes! Check to see how it looks and fire it up if its not too dry and smelly.

    41. Flavors are VERY subjective. Don’t expect to taste chocolate in a cigar that someone said tastes like chocolate. Same goes for “earthy” leathery, etc. Such descriptions are simply to aid us in talking about cigars since there is no specific terminology to describe definite flavors in different tobaccos. The “flavor” you get is simply the closest thing your mind can associate it with. It’s all tobacco otherwise.

    42. People from all ages, both sexes, and all races smoke cigars – don’t try to stereotype cigar smoking to specific individuals. I am a computer specialist who plays the guitar and enjoys great movies. I am also from Bulgaria.

    43. There are many different sizes and shapes of cigars and not one is “best”! Choose what you like and what fits your time and budget.

    44. Do try same cigar in different shape and/or size. You might be pleasantly surprised by a difference!

    45. Not all cigars of the same kind (for example ALL Rocky Patel 1990s) can taste exactly the same – after all they are handmade products that depend on way too many variables that can skew consistency. Truly good cigar makers however have consistency down to a science.

    46. Some years of certain kind of cigars might be better than others – just like with wine!

    47. If you are new to cigars – try to start with a milder blend.

    48. The strength or body of a cigar is almost as relative to the smoker as is the flavor. However the three major categories that you can group cigars in are – mild, medium, and full…

    49. The best cigars are the ones made totally by hand. Avoid machine made cigars.

    50. Stores that sell tobacco products and specifically cigars are often referred to as brick and mortar stores or B&M.

    51. Brick and Mortar stores often have what they call “house blends”. They are non-branded (or branded after the store) cigars that are often made by a famous manufacturer. Make sure you give those a try as some can be gems!

    52. Online retailers will sell cheaper cigars than B&Ms 99% of the time… Look at sites that offer deals!

    53. If you are using bid sites to make your cigar purchase, if possible, wait till the very end of the auction to place your bid. In most of the times you will end up spending much less money than anticipated.

    54. Do NOT get caught up in the thrill that is placing bets on cigar auctions! Bidding can be very addictive and can cost you a lot if you don’t do it right! Do NOT overbid on an item simply to be the winner – you will most likely have a second go at another similar auction. Google tips on cigar auction bidding.

    55. A good way to start in the cigar field is by buying cigar samplers. They are also usually also cheaper to get.

    56. If you can avoid buying singles, don’t do it. Always buy in threes or 5-packs. This way it will not only be cheaper, but you will also have cigars handy if you end up really liking them!

    57. Do not fret if you have cigars you don’t like! There are many cigar forums on the web where members trade cigars between each other. Try cigar.com’s forums for starters.

    58. There will ALWAYS be somebody who likes and wants the cigars you don’t like and want.

    59. A cigar might need a bit to open up once you light it. Don’t expect amazingness in the first inch of it. The sweet spot comes a little bit after that.

    60. Do not judge a person by the size of their cigar. Nubs are very popular, very short cigars that deliver a ton of flavor and are as good as any other top-tier handmade.

    61. It IS still illegal to buy Cuban cigars. Even if you order them online from Canada and they get shipped to you. You actually could technically get in trouble for that!

    62. You COULD use cat litter for humidification purposes. But do you really want to?

    63. Keeping your cigars in the fridge is not a good idea unless its a specially designed one.

    64. You can use a wine fridge to make the perfect temperature and humidity controlled cigar environment.

    65. You can also use a cooler and other similar stuff for humidors. Make sure you line the walls with spanish cedar wood.

    66. You CAN save cigars which have been attacked by the cigar beetle. Sometimes freezing is a solution. Google it!

    67. BOTL means “Brother Of The Leaf.”

    68. Dry-boxing of a cigar could be a good thing for certain cigars. It brings down their humidity and makes them better for smoking. Look it up.

    69. A “bomb” in the cigar enthusiast world is when somebody sends you randomly a packet of cigars. Yes, cigar folk are good like that.

    70. There are many terms that cigar folk in forums use to denote different actions or activities. Look up “cigar pass” in Google.

    71. Always get well-refined fuel for your lighters! You need one that will not clog it and will let it burn with ease.

    72. Always follow the guidelines when refilling a lighter!

    73. It is fine to use matches to light a cigar. However, let the match burn for a second so the tip has completely burned out. This way it will not affect your cigar flavor.

    74. You can keep your humidor in the basement to keep the temperature down, but be wary of mold!

    75. You can leave ice or special blue ice packs in your humidor to bring the temperature down. Make sure the ice is properly isolated from the cigars!

