Everything You Need to Know about Pipe Tobacco & Premium Cigars

This is our mega blog post chock full of fun and informative facts about premium cigars and pipe tobacco. It’s smorgasbord of recommendations for improving your smoking experiences with a premium cigar or pipe tobacco.

No premium cigar smoker worth his or her salt can properly select a cigar unless he/she knows their way around a cigar wrapper, the seed stock of the plant, ring gauge and more. Dive in:

Your Cigar Wrapper should be paired with the right filter and binder. You have to holistically think about all of the ingredients that go into a great cigar, not just the wrapper by itself. T

  • The filler and the binders should be from the same seed variety and foliage level – if these are well matched, then the wrapper will impact the overall taste of the cigar, assuming the filler and binders are of good quality. Think about the correlation of the wrapper and the filler and binder – these are critical.
  • The location of the plant and weather are critical to defining the quality of the cigar wrapper. In the wine business most aficionados will tell you the “terroir” (the soil and environment) has a huge impact on the quality of the wine and this is true when you are assessing the quality of a cigar wrapper. 
  • The same seed stock planted in a different location will impact the taste of your cigar differently. Just ask any wine connoisseur if he or she likes California or French wine and stand back. Your’e going to get an earful. 

premium cigar in hand

The method in which a cigar company processes their tobacco and wrappers defines the complex blend of flavor characteristics that make a great cigar. If your stick has a green or grassy taste the tobacco was probably not cured properly (processing time equals more costs), giving you not a great experience.

The seed stock of a plant is another important variable and contributor to flavor. Again, like wine, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Many think a wrapper from seed stock in Ecuador is lighter in flavor and milder and should be paired with the right filler and binder that does not overpower it.

The ring gauge of your cigar wrapper have a huge impact on the flavor. Most good quality cigars are have three primary components that define the taste of the cigar: you have filler leaves (the blend), the binder (about 50% of the leaf), and a wrapper (almost always half of a leaf).

Ten Ways to Get More out of Your Next Cigar 

Store your cigar properly: if you are spending more than $100 bucks a month on cigars then by all means get a humidor; your investment will pay for itself.

Embrace your Inner Mild Self When Smoking a Number of Cigars During an Evening

If you are going to fire up multiple sticks during an evening start with the mildest one of the bunch so you don’t overwhelm your taste buds with something too strong.

Give your taste buds ”refreshment” in between sticks to get the most out of your smoking experience.

Embrace Life in the Slow Lane to Enjoy a Cigar

As in enjoying many things in life, savor the individual moments when/where you can and enjoying a cigar is no different.

Smoking a cigar should never be rushed it should be contemplative – you want to puff enough to keep the stick going, but don’t take a draw more than once every minute or two. Always let a cigar burn at it’s own pace.

Keep Your Powder Dry and the Tip of Your Cigar to get the Full ExperienceKeep the tip of your cigar as dry as possible – a tip that is too moist helps nicotine and tars build up in your saliva and will ruin the flavor of the cigar.

So, ignore the urge to look like Jordan Belfort from the “Wolf of Wall Street” and keep your cigar where it belongs in your hand. Rule of thumb: takes about 30-45 minutes for a great cigar to burn and shouldn’t be in your mouth more than three minutes.

Share and care: live right and when you pull that portabgle humidor out of your pocket pass it over to your date or around the table. Even if none of them smoke you’e just let them know you have some class.

The First Step in Enjoying a Cigar starts with the not so Mundane Cutter Every premium cigar comes out of the box or wrapper sealed at the mouth end (commonly called the “head”) with what is called a “cap of tobacco.” You can buy a very simple, effective affordable guillotine style cutter like a Xikar X8 Silver Cutter for under $30 (looks great too)
that will get the job done nicely. 

one of our favorites pics sans cigar

How to Save Serious Bucks with Roll Your Own Pipe Tobacco

You are no longer tied to the corporate behemoths that control most of the cigarette tobacco consumed around the world. It’s a somewhat of a DIY (do it yourself) world today and pipe tobacco can now be purchased and customized to suite every taste imaginable. 

