Being able to pick out a quality cigar is somewhat of an art form. You don’t want to spend your hard-earned money on cigars that aren’t good quality cigars. Plus, who wants to smoke a bad cigar anyway?
Take a look below to find all of the expertise you need to become an informed cigar buyer.
Anatomy of a Quality Cigar
First, let’s talk about the anatomy of a cigar. These are some terms you should know before lighting up.
The head is what you put in your mouth. Before doing so you need to cut off the tip preferably with a miniature guillotine.
The foot is the end of the cigar that you light up.
The filler is a consistent blend of fermented, dried tobacco.
This is the light or dark-colored outer layer of the cigar. Quality cigars get their flavor from this feature.
The body of a cigar probably isn’t what you think. It’s not the shape or length. The body is measured in how intense and strong the smoke from the cigar is. A full-bodied cigar is best.
Veteran cigar smokers tend to opt for full-bodied cigars while newbies might want to start out with a thinner bodied cigar. However, that’s a matter of personal preference. Try it both ways to find out what works best for you.
The size of a cigar will affect its flavor. However, it’s more important to choose the size of the cigar you want to smoke by the amount of time you’ll have to enjoy it.
Perhaps you’ve got a big poker game coming up? Choose a longer cigar that will last you the whole night through. If you just want an after-dinner smoke, a smaller cigar will suffice.
The shape of a cigar is considered by the ring gauge. The ring gauge is the diameter of the cigar that is measured in 64ths of an inch. Basically, is you have a cigar that’s 60 gauge that means it’s 60/64ths of an inch in its diameter.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that the fatter the cigar the fuller or more intense the taste will be, that’s not the case. The taste will be more or less powerful by the type of tobacco used to roll it. Also, thicker cigars smolder longer.
Tricks of The Trade
You don’t have to be a cigar guru to pick out the best. Here’s what makes a quality cigar.
How a cigar is stored has a major effect on the taste and quality of the cigar. You want to make sure the cigar shop has a room that’s humid enough but not too humid.
They should be stored in a humidor, which is a temperature-controlled box or room. This maintains the right level of moisture in the tobacco.
If the storage area is not humid enough the cigar will become dry and lose its aroma and flavor. If the room is too humid the cigar will rot out.
The way a cigar is packed will make a difference in the way it burns and the amount of flavor you’ll taste.
If your cigar is packed too tight then you’ll experience less of a draw. On the other hand, if it’s packed too loose your cigar will burn extra hot and taste harsh.
Good quality cigars are packed even and burn evenly. If it’s consistently rolled it will burn even right to the finish.
Ashes to Ashes
You can tell good quality cigars by how long the ash gets before falling down. One inch of ash is what you’ll want to see before it falls. Anything less will tell you the quality of your cigar isn’t top-notch.
When you flip off your ash you want to see a cone shape on the cigar. This is how you know the center leaves are the best quality. If there is no cone then the quality of the leaves is shoddy.
When you go through the box of cigars each of them should taste the same. If not the quality of the cigars is low and you shouldn’t buy that brand again. They should burn and taste consistent with the previous cigar of the same brand or style.
You can test out the construction of a quality cigar by rolling it in between your index finger and thumb. There shouldn’t be any lumps when you do the roll test. Also, the body shouldn’t feel too soft or not have enough filling.
If you feel a rough texture then it will give you an unsmooth draw. The ash should keep up the shape of the cigar as well.
Another very important factor in choosing a great cigar is tobacco quality. Ask seasoned cigar-smoking veterans you may know about what brands have the best quality tobacco. Or, you can ask the tobacconist at your local cigar store.
You should try out a few singles from a brand before buying a whole box just to make sure the quality is at a high level. You don’t want to get stuck with a box of duds.
E. P. Carrillo Cigars is known for great tobacco quality and you should try some of the blends they offer as a benchmark for a great quality cigar.
Becoming an Expert
You are now armed with the tools to know what makes a quality cigar. Knowing the size, feel and characteristics of what makes the best cigars will allow you to enjoy one of the finer points in life.
Smoking cigars is a beautiful past time that can be rewarding while it offers a bonding experience with your friends or family.
If you want to learn more about cigars or sharpen your expertise come on out to any of these future events. You’ll meet plenty of like-minded individuals who will be more than happy to enjoy a quality cigar with you.