If you're a beginning cigar smoker, don't just go to a tobacco stand, buy an expensive cigar and smoke it. Learn the correct way to appreciate a quality cigar before you light up.
Step 1: Ask for advice Ask a quality tobacconist for advice before buying a cigar. Experts suggest that beginning cigar connoisseurs start with a mild cigar.
Step 2: Examine the cigar before you buy Physically examine the cigar in the tobacconist's humidor. Look for cracks or flaws in the tobacco wrapper. This can affect the way it smokes.
TIP: Gently squeeze up and down the cigar's body, looking for lumps and soft spots.
Step 3: Know how to cut a cigar Know why you should properly cut a cigar. Don't just bite off the end. It can affect the quality of the draw, so a cigar cutter is a must. The best cutters are V-cutters, piercers and guillotines.
Step 4: Properly light the cigar Light the cigar the proper way without inhaling. Hold the cigar at least a half-inch from the top of the match flame. Roll the cigar as you light it, making sure that the outer ring is lit.
TIP: Fuel from a lighter can affect the taste of a cigar. Use matches or a lit slice of cedar.
Step 5: Take a puff Take a puff of your cigar. Don't inhale like you'd inhale a cigarette. Set the cigar down between puffs to avoid the draw from getting too hot.
Step 6: Know the correct way to remove an ash Know when and how to remove an ash. Flicking an ash from a cigar can cause an uneven burn. Carefully roll the ash off the cigar, using the edge of the ashtray.
TIP: Cities like Chicago, Toronto, and New York enforce laws against smoking cigars in public places.
Step 7: Know how to relight a cigar Know how to properly relight a cigar. You can relight longer-sized cigars and enjoy them the next day only if the cigar is more than half its original size. Now you're ready to smoke like a connoisseur.
FACT: Pink Floyd lyrics in the song "Have a Cigar" are Roger Waters' sharp dig at hypocrisy in the music business.