Smoking your first cigar is an exciting experience. Choosing a cigar is also part of the fun.
When it comes to cigars, some are created with strength and can be a little too strong for a first smoke, which could put you off smoking. It’s always best to start with a mild or medium-bodied cigar.
The great thing about medium-bodied cigars is they are usually cheaper and are a great place to begin. Once you’ve decided on a specific cigar, the fun can begin.
How to smoke your first cigar
There are plenty of do’s and don’ts when smoking a cigar the first time. Beginning with the cigar prep, you will need a good quality lighter, cigar cutter, and an ashtray.
Step One – Find a calm place
The first step is to find a calm place to smoke your cigar. The place where you light up can make or break your experience, as you want to be in a relaxed environment to appreciate the flavors of your cigar.
Step Two – Cut your cigar
Before you begin, you need to prepare your cigar for smoking. The head end cap is where you put your mouth, which is sealed off and needs to be cut. The foot is the side you light. Just before the cap is the filler, which is a blend of dried tobacco. You must cut your cigar with a very sharp cutter, and ensure your cut is just enough for the first cap to come off. Aim to cut around 1/8th of an inch of the cap when cutting your chosen cigar.
Step Three – Toast
When lighting a cigar for the first time, you may be tempted to light it by putting the flame directly on your cigar and puffing on it. Don’t do this! There are better ways to do it. When toasting your cigar, you need to hold the cigar at an angle and spark up your lighter, ensuring the flame doesn’t touch the leaves. The heat from the lighter is more than enough to start producing smoke, so the flame never needs to make contact with the foot. Keep rotating the cigar until it’s evenly lit up.
Step Four – Blow out
The first thing you should do before puffing in the smoke is blowing the ‘old’ smoke out. To do this, put the cigar in your mouth and gently blow out any accumulated smoke. This is because ammonia and other bitter substances accumulate on the cigar’s foot.
Once you blow the old smoke out, you can take an incredible first draw. The first draw should be controlled with smoke slowly entering your mouth and forming the first flavored notes of your cigar. When it comes to puffing, there is no specific recommended time. Just do what feels right for you.
Step Five – Don’t inhale!
The correct way to smoke your cigar is to suck the air gently and allow the tasty smoke to flow onto your palate. Concentrate on the delicious aromas the smoke produces in your mouth and the air around you. As it is your first smoke, it may only smell like a cigar, but with some time, you will begin to identify delicious notes of vanilla, coffee beans, leather, and more.
Step Six – Enjoy it and take your time
Cigars are an art that is meant to be enjoyed and appreciated throughout every draw, so take your time. You can begin with a puff a minute, which will ensure your cigar burns at a consistent pace and provide the expected flavors.
Step Seven- Ash Gently on your ashtray
Ashing is when you are gently tap the ash away. Ensure you proceed with caution, as you could end up with a broken wrapper, which you want to avoid, as this could ruin your cigar experience.
Step Eight – Enjoy your smoke
Enjoy the experience, savor the flavors and aromas of the cigar, and take time to appreciate the craftsmanship that has formed this delicious smoke. When you are done smoking, just let the cigar burn out.
To make the most of your first smoking experience, always remember to take it slow and enjoy the flavors.
What to expect when smoking your first cigar
While it may sound silly — there being a right and wrong way to ‘taste’ — adapting the way you taste your cigar could make a difference in the smoke you experience.
Learning to taste properly means distinguishing different flavors and subtle hints of flavor hidden in your cigar.
To learn this, you can smell and taste the cigar before you light it. Try a cold draw to give yourself an idea of flavors, and see if anything jumps out.
The second thing is to take the smoke slowly. This is to ensure the cigar doesn’t overheat, as this can cause issues that may impact the taste of the cigar.
Allow the smoke to linger in your mouth and allow yourself to experience a delicious aftertaste.
If you feel confident, try a retro-hale of the cigar. This is when you exhale through the nose to detect any different flavors in the aroma. Hopefully this answers some questions on how to smoke a cigar and what to expect when it comes to your first lighting up an incredible premium smoke.