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Mark of a good cigar

What is your mark of a good cigar? I was always fought that it was how long it could gold its ash. I'd this a valid statement? Also, do you prefer to let the ash grow or do you tap it off?
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  • MAJORdorMoMAJORdorMo Posts: 356
    Alex Williams:
    Also, do you prefer to let the ash grow or do you tap it off?


    I've been told never to tap out your ash, but to let it fall off naturally. I usually smoke outside, so I just hang it off to the side and let the ash fall to the floor when its ready. However, if I smoke inside, I'd tap it out before it got too long to avoid a possible mess.
    I've heard that the length of the ash marked a quality cigar as well, but I'm not sure if I believe this.
  • brsmith21brsmith21 Posts: 207
    Ash length is an indication of filler length (i.e. short or mixed filler cigars typically won't hold an ash for too long), however, I've had great cigars that didn't hold for very long, and I've had awful smokes that went 2+ inches no problem. To me, ash length is an interesting thing to note while smoking, nothing more.

    That being said, here's what is important to me: Does it burn even w/o tunneling or canoeing, have the right amount of resistance (not too loose or tight draw), good smoke volume, and a flavor that I like.
  • 0 That Guy 00 That Guy 0 Posts: 188
    I have heard not to tap the cigar if your trying to get rid of the ash but to lightly roll the edge of the ash on an ashtray until it falls off. I guess this would just be a more a gradual/natural process but I honestly don't think there's a right or wrong here.
  • 0 That Guy 00 That Guy 0 Posts: 188
    While on this topic, what is the best way to fix a cigar that canoes? I always just wet my finger and dab it on the side thats running in hopes that the other sides will catch up. This usually works but is a pain in the ass and annoying.
  • brsmith21brsmith21 Posts: 207
    0 That Guy 0:
    While on this topic, what is the best way to fix a cigar that canoes? I always just wet my finger and dab it on the side thats running in hopes that the other sides will catch up. This usually works but is a pain in the ass and annoying.
    I tend to give it a touch-up light on the side that isn't burning.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    Alex Williams:
    What is your mark of a good cigar?
    when you take a puff off of it, you like it. thats how you know its a good cigar.
    Alex Williams:
    .... it was how long it could gold its ash. I'd this a valid statement?
    yes/no

    most high end premiums use long filler that is bunched fairly tightly and rolled by skilled rollers. the better the roller, the better the construction. the better the construction, the better the burn and the longer the ash will hold. this is only an indication that its long filler and constructed well.

    there are a few cigars out there that are mixed filler that are quite good.
    Alex Williams:
    Also, do you prefer to let the ash grow or do you tap it off?
    if im inside i tap it off when it gets to almost an inch. when im outside i let it fall naturally.
    0 That Guy 0:
    While on this topic, what is the best way to fix a cigar that canoes? I always just wet my finger and dab it on the side thats running in hopes that the other sides will catch up. This usually works but is a pain in the ass and annoying.
    i hit the non burning side with a corrective light.
  • betasynnbetasynn Posts: 1,249
    It's my understanding that this is one of those simplified rules designed to catch everything, but in doing so, misses a few of the finer points. I think that, as others have said, long filler, well rolled, will have a 'stronger' ash because it's a denser cigar, or something along those lines. Additionally, it depends on the type, but not always the quality, of tobacco. For instance, you'll see that the Rocky Patel Sungrown, while generally liked, has a VERY flakey ash. For me, I keep the ash on if I like the way a cigar is smoking because the ash does effect the flavor. Note the flavor before and after you tap out the ash, and you'll see a definite difference.


