lighting...

I have not been smoking cigars very long so this is something im still working on. I have a pretty nice Colibri torch which I use and have tried a few different techniques but sometimes still have trouble with it burning evenly.

As of right now, i'll toast the end a little and then ill take small puffs, rotating the cigar, attempting to light it evenly. Once that is done ill gently blow on the end to see if there are any spots I missed and if so try to light that area a little better (during this whole process I hold it at a 45degree angle in relation to the flame, but not in the flame of course). I have gotten much better, and about half the time i will get a good light but sometimes it is still off. Does anyone have any suggestions orrr is this just something i will just get better at the more I do it?...lol

Comments

  • sightunseensightunseen Posts: 2,130
    Sounds like you have the right technique down. One thing I would add is that when you toast, you toast it gently, slowly bringing the foot up in temperature. You don't want to "flash sear" the foot, which will throw the flavors off.

    Also make sure the foot is completely and evenly toasted as well. I've found that a toasted part of the foot will burn at a different rate than an untoasted part when I go in for the light. One last thing. I always check to make sure my wrapper is also burning properly after I light.
  • A properly humidified/rested cigar will burn more evenly than one that isn't. Sometimes it doesn't matter how well you light it, if the cigar isn't constructed well. I'd say that one out of every 10 cigars I have doesn't burn perfect and one out of every 20 doesn't burn well at all. Point being, a good light is good, but its not remotely crucial to the cigar burning well. Its construction, humidity, and smoking technique that is 95% of a good burn. Most of the time I am lighting a cigar off of a short CCOM match, so its rarely lit perfect, but a well kept/constructed cigar always comes around.
  • and more to the point, now that I re-read your question. The light of a cigar is a little over-hyped. The big ring gauges can be a little tricky, but as I said before, your enjoyment of the cigars burn is 95% humidity, construction, and smoking technique. As long as you don't light your cigars with gasoline or a pile of burning mayonaise, theres not you can screw up there so long as you get it hot all the way around.
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 4,689 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Practice makes perfect, and oh what fun it is!
    WARNING:  The above post may contain thoughts or ideas known to the State of Caliphornia to cause seething rage, confusion, distemper, nausea, perspiration, sphincter release, or cranial implosion to persons who implicitly trust only one news source, or find themselves at either the left or right political extreme.  Proceed at your own risk.  
  • KriegKrieg Posts: 5,092 ✭✭✭
    You got a good technique down, just a little tip...when I toast my cigar, I like to let it "settle down" before I start to smoke it. If a cigar gets too hot, it won't taste good...so letting it cool down a little after lighting keeps that from happening.
  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    Krieg:
    You got a good technique down, just a little tip...when I toast my cigar, I like to let it "settle down" before I start to smoke it. If a cigar gets too hot, it won't taste good...so letting it cool down a little after lighting keeps that from happening.
    + 1 to what others have said - it's all about construction, humidity, and smoking technique. In addition, some cigars have a terrible burn when they first get off the USPS truck, but after a little aging in the humi, have a fine burn (5 Vegas Gold Maduro is a good example of this)

    Also, that's a good idea from Krieg there. In addition, you can also 'purge' it (that is, blow out) to push out any residual butane taste from the lighter. But don't do it too often - only once when you get done lighting. After that, the only time you'd ever really purge is if it goes out and you re-light it (purge after re-lighting), or if the cigar turns bitter or harsh, in which case you purge once to push out the foul smoke and (hopefully) go back to enjoying the cigar.
  • Thanks a lot everyone, if I don't have one tonight I will be tomorrow night so ill try out those few little things and let you all know how it went. One problem I believe contributed, like a few of you have mentioned, was humidity. At first I had kept my humi at around 70-72% (small, holds 50), but i dropped it down to 68% to see if that would help or not.
  • camgfscamgfs Posts: 968
    Depending on what cigars you are smoking (stong vs mild, Maduro wrapper?) you might want to try a technique called "Dry Boxing" your cigars. Full bodied sticks, anything with lots of Ligero leaf and some dark Maduro cigars will sometimes burn better when they are a little dryer than your humidor will allow. You can use an un-humidified small humidor or even an empty cigar box with a good lid. Put a cigar in it for anywhere from a few hours or even a few DAYS....yes, I said DAYS, for some cigars. This allows the cigar to dry a little, since the natural oils in the tobacco will compensate for the lack of humidity when smoked.

