1. Cigars are natural and artisanal products
Cigars are made of one thing and only one thing: Tobacco. There is nothing else other than the natural leaf added to the cigar which is part of the cigar’s beauty. A proper cigar should never have a tobacco leaf that is chemically treated or artificially altered for different natural taste. As the world is pushing more and more production, we are lucky today to still find out that most of the cigars are natural. Another aspect of the cigar that makes it natural is no preservatives added like we see in cigarettes for example. A proper cigar will never have preservatives to keep it longer on the shelf.
From a craftsmanship perspective, many of the cigars are handmade. Rolling the perfect handmade cigar is considered an artisanal skill which requires many years of experience. Blending tobacco is an art and the blender must be able to work with any tobacco leaves provided to him or her as all tobacco leaves will vary every year due to the climate.
2. Aging is important
“Age like fine wine”. It is fair to say that cigars also age like fine wine. Not only tobacco leaves are aged prior to rolling, but the cigar is also sent to an aging room where the tobacco leaves and the humidity levels can stabilize. A properly aged cigar should have an aroma like almond, raisin, and orange blossom. Consumers will also choose at times to age their purchased cigar even more to ensure perfect aging. Perfect aging means that you have brought the cigar to its absolute peak of flavor. A great cigar can age for decades if the temperature and humidity are stable throughout the process.
3. Smoke Slowly
Smoking a cigar is not a race. Too many cigar smokers will puff too often. The main purpose of smoking a cigar is to enjoy, relax, and savor the moment. Smoking your cigars too fast will cause the cigar to overheat and end up having a bitter taste. The average cigar should last you between 45 mins and one hour depending on the length. Make sure to let your cigar unpuffed either for a long period of time or else the cigar will go out which will require you to relight the cigar again.
As for the ashes, try not to flick your cigar too many times. Ashes keep your cigar at a stable temperature and minimize contact between the air and the lit tobacco.
4. Understand the cigar anatomy
There are three parts to a cigar: wrapper, binder, and the filler.
The wrapper is the visible leaf around the cigar. This is the most expensive part of the cigar as these leaves need to be very in perfect condition for appearance and also very flavorful.
The binder is the lead directly under the wrapper which holds the tobacco filler in place. The leaves used for the binder are the same leaves used for the wrapper. The only difference is the leaves used for the binder are not perfect, which means they did not basically make the cut to be a “wrapper leave”.
The filler is where the cigar maker adds the leaves he desires for perfect taste.