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Tips and Tricks to keep your smoking experience from going south.

RhamlinRhamlin WVPosts: 7,442 ✭✭✭✭✭
So it occurred to me this might be a good way to pass on tips that have worked for us. I'll start with my two favorites. 1st when your cigar starts cracking and splitting at the burn don't sweat it just grap a thin strip of paper and a small piece of tape. Make a band you can slide up the stick and just keep it about a half inch from the burn. Works wonderfully! 2. When you got one if those stubborn bands that don't want to come off just warm it with your lighter, it almost always works.
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Comments

  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken already sucked before joining forum,.....just sayin'.Posts: 7,673 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Those are great ideas Ricky.

    I've got a lighting tip. I didn't invent this method but I learned it from quite a few sources. And I swear it makes a big difference in how your cigar will taste much much better on the front end. First, don't cut the head until you have the foot already toasted, glowing and ready to smoke. Use a soft flame lighter to gently and slowly toast the foot untill it's glowing. Toast it and blow on it to see how well it's coming along. Take it slow and easy. Try not to scorch the tobacco especially the wrapper. By not cutting the head there's no hot smoke from the toasting process traveling up through the cigar, so when you finally cut it and take that first draw, it tastes much better. I know it doesn't seem like that would be such a big deal but it does taste better. It takes a bit of patience but I'm convinced that it makes a big difference in how your cigar tastes from the very first puff.

    1. Soft flame.
    2. Slow easy toasting.
    3. Cut last, not first.
  • chrisloldschrislolds TexasPosts: 435 ✭✭
    Bob Luken:
    Those are great ideas Ricky.

    I've got a lighting tip. I didn't invent this method but I learned it from quite a few sources. And I swear it makes a big difference in how your cigar will taste much much better on the front end. First, don't cut the head until you have the foot already toasted, glowing and ready to smoke. Use a soft flame lighter to gently and slowly toast the foot untill it's glowing. Toast it and blow on it to see how well it's coming along. Take it slow and easy. Try not to scorch the tobacco especially the wrapper. By not cutting the head there's no hot smoke from the toasting process traveling up through the cigar, so when you finally cut it and take that first draw, it tastes much better. I know it doesn't seem like that would be such a big deal but it does taste better. It takes a bit of patience but I'm convinced that it makes a big difference in how your cigar tastes from the very first puff.

    1. Soft flame.
    2. Slow easy toasting.
    3. Cut last, not first.
    I'm new to a lot of this... what would a 'soft flame' be? And I've toasted before but I'm not sure if I'm doing it right, anyone have an idiots guide to toasting?
  • RainRain Posts: 8,960 ✭✭✭
    Question. When you don't cut, do it really stop smoke from going in to the cigar? The only thing I could see is that if it did travel through the cigar, it could not escape. Sure someone with some physics knowhow could explain this to me.
  • The3StogiesThe3Stogies MainePosts: 2,653 ✭✭✭✭
    Bob Luken:
    Those are great ideas Ricky.

    I've got a lighting tip. I didn't invent this method but I learned it from quite a few sources. And I swear it makes a big difference in how your cigar will taste much much better on the front end. First, don't cut the head until you have the foot already toasted, glowing and ready to smoke. Use a soft flame lighter to gently and slowly toast the foot untill it's glowing. Toast it and blow on it to see how well it's coming along. Take it slow and easy. Try not to scorch the tobacco especially the wrapper. By not cutting the head there's no hot smoke from the toasting process traveling up through the cigar, so when you finally cut it and take that first draw, it tastes much better. I know it doesn't seem like that would be such a big deal but it does taste better. It takes a bit of patience but I'm convinced that it makes a big difference in how your cigar tastes from the very first puff.

