So, you’ve decided to take the plunge into the world of cigars. Whether you’re already a smoker of pipes or cigarettes or you’ve never smoked in your life, cigars can be a rich and rewarding experience. Cigars are as varied as individuals and amazing creativity and attention to detail goes into their construction. What colognes and perfumes are to connoisseurs of smell, cigars are to connoisseurs of aroma and taste. Nevertheless, if you’re new to this, choosing where to start out can be overwhelming. What are some tips for new cigar smokers in search of their very first cigar?
- Pay attention to where you buy your first cigar. Don’t go to a gas station or a corporate superstore – if you want the quality stuff, you need to find a quality tobacconist that can show you some personal attention and take pride in what they do. Gas stations and superstores often aren’t kept at the proper humidity levels either, which can damage their smokes before you even buy them. These places often have placards next to the humidors with scores from major cigar mags like Cigar Aficionado. These make good buying guidelines, but again, talking to the tobacconist or even other customers can help you make a more personalized choice.
- Avoid huge cigars your first go. Cigars are a lot stronger than cigarettes and produce much thicker, headier smoke. They can pack more punch than you may be expecting, so look for something relatively thin to start, and not too long. Cigar smoking takes some skill to master too (like anything), so this will stop you from wasting tobacco and cash – which means more money to purchase more cigars later when you’re ready!
- Don’t go for something full-bodied just yet. Go for something lighter. It’s much easier for a new smoker to handle something milder (plus they usually cost less). Ask questions!
- If you can, try and smell the cigars you’re interested in. If you like the smell, this is a pretty good indication you may enjoy that particular cigar. As you smoke more, you’ll learn more about the different parts of cigars and how they can impact flavor and aroma.
- Personally inspect the cigars you’re interested in tactically. Roll and squeeze them carefully to check for cracking sounds or abnormally hard or soft spots. These all should be avoided.
- If you don’t have a humidor at home, plan to smoke your purchase within 12-24 hours.
- Lastly, if you don’t find what you were expecting or hoping for on your first try, don’t get discouraged – cigars vary widely, and while you may hate one cigar, you may love another. So don’t be afraid to try again!