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How to Smoke a Cigar – Cigar 101 with Nick Perdomo

How to Smoke a Cigar – Cigar 101 with Nick Perdomo


Hi. Nick Perdomo from Perdomo Cigars.
One of the most asked questions of me is, “how do you smoke a cigar?” Well,
the first thing, is that you have to find a reputable retailer that stores
cigars in a correct fashion with the proper humidity and temperature, so always go
and find a very good cigar retailer, like for example, here at Famous Cigars
where if you look at the warehouses, everything is climatically and
humidity controlled. Their humidors are set up correctly with the proper humidity
and also cool air that makes your cigars fresh, and that’s going
to bring a lot of enjoyment when you smoke a cigar. So the first thing when you
pick your cigar you should always ask you know, “what type of cigar?” Because
I don’t know if you like a light cigar, or a medium cigar, or a really rich
cigar so, it’s all dependent. So a lot of times when I recommend
a cigar before someone’s going smoke one, is what their flavor characteristic is.
Everybody likes things a little bit differently, so as we skip on to that, we get our
cigar – and for example this is a Perdomo 20th Anniversary Epicure – the first
thing we’re going to do is we’re going to cut that cigar. And the most
important thing about cutting the cigar, is making sure you don’t cut too much.
If you cut too much of the cigar, what’ll happen is, it’ll unravel, and a
lot of times in the cigar industry, when we see mistakes, or anything where we have
an error or so on – a lot of it’s operator error and a lot of
it’s mis-cutting cigars and mis-lighting cigars, which I’m going to go on here
in a couple of minutes… So I personally like a flat cut, but
there’s bullet cuts, there’s punch cuts, there’s also a great V-cutter out from
Colibri that I really like So, the first thing we want to do is we
just want to cut that cap on the top – just up – just above the head,
not too deep. And literally, when you get rid of the residue of the cigar,
you really just have a cap, because we just want to pull that cap off,
okay? So a good flat cut is something I highly recommend, but also a good lighter, too.
too. With wind and so on if you’re outside – a lot of guys play
golf and so on – you really want to kind of have a flame lighter like this
which will combat the wind. If you’re inside, of course, you can use matches or a Bic, but I personally like these types of lighters.
So the first thing I’m going to do, is I’m going to make sure I light
this cigar, cigar, because I properly cut it and to be able to smoke a cigar you want
to be able to enjoy it, right? So the first thing I’m going to do is going to take
my band, and I’ve done this before with Cigar Advisor – and I’m gonna take the band I’m gonna
make a segue, or a marking, so the first thing to do is, I’m going to
take this particular cigar – it’s got our company logo – and what I want to do is I want
to toast the foot. The reason I want to toast the foot is, I want that wrapper to seal into
the binder, and the binder is basically the leaf underneath the wrapper. The reason I want this is because I
want it to be nice and tight. So when I smoke it, nothing peels away and
the cigar will actually burn more properly. This is gonna take an extra 10 seconds,
but if you do this, I promise you y ou’re going to enjoy the cigar much better.
So, the first thing I might do is, I’m going to take the lighter and I’m
actually not going to have the light touch. It’s basically the heat above the lighter.
You can see – you’ll see it start lighting up. And I have a little
black ring and I’m just going to keep turning the cigar until I’m just
charring it, but I’m not using a flame. I’m not burning it. I’m actually taking
the heat and I’m going to keep turning it till I got
it all the way up to the top of my band. I’m going to
blow on it. And when I look, I’m going to have a nice, tight carbon line around
that cigar which means that my wrapper sealed into my binder. They don’t teach
you this stuff, but it’s really important. Whether you’ve been smoking cigars for
one year or 30 years, this really is going to make
your cigar smoking much more enjoyable and takes up very little time. I could
actually probably smoke the cigar now, but I haven’t lit any of the filler yet,
but again, I’m not going to scorch the filler. You see people doing this
– they’re basically taking the flavor characteristics of the cigar and they’re
actually burning it and singing it. It would be no different than taking
your steak and taking the ends of your steak before you cut it and
eat it, it, and char it into oblivion It wouldn’t be enjoyable in the taste
– it would be too char-ry, and the same thing with a cigar. If you
light it incorrectly, you’re really going to not get the full enjoyment of the cigar.
