Smoking a cigar requires a whole new level of expertise. We help you learn the ropes.
By Nolan Lewis
While cigars seem anatomically a lot like their poor cousin, the cigarette, the differences are much more than just being a class apart. There are certain rituals and etiquette to be adhered to while smoking a cigar. Here are a few things you should keep in mind before you take that first whiff off a stogie.
Trust a tobacconist
The best cigars cannot be purchased off a display window next to the cash register at a supermarket or a gift shop. Like a good bottle of vintage vino, cigars need to be preserved at the right temperature, which is why in a humid country such as oursthey are best stored in humidors. Smoking a cigar is an elaborate ritual; finding the right one requires guidance and the right ambience, which is why you would want a tobacconist at a cigar bar to help you create a cherishable moment. The Cigar Lounge at Planet Hollywood in Goa and The Oberoi at Gurgaon offer you a world-class selection to indulge yourself.
Making the cut
Next step, find a good cigar cutter. Look carefully at the head of the cigar, which is closed by a cap marked by a distinct line. Cut just before the cap and avoid tearing the wallpaper. The paraphernalia is as important as the cigar itself.Accompanyyour smoke with a malt, a martini or some good scotch as cigar smoking can be quite dehydrating.
Smoking a cigar requires a certain machismo, but it leaves a heavier impact on your system than a cigarette does. So try a mild or medium bodied cigar from Don Diego, Rocky Patel or Cuba Libre before moving on to anything heavy duty. Associate with the cigar community because like a cupper or vintner, learning to discern a cigar of calibre requires expertise.
Forget the cigarette
Dealing with a cigarrequires unlearning how to smoke a cigarette. A cigar is never lit with a Zippo, but with wooden matches or a butane gas lighter to retain its fine flavours. The cigar is always held in the hand not in the mouth while lighting, and the tip of the cigar should be lit evenly. While cigarettes tend to be smoked in haste and compulsively, every drag on a cigar is a feastyou want to linger on. Cigars are only smoked halfway, as their smoke becomes overwhelmingly harsh as you near the foot. And you never stub a cigar, you drop it into an ashtray and let is extinguish itself.
An act of passion
Cigarette smoking may be an addiction, but cigars are almost always smoked out of passion. A puff a minute should suffice and in between whiffs the cigar is always to be held in between the fingers, not in the mouth. Should you choose to proceed to a second helping, a gap of at least 15 minutes should be observed. Contrary to popular belief, compulsive smoking isn’t a fine display of masculinity.