  • 0 That Guy 00 That Guy 0 Posts: 188
    betasynn:
    It's my understanding that this is one of those simplified rules designed to catch everything, but in doing so, misses a few of the finer points. I think that, as others have said, long filler, well rolled, will have a 'stronger' ash because it's a denser cigar, or something along those lines. Additionally, it depends on the type, but not always the quality, of tobacco. For instance, you'll see that the Rocky Patel Sungrown, while generally liked, has a VERY flakey ash. For me, I keep the ash on if I like the way a cigar is smoking because the ash does effect the flavor. Note the flavor before and after you tap out the ash, and you'll see a definite difference.


    Interesting point and one I haven't looked for while smoking. I'll be sure to try this now.
  • gmill880gmill880 Posts: 5,947
    From what i understand the longer ash helps the cigar burn cooler
  • madurofanmadurofan Posts: 6,152
    gmill880:
    From what i understand the longer ash helps the cigar burn cooler
    I highly doubt this. I won't dismiss it but I just don't understand how it could.

    Like kuzi and others have already said ash length is just one way of determining construction quality. It's become popular for reviewers to tell you how long the ash held.

    Personally, I typically left the first ash fall on its own, but I rarely baby it to make sure it does not fall, after that I tend to roll it around the ashtray to keep the nice glowing dome going.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    madurofan:
    gmill880:
    From what i understand the longer ash helps the cigar burn cooler
    I highly doubt this. I won't dismiss it but I just don't understand how it could.
    i have doubts on this as well, but there is a common theory out there that states just that.

    the theory is that the ash limits the amount of oxygen reaching the smoldering end of the cigar. no O2, no combustion. less O2, less combustion.

    again, im not sure how true it is. and along those lines, wouldnt you only have to wait about a minute till there was a bit of built up ash and you were back to where you started?
  • gmill880gmill880 Posts: 5,947
    kuzi16:
    madurofan:
    gmill880:
    From what i understand the longer ash helps the cigar burn cooler
    I highly doubt this. I won't dismiss it but I just don't understand how it could.
    i have doubts on this as well, but there is a common theory out there that states just that.

    the theory is that the ash limits the amount of oxygen reaching the smoldering end of the cigar. no O2, no combustion. less O2, less combustion.

    again, im not sure how true it is. and along those lines, wouldnt you only have to wait about a minute till there was a bit of built up ash and you were back to where you started?

    Yeah this concept to me is about like the spitting concept thread. I personally cant tell any difference myself but if it makes you happy...go for it !
  • madurofanmadurofan Posts: 6,152
    kuzi16:
    madurofan:
    gmill880:
    From what i understand the longer ash helps the cigar burn cooler
    I highly doubt this. I won't dismiss it but I just don't understand how it could.
    i have doubts on this as well, but there is a common theory out there that states just that.

    the theory is that the ash limits the amount of oxygen reaching the smoldering end of the cigar. no O2, no combustion. less O2, less combustion.

    again, im not sure how true it is. and along those lines, wouldnt you only have to wait about a minute till there was a bit of built up ash and you were back to where you started?
    Yea I don't know about all that. Possible I guess, I'm no scientist.
  • nsezellnsezell Posts: 294
    I've personally experimented with this quite a bit. It definitely keeps the stick cooler. The lack of oxygen just slows down the burn. Consider the temperature of the smoke coming through before and after the ash drops. Plus, once my first ash drops, I can definitely taste a slightly more "charred" a few minutes after the ash drops. The spitting theory is just BS from what I can tell tho...
  • madurofanmadurofan Posts: 6,152
    nsezell:
    I've personally experimented with this quite a bit. It definitely keeps the stick cooler. The lack of oxygen just slows down the burn. Consider the temperature of the smoke coming through before and after the ash drops. Plus, once my first ash drops, I can definitely taste a slightly more "charred" a few minutes after the ash drops. The spitting theory is just BS from what I can tell tho...
    Other than being able to taste the 'char', how exactly have you experimented with this?
  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    brsmith21:
    Does it burn even w/o tunneling or canoeing, have the right amount of resistance (not too loose or tight draw), good smoke volume, and a flavor that I like.
    Same here

