February 23rd, 2011
Construction: Machine made cigars use chopped tobacco leaves for the filler and a type of paper made out of tobacco for the wrapper. Handmade cigars are highly sought after due to the handmade wrappers that are used out of long leaves. Machine made cigars are also made with less leaves in the filler, making for an easy but quick smoke full of air pockets. Handmade cigars pack the filler in an even balance so as not to over pack, making a draw difficult, or under pack. A cigar should burn evenly, and highlight a blend of flavors in each draw. In addition, a loose ash is a sign that the cigar has not been packed well. Tapping ash from the cigar should not happen frequently. After the tobacco has been burned it should still be intact.
The preservation of a cigar: Quality hand rolled cigars are stored in wooden forms to dry. They are cut in a uniform fashion. After the cut has been made, these cigars are considered a finished product that can be “laid down” and preserved or aged for ten, twenty, even thirty years if maintained in a temperature as close to 21’ C (70’ F) and 70% relative humidity. Purchased cigars can be stored properly in a humidor; a specialized wooden box with long term condition control.
Millions of cigars are sold in a year with the high hopes by each consumer that it will be a fine and relaxing experience. Take note of what you’re looking for and you shan’t be disappointed.
Visit DonConti.com to find fine Dominican Cigars today.
February 23rd, 2011
Cigar smoking has been said to be a gentlemen’s luxury; a hobby that carries with it as much pose, and insight as wine making. Hand made cigars are left to an elevated class of smoking mainly because the interest has more to do with the taste and origin than a flighty cheap buzz that addictive cigarettes can conjure.
Every year small independent companies are trying to introduce a winner of a blend to the arena of marketable handmade cigars. Some have the rare finesse to work alongside common –name cigar brands as they flourish from a boutique cigar into a mainstream blend. Boutique cigars are the rare cigars that are hand blended and sold in small local shops or entered into tradeshows. Most boutiques are made with an extreme attention to detail thread throughout the product. The competitive edge that these few cigars bring to the table of larger companies is a major advantage to the entire industry. Well made boutiques keep the big guns on their toes, forcing them to keep an edge on their own products. No matter where you find your next beauty, or who you purchase from, there are a few rules of thumb to follow so that you are likely to enjoy your next cigar.
Tobacco: The main ingredient in any handmade cigar will be the tobacco, and based on where the tobacco has been grown, a variety of flavor can be traced within the cigar back to elements within the original soil. In essence, tobacco gives you the taste that tells of its quality. If the taste is harsh to the mouth, carries a burning sensation or is simply unpleasant, the tobacco is safely categorized as inferior. Some cigar brands, especially the more affluent ones, use two separate tobaccos for the wrapper and the filler. This can be seen in many cuban and dominican cigars.
January 10th, 2011
Without a cigar cutter:
Since cutting a cigar requires utmost precision, doing it without a cigar cutter can be little tricky. A pen or pencil can be used to punch a hole at the tip of the conical part of the cigar. Scissor or a sharp knife can also be used to cut a cigar. These however require skilful operation, else the wrapper might unravel, binder and filler tobacco inside might get damaged. Cigar punches can also be used for cutting a cigar. The cigar punch is a circular blade that’s usually stored in what looks like a bullet shell and is, therefore, often called a bullet punch. If cigar is a costly one, do not cut it until you have a proper cigar cutter. It will be worth a wait. In case of utter desperation, you might use your teeth as well, but caution, nothing tastes as good as a properly cut cigar.
A cigar is a sheer waste if cut improperly. How to cut a cigar properly is the thing one needs to learn till perfection, before enjoying the real taste. Cigar, no doubt, is the most regal form of smoking and learning how to cut a cigar, therefore is a prerequisite.
January 10th, 2011
Dictionary defines cigar as, ‘roll of tobacco used for smoking’. While many would be contented with this dictionary definition, but ask if we ask the likes of biggies like Jack Nicholson we might get completely different answer. Cigar is not limited to a mere roll of tobacco that one takes to satisfy his regular needs; it is more of regal refreshment that takes you the Shangri-La of salvation.
Before answering how to cut a cigar, it is essential to know why to cut a cigar. The logic behind cutting a cigar is simple. A cut should create an opening in the cigar’s head without damaging the cigar. Cutting a cigar is a delicate task. An improper cut leads to a diminished flavour in terms of enjoyment, and hence defeats the purpose of a cigar.
