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Beginner's Cigar Guide

Beginner's Cigar Guide

Posted by Tyler Enos on 21st Oct 2019

Hey, what's going on everyone? This is Gerard with and often I get questions from people asking me how to buy a cigar, how to cut a cigar, how to smoke a cigar. So this video is dedicated on giving you some basic steps on how to go from A to Z on buying, cutting, lighting a cigar. So stay tuned you guys. I'm going to go through some basic information, it's going to be a lot of fun, and we're going to go right into it right now.

So the cool part about this video, I've been doing this for so long since I was 19 years of age, I'm going to share with you my mistakes so you don't have to do that and not wished your money. I was lucky that my father was in industry, so some of the stuff that I made mistakes on didn't cost my pocketbook. Anyways, stay tuned this here is going to take you through that. I'm excited to share with you guys my knowledge and my experience at your disposal.

Okay, so I have broken it down to five basic steps. How are you going to buy a cigar, and how you're going to cut it. How are you going to light it. How are you going to smoke it, and of course, how are we going to store cigar. And we are going to get right into it.

Step 1

Okay, so step one, we're going to break it down to how to buy cigar into four simple steps. We're going to speak about the price tag. We're talking about this strength, the flavors, and of course the time that you have to spend on smoking a cigar.

So number one, give yourself a budget. I'd like to give myself a price tag between $8 to $10. So when I walk into a tobacco shop, that I'm unfamiliar. Feel no shame. That's why they have employees and they love to help. So basically I approach somebody and say, "Hey, I have a price point between eight to $10. Can you please point out to me some cigars at $8 to $10?" From there I'll ask, I'm looking for a cigar that I want a cool draw. I would like a very hot pepper draw, so what do you have that's a little bit milder? And then of course I want to talk about the flavors. I like cigars with little bit of spice, some creaminess to it, and then a little bit of earthiness.

So those are going to be the kind of parameters I'm looking for. And lastly, of course the amount of time I have to smoke the cigar. So if I dedicate a Robusto, I know I have about 30 minutes or if I get into a 6 X 60 I'm looking for maybe between an hour, hour and 15 minutes. So basically we broken into four different criterias on how to buy cigar.

You've got your price point, you've got your strength, you've got your flavor, and of course lastly you got your time. So next time you go to a cigar shop, try to keep those in mind and help you buy a cigar.

Step 2

All right, second, we're going to talk about how to cut a cigar and you guys would be surprised on how many times I get that question asked on how to cut a cigar or how much to cut off a cigar before lighting it. Keep it very, very basic. I always traveled with a guillotine cutter. Why is that opposed to punch or a V-cut? I feel that a punch and a V-cut is very limited to where a guillotine cutter is a lot more versatile. Should I have a... Let's pretend this as a cigar and I snip off the tip of the cigar and I try to smoke it and it's plugged, and I can feel that the knot is right here at the cap, I can go ahead and cut it a little bit more.

More importantly, also, if it's still plugged up, I like to have a PerfecDraw. This allows me to puncture the cigar right through the middle and then pull out anything that is plugging the cigar so therefore I can have you better, better draw. However, I hate to break it down to you guys this way, but you do have to eventually go out there and spend a little bit of money.

Now you can buy these things inexpensively, but you should invest in a V-cutter, a punch, and a guillotine cutter. One thing I will recommend on a guillotine cutter is make sure that it's a double-bladed cutters so you get nice precise cuts. So therefore it doesn't crack the cigar as you're making a cut. And therefore you're going to have to play around and try to see what fits you the best.

Sometimes I'll even use my thumbnail to just kind of take off the cap of a cigar. Other than that, this is an area where you do have to do a little bit of your own practice and see what works for you. And before I go on this part of it, I will tell you this. Do not go out as a first timer and spend money on a cigar cutter, such as this which has carbon fiber skin on it that runs you $150. Now, if you're a big baller, you can do whatever you like, but if you are learning how to cut a cigar, again, just make it simple.

If this is a cigar, just cut off the tip of it just by a little bit, and try to see if that works for you. Other than that, there are many other YouTube videos out there you guys can check out. So now we're going to get to step three.

Step 3

All right, the third part of how to light a cigar. My biggest caution to you guys is going to be do not use a lighter that uses lighter fluid. Because it's going to have by-product that's very nasty and he are going to capture it within your cigar smoke. So the industry has done a very good job on introducing us many different types of torch lighters that use butane, highly refined and clean... Excuse me and they burn very, very clean. So a torch can run you anywhere from $10 to hundreds of dollars. Do you need something very, very expensive? No.

And another caution that I can give you guys is between every a refill of your butane lighter, I highly suggest that you guys always bleed out the bottom of it to get all that compressed air out of the lighter. So, here it is. I have something that can poke the bottom of my lighter and say this is almost dead and it's almost gone. I need to refill it. What you want to do is you want to find that hole right there and you want to press on it just like that. And as you see right there, I'm getting rid of all the excess butane I don't want. More importantly, I'm getting all that pressure release.

So therefore when I put more pressure into it with the new butane, I'm not busting the seals inside my lighter. I don't care how expensive your lighter is. A seal is a seal and it can bust, and you don't want the repair costs of a very expensive lighter. Or having the frustration of a lighter not working. And then you have the golf course, you can't let your cigar, you're doing bad. It's just a really, really bad day. So I bled out my lighter. Here we are. Beautiful triple torch. Boom, look at that. I almost torched my eyeballs.

So what I'm doing right now is on I'm checking and making sure that I have cherry everywhere around. If I find any spots that's not cherried, especially on the outer part of that and I touch up a little bit just like that. Let it breathe for a second and now I'm ready to smoke the cigar.