So again, I turn that cigar 360 degrees, I’ve got a nice little border line
all the way around where I’ve singed it where I’ve taken that wrapper and
sealed it into the binder, and the next thing I’m going to do is I’m going
to light that cigar and again it’s not going to be flame to the tobacco,
it’s going to be heat to the tobacco. So basically, you want to be like a quarter
of a centimeter above the actual flame T hat is actually the hottest part. It’s not the flame, it’s just above
the flame where the heat actually concentrates. So I’m going to take the top of
my cigar, I’m going to put in my mouth and I’m going to light underneath… You see the flame? That’s actually
the heat rising up and singeing the filler. So what’s happening, is my filler is heated
up and it’s going to start burning, but naturally – not with actual fire but with
the heat. So I got that part up. The next thing I’m gonna do is
turn my cigar… One quarter turn… Same thing. One quarter turn…
Back another quarter turn… Until I’m to the top. If you notice,
when I blow here, my ash is completely white all the way around, and
my wrapper is completely sealed in right into the binder, and into the filler
where I’m going to be able to enjoy my cigar. And you don’t see any char marks like
you would see with a lot of people trying to look like they’re roasting
their cigar like – almost like a marshmallow. That’s not what it’s about. So with
the proper cutting, and the proper lighting, this particular cigar, depending on conversation,
the amount of drink we’re going to have and so on,
because cigars are celebratory, should take me about 90 minutes to smoke this cigar.
But I’m going to have 90 minutes of great enjoyment. And basically,
when you want to smoke a cigar, people ask me, “how long should you
puff on it?” and I think the correct answer is – any way you want – but
in reality, you want to take a puff once every 30 to 45 seconds. This is
a natural product. It’s only tobacco and water that we use in here,
so periodically, you might have to relight the cigar if you have
a long conversation. It’s totally natural There’s no accelerators in the cigars or anything
like that so, the correct way to smoke a cigar outside of the proper
way I told you to cut and light it, is really to enjoy the cigar. So,
one of the other frequently asked questions while you’re smoking a cigar is whether
you should take the band off. And I always say, never take the band off,
and there’s a couple of reasons why. The first reason is, when the
operator – the banding girl – puts the actual band on, we use a fruit pectin.
And because it’s a pectin and an adhesive, some of that adhesive will touch the
actual wrapper leaf. So what happens is if you pull that band off,
sometimes a piece that wrapper comes right with it and you destroy the smoking
experience completely. One of the worst things that happens, is something you
might not ever even see, which is basically, you produce fine little
stress cracks on this wrapper. You’ve got to remember this is like
an onion skin. The roller stretches that wrapper out as much as possible
so we can get some oil up on there, and the sheen and the prettiness,
because it’s the dress of the actual cigar. So what happens is, if you pull that
band off, you might not see anything crack, but all of a sudden, as that barrel
starts heating up as you start smoking that cigar, you’ll start seeing little splits.
Those splits actually came from taking off the band. So just wait till you’re
about a pinkie away of the band that you’re smoking, of the cigar,
and what will happen is that barrel will heat up, and it will easily come
off – a lot of times we’ll just slide off – and again you’re going to have
a lot better smoking experience by doing that, so always
keep the band on. And lastly, one of the questions I’m
always asked is how far should I smoke a cigar? Some people I see –
I call them mustache burners – they go down and they almost burn their mustache.
There’s really no right or wrong way. I always say smoke the cigar as far
as you like. I always smoke it literally to about the middle part of the band
sometimes because, the way that we construct the cigars, we want that
fulfillment of enjoyment of that tobacco to come from start, all the way to finish.
So when you smoke a Perdomo cigar, I can promise you, you can smoke it
up to your mustache if you like but really that the correct answer is as
far as you’d like to smoke the cigar. So in conclusion, if you light the
cigar correctly like I taught you and you cut the cigar correctly, by cutting
it very lightly, you’re going to see that you’re going get a lot more
smoking enjoyment in each and every cigar that you smoke, and that’s what
it’s all about. So keep listening to Cigar Advisor and this
is Nick Perdomo. Thanks for listening.

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