7 Cigar Mistakes to Avoid As a First-Time Enthusiast

7 Cigar Mistakes to Avoid As a First-Time Enthusiast

When it comes to mastering an art or avocation, we all need to start somewhere. Cigar smoking may seem simple enough but really there is much to master in order to fully enjoy a cigar. That’s why we’ve put together our list of the top 7 mistakes to avoid for first-time enthusiasts. Pay close attention and before long you will be regarded as a very informed cigar connoisseur.

Everyone Makes Mistakes in The Beginning

It’s been widely recognized that we humans learn by making mistakes. Sometimes the knowledge comes at a cost (“hold my beer and watch this”) and sometimes the knowledge is slightly more nuanced (like never again adding cardamom to your famous chili recipe!). But in both scenarios a lesson was learned.

So it is with cigar enthusiasts. Newbies are bound to make a faux pas at some point and those in the know will, hopefully, guide them to the best way to do things. We’ve made plenty of mistakes on our journey to becoming a cigar expert.Thankfully we can provide you with our expert advice so that you can save face and have the best smoking experience.

Here is our list of the most common cigar mistakes to avoid as a first-time enthusiast. And we’re sure there are a few of you experienced cigar lovers who could benefit from the following as well.

1. Paying for Fakes and Imposter Cigars

One of the top mistakes a first-time cigar enthusiast makes? Paying for a fake cigar. Counterfeit cigars are typically pedaled as top-of-the-line stogies. Even experienced cigar smokers have, at one time or another, fallen for fake Fuentes and phony Padróns. These cigars may look like the highly-rated originals but the blend is not the same and can leave a poor impression of the original.

It takes a learned eye to spot the fakes but you can avoid falling for an imposter by making sure to always, always, always purchase form a reputable cigar shop. These are the people with whom you want to do business. They understand the overwhelm some newbies feel and can lead you to the right cigar selection as you develop your taste and favorite smokes.

2. Clipping Away Too Much

There is an art to clipping your cigar. Most premium cigars come with a portion of tobacco leaf that covers the end. This is called the cap and it is affixed to the cigar with a vegetable adhesive. In order to draw the smoke through the cigar you need to cut, or clip, the cap. If you clip away too much of the cap you risk your cigar wrapper unraveling. It happens and it can ruin the experience. Especially in the case of the pricier cigars.

The best way to cut your cigar is to remove just enough of the cap so you’re able to draw on it. The clip should be made in one fell swoop, a single slicing motion across the very top of the cap. The best way to achieve such a clean cut? Use a guillotine cutter or special scissors if you prefer. You may also prefer to use a cigar punch however they may not provide enough of a draw with some of the larger ring gauge stogies.

3. Not Lighting Properly

Lighting a cigar is nothing like lighting a cigarette. You don’t put the flame directly to the tobacco. Instead you hold the flame very near and draw until the tobacco begins to smoke. You also do not want to use anything but a lighter intended to light cigars and a clean fuel meant for this purpose. If the fuel isn’t pure the tender tobacco leaves take on a flavor that may put you off cigars indefinitely. We can’t have that!

4. Not Storing Properly

When you begin your cigar journey you’ll want to purchase enough cigars and keep them to enjoy. After all, cigar smoking is guided by personal preferences and discovery. The world of cigars is vast and you should try a wide variety of cigars as a first-time enthusiast. But make sure you know how to store them. Without a humidor you run the risk of heartbreak that comes with ruining your smokes due to improper storage.

Some ill-informed individuals assume keeping cigars cold in a refrigerator is a great way to store them. Wrong! Seriously? You want to put your premium Rocky Patel next to last week’s egg salad or those chunks of cantaloupe you’re saving for breakfast? No, no you don’t. Nor do you want to store them in a cigar box like the one they came in.

Your cigars need the controlled environment of a humidor. Proper temperature and controlled humidification prevents degradation of cigars. You’ll never regret investing in the best humidor you can find. At Northwoods Humidors we carry a full line of quality humidors suitable for any budget.

5. Knocking the Ash After Each Puff

If you’ve spent time among other cigar enthusiasts you’ve no doubt seen some nervous nellie flick their cigar after every puff in an effort to knock off the ash. This can damage the tender tobacco and cause the wrapper to unravel. And, believe it or not, the ash should remain on the cigar as it serves a purpose. The ash helps keep the burn even and also keeps the draw smooth. But, if the ash becomes too long that its precarious don’t risk having it fall in your lap. It’s ok to knock off some of the ash.

6. Inhaling

Please don’t inhale your cigar smoke. The smoke is how you taste the tobacco and your taste buds are on your tongue. Cigar smoking is a ritual. It begins with the enticing aroma of the tobacco, then the flame dances and toasts the end. Now, puff your cigar as you draw in the flavors and experience the pleasure as it was intended. Inhaling the smoke into your lungs not only compromises the flavor experience but it could make you terribly nauseous and light headed.

7. Stubbing Out Your Cigar

When you finish your cigar, allow it to smolder and gently go out by itself. When you stub it out you risk making a mess as the binder comes loose and smolders longer as oxygen gets to the hot spot.

We’re Happy to Be Your Guide

We love first-time cigar enthusiasts and we welcome any questions you may have about our favorite pastime. Cigar-smoking is such an enjoyable way to hit that pause button and relax for a time. Please contact our experienced and knowledgeable team at Northwoods Humidors and let us guide you on your journey.

18th Apr 2024 Colleen D.

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