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.

5 Comments on “Cigar Tips: The Winning Selection Part 2”

  1. Oh lord, yes! NEVER wipe down the humidor. I did this with utmost care on a Siglo humidor, and had endless problems trying to balance the humidity levels. Luckily no warping, but still! there are much better ways to do this.

  2. Saint Jimbob says:

    Yeah, I’m in agreement that your cigars will tell you if they’re too dry or moist. Not that a hygrometer is unnecessary, but the condition of a cigar will tell you if the hygro is wildly off.

    The burn is also an indicator, as many dry cigars will burn a bit hotter and taste harsh, while moister cigars will burn unevenly or even go out frequently. Add to that equation that many cigars like slightly different levels of humidity to smoke optimally. The possibilities dizzy the mind.

  3. How about #11: When I go out for an eve or be gone for a few days, I take a number of cigars I’ll be traveling with and cut them. Then I take a dry puff to make sure the draw is ok and put them back in the cello. That way I know I wont be disappointed when I fire one up.

  4. Saint Jimbob says:

    Hey, there’s a great idea, W! Sadly, I was on the road 3 days, and didn’t get a chance to spark up any of the 5 cigars I brought with me. Sad, but it happens.

  5. I prefer the shotglass technique to wiping the humi (where you leave a shotglass o’ water in there for a week or so). Takes patience, but it’s worth it.

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