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Stogie Tips: Enhance Your Smoking Experience

13 Aug 2008

Smoking a cigar is pretty simple. Ignite. Draw. Exhale. Of course, there’s quite a bit more that can enhance the experience, from pushing smoke through your nostrils to choosing a complementary drink. Here are a few suggestions you might want to explore if you haven’t already given them a try.

Swirl the smoke. First, I recommend you try this one when you’re alone. Otherwise, you’re liable to look a little silly. Fill your mouth with smoke. Swirl it around, expand and collapse your cheeks, force the smoke into every area of your mouth. Hold on to the smoke longer than usual. Engaging the smoke in this manner will almost certainly reveal new flavors. When I did this recently with a cigar I smoke fairly often I got a heavy taste of nuts that I had barely noticed before.

Concentrate on physical. Really examine the cigar from the moment you decide to smoke it. Note everything you can about the wrapper, from veins and color variations to how well it’s twisted and applied. Check the cap. Look at the foot and see if you can tell how the filler leaves were prepared (rolled or folded), whether there’s adequate space for the burn, and varied hues that indicate different tobaccos. As the cigar burns, pay attention to the cone and the ash. A well-rolled cigar is truly something to behold. Concentrating on the aesthetics will increase your appreciation for the extraordinary craft involved in bringing cigars to market.

Look for certain flavors. Read several reviews of a cigar you haven’t smoked and note specifics about flavors the writer encountered. You might want to look for a cigar with a flavor profile unlike those you routinely smoke. Keep your notes handy as you smoke and stay alert for those flavors. You may find them or you may not. But by heightening your awareness at the start you’ll almost certainly get a deeper taste experience.

Try three. Choose a cigar you enjoy and smoke it the next three times you have one. Look for similarities and differences in each one, whether physical or in the taste. Again, this heightens appreciation for the individual nature of hand-rolled cigars and, frankly, the amazing ability to achieve significant consistency in quality sticks. You can also learn by smoking different sizes of the same cigar in succession.

George E

photo credit: Flickr

8 Responses to “Stogie Tips: Enhance Your Smoking Experience”

  1. Tito Wednesday, August 13, 2008 at 8:10 am #

    "I got a heavy taste of nuts that I had barely noticed before."


    (sorry – couldn't help myself)

  2. Wesley B Wednesday, August 13, 2008 at 9:32 am #

    These are some excellent tips, George. Sometimes we forget, but every time each one of us smokes a cigar we’re reviewing it–whether or not we also have a kickass cigar website. This article will help organize that personal process for me. Thanks.

  3. Hillsdale Thursday, August 14, 2008 at 4:11 am #

    Some people and their sick minds… 🙂

    Well done, George. I'm now better prepared for my next smoking experience–which commences now.

  4. Jon N. Thursday, August 14, 2008 at 11:34 am #

    Another excellent commentary, George! But I’m afraid I’ll have to join in with Tito and childishly giggle at the following line:

    “I got a heavy taste of nuts that I had barely noticed before.”

    That’s what she said!


  5. Adrian Bauer Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at 12:49 pm #


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