    1. Soft flame.
    2. Slow easy toasting.
    3. Cut last, not first.
    Great idea, now I must try this. I usually use large wooden matches, is that considered a "soft flame" too? It takes me about a minute to toast slowly, but I always use 2 wooden matches.
  • SleevePlzSleevePlz Goodrich, MIPosts: 6,249 ✭✭✭✭
    The3Stogies:
    I usually use large wooden matches, is that considered a "soft flame" too?
    Yes, matches are soft flame. Torches are non-soft flames.
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • CharlieHeisCharlieHeis South DakotaPosts: 6,099 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I have cut after lighting and don't think it makes a difference. But then again, I'm a noob and don't know much.
    I also have a torch lighter and hold the cigar above the flame, not in the flame. Still an effective slow toasting process, in my opinion. Have looked into cedar spills also, but never got around to ordering any.
  • RainRain Posts: 8,960 ✭✭✭
    CharlieHeis:
    I have cut after lighting and don't think it makes a difference. But then again, I'm a noob and don't know much.
    I also have a torch lighter and hold the cigar above the flame, not in the flame. Still an effective slow toasting process, in my opinion. Have looked into cedar spills also, but never got around to ordering any.
    We have to get people off that "noob = opinion sucks" thought process. Is this confession time? I light with a Bic sometimes and can't tell a difference. Guess I don't even palate, bro.
  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,503 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Buy a draw poker. If it saves one cigar it's worth it.

    dry boxing or even just letting your cigar sit outside of the humidor for a while can improve the burn or draw (if it's a humidity issue).

    If your cigar seems too hot or "squishy" don't puff harder to keep it lit; this makes the problem worse. Take it slow and pace your draws. Maybe even let it almost go out in order to cool down. The draw should relax and you give the excess moisture a chance to evaporate and quit building up.

    If you find a tight draw, try gently rolling the cigar between your thumb and index finger, squeezing slightly. This might loosen up any obstruction and clear the draw.
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken already sucked before joining forum,.....just sayin'.Posts: 7,673 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Rain:
    Question. When you don't cut, do it really stop smoke from going in to the cigar? The only thing I could see is that if it did travel through the cigar, it could not escape. Sure someone with some physics knowhow could explain this to me.


    It's my assumption that if there's no place for the heat and smoke to escape then there will be no flow. Kinda' like a chimney that's been blocked. There should be little if any smoke flowing up into the cigar when you are toasting if you don't cut the head first. And, I'm also assuming that this isn't the only reason that this method seems to produce better flavors on the front end. I believe that a soft flame is very important to this method's success. A soft flame will toast at a lower temperature than a jet flame. Even if you are very careful with the jet flame and hold it well away from the foot I believe it is still too easy to get your foot too hot and scorch the tobacco and cause a bitter taste.

    Also, here's something else to consider, even with a soft flame I try to never put the tobacco IN the flame. I hold it above the flame in the heat of the flame, but not IN the flame. And I hardly ever draw using the flame unless the cigar is being difficult to lite. Again, Just my way of doing it, but I feel like this gets the foot too hot and that could make it taste bitter.

    I sometimes use Bic lighters for a soft flame and they work fine, but because it can take a while to methodically and carefully toast the foot, they tend to get hot. (If I was only able to use bic lighters I'd try using two of them. When the first one got too hot I would pick up the second one to finish toasting.) Matches are great too. Your biggest problem with soft flames though would be windy conditions. My best and favorite lighter is "The Burner" table top lighter by Alec Bradley. It's been worth every penny. I turn the burner down as low as it will go and it's great for toasting.

    I know I have typed a lot of words here on this thread to explain this method in great detail. (Perhaps too much detail.) However, if you try this method I want you to have every oportunity to succeed. I firmly believe it will make the first part of your cigar taste better.

    I have seen a few videos that promote this type of" toast first, cut last" method and if I can find them I'll post them.

  • Darktower007Darktower007 Posts: 2,580 ✭✭✭✭
    I can't tell a difference. Now 're lighting a cigar that went out hours ago? Blahh??
  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken already sucked before joining forum,.....just sayin'.Posts: 7,673 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I could have sworn I posted a video last night. Did the mods yank it because it was in some sort of violation, or did I just not hit the post button before logging off? Would a youtube video be in violation if it's from CigarFederaton?
  • RainRain Posts: 8,960 ✭✭✭
    Gray4lines:
    Buy a draw poker. If it saves one cigar it's worth it.
    This is great advice. I've used mine a few times...worst thing is a bad draw. Construction issues are bad, but a tight draw....ugh.
  • Puff_DougiePuff_Dougie Mr. Rogers NeighborhoodPosts: 4,601 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Love this thread! Great ideas, brothers! It is often the "little things" that make a big difference in the overall cigar smoking experience.

