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Stogie Tip: Smoke Through The Nose

14 Aug 2006

On July 31, I told you about a private cigar tasting we attended with Mike Copperman at Bethesda Tobacco. In that post, I said it’s amazing how refined your palate can be if you (1) pay attention to the geography of your tongue, (2) smoke through the nose, and (3) have a human cigar encyclopedia at your disposal.

While you can revisit that post to study the geography of the human tongue and how it relates to cigar tasting, you most often won’t have a human stogie information bank at your side. But – in order to further your understanding and appreciation of cigars – I’d like to share with you how to smoke through the nose. It’s a relatively simple strategy to maximize the flavors you’ll get from each stick and, no, it’s not inhaling.

First, take a decent puff from a properly-lit stogie. Not surprisingly, your mouth will fill up with delicious smoke. Good. Next, slowly release about 80 to 90 percent of that smoke by gently blowing out.

After that, close your lips, trapping the remaining smoke in your mouth. This time, instead of releasing, literally swallow the smoke (as you would any food or beverage). Then, with your mouth still closed, blow out through your nose. If you see smoke, congratulations…you’ve just smoked through your nose.

Why go to all the trouble? Well, let me answer that question with a question: Ever notice you can’t taste food when you have a cold? That’s because flavor information can’t make it to the odor receptors in your nose.

Our noses can tell the difference between many different tastes, but our tongues can only detect a few flavors: bitter, sour, salty, and sweet. Only about 10 to 20 percent of flavor information comes from our tongue. Smoking through the nose, therefore, will allow you to detect flavors and aromas on the palate you otherwise wouldn’t be able to by just smelling cigar smoke.

Now you certainly shouldn’t do this on every puff – once or twice per cigar should do the trick. Just give it a try and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Happy smoking!

Note to our readers: As you probably already noticed, the picture to the right has no relation to this particular post. I just had some trouble finding a good image and thought a hot Asian chick smoking a cigar wouldn’t be a bad choice. Sue me.

-Patrick A


28 Responses to “Stogie Tip: Smoke Through The Nose”

  1. Mark from SD Monday, August 14, 2006 at 6:07 am #

    Interesting…will have to give that a try. No complaints about the picture from me!

  2. Walt - Stogie Review Monday, August 14, 2006 at 2:53 pm #

    I know what you mean by pulling the smoke back to push out your nose, but I’m not sure I would compare that with swallowing the smoke. You may end up with a lot of readers with a nasty case of nausea.

    I frequently do what you are describing, and let me tell you, it’s much easier to actually do than to describe it 🙂

    Its almost like rolling your tongue back slightly to close off your throat, then exhale through your nose and gently force the smoke to the back of your mouth. If done correctly the smoke will get pulled out of your mouth and through your nose.

    From what i have seen, people can either do it easily, or get sick trying. Its worth a shot if your not afraid of possibly swallowing or inhaling a little smoke. It most definately adds to the flavors of the cigar just as Patrick mentioned

  3. Patrick A Monday, August 14, 2006 at 4:56 pm #

    Walt- Thanks for your input. “Swallowing the smoke” is how it was described to me, and it works for me. But thanks for chiming in…some readers may find your description helpful. Good input.

  4. Anonymous Wednesday, August 16, 2006 at 6:00 pm #

    I would have to disagree with Mark and Patrick…that picture is a little out of line. First off, she’s not even smoking the cigar in the picture. It was digitally altered to make it look like the stogie had been lit. Secondly, as a female cigar I’d like to see pictures of women smoking a cigar on your website…not pin-up style photos with a cigar awkwardly stuck in there.

    • Anonymous Sunday, May 29, 2011 at 8:17 am #

      As a female, I would have to agree. The photo was a bit much, but her advice was right on point. I've used this technique numerous times and you enjoy the cigar and its' aromas at a different level. Its like tastin the spices if you will in a delicious dish.

  5. Anonymous Friday, November 17, 2006 at 11:03 pm #

    [quote]First, take a decent puff from a properly-lit stogie. Not surprisingly, your mouth will fill up with delicious smoke. Good. Next, slowly release about 80 to 90 percent of that smoke by gently blowing out.

