Last week I watched a Luxury goods website's VLOG (video BLOG) on the "right way to smoke a cigar" - what bemused me was their suggested speed of smoking the cigar and their insane attention to detail of "protecting the cherry".
Maybe after 30 years of cigar enjoyment I've been doing it all wrong?
What is the Cigar Cherry?
This is what is referred to as the lit-face or burning-end of your cigar.
Why is it so important?
The theory has always been to keep a layer of ash on your cigar to ensure the cigar cherry is not exposed; the more exposed it is, the thinking is the hotter your cigar will burn.
This potentially leads to your cigar turning acrid or not tasting as optimum as it can.
How fast can you smoke a cigar?
Another million dollar question; the Luxury goods website VLOG smokers were suggesting a puff every 45 seconds - wow!
Now okay, I know a few of you passionados out there that almost absolutely hoover down a cigar; but trust me - 45 seconds is an insane speed!
Unless your optimum outcome is to make yourself sick?
Now I am possibly the absolute opposite to their suggestion; I can make a Robusto (5" cigar) last for several hours without re-lighting; I manage to do this because I often enjoy a cigar while working at my computer loading up new products on the webstore and so I can be anything up to 8 minutes between puffs and as I say, that works and no relighting is required.
So 45 seconds vs 8 minutes (or 480 seconds) - that is a big difference right!
And of course there is the Cigar Smoking World Championships which uses a Rocky Patel Cigar Smoking World Championship Corona - last years winner made that cigar last an amazing 162 minutes and 7 seconds without re-lighing!
What is the right speed?
Like most things in terms of cigar enjoyment, it really does come down to your personal preference.
But the longer the better for a few reasons;
- Cigars are not cheap in New Zealand, so, take your time, enjoy it
- The longer you take to enjoy the cigar, the cooler the cigar should be and therefor more enjoyable
- Enjoy a cigar with a friend, talk about life; talk about your highs and lows; talk - we don't talk enough these days; use your cigar passion as a reason to sit down, relax and talk - it is very beneficial to your mental health and also your friends
How do I Protect the Cigar Cherry?
Probably the biggest thing here is - how good is your Ash Game?
Generally, wait for about an inch of ash to develop, set your cigar in the ashtray, and gently tap it and the ash will fall off.
Alternatively you can gently roll the end of the ash off into the ashtray.
Don't bang your cigar against the side of the ashtray - being too aggressive when you're ashing can cause the wrapper leaf to crack and ultimately start unravelling.
Remember the reason you want to ash your cigar is so you don't end up with ash in your lap or worse on the floor!