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Stogie Tips: In Case You Wondered…

16 Mar 2010

New cigar smokers usually have a lot of questions as they delve deeper into the pursuit. Sometimes answers are easy to find. But then there are those questions that you really don’t want to ask, though you wish someone would address them.

TipFortunately is here to help. Here are a few issues that rarely get explored at the lounge of the local B&M but nonetheless deserve attention:

I like Macanudos. What’s wrong? Absolutely nothing. Macanudo is one of the top selling premium brands in the country, so you’ve got plenty of company. Part of the disdain for the brand is just that—it’s a best-seller. Another big reason is that Macanudos are mild, which doesn’t appeal to some smokers. On the other hand, Macanudos have a consistency that other manufacturers would do well to emulate, and I’m sure all would love to match the sales. Remember, smoking is for enjoyment. If you like Macanudos, smoke ’em.

Why do reviews frequently highlight a triple cap? What difference does it make, since I’m going to cut it anyway? Well, aside from the unholy reverence for all things Cuban (the triple cap is a traditional Cuban technique), the process can make it easier to open the head of the cigar without damaging the wrapper. Just snip the little cap on top and you should be ready to go.

What’s the deal with waiting before removing the band? The strategy is that the heat from smoking will loosen the adhesive securing the band. Personally, I can’t recall that ever making much difference. And if it is true, why don’t the wrappers, which are secured with the same vegetable glue, routinely come loose as you smoke?

How on earth does anyone keep up with all these cigars? The truth is, they don’t. In fact, I can imagine that some brand owners aren’t really familiar with all of their own output. Just to get an idea of what’s out there, the 2010 edition of Perelman’s Pocket Cyclopedia of Cigars covers more than 1,300 handmade cigars. Unless you have a memory like Harry Lorayne, it’s a pretty tall order.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

7 Responses to “Stogie Tips: In Case You Wondered…”

  1. dmjones Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 1:44 am #

    On Q#3 you're absolutely right: it just doesn't make a difference. I've taken the band off a stick right away…I've waited until the burn gets closer to it…in both cases the vast majority of band come off with no problem and a few tear a gaping hole in the wrapper. Too much glue is too much glue and "softening" it with the heat simply doesn't work reliably.

  2. st Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 3:41 am #

    What a helpful, friendly post. I had each and every one of these questions as a new smoker.

    And I probably gave Macs the back of my hand way too fast because of b.s. brand snobbery. You have inspired me to go back and try a couple. Hey, they are too popular to taste like paint thinner. I might be missing something!

  3. Jeff Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 5:57 am #

    You guys have the best cigar site out there; thank you. I'm curious, any idea what that contraption on the cover of this year's Perelmans is??

  4. Ed Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 8:32 am #

    I don't like Macs because they are over priced for what you're getting. Mild cigars are fine but if your going to spend that money you can spend $1 more and get a mild cigar with a lot more flavor or spend a couple dollars less and still get a better cigar. But to each there own.

    I do agree with the rest of the post though. Please keep up the good work.

  5. George E Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 8:55 am #

    ST – Let us know how you find the Macanudo after you try another one.

    Jeff – Honestly, no. I have no idea. It looks like some sort of antique holder whatcamacallit. Why don't you e-mail Rich and ask him and give us all the answer?

  6. cj Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 9:59 am #

    Mac makes some good smokes, the 1968 is tasty, just always struggled with snug draw on the few I tried!

  7. Luke - AspiringGent Friday, March 19, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

    Great point about the huge collection of cigars on the market. I think even if one narrowed down to a specific region or manufacturer it would be hard to keep up. I'm in the industry and still lose track of which cigars have been added or or discontinued from a given brand. That's why cigar cyclopedia and the online cigar community as a whole is so valuable.