I received three contact form messages during the last week from users who wanted to know how to retro-hale and I decided to answer the question in a blog post.
First of all, what is retro-haling? According to the tobacconist university:
Retro-haling is the act of moving smoke from the back of the mouth, up through the sinuses, and exhaling through the nasal passages.
Now, why would one want to smoke a cigar through the nose? Well, it is simply because we have so many flavor detectors in our noses - much more than on the tongue that can only distinguish basic flavors. Smoking through the nose will maximize the flavors you will get out of your cigar.
Final question - how do you do it? That's the tricky part, quite difficult to explain. Former cigarette smokers will certainly know how to retro-hale and I'll try to describe it as concisely as I can. First of all, take a good puff on your cigar and release approximately half of the smoke through the mouth as you normally do. Do not inhale or swallow the remaining smoke. With your mouth closed, gently push the smoke to the back of the cavity with your tongue and at the same time start exhaling through the nose. That's it!
Make sure you try this with the mildest cigar you can get and go slowly or you might end up coughing quite a bit. I usually do it a couple of times in each third but there are aficionados who retro-hale every single puff.
What is your experience with retro-haling? Have you noticed that it helps to detect more flavors?