How is a cigar used ? What do I need to know ? What types of cigars are out there ? Is it really so simple ?
Before we discuss cigars, let us differentiate between the different types of cigars out there. If you bought a pack of commercial cigars, the odds are that you do not need this guide. Commercial cigars are very simple to use, the package is opened, the cigar is lit and then smoked. Cigars like this include Backwoods and Villiger. Real cigars are very different from these, their taste and feel are of much higher quality and there is no comparison, to buy real cigars you would have to visit a Tobacco store. The best real cigars are Cuban, such as Monte Cristo, Partagas or Romeo Y Julieta. Once you have a real cigar you will find it very difficult to return to commercial or cigarettes, the quality is just that extreme.
If you are buying standard sized cigars, you will be choosing between different shapes and sizes, your choice is a question of individual preference. The standard shape is cylindrical which everyone knows very well but there are also other shapes such as Pyramid and Torpedo. There are three predominant sizes which are smaller to larger; Robusto, Toro and Chruchhill. Designer cigars such are the predominant Cubans can come in non-conventional sizes and are instead denoted by numbers beginning with No.1 and up, No.1 usually being the largest and consecutive numbers usually decreasing in size.
Before you venture into cigars you will probably need several essential tools, very importantly you will need a cigar torch lighter with an integrated punch tool, a cigar ashtray would be useful, a cigar cutter if preferred to the punch tool and a humidor if you have bought a large quantity of cigars and you would like to keep them in top condition.
The first thing you will have to do with a cigar is cut it. Real cigars are closed at the mouth end and have to be cut before lighting. To cut using a guilotine cutter, hold the cigar in the grip of your hand with the cap against your thumb. You will have to cut only part of the cap off, if you cut the entire cap off, the entire cigar is in danger of unraveling. A punch tool is a lot easier to use, place the punch tool against the end of the cap and gently twist and turn the puncher until it cuts through and a hole is revealed in the cap.
After cutting a cigar you will have to light it. This can be done with a match, normal lighter or torch lighter. The easiest to use is a torch lighter. Hold the cigar between the thumb and fingers, with the cap on the far side. Place a flame under the lighting end of the cigar while rolling the cigar in your finger grip, the lighting end should be just above the flame without touching it, igniting from the heat of the flame only. With a torch lighter, simply target the lighting end and activate the torch for a short duration until the cigar end is lit, no need to roll the cigar in the finger grip.
Immediately after lighting, start toking the cigar gently. Important to know about cigars is that they should be toked very gently, also cigars are tasted but not inhaled like cigarettes. After half the length of the cigar is burnt through it is time to stop using it, and it shou7ld be placed in the cigar ashtray to extinguish naturally, do not forcefully extinguish a cigar like you would a cigarette.
Humidors are an important part of cigars. A humidor is a wooden box in which the humidity is managed to the best level for cigars. Storing cigars at the ideal humidity is important to keep them in good shape, otherwise they will usually dry and turn brittle.