How to light a cigar with Aria Giovanni

Thought you might like this one too... For your Sunday viewing pleasure, how to light a cigar video with Aria Giovanni. And watch the previous one if you missed it!

How to cut a cigar with Aria Giovanni

For your Sunday viewing pleasure a short and entertaining video on how to cut a cigar... done by Aria Giovanni, a well-known playmate. It's not very new so you might have already seen it. Enjoy.

Should we remove the band while smoking?

Should we remove the band while smoking?

A few days ago I received an e-mail from a reader. Here's what Lucas said in his e-mail:

"Thanks for your quality reviews, but please... take the labels off your cigars after you have started to smoke them. Keeping the label on for the duration is bad form and your credibility suffers. A little etiquette goes a long way."

I was very curious because I have never encountered this rule before. I asked Lucas whether I could make this a topic of conversation here at and he gladly accepted. He also added the following information:

"The thinking is this: After you have smoked the cigar for a few minutes, you should remove the label. The heat should loosen the band to make it easier to remove. The reason it is good etiquette is because a gentleman should not flaunt his wealth, or his cigars. If you are smoking a particularly good stogie there is no need to flash that Opus X label around. It's akin to wearing a lot of bling or praising yourself for some generous deed that you have done. No one likes a braggart. Getting to kick back and enjoy a fine smoke is what it's all about."

Do you remove the band when you are smoking? What do you think about this etiquette rule?

Cigar Tips: The Winning Selection Part 2

Here is the second part of Mountchuck's (one of the founders of Nice Tight Ash) valuable cigar tips. Enjoy - and read the first part here if you missed it.

Tip #6: Use your senses. Use all of your senses when smoking a cigar, not just smell and taste. Before you light it, use your eyes to inspect the wrapper. Is the color uniform? Are there large seams or veins in it? Is the cap evenly applied? Next, use your hands to feel up and down the cigar. Is it smooth and oily or dry and leathery? Gently squeeze up and down the cigar. Are there any hard spots or soft spots?
Hold the cigar next to your ear, and gently squeeze. Does it crackle a little bit? It might be a little dry.
Doing these extra little things let you know if there might be construction problems with the cigar, or if you need to let it get some more humidity in it. Don’t just leave it up to your taste buds and nose.

Tip #7: Humidor Tip 1. Many sites recommend wiping down your humidor with distilled water as part of the seasoning process. It is best to avoid doing this. It is very easy to put too much water into the wood, and warping it, thus weakening the seal and thus the integrity and performance of the humidor over the long term. Your humidor may get seasoned faster this way, but at the expense of more upkeep required in the future.

Tip #8: Humidor Tip 2. Only use distilled water in your humidification device (no matter what it is). Using tap water or spring water can lead to mold and other unwanted things in your humidifier.

Tip #9: Selecting a cutter. When selecting a cutter weight is important. If you carry a cutter in your pocket all of the time like I do, too much weight can be burdensome. But on the same note, a little bit of extra weight is nice to ensure a smooth, clean cut. Try to get a balance between weight and portability.

Tip #10: Let them rest. When ordering cigars via mail order or the internet, you’ll be very tempted to smoke one as soon as it’s off the truck. Try and avoid that temptation! They have been in less than ideal (to put it lightly) conditions during their travel, and won’t smoke as well as they could. Put them in your humidor, and let them return to optimal conditions before enjoying. How long depends on low long they were in transit, and their condition when they arrive.

Cigar Tips: The Winning Selection Part 1

Here are the tips from Mountchuck - the winner of our tips contest. You will most probably agree that he deserved the prize as the quality of the following tips is very high. As there are too many tips to put them in a single post, we've broken them down in 2 parts. Here is the first part and the second will be published next Thursday.

Tip #1: Aging the cigars. Some cigars smoke better with age, even the much adored Fuente Opus X. Since you can only acquire them in small batches, but want to mark them with the time you put them in the humidor, do what I do. Take the ribbon that comes in a lot of cigar boxes, write the date on it, and wrap the ribbon around your small batch of cigars and put them to rest for a while. No problem remembering when you bought them!

Tip #2: B&M vs Web. If you are a new smoker, avoid the temptation of mega-deals on the web, and visit your local cigar store, and put yourself in the hands of the tobacconist there. They are an invaluable resource, and can put you well on your way to enjoying cigars to the fullest.

Tip #3: Keeping track of your cigars. If you find yourself having a hard time remembering the cigars you really like, save the cigar bands of the ones you really like, and keep them in your wallet. If they are large enough, you can write on the back of them, which comes in handy if you like, say, the maduro version of the cigar more than the natural and the band doesn’t distinguish between the two. Next time you visit your tobacconist, pull it out and you’ll have an instant reminder. And if they don’t have it, they will be able to pick out something similar or maybe even something you’ll like more.

Tip #4: Ring gauge / Power. Most inexperienced smokers confuse thickness of the cigar with power and strength and harshness. However, the thicker ring gauge can help you get a smoother, easier smoke. Smaller ring gauge cigars concentrate the heat, and produce more carbon which leads to harshness and the feeling that your tongue is coated in fiberglass the next morning. The larger ring gauge smoke spread out the heat, and don’t burn so hot. Don’t be afraid to reach for that robusto instead of your usual corona.

Tip #5: Ash. The ash of the cigar can tell you as much about it as the appearance before it is lit. Is the ash a nice white? Better nutrients in the soil. Does the ash stay tight, with small thin lines rather than large, flaky pieces? Then the roller did a good job, and rolled the cigar nice and tight. Does your ash “cone” at the end? You might be smoking too fast. Is it concave at the end? The cigar might have been underfilled.

Cigar Tips: Purging a cigar

We gathered some precious cigar tips during our last contest - therefore, we decided to publish the best ones in separate posts. Enjoy.

Ever have a cigar develop a bitter taste towards the end but you just didn’t want to put it down yet?

The bitter tastes that develops can be somewhat alleviated by purging your cigar as you smoke it. When you smoke your cigar most of the essential oils that provide so much of the flavor will burn up while a small amount builds up in the filler leaf creating bitter flavors.

To purge your cigar start by knocking off any ash, put the cigar in your mouth like you are going to puff and instead blow gently back through the cigar. If your cigar is still lit, continue to blow gently through the cigar, rotating it slowly, until you can see a bright orange ring of fire around the base of the entire coal on the cigar.

Next time try purging your cigar so you can enjoy it to the nub!