By Allen Brown
Whether you’re walking into a cigar shop for the very first time, or simply blown away by the sheer number of stories available, it can be quite daunting trying to figure out which cigar is right for you. With such a variety in flavor, price range, size, and quality, it’s best to figure out what sort of cigar you are interested in before diving in. In this article, we have listed a few pointers, tips, and interesting things to take note of when figuring out how to choose the right cigar for you. Read on to find out more!
What Makes A Quality Cigar?
There are a few key signs to look out for to be sure your cigar is of the highest quality before wondering whether it’s right for you. The pros over at Gotham Cigars shared that you can break your quality control down into three headings: uniformity, appearance, and smell. Let’s take a quick look at each.
When looking at and holding a cigar, you should be looking for a uniform finish. A cigar should feel the same all the way around and have no extra squishy or hard areas – this indicates that the cigar has been filled properly and throughout. A uniform filling means a smoother, more satisfying smoke. Any uneven areas, divots, or bumps could indicate poor craftsmanship and a likely poor smoke. The color should also be uniform from the tip to tail.
As well as having a uniform look and feel, the cigar should look the part in general. This may sound silly, but you can definitely tell a lot from a cigar’s cover. Look at the wrapper, it should be sealed professionally, it should hug the cigar adequately and be neat. The cigar itself should be neatly rolled, with no cracks, blisters, or crusted areas. You can very quickly tell poor craftsmanship when looking at a cigar.
The first whiff of a cigar should be almost as satisfying as the first drag. The cigar should give you hints of what it is going to taste like before you’ve tasted it. A strong smell will likely lead to a strong flavor. If you can’t smell much when giving your chosen cigar a sniff, it’s probably not going to taste great.
What Do You Like In A Cigar?
Now that you know how to judge a cigar for its quality, it’s time to decide exactly what you want from a cigar. Once again, we have a few simple subheading pointers for you to use as a guide: body, shape, and size. You can tell pretty much everything you need to know about your cigar of choice from these three things.
There is a huge range of flavors and tastes when it comes to cigars. There are many with a rich, full-bodied flavor. Some come with more subtle notes and don’t pack as much of a punch. This – much like choice in wine or beer – is an entirely personal preference. Only you will know whether you like a super strong tasting cigar or a more mild-bodied flavor. It’s always worth trying a few before you commit to buying anything expensive. Learn what flavors you like, buy samples, try and build your perfect cigar profile.
When it comes to cigar shape there are basically two choices. The two types of cigar shapes are Parejos and Figurados. Parejos are the classically-shaped cigars with one end open and another rounded, sealed end that needs clipping. Figurados are basically any cigar with any other shape. Many are straight and open on both ends, tapered, or bullet-shaped. These all boast different apparent flavor benefits. You’ll have to try each to find out if you like any of them especially. We recommend starting with the classic.
It’s important to note that with a cigar, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. The size of a cigar does not impact the flavor or strength. The length of a cigar affects how long it lasts, sure, but it doesn’t make it a stronger or tastier smoke. Size, then, is all about preference and how long you want your smoke to last. A 6-inch cigar lasts roughly 60 minutes, for example.
With these handy tips, you should be able to start to build a picture of what you think your perfect cigar will look like. At the end of the day, it’s all about getting a taste for what you like and going through a little bit of trial and error. Good luck on the hunt for the perfect cigar for you.