    After that, close your lips, trapping the remaining smoke in your mouth. This time, instead of releasing, literally swallow the smoke (as you would any food or beverage). Then, with your mouth still closed, blow out through your nose. If you see smoke, congratulations…you’ve just smoked through your nose[/quote]

    Bad,bad advice. I tried that and puked. if you do try, be careful. there has to be a better way to taste the flavors.

  6. Nekotaku Sunday, April 29, 2007 at 2:46 pm #

    Smoking through the nose…

    It's pretty much all I do when smoking. You see, my tongue isn't exactly very sensitive to smoke. As a matter of fact, if I used just my mouth for tasting a cigar, I probably might just as well have a sip of water.

    So, naturally, I started smoking through the nose pretty early on in my cigar tasting life. Why you'd advise to do it only once or twice for the duration of a cigar is beyond me. Unless you all have extremely sensitive palates, it seems like a waste not to get the full monte on each puff. Here's what I do:

    I take a good mouthful of smoke. Shortly after letting it play around on the tongue, I start exhaling through my nose. In order to do so, I exhale air while diminishing the volume of my oral cavity (this is starting to sound dodgy). That way, the smoke is forced backwards where it will be caught safely in the airstream. Don't make a swallowing motion (I never even tried it). Stop before it gets too strong. Overall, on a cigar of average strength I will exhale about 75% of the smoke through my nose. The slower you breathe, the better the "flavour".

    I can't see a reason not to do it, nor to blow out loads of smoke first. Some cigar smokers probably don't go for it because it is such a strong sensation. It takes some getting used to. Everyone who smokes cigarettes will be able to tell you the first couple are hell on the trachea and lungs. Fortunately this is a much kinder process. Start with little bursts, then as you get used to it you'll notice how you can vent larger and larger clouds through your nostrils. In no time, your nose will be your most valuable asset in tasting a cigar.

    As an added bonus, slowly exhaling smoke through your nose while your mouth stays close, unperturbed by anything and fully absorbed into the tasting process… well… it looks cool!

  7. Mark Friday, October 5, 2007 at 11:49 am #

    As far as the picture goes, I have no problem with it. In fact I kind of like it. I would rather that she be actually smoking it but it is very nice to look at all the same.

  8. S. Newsense Tuesday, October 23, 2007 at 11:15 am #

    Thanks for the tip. I'll try it out tonight. That hottie would be my dream girl if she was really smoking that stogie and was covered with a Yakuza-style body tattoo!

  9. slicerd Monday, January 7, 2008 at 12:03 pm #

    Learned how to do this a little while back and you can really get the full flavor of a cigar doing it. You can also get a whole fit of coughing too. I would imagine it would be much much easier if you were a current or ex cigarette smoker.

    Like they say above do not swallow or inhale the smoke, you are moving smoke from your mouth and out through your nasal passages. I litterally sat at work training my self how to do it on regular air one day and the next time I smoked a cigar it worked like a charm.

    I would definitely try a milder cigar the first time, the smoothest one you can get your hands on. If I try to do a harsher cigar or too much smoke I end up coughing a bunch. If fact thats usually how I judge how smooth a cigar is by how much smoke I can blow thru my nose

  10. Jayshante Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 4:16 pm #

    im 12 and i smoke that kush and that krack nigga

  11. Jayshante Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 4:17 pm #

    fuck all yall pussy ass niggas id fuck that pussy right of that asian biatch

  12. Jayshante Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 4:18 pm #

  13. Jayshante Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 4:19 pm #


  14. Jayshante Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 4:20 pm #

    Smack dem kookies all on da floor fucked the biatch like she was a whore

  15. Jayshante Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 4:21 pm #

    the price is fucking rite bitch

  16. Jayshante Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 4:22 pm #

    i like puzzy

  17. Benjamin Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    Practice opening and closing your jaw with your lips closed while breathing out through your nose. Now pull from cigar and do this. Oh yeah, dont forget to blow out the 90% or you'll be sorry. . . .

  18. tomcat Friday, April 22, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    Sue you?!!? not unless you don't have anymore of those photos!

  19. Jim Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    Not a fan of swallowing the smoke. I breathe in lightly through my nose while letting the smoke drift out of my mouth. Much more comfortable and, i think, a more natural way to smell the smoke.

  20. jack Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    thanks for you input, never thought of doing this

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