A Few Cigar Smoking Tips

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What we have in the picture above is a beautiful Bolivar Royal Coronas sitting on a box of matches I was given this past Christmas.  First of all, this particular Bolivar is one of the most consistent cigars that I’ve run into when it comes to burn, draw and flavor.  For some reason this cigar seems to taste the same every time I light one up and It has an earthy, full bodied profile that the blenders at Bolivar have no problem duplicating whenever they produce this Robusto.  TIME AFTER TIME !!

The box of matches is in the picture to remind you that, unlike paper matches which have a lot of wax that flavor a cigar in all the wrong ways, wooden matches have more of a natural taste that is more suited to cigar smoking.  Cigar boxes from Cuba often contain, along with the cigars, a thin Spanish cedar sheet that is used to flavor the cigars when storing and aging but these sheets can also be ripped into thin strips and used to light a cigar.  Spanish cedar does not introduce any odd flavors to a cigar and tends to give you only a great toasted tobacco taste that will get you on your way to a great smoke.

The typical one dollar lighter you can get at your corner store is NOT recommended when lighting a cigar because of the gaseous taste they tend to give a cigar.. And Zippos…… Forget about it… That one is just a festival of petroleum that you DON’T need when smoking Cuban tobacco.  Zippos have played, and continue to play, a part in the American smoking landscape but save them for lighting cigarettes and you’ll be fine.

The last issue I want to address is the flame temperature when smoking a cigar..  I was riding home to Vancouver last weekend from a golf tournament with a good friend and we were comparing a Montecristo No 2 with a Diplomaticos No 2 as we sped down the road.  That was a great experiment and I don’t have to remind you that tasting two different cigars back to back is the best way to learn about the different profiles of Cuban cigars.  Getting back to the temperature of a cigar’s flame, we had a stopwatch app running on my Iphone and we were waiting a minute and 30 seconds between puffs.  The flames were cool and the cigar smoke was sweet and full of beautiful subtle notes but, I have to say, a minute and 30 seconds feels like a lifetime when you’re watching a Cuban burn in your hand..

These are only but a few things to keep in mind when smoking a Cuban cigar…. More to follow……..

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