    Don't just take my word for it, here is the link to the ccom video regarding the 5 Vegas Relic. Watch the video and see how Josh suggests to "Dry Box" this cigar, and the reasons why. I love the Relic, and it's a must for the Dry Box!
    http://www.viddler.com/explore/ccomvideo/videos/139/65.033/
    Just copy and paste the address into your browser's address bar or
    Click Here
    to view the video in another tab
    So, if you have burn issues with stronger cigars, give it a try. You might be glad you did.

  • I use a torch lighter to light my cigars, but I don't puff on them at all until fully light. Basically I slowly toast the foot till its mostly red, then will stop for a minute or two and let that ash over a tiny bit. Then I re-toast quite a bit until its light, I will blow to find spots that are not fully going, and re-toast them. To me, drawing with a flame near the foot always seems to give me a bad taste, which seems to linger for the cigar. Lighting without drawing will use up a bit more fuel, but I feel I get a better light and better taste as a result. Your results may vary.
  • FourtotheflushFourtotheflush Posts: 2,555
    Looks good, but try it outside in the dark where you can really see the flame. You can really refine your technique by doing that. I found that I was really torching my cigars a couple years ago.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    Amos Umwhat:
    Practice makes perfect, and oh what fun it is!
    well spoken.
  • LasabarLasabar Posts: 4,473 ✭✭✭
    I always enjoy the lighting part of the cigar... It's a dance, take your time, if you rush it then the cigar starts off "HOT" and tastes bad... you'll begin to tell when this happens... If you do it right, the first draw is spectacular and you're in the for a treat

    And I do purge, just when it get's a little hot, or it is burning weird I blow out a little, that gets the cherry glowing hot, and then let it sit for awhile to bring the cigar back in check....

    Like everyone else has said... practice makes perfect!
  • Well, I just tried another tonight (RP Edge Maduro) and it did do a little better. I took a little more time lighting it and puffed only a few times towards the end of lighting it. It started off pretty even and then one side slacked a little. I let it go and paid a little more attention to it but it was not evening out so I brushed the ash off and hit that area a little one more time. After that it did pretty well, the burn was a little bumpy but evened out, and didn't really start going out until that last 1.5in. Next time im going to try the dry box technique that you mentioned camgfs as most of mine do tend to be full bodied, but overall this time was an improvement to the last. So, like you all have said "Practice makes perfect", and im going to keep on practicing!!
  • LasabarLasabar Posts: 4,473 ✭✭✭
    dhall6:
    Well, I just tried another tonight (RP Edge Maduro) and it did do a little better. I took a little more time lighting it and puffed only a few times towards the end of lighting it. It started off pretty even and then one side slacked a little. I let it go and paid a little more attention to it but it was not evening out so I brushed the ash off and hit that area a little one more time. After that it did pretty well, the burn was a little bumpy but evened out, and didn't really start going out until that last 1.5in. Next time im going to try the dry box technique that you mentioned camgfs as most of mine do tend to be full bodied, but overall this time was an improvement to the last. So, like you all have said "Practice makes perfect", and im going to keep on practicing!!
    ENJOY! And good luck working on your technique! (No, not that technique.... that you mastered in Junior high)
  • FourtotheflushFourtotheflush Posts: 2,555
    You should also let your sticks rest in your humidor for a period of weeks to acclimate back from the rigors of shipping or the really high B&M humidity.

    (Went to my B&M the other day and went into their walk in and though I went into a rainforest. Looked down and the RH was 74).....

    That will also help alleviate some of the burn problems. Now adays when I have burn problems the majority of them come from not letting the stick rest for a few weeks before smoking (typically I let them rest 4-8 weeks).


  • That is one problem I do have. I actually have not made a box purchase yet, being in college keeps me drained, so i usually do just buy singles at a local B&M and they just look so enticing that sometimes I cant help to have one, even though I may have only had it a week. lol There are a few that I have had for a while so I am going to try to have those next.
  • dhall6:
    That is one problem I do have. I actually have not made a box purchase yet, being in college keeps me drained, so i usually do just buy singles at a local B&M and they just look so enticing that sometimes I cant help to have one, even though I may have only had it a week. lol There are a few that I have had for a while so I am going to try to have those next.
    I understand how that goes. My suggestion is to hold back and buy a significant quantity, whatever that may be for you, of the same cigar. Place them in your humi. I know you'll probably still smoke some early, but that will give you an idea, with the ones that are rested, on what difference the acclimation makes. IMO, there are a lot of good sticks out there at reasonable prices. Also IMO, a perfectly maintained "good" stick is much more enjoyable than a poorly maintained "great" stick. My advice, don't worry too much about the "gotta have" sticks and buy a quantity of ones you like and store them properly.
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