As with any sort of passion a cigar enthusiast must take a natural path to that designation. Everyone must start somewhere and if that first draw pulled you in and offered a world of discovery then you’re well on your way. But you likely aren’t eager to stay a beginner or a novice for the long run. Not you! You’re excited to learn more, experience more and acquire more as you make your way to becoming a full-fledged cigar enthusiast.
So how do you get there? Obviously by taking the time to hone your expertise you will eventually be the person everyone else goes to for knowledge and advice. But it does take a dedicated person to go from cigar smoker to full-fledged enthusiast. Here we offer you a beginner’s guide to becoming a cigar enthusiast.
Try Different Cigars and Record Your Thoughts in A Cigar Journal
This is the fun of your cigar passion and the essential step to cigar enthusiasts. Try different cigars while you hone in on your favorites. There are different flavor profiles and in order to discover your favorites you need to try a selection. For instance you may rely on your favorite mild choice and return to that each time. But you may find, after smoking awhile, you prefer your stogie a little bolder. The flavor profiles also run the gamut from sweet to spicy. Other flavors you may uncover are nutty, creamy, silky, leathery and woody. Some cigars are infused with liquors like bourbon and rum.
Many times the cigars reflect culinary flavor palates and you can use that to guide you toward finding new favorites. Reflect on your favorite flavors of foods or your preferred libation. Are you a spicy food lover? Sample a cigar that has a spicy profile. You’ll also find certain cigar flavors pair well with your favorite drink. From different coffees to fine wines, craft beers, whiskeys, bourbon and rum you’ll find a cigar that pairs quite nicely.
As you make your way through the various flavor profiles consider the types of ring gauge you seem to enjoy best. While there are no set rules dictating the sizes of cigars most cigar makers craft specific sizes as they are the ones the market demands. The most popular ring gauge cigars are the toros which measure from 5.5 inches to 6.5 inches. They have a ring gauge that goes from 46 to 59. While toros were once considered large there are a fair amount of much larger ring gauge smokes on the market today. For example the medium to full strength Rocky Patel Mulligans Snowman is 80 ring gauge. That’s a big stogie to get your lips around!
The ring gauge has a bearing on your cigar’s intensity. Thinner smaller cigars burn much hotter and therefore are not as mild as the larger smokes. Length also weighs on your cigar smoking experience. Longer cigars increase in intensity as they near the end. How long do you have to enjoy your cigar? Is it for an evening of relaxation that may last an hour or two? Opt for a larger ring gauge that can go the distance.
While you sample from a wide variety of smokes, be sure to keep a cigar journal. Record the name of the cigar and any pertinent facts such as where the tobacco is grown, size, cost, etc. Write down your experience insofar as flavor, intensity and overall enjoyment. Journaling your way makes an excellent reference to go to as you grow your collection and become a cigar enthusiast.
Learning from those more advanced aficionados is a great way to educate yourself. Our blogs offer ample information on cigar culture as well as recommending the tools and accessories that support your foray into cigar enthusiast.
There are many different reference books that give you greater insight into the history of cigars. The evolution of tobacco smoking is certainly captivating. If you’re a history buff you’ll certainly want to read up on the progression of the cigar from its early use in indigenous cultures to today’s favorite stogies.
Visit cigar shops and talk with tobacconists. These are your people. Venturing to different cigar shops and talking with the experts provides a better education than simply reading about cigars. At Northwoods Humidors we pride ourselves in our advanced knowledge and cigar lore. In fact our owner, Kevin, is a certified tobacconist and definitely a cigar enthusiast! He can answer any questions you may have.
Frequent Cigar Clubs and Join One
Cigar clubs are establishments that provide a space for cigar lovers to gather and smoke and often bring your own favorite libation. These clubs also sell cigars to their members and sometimes at a discount.
Being around like-minded folks with a deep passion for cigars offers you a fast track to becoming a cigar enthusiast. You’ll gain opinions from those you can trust and use those opinions to dive into cigars you may never have thought of smoking.
Cigar clubs often sponsor special events. They may host a new cigar unveiling or invite a cigar maker to discuss the art with its patrons and members. If you want to soak in as much cigar culture as possible we strongly advise joining a cigar club.
Attend Cigar Events
This is an excellent way to get in on the latest trends and products for cigar enthusiasts. There are numerous cigar events held all over the country that attract thousands of cigar lovers, from beginner to enthusiast to true cigar aficionados and everything in between. These events are held in various cities and at all times of the year. They really are a lot of fun and extremely insightful.
The larger cigar events attract many of the top names in tobacco producers and cigar artisans. You’ll find different workshops you can attend and even dinners centered around cigar pairing and tasting. Looking at becoming a cigar enthusiast? Plan to attend a cigar event.
Consult the Experts
Northwoods Humidors can help you as you forge a path to becoming a cigar enthusiast. We offer the accessories you need for full enjoyment of your passion and, of course, the necessary humidor in which to keep your collection. Please contact Northwoods Humidors for more information. Our certified tobacconist and owner Kevin is eager to help you advance your knowledge and enhance your experience as a cigar enthusiast.