For many people, one of life’s greatest pleasures is sitting down to smoke a cigar. Whether it is after a delicious meal, to celebrate a sports victory or the birth of a baby, or perhaps just to relax at the end of a tough day at work, those who love a good cigar need no reason to light up and enjoy this unique experience. But like anything else in life, those smoking their cigars want the experience to be as pleasant and satisfying as possible. To make sure this occurs, here are some tips you can use to choose the perfect cigar.
Time of Day
Since selecting a cigar is an individual preference based on many considerations, one of the most important factors in choosing the perfect cigar involves the time of day. For example, if you are planning to smoke in the early morning or after a light lunch, it is best to use a small cigar with mild flavor. However, if it is late at night, or if you are in a celebratory mood or have had a heavy meal, a larger cigar with a full-bodied flavor will be more satisfying.
Depending on the time of day, your particular mood, and other factors, it will be important to select a cigar that has just the right flavor for your taste buds. For example, when you step into a cigar shop to make a purchase, be prepared to have the store clerk use a variety of terms, including coffee, cedar, toffee, spice, and many others. Since these will be important in selecting the right cigar flavor for whatever occasion you have in mind, try to become familiar with these terms and know exactly what you want from your cigar.
Country of Origin
While most cigar enthusiasts agree there is nothing better than a Cuban cigar, these can often be very hard to come by. Instead, many who love to light up have found choosing cigars from Honduras or Jamaica offer similar tastes to Cuban cigars, but are far less expensive and much easier to purchase. In most cases, cigars from Honduras or Jamaica come from similar soil and climates as Cuba, making them very attractive options for most cigar aficionados.
If you are new to cigar smoking, one of the first rules you will learn is to choose a cigar that has been aged for a reasonable period of time. In most cases, this means cigars that have been aged at least two years before being made available to the public. Though there are no strict rules as to how long cigars should be aged to achieve their maximum flavor, most experts agree it generally takes 6-10 years for a cigar to reach its full potential. However, it is also important that the cigars have been properly stored during this time of aging. If they have not, they will lose much of their flavor. Therefore, before making a purchase, make sure the cigars you select have not only been properly aged, but also properly stored as well.
Surprisingly to many people, a cigar’s wrapper color can be an important factor in making the best selection for your tastes. In most situations, a cigar that has a dark wrapper will be sweeter and full-bodied, while one with a lighter wrapper will be much milder. To help in this selection, always remember that the longer a leaf has stayed on the plant and received maximum amounts of sunshine, the darker the wrapper will be, making the cigar full-bodied.
If you are new to the cigar selection process, there are several warning signs you should look for that will indicate a cigar should be passed by for something better. One of the most common warning signs of a bad cigar is if the cigar wrapper is cracked, which indicates dryness. If this is the case, the cigar was not properly stored, and is likely old enough to have lost much of its flavor. Along with this, if the cigar feels very spongy or very hard when you conduct a pinch test, leave it on the shelf and find yourself a cigar you can truly enjoy.