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With a list ranging from minor pet peeves to considerable misjudgments, we’d like to point out a few handy cigar etiquette fails that all enthusiasts should avoid.
The Extreme CutterCongratulations, you just chopped your Churchill down to an unraveling robusto. You’d be surprised at how little you need to clip off to get an adequate draw, so keep everything intact by never cutting below the shoulder of the cigar. If you want to get technical, on most cigars you’ll want to cut about one-sixteenth of an inch from the end. You can also place the cutter flush on a table so that the hard surface acts as a safeguard.
The Lazy Lighter
You quickly light your cigar and start to puff away, only to watch it slowly turn into a canoe. Unlike cheaper tobacco products, premium handmade cigars should involve a little extra time and preparation. Get the proper burn and flavor out of your cigars by making sure you light up the entire perimeter of the foot before pocketing your lighter. After you light up, blow gently on the foot. If it’s completely orange, that means you’re ready to enjoy a long and straight burn. If not, touch it up carefully.
The Angry Extinguisher
So you’re done with your cigar and decide to call it quits by pulverizing it in the ashtray until it splits apart. Was it really that bad, or did you just need to blow off some extra steam? Hint: cigars will go out on their own within a minute or two. If you’ve had your fix, simply set it to rest. You may find yourself coming back.
The Upside Down Puffer
You picked up an interesting looking figurado shaped cigar that’s cut on both ends. Thinking nothing of it, you start puffing away from the larger bulb side. Technically speaking, things may be working out, but don’t mind those aficionados having a few chuckles in across the room. Figurados typically taper off and come to a point at the head, and lighting the bulbous end is meant to add great development and complexity to the cigar as it burns.
The Cellophane Sniffer
This is more common than you may think. You hand your buddy an exceptional cigar to smoke and he brings that sucker directly to his nostrils with the cellophane still covering the cigar. Ah, rich notes of plastic, cellulose, and maybe a hint of cigar? Tell him not to be afraid to pop the foot out and get a whiff of the real thing. The pre-light aroma on the foot of the cigar is a great indicator of the cigar’s desirable complexity.
The Habitual Asher
Puff, puff, ash…we’ve seen plenty of folks knock their ash off between each draw. Worse yet is when they wipe the lit end of the cigar against the bottom of the ashtray just in case there’s something still holding on. Besides telling you a lot about the quality and construction of a cigar, the build-up of cigar ash can help provide a steady, cooler combustion. A cigar that is rolled well can often produce a stiff ash for well over two inches without breaking.
The Packaging Inhaler
We finish with certainly the rarest mistake of the group, but sadly enough we have seen it happen. Cigars these days come sheathed in all sorts of decorations, so don’t let a foot band or cedar sleeve become your worst nightmare. Not meant to be smoked themselves, the cedar sleeves can add a nice, sweet cedar flavor to a cigar with sufficient age.
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