All about Cigars – From our friends at

Posted by By at 28 November, at 19 : 00 PM Print


A Brief Statement

One of the more fascinating things about cigar manufacturing is that its basic art of construction has not changed in well over two hundred years. That is why a hand-rolled cigar is the perfect complement for those of us who appreciate the artistry of hand craftsmanship. Each geographic area in which tobacco seeds are planted and grown will give the resulting leaf a very unique and distinct characteristic. Very few areas in the world have the perfect combination of soil, temperature and rainfall to produce a tobacco crop worthy of making a high-grade cigar. Most of the prime growing regions are located in the Caribbean or in the nearly identical latitudinal regions of Dominican Republic, Mexico and Central America. In Central America, which produces the majority of the world’s best premium cigars today, there are just two fertile valleys for tobacco, These valleys which posses a variety of dark and rich soil textures are Jalapa v alley in Nicaragua, Esteli and Jamastran valley in Honduras, Dandi. Both of the most luxurious long leaf filler tobaccos ever rolled into a cigar. A strain that originated with precious Cuban seed that were transported or either smuggled to the Central America by cigar makers fleeing during the rise of Castro in Cuba.

Components of a Cigar

Filler – This is the very heart of the cigar. The Filler is made of long leaf, that is, strips of tobacco that travel the length of the cigar in one piece. A fine cigar usually contains between two and five different types of long-filler tobacco.

Binder – This is the blanket that holds the filler in place. It is a specialized leaf, for it must be strong enough to do the job. Yet it has to impart a complimentary flavor to the filler and wrapper. The Binder is consider one of three main components in a cigar.

Wrapper – In many ways, the wrapper is the most important part of a cigar, not just because it provides 30% to 60% of the flavor, but also because it is the embodiment of the cigar’s total character. A few of the most popular wrappers include: Habano 2000, Maduro, Cameroon, Corojo, Sumatra and Connecticut.

Cigar Fundamentals

Cutting a cigar:
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.

Getting the best burn from a 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 needed to feed the flame isn’t being displaced by the smoke. Try it and see!

Getting the best draw on a tight cigar:
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. Do this before you light it and be very careful!

Keeping a cigar going:
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 you palate each time. You will be amazed at how this simple practice helps to improve any difficult burning cigar.

Storing a 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 anal 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 62% and 74%. In my opinion, they smoke best around 65-72%, 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.

Relighting a cigar:
Want to relight a cigar that you left sitting for awhile? The best way to do this is tap off any remaining ash, then gently blow through the cigar to clear any stale air or cut the end to start it clean again. 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.

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