Shopping online or going to a brick-n-mortar cigar store shop can be a bit overwhelming to those who are still new to the world of cigars. There is endless information when it comes to selecting that ideal stogie that meets your needs. However, as a beginner to cigar smoking, there are some crucial tips you must know. We will not bombard you with a ton, just the basics for what to keep in mind when purchasing premium cigars.
A Quick Word on Premium Cigars
There is a vast selection of premium cigars that range from different price points to an array of brands from around the world. They can come in boxes, bundles, packs, singles, or even samplers. So, keep that in mind as we provide these tips once you settle in on your budget, cigar brand, and what type of packaging you want to purchase it in.
Tip #1: Size/Length of a Cigar
The total size of the cigar is related to approximately how long your cigar will last. The shorter and skinnier the cigar, the shorter the time the cigar will be lit. The longer and thicker the cigar, the longer it will last.
For example, the shortest burning stogie (aside from a "black & mild" or "cigarillo" type cigar) is about 15-20 minutes, and they about the size of male pinky finger. The longest burning cigar can be 2+ hours (about 1-2 puffs per minute), and the typical size of that cigar is ~7-10" in length and a diameter of 1"+. Keep in mind there are a numerous shapes and size, but no need to get overwhelmed. Feel free to inquire that you want a cigar to last “X amount” of minutes and they can point you in the right direction.
Tip #2: Cigar Color
The color of the cigar and knowing which one is right for you is the most critical step on picking your first cigar. Cigars range from a very light color (i.e. "Double Claro") to a very dark brown color (i.e. "Oscuro"). The lighter the cigar the lighter and, usually, smoother the smoke is, however, lighter cigars in my experience tend to lack and taste and not have the boldness one may desire. The darker a cigar the more the taste of the cigar will stand out, however, to many the darkest cigars are usually overwhelming and tend to have a harsh taste.
Tip #3: Type Tobacco Used in the Cigar
Although it seems that there is a vast array of tobaccos, the range is quite small actually. There are 5 regions around the globe where tobacco is grown.
- Bahia: One of the oldest native-seed tobacco types grown in Brazil, South America.
- Broadleaf: Widely grown, especially in the United States.
- Habanesis Hybrids: These styles developed from seeds brought to Cuba from Mexico in 1534 and form the base of the “Cuban seed” tobacco family.
- San Andres Negro: Planted in Mexico and was cultivated by the Aztecs.
- Sumatran: Originally planted on the Indonesian island of Sumatra from seeds brought by Dutch explorers and traders of the 1500s.
Within these varieties, there has been endless experimentation and development of the types of tobacco that you can select. Try to research and ask questions on which tobacco would meet your needs based upon what you’re looking for out of that cigar.
There are two things you need to keep in mind once you purchase a cigar.
Cutting Your Cigar
There are only two cuts that are important for your first cigar:
- “Straight" Cut: Allows for your cigar to produce the most amount of smoke. This cut is best for cigars with rounded ends and the cut should be made only 3-4 mm from the tip of the cigar (on the rounded end). It is recommended, that you ask the store clerk to make this cut for you, or if you are looking to buy your own cutter then invest in the "prefect cut" cutter, which has a consistent cut depth every time, perfect for beginner.
- "Bullet Punch" Cut: Great to use if you’re making your first cigar cut, it is easy and can be used on most cigar ends. If you are looking to buy a cutter for your first cigar then a "bullet punch" cutter is the way to go.
There are a couple of methods to store your cigars for either long-term or short-term usage.
- Long-Term: Having a humidor to store your cigars in will allow them to be preserved for a longer period of time. Note: Not all humidors are the same, so try to get one that already comes with a humidifier in order to know how much humidity is required to store those stogies in.
- Short Term: Just grab a case, especially if you are going to be out and about or simply plan on having those cigars smoked at a fairly quick rate.
Enjoy That Premium Cigar Experience Here in 2021!
Utilizing the advice, we have provided will hopefully give you great confidence when purchasing your first premium cigar. Remember, do not be intimidated by the vast majority. It’s suggested to always ask for help. Every cigar that is out there for you to choose simply comes down once again, to your personal preferences.