    If I need to ash, I either tap, or gently roll it on an ashtray/the ground around an inch or so, regardless if I'm outside/inside. I never let it fall naturally - I've literally been burned too many times (and have a few holes in some of my shirts as a result)

    My idea of a good cigar? One that matches my preferences - very smooth with little/no lingering taste in my mouth
  • kaspera79kaspera79 Posts: 7,259 ✭✭✭
    I am in agreement with Kuzi on many points here...Taste is the first indication to me, about the quality of a cigar. While I do admire the skills involved in rolling a cigar that burns slowly and evenly, while maintaining a long ash, the flavors it delivers are always the main point of enjoyment.

    If I am outside I let the ash go until I know it is going to fall ( experience rarely proves me wrong). When a long ash starts to bend, you better roll it off or you will be wearing it. Inside, a gentle roll every inch or so proves helpful. Some cigars correct themselves, others require a corrective light on the slow side. I don't mind this if I am enjoying the cigar.

    You will find more tricks and ways to solve issues as you gain more "stick time".
  • gmill880gmill880 Posts: 5,947
    kaspera79:
    I am in agreement with Kuzi on many points here...Taste is the first indication to me, about the quality of a cigar. While I do admire the skills involved in rolling a cigar that burns slowly and evenly, while maintaining a long ash, the flavors it delivers are always the main point of enjoyment.

    If I am outside I let the ash go until I know it is going to fall ( experience rarely proves me wrong). When a long ash starts to bend, you better roll it off or you will be wearing it. Inside, a gentle roll every inch or so proves helpful. Some cigars correct themselves, others require a corrective light on the slow side. I don't mind this if I am enjoying the cigar.

    You will find more tricks and ways to solve issues as you gain more "stick time".

    This is true about 'stick time' ......anyone else look back and laugh to yourself about things you thought or did cigar related over the months/years ?
  • kaspera79kaspera79 Posts: 7,259 ✭✭✭
    I was at a cigar shop a few years ago and was smiling as these two obvious new guys were making their cigar selections. One chose a cigar with a cedar sleeve on it..He and his friend took their cigars to the lounge area and began the lighting ritual..The one with the cedar sleeved cigar began to toast the end, sleeve still on it, and then began to fully light it, still with the sleeve on..

    I looked over at an old timer who too was watching with a smirk and shook his head and quipped, Sure has a woody taste to it doesn't it son? New guy agreed, but said it must be dry because the wrapper was burning so quickly. We quickly interceded and explained that should be removed prior to lighting, embarrassed he explained his newness to the hobby. He still enjoyed the cigar as we had a good laugh and made recommendation to the novice smokers.
  • gmill880gmill880 Posts: 5,947
    Ha ! Good story Kas ...
  • Matt MarvelMatt Marvel Posts: 930
    I don't really try to get that deep with what's good and what isn't. Sure, a cigar that burns well, stays together, and has a good taste is good stick. But, here's a philosophy I've picked up in my short time as a cigar smoker. If you're disappointed that the cigar is over once you put it out, then it was probably a pretty damn good smoke.
  • Heres my slightly uneducated unscientific guess at letting the ash go. Has anyone tasted ash? I have and as u guessed its not very good. So i believe and can also reassure as stated erlier that the cigar flavor basically comes back after the ash has fallen off. I look at it this way, when u take your drag on a cigar that lets say has an inch of ash, not only are you getting the cigar flavor but your bringing in the ash flavor with it. I mean how can u not, the air goes thru the ash into the cigar then your mouth to your taste buds. Also when a cigar is just bout out and you try to save it. You get that ashy taste. Along with everyone agrees to blow thru a cigar to get old stale smoke out when cigar has gone out. Just my idears.
  • adamkhaliladamkhalil Posts: 80
    nsezell:
    I've personally experimented with this quite a bit. It definitely keeps the stick cooler. The lack of oxygen just slows down the burn. Consider the temperature of the smoke coming through before and after the ash drops. Plus, once my first ash drops, I can definitely taste a slightly more "charred" a few minutes after the ash drops. The spitting theory is just BS from what I can tell tho...
    I find i get a better taste and cooler burn with longer ash hanging off the end of my stick. I agree that it is most likely because there is less oxygen or air or what-have-you that the ember is forced to burn at a cooler degree. HOWEVER, it may just be psychological in that i think its better with ash on the end so i puff my brains out and smoke hot until there IS ash on the end. haha. who knows. generally, though, i agree that longer ash = cooler burn = better taste.

