Cigars, with their rich history and complex flavors, have been a source of fascination for enthusiasts across generations.
For those embarking on their journey into the world of cigars, it’s essential to start with the right selections.
This article serves as a guide to help beginners choose cigars that are best suited for starting their journey, ensuring a satisfying and enjoyable experience.
Understanding Cigar Basics
Before delving into the recommendations, it’s important to grasp some fundamental cigar terminology:
Ring Gauge: This measures the cigar’s diameter in 1/64ths of an inch. A smaller number indicates a slimmer cigar, while a larger number signifies a thicker one.
Wrapper: The outermost leaf of the cigar, responsible for flavor and appearance.
Filler: The blend of tobacco leaves inside the cigar, contributing to its overall taste.
Strength: Refers to the intensity of flavors and nicotine in the cigar, often categorized as mild, medium, or full.
Selecting Cigars for Beginners
- Connecticut Shade Wrappers
- When beginning your cigar journey, look for cigars with Connecticut Shade wrappers. These are known for their mild and smooth flavors, making them an excellent choice for beginners. Examples include Ashton Classic and Romeo y Julieta 1875.
- Mild to Medium Strength
- Beginners are generally advised to start with cigars that have a mild to medium strength. These cigars offer a balanced experience without overwhelming your palate. Brands like Macanudo Café and Perdomo Champagne are excellent choices.
- Robusto or Corona Sizes
- Opt for cigars with a Robusto or Corona size. These are smaller and more manageable, allowing you to savor the flavors without the extended time commitment that larger cigars often require.
- Budget-Friendly Options
- Beginning your cigar journey doesn’t require a hefty investment. Several budget-friendly options offer quality and enjoyable experiences. Look for brands like Arturo Fuente Hemingway Short Story and Oliva Serie G.
- Cedar-Wrapped Cigars
- Some cigars come with cedar sleeves or cedar-lined boxes. These cedar-wrapped cigars often have a slightly milder and more aromatic profile. The cedar also helps maintain the freshness and aroma of the cigar.
Cigar Etiquette for Beginners
As you explore the world of cigars, it’s essential to be mindful of some cigar etiquette:
- Cutting: Use a proper cigar cutter to snip the cap cleanly, leaving about 1/8 of an inch intact. This ensures a smooth draw.
- Lighting: Use a butane lighter or wooden matches to light your cigar. Avoid using a Zippo or other lighter with a strong odor.
- Puffing: Take your time and savor the flavors. Puff slowly and gently to prevent overheating the cigar, which can lead to a bitter taste.
- Ashing: Let the ash accumulate naturally and tap it gently when it’s about an inch long. A longer ash can help regulate the cigar’s temperature and flavor.
- Respect Others: Be considerate of those around you when smoking. Many places have designated smoking areas, and it’s important to respect the rules and preferences of non-smokers.