So if you want to use matches, the longer the stick, the better. Because this is not a cigarette, it's a cigar. So you're going to need some time and I just say wait for the sulfur to burn out limit before you kind of submerge your cigar right into the flame. Let that sulfur kind of burn out a little bit. If you want to use two or three at a time, go right ahead and do that. So I'll just demonstrate for you guys. I know it's very basic, but for the sake of the video, so you see all that sulfur, let it burnout for a little bit. Let it get the wood, voila.

Right now I'm ready to like my cigar and I'm very happy camper. So that's part of lighting your cigar. Stay away from anything that's lighter fluid-based like a Zippo. We love you, Zippo, there's nothing wrong, but when it comes to cigar lighting, you want to stay away from all those nasty byproducts. So stick to multi-refined butane. There's a lot out there in the industry. So, step four, let's do this.

Step 4

Okay, so step four, how to smoke a cigar. Well, we went through how to buy one, how to cut one and how to light one. And to smoke a cigar is not very hard. It's just basically puff on it. Swish it around your mouth. Now you don't want to inhale a cigar, but my hats off to you if you want to. I personally do not inhale cigars because I don't want to get sick. That's a lot of tobacco right here.

But through the years, I've learned how to retrohale and why do I retrohale and what is retrohaling? First off, why do I retrohale? Because retrohaling means that I pushed the smoke through my nasal cavity. In my mouth, I only have four different flavors that I can basically tastes it's the sweet, the bitter, sour, and spicy. But through our nasal cavity, we can smell thousands of different kinds of scents. So I have learned how to retrohale a cigar just like this.

Now, when I pushed a cigar smoke through my nostrils, I get a lot of different tingling sensations, and then I get the scent of the cigar. But truly I'm getting the flavor of the cigar and therefore I like to retrohale almost every other drag. As a beginner, you don't have to do that. There are multiple different YouTube videos on how to retrohale. It does take a lot of practice, but in order to just keep it very basic, all you have to do is puff on a cigar and you will start seeing the flavors unlocking.

I like to utilize a bottle of water for myself. Many other people love to utilize spirits. Some, believe rum is the flagship drink with a cigar. I believe that's just a personal preference. The reason why they say rum is because in Cuba, rum is the biggest spirit or alcohol that is consumed, so therefore they associate Cuban rum and Cuban cigars together, but I believe that's just subjective.

Again, I try to go with water, excuse me. Another drink that I like to use when I'm smoking a cigar, especially if the cigars very, very strong, I'll get a Coca-Cola. The reason being is just because I know it has a load content of sugar. When I say load, it has about 60 grams of sugar and a cigar that's very strong, meaning it has a lot of different nicotine levels in it that I cannot be able to cope with. It's going to sear the sugar out of my bloodstream like alcohol does.

So therefore, the nicotine being on bloodstream, my sugar being very low, having the Coca-Cola on hand, and sipping on it counter acts that and it keeps my nausea at a check level. So that's another hint that I like to give you guys, new beginners out there. That if you're smoking a cigar and and getting nauseous, just get yourself a soft drink or just a regular sugar packet if they have it because a coffee bar or whatever it is. So just get the cigar, start puffing on it, and enjoy.

Step 5

Okay. We going to get into the last step on how to store and keep your cigars humid. Boveda is one of the biggest companies out there that will give you something very easy to utilize is their Humi-packs. Cigars should be stored anywhere between a 65 to 72% humidity and the temperature should be nothing lower about 55 and nothing higher than about, I would say 68 to 70 degrees.

And Boveda has a unit such as this, you can put this on the lid of the humidor, placed these humid packs right inside of it. These will last anywhere between 30 to 40 days. You can go ahead and shut it, and it's a humid, two-way humidity, excuse me, that omits and absorbs humidity. Now, there are also these crystal humidifiers that you will have to saturate them with a propylene glycol solution.

That to me is very, very complicated, but if you like to spend some time and you enjoy doing that, I highly recommend it, and you also need the hydrometer that will tell you the temperature and humidity in your humidor. Now, for traveling wise, I like these small little five count XIKAR totally submersible, little cigar caddy. They are sealed tight and one other advice I give is, you guys, stay away from the cheap stuff that you find on Amazon or anything that's kind of basically built out of cheap wood.

It doesn't have true wood characteristics. It's just got a veneer finish on the outside. So if you're very crafty and you're good with woodwork and you can make your own humidor out of real wood, make sure it has a good seal, and how to find a very good seal is basically this. Open the box, thrown in a lit flashlight, close it. If any light comes out of it that lets you know that there is some crevices that are open to air. So therefore,

you can make your fixes and go from there. Another very easy way of getting your cigar stored is buying a Tupperware. A Tupperware is very cheap. You can find in any grocery store or Target or Walmart. Give yourself a couple of Boveda packs. The beauty thing about these is that you are buying something that has already a setting of certain humidities. You can buy Boveda packs rated at 69% or 72%.

So therefore, you can get a Tupperware and get a couple of Boveda packs, throw them in there, give yourself a digital hydrometer and turn it on, and see what it's doing. And from there, this is the part of the hobby. This is the part of having a passion and being enthusiastic of building your own little treasure chest of cigars and what works for you, and what doesn't.

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Pair up with some friends, get into our community, learn how these things are working. That is the best teacher that I can say is get yourself some friends, ask one on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, like us on Facebook, and follow our YouTube channels as we can get more in depth with these videos.

And other than that, my name is Gerard and we just gave you five different basics on how to buy, light cut, smoke and store your cigar.