You should start with mild cigars to get a taste of cigars and avoid thick ones as they can be overwhelming. When you’re ready, graduate to medium-bodied cigars where you’ll enjoy more complex flavors and a variety of notes. Enjoy! Are you excited to start your cigar journey? Browse our collection to find the perfect cigar for you.
Congratulations on deciding to smoke your first cigar! To help you get the most out of your first cigar, we've put together a guide on how to select the best cigars for beginners. Feel free to bounce around between the topics listed below in our Table of Contents. Before we start talking cigars, let's go over the basics: Body and Strength Sizes of a Cigar Wrapper, Binder, Filler Cigars are often compared and contrasted by their body and strength.
Body refers to the depth of flavor, or intensity of flavors from a specific cigar. memory. Much like a full-bodied wine explodes in the mouth or a mild wine tastes watered down, the body of a cigar will determine how of it you can taste. Strength, on the other hand, refers to the nicotine content of a cigar and impacts how you feel when smoking it.
Typically, we list cigars by their length and ring gauge. Length is measured in inches and ring gauge is measured by the diameter and effectively indicates the width of the cigar. These measurements are then translated into common names that (with some flexibility) have an understood length and ring gauge.
Here's an excellent example from Davidoff showcasing their Yamasa cigar: Loose Filler tobacco is bunched together and held in place by a Binder before being finished with a Wrapper leaf. Great care is taken in growing, selecting, and applying the wrapper leaf as it's the visible layer of a cigar.
Start your journey with a milder cigar until you know your preferences. You may find that you enjoy mild cigars overall, or you may decide that you are more of a medium-bodied or full-bodied cigar enthusiast. But choosing a mild cigar first reduces the chance that you will feel the negative effects of nicotine by smoking outside of your tolerance level.
Cigars should be relaxing, satisfying, and pleasurable. Selecting a mild cigar first is like choosing to learn how to swim in a swimming pool versus being dropped into the ocean. You can learn the ropes without being overwhelmed. Here are a few tips to identify a mild cigar: Look for lighter wrappers (Connecticut Shade) Ask your Tobacconist Avoid smaller ring gauges (lanceros) A Connecticut Shade wrapper refers to the color of the outside of the cigar.
But remember, the wrapper of a cigar is just one of three components. Experienced smokers enjoy a good surprise or deviation from normalities from time to time, but it's likely not something that you'd appreciate as a beginner. It’s always best to ask your Tobacconist if a cigar that you want to smoke matches your expectations.
A smaller ring gauge will burn hotter, faster, and requires more technique to get the most enjoyment out of it. The construction of a cigar can impact the flavor profile, maintenance, and overall enjoyment. When selecting your first cigar, it’s imperative that you choose something that has been crafted by a reputable factory.
Some headaches associated with a poorly constructed cigar are: Constant touch-ups or relights Unpalatable flavors Poor draw or airflow And headaches are exactly what we smoke cigars to get away from. A well-constructed cigar shouldn’t require babysitting it with a lighter to keep it burning evenly, nor should it require any additional relights.
Likewise, cigar enthusiasts try to avoid applying any more heat to their cigar than necessary. Each use of the lighter has a chance of altering the flavor profile. Your cigar won’t taste as appetizing if it's burning hotter and faster. Each of the cigars that we’ve featured in our Beginner Cigars Sampler below is a classic cigar from some of the most well respected manufacturers and brands.
We want your first cigar to be memorable in all the right ways. As you’ll see below, we don’t want you to spend a lot of money learning the basics of cigar smoking. But, we also don’t want you to waste your money buying junk. Here are a few things you can avoid to make sure that you aren’t buying junk: The gas station The PX/BX/MCX/NEX (Military Exchange) Moldy cigars Now, when talk about cigars, we’re talking about premium cigars – not the stuff you see at a gas station in a box for $3.
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In particular, Black and Milds are often referred to as cigars in conversation (and labeling) but aren’t considered real cigars. In general, premium cigars won’t be found at a gas station. Look for the good stuff at your local Tobacconist or Smallbatchcigar. com. Buying cigars at a military exchange is usually a bad idea.
If you purchase a cigar at a military exchange, expect to have to carefully rehydrate your cigars for months afterward before being able to fully enjoy them. The one exception would be cigars such as the Southern Draw brand that are sealed in high-grade plastic with a Boveda pack so that they're kept fresh regardless of the store’s neglect.
Hygrometer reads 34% humidity, most cigars should be stored between 65% and 69% humidity. Lastly, local shops tend to keep their humidors over humidified to adjust for the walk-in humidor being opened and shut several times throughout the day. This isn’t a bad thing, but without proper inspection and care a humidor can become moldy.
Do not buy or smoke moldy cigars! Here are some telltale signs that a cigar has mold on it: You can see spores The substance in question is splotchy It isn’t crystalline It may be multi-colored It is raised off the wrapper It photographs well There are other cigars from different boxes with the same substance If the substance is on the foot of the cigar, it is definitely mold Less reputable shops will claim that the mold is plume, a phenomena that is a sign of a well-aged cigar.
Actual plume is so rare that most of the people who write about it are just regurgitating information that we heard from another source. It may not even exist. But if it does, here’s what it should look like according to the Cigar Bible: The substance would cover the wrapper uniformly (not just the head) It’s crystalline in nature There it photographs poorly Cannot be multicolored Cannot be on the foot Is very rare and would not be a multi-box occurrence One of the classic blunders of budding cigar enthusiasts is to jump head first into the hobby with lots of cash.
Why? Because mistakes will be made and cigars will be sacrificed. If you’d like to get a headstart on learning how to smoke a cigar and avoiding classic mistakes, we’ve got you covered: There are plenty of cost effective cigars out there, but we suggest that you limit your search to $8 or less.