Fast Facts on Pipe Tobacco

  • The roll your own tobacco product most consumers purchase is delivered in a resealable pouches, tins or more exoctic containers.
  • The actual pipe tobacco product like our very own OHM Tobacco Five Pound Bags is used by inserting shredded tobacco into a manual or electric machine and then making the cigarette.
  • Some roll your own folks create the cigarette from hand, rolling a smoke like the cowboys did back in the day and some prefer using a manual or electric cigarette machine.
  • A hand or machine rolled cigarette gives a smoker the ability to create a 100% (just about) customized product that can have any diameter, which gives the consumer smoker the ability to control the flavor and strength of the final product.
  • Roll your own tobacco here in the U.S. is classified by the IRS under a section of the tax code that provides an exemption for people who practice the roll your own lifestyle versus the cost of a the traditional cigarette that is mass produced by a tobacco company.
  • Outside the United States regulations for tar and nicotine levels are not applicable for roll your own tobacco; it’s taxed and priced at a lower rate than traditional tobacco.
  • If you are Dutch and/or want to go to the land where roll your own dominates the culture, recent data shows over half of all tobacco products sold in Holland are in fact roll your own tobacco.It’s a freewheeling country, esepcially for pipe tobacco consumers. 
  • Our top selling pipe tobacco brands typically include Kentucky Select Pipe Tobacco and Good Stuff tobacco. Both, are consistent good sellers, taste great, high value for the cost and with a ton of great reviews on our site.

Five Key Issues You Should Know About Pipe Tobacco 

Most modern pipe tobacco blends originate with Virginia tobacco – over 70% of all pipe tobacco is grown in Virginia due to properties found in this tobacco leaf

Spice tobacco (as an example of more exocit blends) reflects the desire of consumers who want a customized blend. It’s not a single source pipe tobacco, it’s really a blend of 2-3 types of pipe tobacco and you can get just about any flavor blend under the sun: vanilla, strawberry, blueberry, honey, cherry, etc.

Burley tobacco comes in a distant second to VA tobacco in terms of popularity. Burley really means “air cured” – the curing is done in large open barns, ensuring air moves over the tobacco as it ages. Burley tobacco leaves can range from light brown to a much darker mahogany. 

  • Like any pipe tobacco, as you smoke Burley it’s going to have a milder taste at the outset but strengthening over time and if it’s a good product may have hints of granola, caramel or even oatmeal.

Cavendish is not a reference to a specific type of pipe tobacco but a process of curing (manufacturing) and a method of cutting tobacco leaf; the process is used to enhance the natural sweetness and characteristics of most Virginia tobacco leaves.

steve smokes a cigar

For those of You Out on the Edge and Embracing the Alternative  RYO Lifestyle

Our short list of how to roll a great blunt that’s guaranteed to give you a good smoking experience every time:

  • Prep the “smoking material” properly for a great smoke; if you have a grinder use it to grind the material into small pieces. If you have to tough it out with no grinder then use your fingertips.
  • Place the cigar on a stable surface (no, not your knees ever) and make a cut down the length of the cigar, letting you empty the core of the cigar into a trash can.
  • Don’t rip into this part of the process or your going to ruin the cigar and it will not work as a wrapper. Always start at the top and use your thumbs to begin the tear and carefully work your way down to the bottom of the cigar.
  • If you have a tear or two then lick the blunt to seal the edges again.
  • Place your weed into the blunt and again make sure it’s been properly ground into smaller pieces or it’s not going to burn properly.
  • Shape your blunt by folding and rolling it upward around your weed and then tuck the wrap around week to ensure you got a tight fit and it’s gonna smoke well.
  • Lick the edges of the blunt and press down carefully to secure the shape and then spin or rotate it in your hand and carefully hold a zippo lighter below it to dry the wrap and when you light it rotate the blunt around the flame just as you would a cigarillo or cigar.

If you have questions about any of the issues we have touched on our staff of tobacconists can answer any questions you have about pipe tobacco, electric or manual rolling machines, premium cigars or related accessories. Please reach out and let us know how we can assist you!