    76. Do not place a humidifier unit directly onto a cigar! This will turn into a sponge.

    77. If you want to leave some humidification units inbetween cigars in a big humi, use DryMistat or similar tubes. They can safely be put next to cigars.

    78. Florist foam based humidifiers (like the one that came with your humidor) can develop mold pretty quickly.

    79. Look up cigar reviews online before you buy a cigar so to get an idea of what you might expect. This way, you can find related cigars to stuff you already like.

    80. However, do venture and try cigars even if they have had bad reviews simply because of the subjectivity point of reviews stated somewhere above . Give it your own go!

    81. If cigars have been left in the open for a while forget about bringing them back to life. If you find something in your grandfathers cabinet – just throw it out.

    82. Make sure your cutter is very sharp. Do not settle for the cheapos that come with cigar orders or are gifted from shops. Buy a good cutter and you won’t be sorry!

    83. There ARE small cigars (called cigarillos) that are handmade, but most are machine-made.

    84. Some wrappers can have light discolorations because of water drops (or other reasons). This does not mean the quality or flavor of the cigar will be bad.

    85. However, if a cigar looks too greenish – it is most likely because of underaged tobacco.
    kuzi16:
    85: under fermented tobacco. (unless it is a candela, but that is a different ball game.)
    86. Smoking tobacco that has not been well cured or well aged will make you feel sick. Very sick.

    87. The color of the wrapper does NOT necessarily point to the body (strength) of the cigar. A lighter wrapper cigar can have a full body and a darker/maduro cigar can have a mild body.

    88. It is OK to cut as little as 1/8 of an inch from a torpedo if it works. Start slow and cut more if it is needed for better draw. You don’t want to cut too much!

    89. Rotating your cigars from top to bottom of your humidor is not necessary. Most people do it only in their “aging” humidors so they make sure cigars get well and equally humidified. However, do not do it too often.

    90. Your cigar beads and pillows and drymistat tubes can last much longer than the manufacturer stipulates in the directions (they just want you to buy more). It is not necessary to replace a humidification unit if it still does the job!

    91. You CAN use humi-pillows for main humidification. You might have to recharge them more often and discard them quicker however.

    92. Do NOT put your humidor next to the A/C or the Heater. It will ruin the wood and would bring big temperature and humidity swings to your cigars. It is an unhealthy practice.

    93. You CAN calibrate hygrometers by using just salt and water. You do not necessary need special calibration sets. However, a calibration set will generally give you better results.

    94. If a cigar band does not want to come off easily when smoking a cigar, wait till you get closer to it and then try it again. The heated cigar will loosen up the band and the glue.

    95. If a cigar start unraveling, do NOT remove the wrapper fully. Your cigar will just fall apart.

    96. Do NOT inhale cigars – they are not like cigarettes. This should have been one of the first things I mentioned LOL.

    97. Cigars and cigarettes are vastly different, however, there are still health effects from cigars. Do not close your eyes to this fact and you will be fine. However, for most cigar and cigarette smokers – cigars do seem to be the better alternative if you don’t smoke much. This is a heated topic but do not get caught up in it. There is no definite and good research yet to support any health claims. And this is how tobacco companies want it. I am fine with that.

    98. Do NOT smoke inside your house or car as the cigar smell can linger for a long time and stick to fabrics and clothes.

    99. When going to a lounge, it is advisable to buy at least one cigar from them out of courtesy for letting you smoke there. Be nice to your B&M and they will be nice to you! B&Ms and lounges can offer stuff online stores can’t – a place to smoke and like-minded people to smoke with!

    100. Some people believe it is a good idea to remove the band of a cigar out of courtesy when smoking with others at a lounge or elsewhere. Do NOT show off your cigar and toot its horn, even if it is a $750 Gurkha His Majesty’s Reserve. A cigar is a cigar and is meant for enjoyment – not to show how cool or rich you are!

    101. Cigars can be a very social activity and I encourage you to go out and smoke with some friends! It is a completely different experience from cigarettes and a much more “rewarding” one. Go now and enjoy!

    102. When using water pillows in a shipment, the water pillow should be wet enough to be just more than flat when laid on a table. Over-filling the pillow with water to the point of bulging can cause the pillow to leak during shipment and possibly ruin the cigars they were meant to protect!




    I <3 Irish AJ! All hail the Queen of the Bum Sticks!!! :-D
  • Re: 101 Things Newbs Should Know

     12-06-2011, 7:23 PM

    Very Nice Sniper! I read it all. It's a nice recap of everything i've been doing correctly thanks to all the brothers on here. I'm sure many will get good use of this. Thanks!
    Well done is better than well said. - Ben Franklin
  • Re: 101 Things Newbs Should Know

     12-06-2011, 7:48 PM

    Dang...that was a big read! But there was some good stuff in there!
    Fav's in Bio.

