Any suggestions for a brand new smoker?

Well it has come to a point in my life when I can finally start smoking cigars!!!!! Well, I honestly have no idea what to do, my first impression was just to go to the store and buy cigars and smoke them, but I have been reading more and more and now I have read I need a humidfier(spelled wrong I know). Any suggestions for a first time smoker, any particular brand, any particular accessories or anything like that? Well I thank anyone who takes the time to reply to  this as I know it is frustrating to deal with a newbie who knows nothing about this!
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Comments

  • dutyjedutyje Posts: 2,263
    OK.. you're going to have to do this in stages. First, go back to the shop and buy yourself the cigars you plan to smoke over the next couple days. While you're there, get a cutter (start with a double guillotine) and a lighter (refillable butane).

    Also, take a look at the humidors. These are the wooden boxes you will use to store cigars in the long run. Buy something that will hold at least 100 cigars (trust me on this). Make sure that it has a really good seal (the lid should make a dull, slow whoosh when you let it close). Go to your grocery store and buy some distilled water (you absolutely, positively must have distilled water).

    Take your new humidor and your distilled water home. Fill a clean, shallow, wide dish about halfway with distilled water. Place it in your new humidor on top of a plastic bag. Close the lid and do not disturb your humidor for at least a week -- don't open it, don't bump it -- don't even so much as look at it. Well, OK, you can look at it.. just don't touch it. This is the hardest part.

    In the meantime, buy yourself a digital hygrometer and a humidification device like humidification gel or beads. Your new humidor probably has an analog hygrometer, but this is purely decorative. Your new humidor also certainly has a humidification device. This will be worthless as well, unfortunately.

    When you're done with all this, check back in and we'll guide you through the next phase. Good luck, and welcome aboard!
  • A2yylaA2yyla Posts: 2

    Ok will do, and thanks for the information.

     

  • kaspera79kaspera79 Posts: 7,259 ✭✭✭
    A2yyla:

    Ok will do, and thanks for the information.

     

    My advice, would be the price of a cigar is not always an indication as to how much you will enjoy them. I have had two or three dollar cigars that I enjoyed as much if not more than 10.00 cigars. Buy samplers to find out what your personal taste is. Ask the sales people in the cigar stores for recommendations. If you read a review here and the cigar sounds interesting give it a try. Don't get to obsessed with 70/70 since it will be nearly impossible to keep a humidor at that level constanyly. Take a reasonable amount of care with your cigars and you should be fine. You will get so many different answers when you ask what is the best cigar because all tastes are different. It is a long process in finding what you will enjoy best, and know that you will hit on one that you don't like every now and then. oh well. But, you will find one that makes you want to sit down and tell everyone who spends time here about it. ( and then I will go and buy some) As very often I have done.
  • kaspera79kaspera79 Posts: 7,259 ✭✭✭
    By the way, welcome to the group A2 Nice to have new voices here.
  • DiasFlakDiasFlak Posts: 342
    welcome to cigar.com A2! try every cigar you can
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭
    DiasFlak:
    welcome to cigar.com A2! try every cigar you can
    great advice. to start your way in i would reccoment the Cusano 18 in both natural and maduro, The 5 vegas classic(pronounced "cinco vegas" ), and Arturo Fuente 8-5-8 in candela, cameroon, AND Maduro. all of these cigars are mild enough for a new palate but will offer a good range to help you understand what you may like.

    keep reading. smoke every cigar you can. ask questions.

    im here for you.
  • DiasFlakDiasFlak Posts: 342
    as i just had a 5 vegas classic tonight for the first time i think you should def try them a great cigar!
  • j0z3rj0z3r Posts: 9,403
    I'll recommend the 5 Vegas as well ( I like to call it Five Vegas, even though I know its cinco, it just rolls off the tongue better). The 5 Vegas Classic is a solid smoke at a very reasonable price. As kuzi said, the Cusano 18 is very good as well, in fact I'd just about say you'd be hard-pressed to go wrong with anything Cusano. Oliva is another one to look at, the Serie G cameroon is a good and economically priced medium bodied smoke and one of my personal favorites.
  • kaspera79kaspera79 Posts: 7,259 ✭✭✭
    A2yyla:

    Ok will do, and thanks for the information.

