Toothpicks and Cigars

As you see in the picture above I’ve laid one of my best friends down on a cigar box and laid a toothpick across the double band.  The H. Upmann Magnum 48 was my favorite Limited Edition in the last few years and I think that this is one of the best cigars to come out of Cuba in a while.  But this isn’t what I’m writing about today.

Cigars of different shapes will occasionally give you problems when it comes to draw because of a few reasons.  Sometimes it is as simple as user error.  What I mean by that is that sometimes your humidity level in your humidor may be a bit on the damp side and almost every time it’ll cause problems with tobacco leaves swelling up and reducing the draw the cigar will have.  There are other times when different shapes of cigars and how they are rolled will dictate whether or not you get a good draw.  I’ve run into problems with the smaller ring gauge cigars and the possibility of them having plugs, which are bunches of tobacco that feel quite hard inside the cigar.  Also problems with a cigar, in my experience, can sometimes be located around the band but the difficult draw can be “worked on” with one of my little wooden buddies in the picture.

I “carefully” will insert the toothpick into the cigar and try to poke a hole or two in the plug to ease the drawing problem.  Now when I cay carefully I mean that if you are over zealous and start stabbing away at the head of your cigar you can crack the wrapper.  This is one thing that has amazed me about this practice.  I’ve always thought that I could get away with running a toothpick down the middle of a cigar without any penalty but keep in mind that a cigar is a delicate and balanced hand-made item that doesn’t like to be poked and prodded with anything very thick in diameter.  You WILL get a cracked wrapper and, although your cigar will still be smokable, it’ll ruin the experience with you trying to keep your cigar from unravelling!  Good luck!