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Gonna B 1st Cigar

My town had it's 250th Anniversary Celebration,
and living just 2 blocks from F.X. Smith and Sons Cigar Factory (The Oldest Cigar making Factory in the country(150 years old)), I got to tour it for the first time.
The equipment was turn of the century dated 1901.
Before that they were all hand rolled, and still up to 1960's.
The place was spotless, and smelled great.

At the end of the tour I bought my first cigars, the owner Craig Smith had made cigars from tobacco that they had since 1941. So I bought 15, and sold and gave a few away. Sold in packs of five for five dollars.
He said they were just made and I should wait about a month to try one.
Not sure the reason why, I should have asked and didnt.
But I'm looking forward to it and counting down the days.

Just to add, I never smoked anything in my 49 years on Earth.
So open to advice, if you have any to offer.

Comments

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    SmokeWISmokeWI Posts: 64
    Don't inhale :) probably the #1 golden rule. Don't cut the cigar too far up, or it will start to unravel.. about an 1/8th inch is good. Draw the smoke in, and maybe swirl it around in your mouth for a few seconds before blowing it out, don't hold it for too long though or you might get a stale taste.

    Hope you enjoy it :) I'm sure the other members will have plenty to add or correct me on if my advice isn't accurate.
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    [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 3,917
    Smoke slowly, don't try to power through this. Grab something to drink like water or coffee or even soda. Make sure you dedicate at least an hour of uninterrupted time if you can. Do you have a cutter? Do you have a lighter or matches? How are you storing this cigar until you smoke it? Enjoy it bro.
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    Bob_LukenBob_Luken Posts: 10,133 ✭✭✭✭✭
    james40:
    Smoke slowly, don't try to power through this. Grab something to drink like water or coffee or even soda. Make sure you dedicate at least an hour of uninterrupted time if you can. Enjoy it bro.
    All very good points. I would add Bourbon to that list of drinks as well.

    Also you might consider getting some cigars that are ready to smoke now from your local cigar shop. You could practice before the big day comes when your special cigar is ready.

    Here's a really good youtube that has lots of info on the mechanics of cutting, lighting and smoking a cigar. Interestinly enough, it's title is "How to Smoke a Cigar" LOL

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    webmostwebmost Posts: 7,713 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Been there a number of times. Next time I go, you and I ought to herf up.

    “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)


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    beatnicbeatnic Posts: 4,133
    I would agree with most of what has been said. Remember, when you look back on this moment years from now, and realize that your first experience was with a soda and a $1 cigar, you'll have fond memories. However, if you have the bucks, go to the nearest cigar shop and buy a couple Arturo Fuentes Opux X cigars, then pass buy the liquor store and pick up a fifth of Macallon 15 yr old scotch whiskey, You will feel like a king and eventually go broke. Its' your choice. Welcome to our little world.
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    Bad Daddy RabbitBad Daddy Rabbit Posts: 721
    beatnic:
    I would agree with most of what has been said. Remember, when you look back on this moment years from now, and realize that your first experience was with a soda and a $1 cigar, you'll have fond memories. However, if you have the bucks, go to the nearest cigar shop and buy a couple Arturo Fuentes Opux X cigars, then pass buy the liquor store and pick up a fifth of Macallon 15 yr old scotch whiskey, You will feel like a king and eventually go broke. Its' your choice. Welcome to our little world.

    ^+1 lol
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    CigaryCigary Posts: 630
    I did this for another Forum that seemed to help a lot of the "new" cigar people as well as those who'd been smoking for some time.

    I've been meaning to do this for quite some time but just hadn't found the right time...today is the right time because the weather sucks and it's raining and I have side notes to help me with this thread.

    First of all I've been an avid cigar smoker for almost 5 decades now and in all that time I've used experiences that might help those who are starting out and want a way to discern cigars regardless of brand or manufacturers. In this present day advertising/marketing is at a high in that there is more money to be infused into the industry even with the present day lobby against cigars. The disciplined smoker doesn't have to pay attention to the bobbleheads who try and tell us what is good and what isn't and in some instances there are some great reviewers out there who have the innate ability to review cigars without feeling as if they have to cater to the manufacturer to continue to get "freebies" and then we read those glowing reports. Let's be honest here and this is in no way a thread to bash any brand or manufacturer as to their products. They can't all be wonderful cigars like we read on those sites where even the cheapest cigars made are somehow magically lifted to exalted heights. In any business there is "waste" materials and in order to capitalize on turning waste materials into profit you have to do something with it and that means you take sub par materials and make it into another product and in our case...cheap cigars. Is there a marketplace for this...yes there is because there is a niche environment for cheaper line cigars which by proxy goes right back into the company to make even better product which some really inventive manufacturers do....and some push the envelope in this endeavor.

