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Debates at my local cigar lounge

SmokySuitSmokySuit Posts: 429
Can you guys help settle some ongoing debates at my local cigar lounge? A few of us have been debating these two questions for some time, I happen to agree with Answer B… Question 1. Is a cigar’s flavor affected by the ash? Answer A: The less you ash your cigar the more like burnt ash it will taste toward the end. Answer B: Ash doesn’t affect taste; I like to see how long I can keep the ash on. Question 2. Does it matter if your lighters flame touches the cigar? Answer A: No, just suck the flame in until it’s lit Answer B: Yes, it’s best to just toast the foot of the cigar without the flame ever touching

Comments

  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    Not sure about Question 1, but for Question 2, I think the most common reason that people say don't let the flame touch is because the cigar could pick up some of the butane taste - hence the aficionado practice of first lighting a cedar strip, then lighting the cigar from the strip
  • wwhwangwwhwang Ottawa, ON, CanadaPosts: 2,878 ✭✭✭
    Actually, ash does affect taste, but not in the way you would think. The ash keeps everything cool, meaning less heat in your mouth and more flavor.

    I'm not too sure about the flame, but if I had to guess, I'd say never let the flame touch the cigar, as the more heat there is, the less flavor there is.
  • Cigar-10075838Cigar-10075838 Posts: 706
    wwhwang:
    Actually, ash does affect taste, but not in the way you would think. The ash keeps everything cool, meaning less heat in your mouth and more flavor.

    i thought that was a myth?
  • ejenne87ejenne87 Posts: 1,925
    sol1821:
    wwhwang:
    Actually, ash does affect taste, but not in the way you would think. The ash keeps everything cool, meaning less heat in your mouth and more flavor.

    i thought that was a myth?
    This is very much the case. I find it even more important in the larger and smaller ring gauges (56 and larger, 46 and smaller).
  • phobicsquirrelphobicsquirrel Posts: 7,349
    I have never looked into this but from my experience the ash does keep the cigar burning a bit cooler and in return allows one to receive more flavor since the cigar is cooler. Now of course if you suck on the thing it won't matter.

    As for lighting, yeah I think toasting is the way to go though I don't always do it. I find it takes a lot more time to light that way. However have I ever noticed any difference in taste? no, not really. I think it comes down to what kind of butane one uses. I do think and from my experience that I get a more even burn by toasting the cigar rather than hitting it with a flame.

    I should note though, that while I don't frequent any cigar bars when I have been in there I see a lot of guys lighting their cigars with matches or a bic and a lot of them always knock their ash. Then I come and I have my butane lighter, my cutter or punch. I get a lot of looks and sometimes I feel like they think I'm some sort of snob... eh, what-ev.
  • ellinasellinas Posts: 329
    sounds like a question for kuzi, that man knows everything... i wish i could help but the only thing i can give you is logical guesses
  • RaschNutsRaschNuts Posts: 882
    Not sure on the actual answers but i do prefer to toast to light. I notice guys at my B&M ash alot and some dont i think part of it comes to personal preference if they enjoy it that way and it works have at it.
  • docbp87docbp87 Posts: 3,521
    The reason for not letting the flame touch the cigar is that apply too much heat too quickly can scorch the cigar, and overheat the tobacco, which will leave a bitter, burnt taste. The is especially relevant for torches, which burn MUCH hotter than soft flames.


    As for the ash, Wayne is right. The ash acts as a natural cooling agent for the cigar, keeping it from getting too hot, and as a result, preserving flavor.
  • Nick2021Nick2021 Posts: 938
    interesting responses, enjoy reading this type of stuff! I have over-heated my cigars which left a bitter taste...sucks :(
  • DiamondogDiamondog Posts: 4,169
    wwhwang:
    Actually, ash does affect taste, but not in the way you would think. The ash keeps everything cool, meaning less heat in your mouth and more flavor.

    I'm not too sure about the flame, but if I had to guess, I'd say never let the flame touch the cigar, as the more heat there is, the less flavor there is.
    Ash actually helps to retain heat....a prime example of this is with an Opus X, it is a double wrapped cigar, filler, binder, wrapper (as an extra binder) then rosado wrapper...one common issue with Opus is they go out a lot and its because they get ashed when the ash is required to burn this stick properly to retain heat so it can burn the double wrap...it's an insulation
  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    . . . with DD's response, I'm totally confused now - I had always heard ash cools the smoke down as well, but DD's explanation does make a lot of sense. I think we need Alex to explain things.
  • fla-gypsyfla-gypsy Posts: 3,024 ✭✭
    I have done both questions both ways without any appreciable difference, just saying
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,634 ✭✭✭✭
    SmokySuit:
    Can you guys help settle some ongoing debates at my local cigar lounge? A few of us have been debating these two questions for some time, I happen to agree with Answer B… Question 1. Is a cigar’s flavor affected by the ash? Answer A: The less you ash your cigar the more like burnt ash it will taste toward the end. Answer B: Ash doesn’t affect taste; I like to see how long I can keep the ash on. Question 2. Does it matter if your lighters flame touches the cigar? Answer A: No, just suck the flame in until it’s lit Answer B: Yes, it’s best to just toast the foot of the cigar without the flame ever touching
    ejenne87:
    sol1821:
    wwhwang:
    Actually, ash does affect taste, but not in the way you would think. The ash keeps everything cool, meaning less heat in your mouth and more flavor.

    i thought that was a myth?
    This is very much the case. I find it even more important in the larger and smaller ring gauges (56 and larger, 46 and smaller).
    the thought behind it is that having ash on the end restricts how much oxygen gets to the fire. less oxygen, less combustion. in this situation more ash would be favorable.
    i have smoked cigars both ways and i have never tasted "ash" or "burned ashes" as i reach the end. iduno... been smokin with as long of an ash as i can for years. never been a problem

    ... even if the oxygen level thing is true, im not sure how much of a difference it will make. ash builds up so fast that its hard to have "no ash" the entire time. the larger impact is how fast you smoke.




    i think everyone got the flame question
    Diamondog:
    Ash actually helps to retain heat....a prime example of this is with an Opus X, it is a double wrapped cigar, filler, binder, wrapper (as an extra binder) then rosado wrapper...one common issue with Opus is they go out a lot and its because they get ashed when the ash is required to burn this stick properly to retain heat so it can burn the double wrap...it's an insulation
    im not saying this is wrong because honestly, i dont know. i have never heard this before. I smoke OpusX exactly the same as i would every other cigar.
    again, i think the larger impact here is on how fast you smoke.

    again i could be wrong.

    at some point, just smoke em...
  • roland_7707roland_7707 Posts: 2,834 ✭✭✭
    so how do you light with matches? dont you have to touch the flame to it?
    One God, One Truth
  • JCizzleJCizzle NYCPosts: 1,912 ✭✭
    roland_7707:
    so how do you light with matches? dont you have to touch the flame to it?
    No, I use only matches because I haven't been able to find a butane lighter in this part of the world, much less butane refills. You let the head of the match burn first, then you just toast the cigar without actually touching the flame. Takes longer but it works.
    Light 'em up.
  • SmokySuitSmokySuit Posts: 429
    Thanks everyone for the input!!!
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