    Any tips for when a cigar starts to "canoe"? (aside from just gently toasting the errant side of the stick)

    Also, could someone explain the concept of "dry boxing"? Is this nothing more than taking cigars out of the humi and letting them rest awhile in an un-humifified box before smoking them?
    "When I have found intense pain relieved, a weary brain soothed, and calm, refreshing sleep obtained by a cigar, I have felt grateful to God, and have blessed His name." - Charles Haddon Spurgeon
  • RainRain Posts: 8,960 ✭✭✭
    Some gars (mostly maduro and oscuro) are very oily and are known to have burn problems. By dry boxing, you're letting the coffin/humi/whatever you're using help absorb some of that oil.I think.
  • RainRain Posts: 8,960 ✭✭✭
    docbp87:
    beatnic:
    Would someone explain "dry boxing" to me? The term seems self explanatory, but what about specifics, temp, humidity, time, problems, etc.
    Literally putting a cigar in a dry box. Take a cigar that you think may be over humidified, have a tight draw due to wetness or packing, and place it in an empty cigar box that has no source of humidification in it. The cedar will literally absorb moisture from the cigar (albeit, at a low enough rate so as to not damage the cigar), allowing the tobacco to expand and contract as needed to allow a good draw. Leave it there for 12-18 hours, or even a few days in some cases (have had to dry box fresh rolled stuff for up to a week before) or until desired effect is achieved.
  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,503 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Rain:
    Some gars (mostly maduro and oscuro) are very oily and are known to have burn problems. By dry boxing, you're letting the coffin/humi/whatever you're using help absorb some of that oil.I think.
    More than sucking out the oil, youre just letting a little extra moisture out. Definitely helps to smoke these "oily" types of cigars a little dryer. Try smoking a triple maduro right out of a 70/70 humidor. You will probably run into quite a few relights.
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken already sucked before joining forum,.....just sayin'.Posts: 7,673 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here's an example of the "Toast first. Cut last" method. I think this might have been where I first heard of this method.

  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken already sucked before joining forum,.....just sayin'.Posts: 7,673 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here's another example of the "Toast first. Cut last" method. Anybody recognize that guy on the left? :)

  • RainRain Posts: 8,960 ✭✭✭
    Jeez Dustin, what's in the cup?
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    Best tip to keep things from going south: don't surround yourself with ****
  • ChemnitzChemnitz Brad in Austin, TXPosts: 1,300 ✭✭✭
    Puff_Dougie:
    Any tips for when a cigar starts to "canoe"? (aside from just gently toasting the errant side of the stick)