    Now....to better educate those who want to fastrack their education of cigars that oft times are neglected because of the overhype of product. The word Sommelier which many know is a term for what a wine steward is accomplished with...his ability to discern qualities of wine and they are able to know what is good and what is not so good. There isn't a term for this in the Cigar World but there should be and it's usually something that comes with experience and time and taste.

    Here are a few things I've learned over the years when it comes to discerning cigars:

    1. Don't be afraid to "taste" your cigar before lighting up as this will give you a good idea of what is to come. This means cutting/clipping your cigar and taking some draws w/o ever putting fire to the end. I usually will pick a cigar and cut it with brands I am not really experienced with..I need to taste the essence of what it's like fresh. Most people know what retrohale means...well what I do is like retrohaling only I use the essence of the cigar tobacco instead...then push that through my nose and see what I get. You will be surprised what you will get...a lot of cigars are usually a wet grass type of taste through your nasal cavity or some are much more rich in quality. Certain cigars have their own profile when they are tasted this way and when smoked the characteristics are similar to that first dry draw.

    2. How you light a cigar is just as important...rushed it will taste like a charcoal briquet for the first 1/3 until you get that taste out. The problem is that sometimes when we light it wrong we scorch the entire length of the cigar with that acrid burnt taste and that is how the cigar is going to taste most of the time.

    3. "Feel" the cigar before you light it up....get to know the characteristics of that cigar..is it too tight..is it too loose...is it packed to loose ( a dry draw will give you the answer to this one ) or is it packed too dense...( again, a dry draw will let you know ) is there flaws in the cigar..wrapper is torn or cut etc. ( this is for those times when you are at a B&M....examine your cigar before buying but that doesn't mean you have to mishandle product..a small pinch will suffice and looking at the foot gives you an indication of density since you can't obviously cut the cigar before buying.)

    4. Smoke your cigar by not taking too many draws per minute...the more you draw or the deeper you draw should be consistent with your timing or else you're cigar is going to smoke too "hot" and with that the quality of the smoke will be bitter or acrid. Pay attention to the burn and in a lot of experience it's better to rotate your cigar as you smoke..you'd be surprised that this is neglected.

    5. Give your cigars the best possible environment you can and smoke them at a time when they are not so young..or just delivered and haven't transitioned to their humidor for a few weeks. I admit to smoking cigars because I'm in a rush or excited to try it...most of the time I regret it and only a small percentage of the time will they smoke really well.

    It's obvious that our ability to try a new cigar at a B&M may be compromised because each place has differing RH and that's usually on the high end so I take my own cigars to smoke but I always buy from the B&M and then ask if I can light up one of mine while I wait for the cigars I bought to settle in my own personal humidor. 9/10 I get a positive response. We pay hard earned money for our cigars and it would be a shame not to practice good cigar common sense to get as much out of them that we expect to. Our expectations are always high and it should be like that and when we don't get a good response from what we expect that usually doesn't bode well for purchasing again. I like to buy at least 3 singles when I am trying new cigars...I smoke them at different intervals which helps give me a better appreciation over time as to how it changes as new cigars go through "sick" periods when the ammonia content will be high and that translates into a bad experience.

    If the cigar you have cut seems to be too restrictive when you do a dry draw...this is the time to use that draw tool you spent good money on...I have saved many a cigar by this tool and it's better to know beforehand if that cigar is too dense...my draw tool is second to none and clears a pathway for my cigar and me to have a great experience...a great draw makes all the difference in smoking a great cigar.
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    Bob_LukenBob_Luken Posts: 10,133 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Wow,..........I'll come back and read this one after more coffee.
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    webmostwebmost Posts: 7,713 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Aw don't listen to these cigar snobs. My well meaning brothers are dazzled by dollars. You can have a good time on the cheap. That's a fact.