     

    It has been said here a thousand times.. 5 Vegas Classic can not be beat . For about three bucks the value is unmatched. They will be enjoyed by any level of smokers.. 5 Vegas other lines.. Miami, Gold, and "A" are also fine in there own different way but to me Classic is the one I have most often.
  • ftnatorftnator Posts: 14

    Hi!!

    I'm new to the cigars world as well. You made a great suggestion "dutyje" about the humidor size. I went ahead and bought a 25-50 capacity humi thinking," Hey I'm just starting out, I won't smoking that many cigars". Well, I was wrong!!! I have so many samples to try, my humi is almost to capacity. Also, I've found cigars I like and want to buy more but may not have  enough space for them!!!

    I'm also finding out that I can't seem to keep my humidor close to 70/70. I get more like 65/77 or 68/79. will my cigars be ok?

     

       ftnator

     

  • DiasFlakDiasFlak Posts: 342
    your humidity seems fine but i would try and get it cooler 70 is best but i do 68 degrees F i would say overall dont let it go to 82 but your cigars should be fine
  • madurofanmadurofan Posts: 6,152
    Many people prefer the lower RH 62 - 66%, kuzi, who is one of the more knowledgeable poster here is one who likes his RH in that range. Anywhere between 62 - 75% won't cause any damage. You may notice that they smoke differently and possibly taste a little different at different RHs but it won't mold or dry out in that range. Now what you need to watch is that temp. I'm assuming that 77 and 79 are the temp. When you get high temps like that you are running the risk of cigar beetles. I'm not going to go into a whole lot of detail lets just say they'll destroy everything in your humi in no time. You need to find the coolest room in you house(closets, basement) and keep your humi there during the hot months. However, you don't want to put it in the fridge or anything. You'll see some ppl talk about their fridge-a-dor. I for one have one, but these are wine fridges that adjust up to 65 degrees.
  • ftnatorftnator Posts: 14

    thanks!!

    Good info.That make me feel better. I just didn't want to ruin a bunch of cigars being a newbie!!

     

     

  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭
    i agree with maddy.
    cigars are about relaxation. why worry about a few points of RH here and there? establish a range that you are ok with. for me its 62%- 70%. I aim for 65%.
  • ftnatorftnator Posts: 14

    Yes! 77-79 are the temps.

    I live in the part California near Napa and Solano counties were the temps are in the high 90s low 100s this summer. I'm trying to move the box around different parts of the house to find the coolest spot. I just need to keep the temp lower than 80 degrees. I re charged the humi and did the distilled water over the weekend, but the temp keeps up the high 70s. I'll wait out the summer. the weather out here can change on a dime!!

  • madurofanmadurofan Posts: 6,152
    You live in beautiful country my wife and I honeymooned in Napa. Its not going to kill it to be 77 degrees just find the coolest spot and leave it there. You just don't want it consistently over 80.
  • ftnatorftnator Posts: 14

    Thanks madurofan!! I'm in the ball park.. Now I can relax!!! puff! puff! puff!

    We are haapy to be this area. Not very cigar shops around to my surprise for the entire SF Bay Area. I get the impression that the east coast have more cigar aficionados than the west coast. I maybe wrong.....

  • madurofanmadurofan Posts: 6,152
    Its just cheaper and less restricted on the EC.
  • kaspera79kaspera79 Posts: 7,259 ✭✭✭
    ftnator:

    Thanks madurofan!! I'm in the ball park.. Now I can relax!!! puff! puff! puff!

    We are haapy to be this area. Not very cigar shops around to my surprise for the entire SF Bay Area. I get the impression that the east coast have more cigar aficionados than the west coast. I maybe wrong.....