    A simple one is to rotate the cigar so that the longer portion of the canoe is at the top when you draw. The longer part will be above the heat and burn faster.
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    Rain:
    Jeez Dustin, what's in the cup?
    This was an early rum tasting, Flor de Cano. Enrique and I made it a point to start our days early ;) He brought rum, I had whiskey, both had bloody mary's.
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    Personally I am not a fan of the toast then cut method. I do not perceive any noticeable difference in flavor compared to a slow toast. You loose the dry draw, which I enjoy, and if you get a bad cut, you are already burning. I think the possibility for your experience going south with this method is higher, as it places a bit more stress on the cutting as the cigar is burning, at least that is my casual observation of people employing it.
  • MorganGeoMorganGeo Brandon, MSPosts: 2,215 ✭✭✭✭✭
    kuzi16:
    Best tip to keep things from going south: don't surround yourself with ****
    I would second this and also add to make sure your wife is not around. Sometimes the nagging or talking about what the drama at their jobs tends to take away from the enjoyment of smoking. lol
  • RhamlinRhamlin WVPosts: 7,442 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Rain:
    docbp87:
    beatnic:
    Would someone explain "dry boxing" to me? The term seems self explanatory, but what about specifics, temp, humidity, time, problems, etc.
    Literally putting a cigar in a dry box. Take a cigar that you think may be over humidified, have a tight draw due to wetness or packing, and place it in an empty cigar box that has no source of humidification in it. The cedar will literally absorb moisture from the cigar (albeit, at a low enough rate so as to not damage the cigar), allowing the tobacco to expand and contract as needed to allow a good draw. Leave it there for 12-18 hours, or even a few days in some cases (have had to dry box fresh rolled stuff for up to a week before) or until desired effect is achieved.
    Yep that's dry boxing. Highly recommended for certain cigars such as Gurkha of which I'm a big fan. But they have burn problems almost without fail if you don't dry box for a day before smoking.
  • RhamlinRhamlin WVPosts: 7,442 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Another tip that most learn thru having their cigars blow up outside is to let your cigar get acclimated to the outside climate for 10-20 minutes before smoking.
  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken already sucked before joining forum,.....just sayin'.Posts: 7,673 ✭✭✭✭✭
    catfishbluezz:
    Personally I am not a fan of the toast then cut method. I do not perceive any noticeable difference in flavor compared to a slow toast. You loose the dry draw, which I enjoy, and if you get a bad cut, you are already burning. I think the possibility for your experience going south with this method is higher, as it places a bit more stress on the cutting as the cigar is burning, at least that is my casual observation of people employing it.
    I agree with you on some of your points. On balance I believe there's more flavor benefit from the "slow toast" than the "cut last" part of the equasion. And yes, you do have to give up the pre-light draw. But I'm doing this method full time now and I'm really enjoying it. A good cutter is a must. (xikar) And, it does take a little practice to become at ease with it but I think it's worth it. The main point I believe is to keep temperatures down to a minimum during the lighting process. I've got it down pretty good. Maybe someone new to it might find it a little difficult. I wish I could show you. (If I ever get set up with a good camera, I'll post a youtube video. I don't see anyone on youtube that lights a foot as delicately as I do. LOL) My only problem with my routine it is that a tight draw may only reveal itself after the cut. I'm glad it doesn't happen often.
  • MartelMartel Somewhere in PAPosts: 3,304 ✭✭✭✭
    kuzi16:
    Best tip to keep things from going south: don't surround yourself with ****
    Better stop hanging out in here, then!
    jk love you all.
    Intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.

    I like Oliva and Quesada (including Regius) a lot.  I will smoke anything, though.
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    Bob Luken:
    catfishbluezz:
    Personally I am not a fan of the toast then cut method. I do not perceive any noticeable difference in flavor compared to a slow toast. You loose the dry draw, which I enjoy, and if you get a bad cut, you are already burning. I think the possibility for your experience going south with this method is higher, as it places a bit more stress on the cutting as the cigar is burning, at least that is my casual observation of people employing it.
    I agree with you on some of your points. On balance I believe there's more flavor benefit from the "slow toast" than the "cut last" part of the equasion. And yes, you do have to give up the pre-light draw. But I'm doing this method full time now and I'm really enjoying it. A good cutter is a must. (xikar) And, it does take a little practice to become at ease with it but I think it's worth it. The main point I believe is to keep temperatures down to a minimum during the lighting process. I've got it down pretty good. Maybe someone new to it might find it a little difficult. I wish I could show you. (If I ever get set up with a good camera, I'll post a youtube video. I don't see anyone on youtube that lights a foot as delicately as I do. LOL) My only problem with my routine it is that a tight draw may only reveal itself after the cut. I'm glad it doesn't happen often.
    Seen it done many times, done it many times. The "advantage" of that first draw is so minimal if at all, to me it's no worth it, especially if you get a bad cut or have a bad draw. To each his own, I just think the thought of that first draw being better is psychological. I've heard so many things over the years, whatever works best for you, is what is right really.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    Martel:
    kuzi16:
    Best tip to keep things from going south: don't surround yourself with ****
    Better stop hanging out in here, then!
    jk love you all.
    are you calling yourself an ***?

    thats just not right.
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