    Listen, I smoked cigars named Factory Throwouts costing twenty bucks for a bundle of twenty sticks for six months before I ever popped five bucks for a cigar. Loved them. Still love them. Just cause it wasn't made in a Central American sweatshop by Lupe Carmela Luisa Rosita Romero y Acosta de la Vega and her sister Luz in the tenth hour of a twelve hour day doesn't make a cigar a bad experience to smoke. Why are cigars made by peons costing ten times as much valued more than cheap machine mades? I'd say read Thorsten Veblen, Theory of the Leisure Class. Are you looking for status or are you looking for a good smoke?

    Thursday, I snuck out of the office mid-day. Rode my KLR650 to an abandoned bridge over a flooded river half a mile away. Sparked up a White Orchid from FX Smith, and stared at the water. Smoked smooth and soft and sweet as a peach smoothie. Tasted like dark rye bread. Easy retro. Big nicotine kick. Perfect consistency. A very nice little perfecto. 45 minutes strolling in the woods, then back to work. Are these the best cigars made? No. But neither were these woods the fabled Hyrcanian Frest, nor this river the Danube, nor my bike a mighty BMW R1200 Adventure. It was still a nice ride on a perfect afternoon, and the birds sang as sweet here as in the Hamptons. Those White Orchids come in a box of fifty for 35 bucks. All natural PA broadleaf wrapper CT and Dominican fillers. A good smoke

    That same evening, I spent a couple hours in the garage preparing boards for my new porch. When I was done, the Eagles pre-season was on the garage toob. So I pulled out a Partagas lancero which a brother of the leaf off this forum had sent me. That's like $7.50 for a single. It was a fine smoke, no doubt. Hour and a half. Wonderful wrapper. More muted flavor than the Orchid. Nowhere near so fine an aroma. If I were to rate the two, I'd give the Partagas two percentile over the Orchid. Is that two percentile worth twelve times the price? Especially for a beginner who doesn't yet know what he wants so doesn't want to blow the mortgage trying his new hobby? Not likely.

    I have given away scores and scores of Tuscororas from FX Smith. Some people like them and some don't. That is true of any cigar regardless of price or brand. My fave right now is the Smithdale Oscuro. I smoked one last night, in fact. I have given away a couple dozen of these, and have yet to meet anyone who doesn't like them, though I'm sure there are smokers somewhere who don't. Perfect burn every time. I hit more duds trying costly boutique blends than reliable machine mades like these. And it makes sense, too. When you spend a lot, your expectation is high. On the other hand, the blender who asks a big price is taking chances blending something unusual. Whereas a blend which has been made by the same firm, millions of them, over 150 years, just has to have something to offer. That makes common sense.

    No, I'm not saying go buy a box of White Owls. That's the McDonalds of cigars. But I am saying that Five Guys makes a burger as wholesome and satisfying as Ruths Chris Steakhouse could ever hope for, at a fraction of the cost. And if Five Guys last a century and a half, they must have it figured out.

    You asked why age the things. Cause they come factory fresh, is why. FXS don't ferment their leaves five years like the sweatshops do. Even their maduro is a five day, not a five year, process. Those leaves were cut in an Amish field in Lancaster last year, hung in those slatted white barns you drive by, then shipped to the factory. A month or two really helps them settle in.

    Keep them dry. Treat them rough. 60% or less humidity works well. They'll keep just in the cardboard box and cellophane for a long shelf life.

    I'm going to send you a PM. Next time I ride out that way, let's go to the reservoir outside town where we can stare at water and burn some sticks.

    “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)


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    CigaryCigary Posts: 630
    LOL...see what I mean? Gotta break that sermon up with some pauses...
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    Bob_LukenBob_Luken Posts: 10,133 ✭✭✭✭✭
    OK Cigary, I did come back finally and read that long post. Good points. Thanks for posting that.
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    CigaryCigary Posts: 630
    Yeah,,,,I read it as well and I got tired and took a nap! lol But I did break up the sermon with the "breaks" and works great!
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    kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,633 ✭✭✭✭
    jewild:
    He said they were just made and I should wait about a month to try one. Not sure the reason why, I should have asked and didnt.
    because the application of a wetter more pliable wrapper leaf adds enough moisture to the mix to start a slight fermentation. this will let off ammonia and create undesirable flavors. after a few month in a well maintained humidor this will no longer be an issue. most cigar companies have an aging room that cigars sit in for a while to make sure the fermentation has stopped or they sell them as you got them "fresh rolled"

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