Steps to cut a cigar:
There are two ways to cut a cigar.
1. With the help of a cigar cutter:
a. Choose a proper cigar cutter. There are several varieties available, Guillotine (Traditional), Punch (Bullet) and the V cutter. Straight cut made with a Guillotine cutter is the most common.
b. Observe the tip of the cigar. The capped end is the head of the cigar. This is the place where we will begin cutting. Find the line where cap ends and rest of the cigar begins.
c. Make a swift cut between 1/8 inch and 1/16 inch using the cigar cutter. The head of the cigar is shaped like a cone, cut in there, but make sure it is not the widest part.
d. Do not cut into the body of the cigar for it might tear the wrapper. That will ruin the smoking experience.
December 13th, 2010
Cigar lovers should also check out Thompson Cigar which is giving out a special offer on 25 handmade cigars. Thompson will offer you a number of top cigar brands such as Davidoff, Acid, Swisher Sweet, Cohiba, Oliva, and even classics like Padron and Rocky Patel cigars. Some bestsellers during the festive season include Acid Blonde Connecticut Panetela Infused and Arturo Fuente Hemingway Best Seller Cameroon Perfecto cigar boxes. For cheaper choices or daily smoking, try out Swisher Sweets Cigarillo Natural Sweet or Phillies Titan Natural Lonsdale, that can be bought at under $1 a stick.
The Sopranos Edition Cigars row is still the highest rated brands in the cigar industry and will offer one of the highest quality cigars for the holidays.
Flavored cigars are all the rage during the holiday season too. Thompson Brittany offers a line of cigars with flavors like rum, vanilla, peach and cherry. The Havana Honey collection is a popular choice as well.
The Rocky Patel Winter Series is always a holiday hit among cigar enthusiasts. But it can be a limited edition one, so make sure you grab your box before it runs out! However, in case you miss a limited edition cigar, you can always go for the Rocky Patel Decade Lonsdale which is known for its gorgeous Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. Not only is the presentation elegant and up to the mark, but the flavor and the secret blend make it a must-try. You can enjoy the smooth, creamy smoke of this amazing cigar in the holidays.
So enjoy the holidays with your beloved cigars, and don’t forget to try some new ones to add to your favorites.
December 13th, 2010
Holidays are the time of the year to spend quality time with family and friends and all loved ones. It is a time to celebrate, time to come close together, time to relax and unwind from the hectic day-to-day work life. And it is certainly the best time to light up a cigar and enjoy the holidays.
The holiday season can start off as a bit hectic, with shopping to do, gifts to deliver, cakes to bake! But a cigar enthusiast is sure to be on your family list. It can be you, or your father, or your uncle or aunt. There are cigar fans everywhere, and one in every family. It might even be a colleague or your boss. So must surely be on the shopping list this holiday season.
Havana cigars are a good and very popular choice, just like fine wines that can be enjoyed during the holidays. There are five regions in Cuba that grow tobacco, and all the export quality material used in the finest cigars comes from two of these regions. The Havana cigar is a blend of five different tobacco leaves and it takes a long, complicated process to finally make them. Havana cigars are a good choice for holidays if you are a cigar enthusiast and want to enjoy one of the finest flavors.
While good Cuban torpedos cost around $13 a stick, the Olivia Serie V Torpedo is cheaper and a great choice for the holidays. Any cigar enthusiasts will fall in love with it at once. The brand is beautiful, and so is this cigar. It has a distinctive taste, and a hint of chocolate and coffee with a spicy flavor in the background which is fabulous for the holidays.
November 5th, 2010
The next part is the lighting. The lighter you choose needs to be chemical free. The flame should be odorless and colorless, so that it does not affect the flavor of the cigar. You can use a cigar lighter as it is manufactured with the aforesaid point in mind. If not, a matchstick usually suffices. When lighting the cigar, make sure you rotate the cigar for the burn to spread evenly. You aid the process by taking slow, deliberate puffs to encourage the burn from starting with fruition.
The succeeding part is the smoking itself. Ideally, cigar smoking is more about the flavor and the taste, and not about having a pinch of nicotine. You should take slow puffs, and not rush through the cigar. Some cigars are smoked in an hour, and others take even longer. Ideally, you should take a slow puff, and let the smoke rest in your mouth for your buds to enjoy the flavor. You should not allow the smoke to go down to your lungs as this has repercussions. Then simply release the smoke to the outside slowly.
