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Commentary: When Enough Cigar is Enough

16 Oct 2013

While smoking cigars is more of an art than a science, over the years we’ve tried to provide you with dozens of Tips to enhance your enjoyment. I hope you’ll take a moment to peruse our archives for everything from fixing an uneven burn and cigar auctions to winning the war on mold and establishing a good light. Many of these lessons are part of our Cigar University.

Cigar ToothpickMy quick observations today are far more subjective than the sort of info we usually provide in our tips. I don’t claim to have the answer because, more than likely, there is no one good solution. If anything, I’m hoping to open a dialogue in which I would encourage you all to participate.

The topic, simply stated, is as follows: At what point do you stop smoking a cigar?

I realize this may sound like a silly question. But I ask because I’ve heard and witnessed a variety of different answers. For example, a number of enthusiasts set down a cigar before it reaches the band. Still others practice the polar opposite, resolutely smoking each stick down to the nub. Smokers from the latter school know the best time to quit is a few minutes after your fingers start burning because they’re too close to the encroaching flame.

I, like most cigar enthusiasts, fall somewhere between these two camps, allowing the cigar and the situation to dictate when it’s best for me to set down my cigar. Some cigars, namely those that perform poorly or develop an unpleasant taste in the final third, deserve a premature death. Others merit a long, drawn-out goodbye, especially those that improve as they progress. Obviously, though, if I’m smoking a cigar for a full review or Quick Smoke—rather than for my own pure enjoyment—I’ll burn it down to the end.

While the “play it by year” approach works well for me, only you can determine what’s best for you. So please share your strategy with fellow readers and tell us: How low do you go?

Patrick A

photo credit: Flickr

8 Responses to “Commentary: When Enough Cigar is Enough”

  1. Andy Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 7:50 am #

    Never have (and never will) use a toothpick or a roachclip or whatever to smoke a cigar. For me, a cigar is "nubbed" when it reaches the point it becomes uncomfortable to hold without getting burned or saliva all over my fingers. That said, cigars I don't like I stop smoking way before the band.

  2. Bob Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    Many cigar lovers complain of not being able to taste subtle flavors that others have appreciated in a certain cigar. I have tried to train myself to taste these flavors without success. So, my enjoyment of a cigar comes from the bold, obvious, general flavors and smells. I suspect this allows me to enjoy a cigar down to the nub more so than other people. As the flavors become bolder in the last third, my enjoyment continues until I can no longer hold the red hot nub, or very harsh flavors overwhelm me.

  3. Tom Ufer Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    Patrick, like you, I'll smoke a cigar to the very end if I'm smoking for a review (unless it's really bad). Other than that, for enjoyment, I first choose a size that I know I have the time to enjoy. After that, if the cigar is performing well, I'll smoke until I burn my fingers. If it's only so-so, I'll smoke it until I am bored or it just doesn't taste good.

  4. Cigar Seeker Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    I was intrigued by your mention of an article in the Cigar University about correcting an uneven burn. I see no title suggestive of that though, and the few articles I skimmed did not include that information. Which article should I read?

    As for the topic of the present article, I'm another one of those who smokes until I can no longer hold the cigar.

  5. Aaron Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    I also let the cigar tell we when it's done except for when I'm reviewing one.

    Some cigars smoke well far beyond the point of being able to hold on to them with your fingers or nubbing tool, so those get dropped into a corn cob pipe and smoked until only ash remains.

  6. Heavy Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    Lol funny stuff. I smoke until it gets to hot to hold on to. I pay good money for my sticks and I'm going to enjoy them to the end! MG

  7. Mike Sunday, October 20, 2013 at 1:56 am #

    I tend to think that smoking beyond the band is bad form. Although, after lighting the band should be removed so it's best guess at that point.