The Fine Art of Smoking a Premium Cigar

No offense meant but a premium cigar is not like puffing on a blunt or a cigarette. It involves a lot more than just lighting up, puffing and yacking away with your bae on your smartphone. Lest we sound too “cigar geeky” – but there are finite techniques any “true” cigar aficionado should be aware of. Read on please!

What distinguishes a cigar vs. a cigarette or pipe tobacco: a premium cigar is 100% absolutely pure tobacco, with no additives or artificial flavoring and with no cellulose acetate filter.


A premium cigar always has certain characteristics and one of the most important is moisture content which is always 14-17%, ensuring the cigar will burn cool and slow, unlike other types of tobacco products, which don’t require as much attention to detail as they are smoked.

Don’t Exhibit these Newbie Behaviors When Smoking a Stick

A blunt, a cigar, a cigarillo, whatever should not be chewed, ever under any circumstances. Chewing on it is just going to crimp the flow of smoke, swell the tobacco (impacting the draw negatively). Tars bill build up in the unsmoked portion of your cigar giving you a not too good taste experience and giving you a nicotine rush you don’t want. Puff a stick or a cigarillo; but, don’t chew it.

Slow is always good when firing up a stick. Take your time, smoking quickly is just going to cause your cigar to burn too hot which can give you a bitter taste. Also, a hot burn disturbs the delicate balance between the filler, binder and wrapper leaves – they are simply not burning in sync.

If you are in a rush when smoking a cigar you need to step back a bit and place that stick in an ashtray between puffs every 30-60 seconds – you’ll have a much more pleasant smoking experience.

Cigars are not meant for inhaling under any circumstances. You don’t want cigar smoke in your lungs, the flavor should be felt inside your mouth which is attuned to differences in flavors and texture. If you want to have a deeper experience with the smoke let it hang in your mouth for a few seconds and then exhale slowly.

We use this analogy all the time; but it’s appropriate – smoking a premium cigar is just like savoring a good scotch or glass of wine! Take your time and enjoy the experience. #lifeisgood

Embrace the ash. Cigar ash at the end of your stick gives you instant information on the smoking experience, quality of the tobacco and it’s critical to ensuring you get a good smoking experience.

The ash cap at the foot of your cigar helps to prevent oxygen from reaching the burning coal. Best practices: let ash build up to a half an inch or more; but, know those ashes can fall on your clothes. Every point of refuge has a price right?

A premium cigar is never a good thing to use a pointer. Don’t wave a stick around, you will look like a rank amateur – if your first name is Winston and you are English then you get a free pass on this one. But for the rest of us: no – end of story.


Always Protect Your Investments in Life: Cigars are no Different

If you are spending more than five bucks a stick then get a humidor and again, protect your investment. You don’t need a fancy rosewood box that’s been made by Italian craftsmen (unless this fits your personal brand). Belly up to the bar and spend a couple hundred bucks and get a decent humidor. Trite to say; but you will thank yourself later.

Have a finite understanding of how to take care of a humidor: keep it clean, make sure your moisture settings are correct (depending on the level of sophistication), rotate your cigars, don’t let a stick ever get too damp, know that mold and a humidor are never a good thing.

Cigar Smoking has its own Rituals that Enhance the Experience

Whether you are smoking a premium cigar at home alone, deep in conversation with your dog treasure it and savor the moment. There are always certain rituals you should embrace with a cigar: holding it in your hand (it’s a tactile experience), cutting, lighting and smoking it can be relaxing and for some, even meditative.

Put down the phone, get off your Facebook, Instagram or SnapChat and enjoy your cigar – give yourself 45-60 minutes to enjoy the experience and/or relax with others!

Learn more:

Five Great Tasting Flavors of Pipe Tobacco

Windy City Cigars