Cigar smoking is viewed as an elegant lifestyle habit for the powerful and opulent because they carry a certain sophistication that regular tobacco products do not. Also, cigars are considered a luxurious commodity because of their exclusivity and the fact that premium cigars are delicately created by hand.
If you want to smoke cigars in a stylish and classy manner, you need to observe cigar etiquette. For instance, did you know that it is poor cigar etiquette to smoke an entire cigar? Cigar experts believe that a cigar should only be smoked halfway, and then allowed to die a dignified death on its own. Moreover, the shorter your cigar gets, the harsher the smoke becomes.
Below is a guide on everything else you need to know about cigars.
If you love cigars or would like to learn more about them for gifting purposes, these are the 5 types of cigars based on their sizes that you should know about.
A Robusto cigar measures about 4.75 inches to 5.5 inches in size. Its ring gauge measures between 48 and 52. The Robusto cigar is one of the most common cigars in the market because it is not only small enough to enjoy in about half an hour but also large enough to provide you with a complex flavor profile as you smoke. If you are a beginner, then the Robusto cigar is perfect for you because you will experience the flavor of the blend at a favorable price compared to other types of cigars.
The Belicoso cigar is similar to Robusto cigar in terms of size. It is about 5.5 inches thick and has a ring gauge of size 52. In terms of appearance, Belicoso differs from Robusto since it has a pointed head while the Robusto cigar has a rounded head. The Belicoso cigar is considered one of the best types of cigars because it allows smokers to taper the head in order to create a smoother feel on the lips.
One of the most popular cigar choices is the Corona cigar. The cigar measures between 5.25 and 6 inches thick with a 42 to 44 size ring gauge. Due to its size, the Corona cigar is a little thin cigar that sits comfortably between your fingers and fits in the mouth with ease compared to other thick cigars. Luckily, size has no negative impact on the flavor and complexity of a cigar's blend, so rest assured that you will still enjoy the full flavor and intensity of the Corona cigar.
The Lonsdale cigar is a long thin cigar with a thickness of 6.5 inches and a ring gauge of size 42 or 43. This is the perfect cigar for smokers that desire a cigar that takes more time, is rich in flavor, and also offers the benefits of a thin cigar.
The Churchill cigar is a classic option because it was named after Sir Winston Churchill, the former Prime Minister of Britain. The Churchill cigar has a 47-size ring gauge and is 7 inches long. Its ring size may vary between 48 and 50. If you are looking for the perfect cigar for relaxing after a delicious dinner, then the Churchill cigar is an excellent pick.
How Cigars Are Made
Cigars are made of tobacco leaves that have been wrapped around a binder leaf that holds all the contents together. The binder leaf also gives the cigar its smooth exterior, protects it during manufacturing processes, and strengthens the structural integrity of the cigar. When the tobacco is ready to be rolled into a cigar, the leaves are sorted into the following groups:
The filler refers to the main body of the cigar where the most delicate leaves are located. The center of the cigar is filled up with soft leaves before the cigar is tightly packed. This ensures that you will enjoy a good draw and even experience some burning when smoking a cigar. The filler is usually a combination of different types of leaves to provide a blend of flavor to the cigar.
The binder refers to the leaf which secures the filler and keeps it in place with the wrapper in order to maintain the shape of the cigar. The binder acts as a binding glue. Binder leaves are narrow in shape to ensure that they do not interfere with the flavor of the cigar but still remain strong enough to keep the filler leaves in place.
A leaf called Rosita may be placed between the binder and the wrapper to protect the cigar from damage during the shipping process due to continuous handling.
The wrapper is the part of the cigar that carries the most flavors. As a result, the wrapper is the most expensive to grow compared to the filler and the binder. The wrapper may be brown, black, or have a lighter shade depending on the type of plant used. The wrapper is always applied after the binder, making it the topmost part of the cigar.
Manufacturers select wrappers very carefully because it determines the color and appearance of the cigar. The wrapper is also very thin to prevent it from affecting the burn or the taste of the cigar.
The filler, binder, and wrapper are the three most essential leaves necessary to create premium quality cigars. The leaves work together to form the structure of the cigar and provide you with the best blend of flavor possible.
Cigars are made using the rolling method and can be rolled either by machine or by hand.
Cigars rolled by a machine use a different type of binder and filler compared to hand-rolled cigars. Also, machine-rolled cigars are solid, tight, and cheaper because they do not emphasize on flavor and offer consistent results instead of complexity.