    I would suggest doing most of your cigar purchases through on line dealers who don't charge you taxes. I made the switch a while back and have saved lots of cash that way. It is nice to walk into a shop and meet fellow smokers and smell the place ( or meet playboys bunnies ) but reserve your serious purchases for places like c.com. Not to mention the deals you will find here. Look for the Five for five deals here. It can not be beat.
  • madurofanmadurofan Posts: 6,152
    Well said kas. Thankfully here in VA my B&M prices are the same sometimes less than ccom, aside from their deals like the 5 for 5.
  • ftnatorftnator Posts: 14
    I'm begining to see that kas. I love this website. It offers a lots of choices and you can save cash. I like to visit my local cigar shop and chat with smokers. They have a smoking room and locker to store your cigars. The prices are a bit high though. I do like the deal here at c.com though.
  • kaspera79kaspera79 Posts: 7,259 ✭✭✭
    ftnator:
    I'm begining to see that kas. I love this website. It offers a lots of choices and you can save cash. I like to visit my local cigar shop and chat with smokers. They have a smoking room and locker to store your cigars. The prices are a bit high though. I do like the deal here at c.com though.
    I still support my local shops, I want to keep a local guy in business, I do protest paying 10%-20% or more in sales and tobacco taxes. As well as city tax, villages tax, that is bull****, The smoker ( and drinker ) really gets the bad deal here.
  • tankbonniestankbonnies Posts: 191
    Here is a stupid question...in reference to cigar beetles and temp..do i have to wory about 75 and over on the RH side or 75 and over on the temp side? I always thought it was the RH side
  • dutyjedutyje Posts: 2,263
    tankbonnies:
    Here is a stupid question...in reference to cigar beetles and temp..do i have to wory about 75 and over on the RH side or 75 and over on the temp side? I always thought it was the RH side
    You'll find a wide range of information on this, all of which contradicts the other information you'll find. Generally speaking, beetles hatch in high temperature and humidity conditions. Some say about 72 degrees, some say above 80 degrees. As far as humidity, most sources say above the 72% or above the 75% range.

    Paranoia is a major industry in the United States, and companies that sell cigars and accessories take advantage of this to sell you as many tools as possible... but as Maddy will tell you, the concern is certainly valid.

    I believe that if you maintain a humidity below 70% and temps below 75 degrees, you'll never see a beetle. Others may tell you differently. Here are a couple references:

    Cigar PretentiouSnobo

    Vanderburgh Humidors
  • madurofanmadurofan Posts: 6,152
    My beetles hatched when my humi was at 80* and 77%.
  • tankbonniestankbonnies Posts: 191
    Dut..thanks for the links..helpful......I'll keep my fingers crossed..
  • kaspera79kaspera79 Posts: 7,259 ✭✭✭
    tankbonnies:
    Here is a stupid question...in reference to cigar beetles and temp..do i have to wory about 75 and over on the RH side or 75 and over on the temp side? I always thought it was the RH side
    Tank, no such thing as stupid questions if you don't know the answer. Madurafan is the unluckiest guy in the world with beetles. They know where he lives and vacation in his humidor. I never worry, never will. Everything will be fine. I think maybe it's the girls he sees on the side that bring bugs to his house. Do not loose sleep over beetles.
  • DiasFlakDiasFlak Posts: 342
    from all my studies its more temp side then humidity
  • ftnatorftnator Posts: 14
    Yeah Kas. The shop here is pretty nice. A large walk in humidor, it like a freakin candy shop. Nice selection. They real helpful. The customers chime a give suggestion too. Real nice atomosphere. I'm all for suportign the locals. Wel you heard in SF they'ree trying to pass a huge non-smoke ban!!! I don't live now but I remember the time when you could go into a resturant, have a nice big juicy steak and have a smoke. It's just getting harder to find places just to relax and enjoy a cigar with feeling your have to look over your shoulder like your'e smoke weed or something! Smile [:)] LOL!!!
  • bocardsbocards Posts: 32
    Hi, I am a newb here also, and I am following the steps that was recommended here for A2yyla, only I bought the ten pack of pillows here thinking this was the same thing as beads...which apparently is not correct. Can pillows be used or do I need to look for some beads (I did not see any on this site for purchase anyone know where to get some if pillows are not going to work ?). Thanks, Bo
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