When we think of the cigar, we tend to look towards Cuba as the home of this specialist form of tobacco. However, Time reports the cigar is thought to have begun life in other areas of Central America such as Guatemala where ancient pottery depicts locals smoking what appears to be tobacco wrapped in leaves. The attitude of society towards smoking has shifted in the last fifty years as the health risks associated with tobacco products have become better known. Despite the banning of tobacco from most public places, cities such as Charleston, South Carolina have amended their laws to allow cigar smoking in licensed clubs because of the popularity of what is seen as a pastime or hobby. Choosing the perfect cigar is not a difficult thing to do and is usually a personal choice with most smokers finding a brand they like and sticking with them throughout their lives.
1. Look at the exterior of the cigar
Comparing a cigar to a cigarette, the exterior of a cigarette is made of paper and does little to affect the flavor of your smoke. Now let’s look at your cigar which gets a large amount of flavor and texture from the leaves used to wrap your stogie and hold the tobacco inside. If you are not an expert in smoking a cigar, it is not important to always look for the highest-priced option as you need a little time to get to know how strong you like your cigar and which flavors suit your palette, according to the Art of Manliness.
The first thing you need to look for is a wrapper which is not too dark and is not lumpy as this will affect the draw of smoke as you inhale. A wrapper which is mottled or different colors should be avoided, as should a wrapper which is broken, torn, or does not keep the tobacco inside evenly distributed.
2. Roll the cigar
The old stories about Cuban cigars being rolled on the thighs of factory workers are now a thing of the past, but an impressive roll can be a great way to test the quality of a potential purchase. You should hold each cigar between your thumb and forefinger and roll it slowly to make sure the wrapper and interior have not been stored in the incorrect conditions. If the air is too dry, your cigar will become dry and flake or crack when it is rolled between the thumb and finger. If the air is too humid, the moisture of the room will be absorbed and affect the quality of the draw when you smoke the cigar. The feel and texture of a cigar are the true signs of quality with the skill of choosing a cigar something you will learn over time.
3. Talk to a cigar specialist
When you are looking to learn about any subject, it is important to get some assistance from an expert, with cigar smoking no different. Most owners of cigar stores are locals who have a love of cigars and are always willing to aid a new smoker as they look for their own favorite. What an expert in cigars will usually tell you is the highest-quality cigars are usually from the best-known brands because they get the best tobacco and leaves to use as a wrapper. Visiting a local cigar seller will give you a glimpse into the myriad of options open to you as you look to make the most of your time spent smoking cigars. A cigar seller will usually be more than happy to guide you through some different options and give you a short lesson on how to choose the best cigar for your budget.
Choosing a cigar is not always an easy thing to do but for most smokers, the need for a smooth, crisp draw when smoked is the highest requirement. Starting off with a lower-priced cigar is the recommendation of most experienced smokers who then look to move up into the higher-quality, more complex cigars as experience levels grow.