    I also discovered i'm either a drinker or a spitter. If i don't have something to swig i find that i salivate more when smoking than when thinking about cheeseburgers (which is a lot!). I just can't force myself to swallow a mouthful of saliva
  • j0z3rj0z3r Posts: 9,403
    ilikebigbutts-cigarbutts:
    Heres my slightly uneducated unscientific guess at letting the ash go. Has anyone tasted ash? I have and as u guessed its not very good. So i believe and can also reassure as stated erlier that the cigar flavor basically comes back after the ash has fallen off. I look at it this way, when u take your drag on a cigar that lets say has an inch of ash, not only are you getting the cigar flavor but your bringing in the ash flavor with it. I mean how can u not, the air goes thru the ash into the cigar then your mouth to your taste buds. Also when a cigar is just bout out and you try to save it. You get that ashy taste. Along with everyone agrees to blow thru a cigar to get old stale smoke out when cigar has gone out. Just my idears.
    I would tend not to agree with that, mainly because I never let an ash go with less than an inch hanging on and the ash being there has never affected the taste of my smoke, likewise it has never gotten better after ashing. A lot of the bad tastes you get during a cigar are caused by puffing too frequently as it causes the ember to burn hotter and makes a bitter taste come through.
  • That was just my view, hence different people have different tastes and such. I smoke slow so no overdoing the cigar.
  • j0z3rj0z3r Posts: 9,403
    This is true, different strokes for different folks as they say. Or as I say...different smokes for different folks.
  • Garen BGaren B Posts: 977
    ilikebigbutts-cigarbutts:
    Heres my slightly uneducated unscientific guess at letting the ash go. Has anyone tasted ash?
    Yup, about a week ago I was helping my brother fix the light on his stick and once I was finished fixing it, he handed me my cigar backwards. You can guess how that turned out, and the worst part was I burnt my tongue and put out most of the cherry.
  • j0z3rj0z3r Posts: 9,403
    OUCH! Were you able to keep your tongue after that?
  • Matt MarvelMatt Marvel Posts: 930
    Garen B:
    ilikebigbutts-cigarbutts:
    Heres my slightly uneducated unscientific guess at letting the ash go. Has anyone tasted ash?
    Yup, about a week ago I was helping my brother fix the light on his stick and once I was finished fixing it, he handed me my cigar backwards. You can guess how that turned out, and the worst part was I burnt my tongue and put out most of the cherry.
    I don't even want to know what that must've felt like. I've actually tasted ash, and it's not something you want to try. About a year after I graduated high school, I got a job as an overnight stocker at Wal-Mart. I would obviously sleep during the day, and was up all night. Well, on one my days off, I had gone to Jack in the Box at about that night, and grabbed a bite to eat. I left my drink next to the computer when I was finished, and went to bed. Throughout the day as I was sleeping, my mom had been on the computer, and used the Jack in the Box cup as an ashtray. I wake up, and decide to get a drink of it, not knowing she had done this. I take a sip and get mouthful of ash and burned cigarettes.
  • Garen BGaren B Posts: 977
    Man, that's nasty Matt, I did keep my tongue only because I had literally just lit it, took one puff, then fixed my brother's light, so it wasn't all quite lit up. Only lingering effect is that I look really hard at what end is headed towards the face. If I recall, it ended up being a pretty good stick too.
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