Most cigars in the market today are rolled using machines. Here is a brief overview of how machine-rolled cigars are made:
- Step 1: The leaves are cut into tiny pieces and then placed into a hopper where they are fed into the rolling machine.
- Step 2: The leaves are rolled into a long tube-like shape and a wrapper is placed around it.
- Step 3: The machine then cuts the main roll into cigar-length pieces and trims them to produce fine smooth cigars, which are then given an inspection.
- Step 4: The cigars are packaged and shipped to different markets.
Hand-rolled cigars are expensive because they are made using long fillers which burn more slowly compared to machine-rolled cigars. Additionally, hand-rolled cigars require a lot of hand labor and take longer to roll than machine-rolled cigars. A handmade cigar takes around 4 minutes to roll while a machine-made cigar takes only 30 seconds to roll.
The process of rolling a cigar by hand is as follows:
- Step 1: The leaves are sorted by color and grade before they are cut into small pieces.
- Step 2: The cigar makers then take three or four different types of leaves, press them together in their hands, and place the mixture of leaves over wrappers to form cylinders.
- Step 3: The cigar makers then apply a binder around the cigars, which then undergo inspection before packaging.
- Step 4: The cigars are then distributed to different markets.
Cigar Buying Options
Knowing how to select the best cigar is important if you are planning to buy the cigar in order to enjoy a good smoke or to offer it as a gift. Here are factors to consider when buying a cigar.
Consider your budget
The first thing you need to consider when purchasing a cigar is your budget. Cigars vary in cost depending on the brand, their packaging, and quantity. You can opt to buy a box of cigars, a single cigar, or a bundle of cigars, depending on your preference. Handmade cigars are costly because of their high quality. Alternatively, you can purchase affordable cigars in Tax Fee or Duty-Free shops that provide fresh cigars. The average price of a cigar stick ranges from $5 to $50.
A box of cigars, for example 105 cigars, costs about $2192.40.
Do some research on high-quality cigars
If you are new to cigars, then we recommend doing ample research on different types of high-quality cigars and their sizes in order to buy the best. Some of the best cigar brands of all time that you should try out include:
- Arturo Fuente
- Macanudo Café
- Perdomo Champagne
- La Gloria Cubana
- Davidoff Aniversario
- Padron Anniversary Series 1964
- Foundation Highclere Castle Churchill
- Ferio Tego Timeless Panamericana
Make sure it's fresh
Another thing to keep in mind when purchasing a cigar is its freshness. You can make sure that a cigar is fresh by pinching it very gently. If the cigar cracks, then it's dried out and no longer fresh. Do not squeeze a cigar too hard as it may also cause damage to a fresh and properly humidified cigar stick.
Smell it to see if it has a flavor you like
When choosing a cigar, make certain that you smell it in order to determine whether you like the flavor. There are many types of cigar flavors to choose from. Some of the best cigar flavors include:
- Classic vanilla
- Café crème
How to Smoke a Cigar
Are you about to smoke a cigar for the first time? Here are some steps that will guide you on your first cigar smoking experience.
Purchase a good cigar cutter and lighter
Before you light up a cigar, ensure that you have a cigar cutter and lighter with you. You can purchase a cigar cutter at any cigar store. The cigar cutter is for cutting the cap of the cigar in order to create a smooth opening for the smoke without ruining the structure of the cigar. Make sure that you cut only a 1/8th of an inch to avoid wasting your cigar.
How to light
Once you cut off the tip, hold the cigar in your mouth at a 45 degree angle and light it up using the lighter. Apply the heat evenly at the edge of the cigar by rotating it several times at its end. Ensure that you suck in air as you light up the cigar for even burning.
How to taste
After the cigar is lit, draw in using your mouth instead of your nostrils. This will allow you to feel and enjoy the flavor of the cigar in your mouth. After savoring the taste for a few seconds, you can expel the smoke.
Don't overly knock ash off
While you smoke the cigar, ensure that you handle your ash properly. Rather than knocking off the ash, let it grow at the edge of the cigar to about an inch, then you can tap it off gently. If you keep knocking off ash from the edge of your cigar frequently, the cigar will burn quickly and run out faster while giving you a harsh flavor.
Store cigars in a humidor
If you plan to buy a pack of cigars to enjoy at your own convenience, ensure that you store them in a humidor to prevent them from drying out. When a cigar becomes dry, it loses its flavor, tastes bitter, and burns more quickly. To prevent this from happening, buy a humidor along with your cigars. The humidor is a small box that retains moisture that will keep your cigars fresh in storage.