1. Choosing a Cigar
Choosing a cigar can be a little intimidating. I mean what’s the difference between a corona and a figurado. Or better yet, who is Bolivar or Romeo and Julieta? And why is this cigar better than that cigar? And which cigar is the best cigar? Well, lets start with the last question first. "The best cigar” is the cigar that feels, tastes and looks the best to you. Just because you have little or no experience doesn’t mean you wont be able to tell the difference between a good cigar and a bad one. Keep in mind a few things when shopping for a cigar. There are a few standard “types” in the cigar world: A corona, a Double Corona, Churchill, Torpedo and a Robusto. Each type will differ in length and in diameter and those difference will affect the over all flavor of a cigar. In addition, if your new to smoking cigars; a good thing to do, in my opinion, is to buy a mild cigar and a cigar that leans more toward a light medium body this will help you understand the contrast in terms (mild and Light medium) and serve as a gauge for your tolerance in relation to flavor and strength. Remember to buy like sizes that way your comparing apples to apples. Whenever you buy cigars online, make sure to work with an online retailer that has a secure checkout payment page from a trusted provider so your cc info isnt compromised. In other words, if you buy a mild robusto then buy the light medium cigar in the same size and if possible by the same manufacture. As a final point, don’t worry about learning cigar jargon it will come with time. In the interim focus on enjoyment and remember just because its expensive doesn’t mean its better.
2. Cutting your Cigar
Before cutting your cigar, there are a few things to consider. First you should not cut below the sap line, doing so might result in the cigar wrapper detaching from the binder. You can avoid this by simply shaving (cutting) the very top of the capped side of the cigar. In addition, if you suspect that the cigar might be dry, it’s a good idea to moisten the capped area before cutting the cigar with a little bit of saliva or dampen the tips of your fingers with water and slide your fingers from the top of the cap down about a ½ inch while turning the cigar.
What you use to cut is up to you. A guillotine, a pair of scissors, a V-cut, a punch cutter are all acceptable tools. Just find one that your most comfortable with and cut away and enjoy…
3. Lighting, and maintaing a well lit cigar
I have been a cigar smoker for over 18 years and when it comes to lighting the cigar; I have heard, like many of you, don’t light your cigar with this or that. Personally, I approach the subject in a practical way. By far the most important thing is to make sure that when you first light the cigar that it has been lit evenly. To accomplish this: Toast the area with either a match or lighter. Once you're finished with the toasting, begin by bringing the cigar to your mouth. While keeping the cigar horizontal apply the flame to the toasted area and rotate the cigar around the flame at an even pace. To confirm that the cigar has been evenly lit you should blow at the lit end of the cigar. Any dark areas are areas that are not completely yet lit, so add a little more flame to those areas. Please note that when doing this- it is dangerous! A safe distance is about 5 to 6 inches from your mouth. Finally, after making sure that your cigar has been lit properly rotating the cigar while smoking it, from time to time, is a good idea. If, however, the cigar beings to burn at a slightly different pace on one side, take the side that is lagging and face it up. if you catch it early enough the slower burning side will even out, if it doesnt just add some fire to it... Enjoy your smokes!
4. Breaking in Your Humidor
The wood in your humidor needs time to reabsorb moisture before you use it the first time to ensure this happens, you should break in your humidor according to these instruction.
1. Place a shot glass filled with distilled water or 50/50 solution in the bottom of the humidor.
2. Charge your humidifier and place inside the humidor
3. Close the lid
4. Check the humidity daily using the hygrometer. When it reaches 68-72% range, the wood has been properly stabilized.
Note: Do not wipe the interior of your humidor with water. This will ruin the wood