You should keep up the slow puffs, with the fastest speed being a puff a minute. You don’t have to smoke a cigar in isolation. As most people have found out, it is complemented well by an alcoholic drink, like bourbon. When you notice the cigar is leaving an aftertaste, it is time to let it go. These should be in the last two inches of the cigar. Don’t treat it like a cigarette and crush it against an ashtray. Simply let it burn out by itself.
November 5th, 2010
Smoking a cigar is truly relaxing. But learning how to smoke one right takes some lessons. It’s more than a roll of tobacco in your mouth. You have to learn how to cut it, light it and smoke it to get the rich taste. It can be equated to a wine, which needs to be mastered and drank in a precise way for the taste to be appreciated the best. Learning how to smoke a cigar is not entirely hard, as long as you know what you are expected to do. The guide below will elevate you from a novice status, and make you good at it in no time.
Even when you don’t have the knowledge of cigar smoking, chances are you have tried cigars from different countries, and have developed a taste for one kind. Once you get one, the first step in learning how to smoke a cigar is to master how to make the cut. Unlike a cigarette that you take out of the box and light, a cigar needs to be cut first, for the tobacco to be exposed. This end, the one closest to the band, goes into the mouth. How you make the cut is really important, because if it is jagged or uneven, you will end up with tobacco leaves on your lips and in your mouth. Besides, an uneven cut affects how the cigar lights and burns, and this affects its taste.
October 12th, 2010
Some say that the reason cigars attracted the attention of Europe, and that European cigars still continue to exercise their fascination on smokers around the world, derive from the fact that they are manufactured by hand. Naturally the first, European cigars were crafted by hand, since there was no machinery available to supplement human labor in the early 17th century. But since then, as mechanical production has invaded all walks of industry, with even some European cigars being rolled by machine, the cigar industry remains sold on hand-rolling. All high-quality cigars are hand-wrapped after undergoing a long process, akin to the fermentation process needed to bring out subtle flavors in wine and spirits.
Some famous European cigar shops are named below:
P.G.C. Hajenius in Amsterdam: over 100 years old and opulently appointed, with a cigar museum.
J.J. Fox in London: offers vintage cigars, but can be a bit expensive.
Boutique 22 in Paris
Estanco Magallanes in Madrid
Linzbach in Dusseldorf: This has an amazing humidor and is also said to have some of the friendliest people.
Le Roi du Cigare in Brussels
So this quick guide to European cigars proves its rich history and popularity around the world.
October 12th, 2010
James Joyce. Winston Churchill. Sigmund Freud. Edward VII. Rudyard Kipling. Karl Marx. Franz Liszt. What all these people (who would not be caught dead in a room together) had in common was their love of cigars. All Europeans, all cigar lovers. It should come as no surprise, then, that Europe has something of a history with cigars. European cigars are still loved all over the world. The word ‘cigar’ is itself a European term, and derives from ‘cigarro’ in Spanish. Spain was the first country in Europe, and indeed the world, to manufacture cigars, and can therefore claim to be the originator of European cigars. Spanish cigars are also some of the best cigars available on the market—their closest competition comes from Cuba, with its famous Havana line.
Cigars and cigar-making is not restricted to any one continent or region. South America, the United States of America, and the EU all grow tobacco and manufacture cigars. Even Russia and Indonesia have a cigar industry. Of these, the South American cigars are most highly reputed, followed closely by certain European cigars. The Spanish cigar industry is generally recognized to be the second-best in the world. The European cigar industry remains one of the largest in the world. The European Cigar Manufacturers Association (ECMA), founded in the early 1990’s, is the organization that represents European manufacturers of cigars. The European Cigar Manufacturers Association has as its members the major cigar manufacturers in Spain, Austria, Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the UK and Switzerland. The ECMA’s members’ production therefore constitutes over 95% of the Eropean Union’s industry. Examples of European cigars produced by its members include Davidoffs, Wintermans, Churchills, Villigers, and Panter Cigars. The full range of cigars, as can be seen, is quite large, and this range is one of the reasons the European industry dominates the market, alongside the Cuban industry.