    Team ENFIDL

    MoW Special Forces Badge=Virtue, Original, Ruination, Armada, PA, and LE Maduro


  • Re: 101 Things Newbs Should Know

     12-06-2011, 8:10 PM

    Thanks for posting that Sniper.
  • Re: 101 Things Newbs Should Know

     12-06-2011, 8:14 PM

    i never thought of #100. good to know.
    i love motorcycles, cigars, and women, in no particular order. not much else to say.
  • Re: 101 Things Newbs Should Know

     12-06-2011, 8:15 PM

    29 needs to be edited. cracked wrappers dont happen to dry cigars unless they have also been handled roughly. a cracked wrapper before it is smoked could mean that it is way over humidified. a cracked wrapper as you smoke it means that the air is WAY more moist than the cigar.
    Kuzi's Forum links page
  • Re: 101 Things Newbs Should Know

     12-06-2011, 8:21 PM

    33 is only sorta right as well. it will still be able to be smoked after a loooooong time but there will be a point where it is not worth it.
    Kuzi's Forum links page
  • Re: 101 Things Newbs Should Know

     12-06-2011, 8:23 PM

    in response to 42: i started smoking cigars at age 2. my mom was PISSED.
    Kuzi's Forum links page
  • Re: 101 Things Newbs Should Know

     12-06-2011, 8:28 PM

    85: under fermented tobacco. (unless it is a candela, but that is a different ball game.)
    Kuzi's Forum links page
  • Re: 101 Things Newbs Should Know

     12-06-2011, 8:31 PM

    #100 - removing the band is more of a european thing, whatwith the Continent being more sensitive to class. In the US, it's not really an issue since class isn't an issue, except in election cycles. I've never noticed or cared what someone else is smoking; I doubt many people over here do either. Besides, if some guy is staring that hard at you to make out what cigar band you have, he's got some problems.

    Question, challenge, and always keep a fresh battery in your bullshit detector

    I want to be candid with you, for candor is a compliment, it speaks of trust and assumes good faith.
  • Re: 101 Things Newbs Should Know

     12-06-2011, 8:33 PM

    one more post here...
    there is some good info there.
    it is a great list of stuff new guys should know.
    Kuzi's Forum links page
  • Re: 101 Things Newbs Should Know

     12-06-2011, 8:40 PM

    You should have check with Kuzi before you posted Sniper. LMAO
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    " A good cigar, no matter the cost, is an investment in one's mental health "
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
  • Re: 101 Things Newbs Should Know

     12-06-2011, 10:41 PM

    beatnic:
    You should have check with Kuzi before you posted Sniper. LMAO
    He is my editor in chief! LOL Was afraid posting that list (thanks again Renaissance Man, wherever you may be) may come off as arrogant or snobbish, which it was TOTALLY not meant to be. Like I said in the original post, Ive read some stuff lately that made me go "How can these guys NOT know this???"

    Then it hit me - because nobody has told them. So I put it up. :-)

    Kuz, will edit the list soonest and I appreciate the corrections and input.




    I <3 Irish AJ! All hail the Queen of the Bum Sticks!!! :-D
  • Re: 101 Things Newbs Should Know

     12-06-2011, 10:46 PM

    The Sniper:
    beatnic:
    You should have check with Kuzi before you posted Sniper. LMAO
    He is my editor in chief! LOL Was afraid posting that list (thanks again Renaissance Man, wherever you may be) may come off as arrogant or snobbish, which it was TOTALLY not meant to be. Like I said in the original post, Ive read some stuff lately that made me go "How can these guys NOT know this???"

    Then it hit me - because nobody has told them. So I put it up. :-)

    Kuz, will edit the list soonest and I appreciate the corrections and input.

    Nice job there Sniper.. This should be required by all cigar smokers.. good information right here.
  • Re: 101 Things Newbs Should Know

     12-06-2011, 10:54 PM

    kuzi16:
    in response to 42: i started smoking cigars at age 2. my mom was PISSED.
    As we all know, our very own kuzi is the Chuck Norris of cigars. In addition to his early start in the hobby, he is also in the Guiness Book of World Records as being the only BOTL to master the techniques of smoking in the shower AND smoking while asleep! LOL NINJA I SAY!!! :-D




    I <3 Irish AJ! All hail the Queen of the Bum Sticks!!! :-D
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