There is plenty of advice out there on how to select, store, and smoke cigars. Rather than repeat what everyone knows or says, here are ten quick lesser known tips to make your cigar smoking experiences more pleasurable.
1. An easy way to get a perfect cut from most double bladed guillotine cutters is to lay it flat on a table, place the cigar in it straight up, and snip. This method makes it easy to not only get a straight cut, but it with most cutters it nips just the right amount off the head of your cigar.
2. A great way to keep your cigar burning even is to rotate the slow burning side to the bottom. I know this seems odd, but the bottom side will burn faster because the oxygen needed to feed the flame isn't being displaced by the smoke. Try it and see!
3. Your cigar a little tight? First thing to try is to gently squeeze and massage it, many times this will loosen the bunch enough to fix the problem. But if that still doesn't fix it, go for the gusto and use a skewer or ice pick and just poke a hole through its length. Word of warning though: Do this before you light it and be very careful!
4. To prevent your cigar from going out between puffs give it a couple of extra quick short draws coupled with quick exhales before you take a long draw of smoke to savor against you palate each time. You will be amazed at how this simple practice helps to improve any difficult burning cigar.
5. Ignore what everyone keeps telling you about 70% being the ideal relative humidity for cigar storage. Many cigars are too wet at this level and draw poorly and taste sour. You will enjoy a much better smoking experience keeping you stogies closer to 65% RH.
6. Also don't become anal about relative humidity. Cigar smoking is meant to be relaxing and stressing over your humidor humidity level is a waste of time. The goal is to keep it stable and your cigars will be just fine anywhere between 60% and 72%. In my opinion they smoke at their best around 65/66%, but they are not going be harmed at a few points higher or lower. The goal is to find what you like and to maintain that level.
7. A quick and easy way to check how good a seal your humidor has is to empty it, place an energized flashlight inside, close the lid, and inspect it in a dark room. If there are any leaks or gaps the light will shine right through.
8. Your butane lighter doesn't seem to be working as well as it use to? Purge it! What does this mean? Purging is simple, the next time your lighter is empty depress the fill stem and allow for the air trapped within the empty gas reservoir to be expelled. You will know it is properly purged when you cease to hear any hissing.
9. It is best to wait five minutes or so after a cigar is lit before you try to remove the band. The heat of the cigar will loosen any glue that may have come in contact with your cigar's wrapper and will prevent you from tearing the leaf as your remove the ring.
10. Want to relight a cigar that you left sitting for awhile? The best way to do this is tap off any remaining ash at the end followed by gently blowing through the cigar to clear any stale air. Then as you are lighting it, continue to blow gently through the cigar with the flame at the foot for about three seconds before you take your first draw. Doing this simple set of actions will help to greatly reduce any initial sour flavor from a relit cigar.
I hope you find these to be helpful. And if you happen to have a lesser known cigar tip yourself, do me a favor and email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hopefully I will get a few good ones to share with our fellow cigarsmokers.