11 responses

  1. Matthew
    January 29, 2015

    Terrific analysis! I generally say that that how the cigar is lit doesn’t matter, but without scientific observation, it’s simply my uneducated opinion. I’m giving the Puisais method a try tonight. Thanks!


  2. Mike
    January 30, 2015

    Often use the pusais method, conditions permitting and have noted the same difference, particularly in thinner cigars.


  3. Marc
    January 30, 2015

    I’ve been using this method for some time since reading an article about the subject and have found that it works better, especially for bitterness and 1st third. The only drawback is that it’s a bit tricky, especially if you prefer punch cuts as I do, and you will have to refill lighters a lot for frequently due to the amount of time it takes to light the foot without a prior cut. So while this method might not be practical while on the road, it’s what I follow religiously while at home. Probably for serious cigar geeks either way!


  4. Belligerent Badger (via Facebook)
    January 31, 2015

    Along the same line, is to toast the foot and use a more natural flame like that supplied by a strip of Spanish cedar. I’m not much of a fan of the welder’s torches in such ubiquitous use these days. They’re excellent if I need to braze brass together, but we’re lighting cigars here. The blue flame “windproof” butane lighters can produce temperatures of up to 2,500°F at high velocity. A soft butane flame is much lower, near 1,800°F. A match, or strip of Spanish cedar burns at about 1,300°F.


  5. Jimmy Reed (via Facebook)
    January 31, 2015

    I am a long time avid cigar smoker. I have never heard of this method in all my years, and I tried it tonight with surprising success. Thanks for the tip. Always fun to learn new tricks for old habits.


  6. Heiko Blumentritt
    January 31, 2015

    I use always a softflame, Belligerent Badger, like my Dupont lighter. Only when I smoke outside I use a torch but try to put the far away enough from the foot.

    Matthew, Mike, Marc and Jimmy: thx for your positive feedback to this article.


  7. Matthew
    January 31, 2015

    I should have read Denis’ introduction closer because I missed that this was one of your articles, Heiko. Happy belated birthday, brother!

    I’ve tried this the past few nights, and cannot be sure how beneficial the results are without a side-by-side comparison. My concern is that it takes quite a bit of flame to get the cigar going without the draw of oxygen over the tobacco. Belligerent Badger, I imagine it would be nearly impossible to use the Puisais method with a cedar split.

    I have done a side-by-side comparison of a soft flame to a torch flame and did not see a significant difference in the cigar’s flavors. I did not think to note if either lighter resulted in more touch-ups or a longer smoking time.


  8. Heiko Blumentritt
    February 1, 2015

    No problem at all, Matthew and also thx for the good wishes.

    To see the difference you have to make a side-by-side comparison, absolutely true.

    I am not sure about the fact if you need much more flame to fire it up but independent of the way you light it up, you should always make it slowly and take your time. For me the lighting time makes no big difference if cut before or after.

    Honestly I am not a big fan of cedar splits, I am afraid a little bit of possible soot etc., therefore I prefer the clean flame of my lighter. But that is also a personal preference. As I said at other places: there is no wrong or right.


  9. Charbel A. Kreidy
    February 10, 2015

    The difference between each individual cigar is to big to make this study valid. For example, the weight of a cigar from the same box may differ a lot, which , for example, might be the reason for the different smoking time as well as a different drag-properties (leading to different burn properties and tast-defferences). In the end, the beauty of cigars are, being handmade and individually different, in taste and properties. Otherwise we could just as well smoke machine made.cigarillos…

    More on this subject:


  10. John Derloshon
    February 18, 2015

    I light my cigars in a similar fashion, where I don’t draw in the flame as I light it. I cut it first then go after the binder on the foot of the cigar and once the ring is light then I draw. The cigar starts out smokey but the full flavor of the cigar remains till the end without any bitterness.
    Thanks, -john. Cigar passionado


  11. Heiko Blumentritt
    March 8, 2015

    Charbel, honestly speaking I was waiting for that comment. Please explain me why the lighter weighted Montecristo No. 4 which I lit before cutting lasted longer than the one with the higher weight (cut before lighting).

    As I said before: everybody should do like he prefers it. I found out for me to have an advantage for the pleasure of smoking when I do it in that way.


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