Often times people will ask how to age a cigar and even if it’s necessary. Cigars are just like an aged scotch or wine – they simply get better over time. Fortunately for the cigar enthusiasts you don’t have to wait years on end to get a nice aged cigar. Here are few tips on how to get a nice aged cigar.
Why do cigars get better with age?
Many, but not all, premium brands of cigars are made with aged tobacco which is great – you already have a head start on the aging process. Most cigars are blends of different tobaccos and that is what gives them their unique flavors. Allowing the cigars to age even a month or two after purchasing them gives more time for the flavors of the different tobaccos to blend together creating deeper and richer flavors – even in mild cigars. Think of it as a good marinade or slow cooked meat, the longer the flavors are together in the right conditions the better they get. You can think of your humidor as a slower cooker that adds flavor and complexities to your cigar.
Is it necessary to store your cigars with the cellophane wrapper on them? What purpose does the cellophane wrapper have? How long should it stay on? These are common questions that come up for not only the novice smoker but also for the most experienced smoker. As with all things, there is no right or wrong answer, but depending on what you are looking to achieve there might be some better ways to do things than you’re currently doing them. So we’re going to explore of few here.
To toast or not to toast – that is the question. Whether or not to toast your cigar before lighting is a common question among cigars smokers. One you probably asked yourself a few times when you first started smoking cigars. Even though there is no hard and fast rule, the consensus is yes – it is the best practice to toast your cigar before lighting it. Toasting your cigar before lighting does a couple of things to help you get the maximum enjoyment out of your cigar, see below for some helpful tips and reasons to toast your cigar.
One of the first steps in smoking a great cigar is getting a proper cut with a cigar cutter. This is an important element that, if not done correctly, could take away from your smoking experience. Hundreds of years ago people simply used a knife or bit off the end of the cigar. This will absolutely work today, but luckily we have some much better options. Save the pocket knife and chewing the tip off for when you’re in a real bind.
There are three basic types of cigar cutters available today and they come in all shapes and sizes as well as a range of qualities. No matter your preference of cut, a basic cigar cutter is often better than biting the tip off of your cigar. Biting the cigar tip will often cause the end of the cigar to unravel making for a poor draw and potentially ruining the cigar if the wrapper completely comes off. You’re much better off with a straight cut, v cut, punch cut cigar cutter or even the trusty pocket knife will do better.
As with everything in life there are many ways to get a job done. The same is true for even the simplest of pleasures such as lighting up a fine cigar. We’re going to discuss the pluses and minuses of some of the most popular ways people light their cigars with matches, lighters and cedar stick. Hopefully it’ll give you some tips on improving the experience of your smokes.
Matches & Lighters
Using either matches or a lighter are probably one of the most common ways to light a cigar. They are easily available, very dependable and they travel easily as well. When using matches, it is recommended to use wooden matches and the longer ones you can get the better. The biggest down fall with matches is the sulfur taste that can go straight into the cigar when you hold the match up to light it. It’s hard to avoid the sulfur tainting the flavor of the cigar, but you can minimize the sulfur by lighting the match away from the cigar and letting it burn down the wooden stick a little ways before bringing it up to the cigar.