The Lounge

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Minuteman, Nov 12, 2009.


  1. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    My bud E.L. got me hooked on my newest vice about a year ago. Cigar smoking. I smoked cigarettes for 16 yrs and only managed to finally kick the habit when my youngest was born 16 yrs ago. In the intervening years I wouldn't touch any tobacco products for fear of getting addicted to the cigs again. But I have found that with cigars they are not addictive like cigs are. I guess due to the fact that you don't inhale cigar smoke.

    I have found that I can take or leave them with no problem. I tend to be sparing in thier use. I smoke about 1 a week. It is an event as opposed to a need. And something I have found that I thoroughly enjoy. A good cigar and a strong drink around the firepit, that is total relaxation.

    E and I have discussed starting a thread here to see if any other Monkeys share our passion.

    What does that have to do with survival? Well I for one have always been of the opinion that any prepping should include some luxury items.
    The rule of 3 states that you can only survive 3 months without hope. One thing that raises spirits and installs hope is a little bit of luxury in a dire situation.

    I have always included hard candy, toys and games, liquer, and now cigars in my survival preps.
    When my kids were younger we always kept candy, toys and games in the storm cellar for times when tornado's forced us to stay down there for long periods.
    In the most extreme survival situation a break from the toil and trials to share a candy bar, a drink or a smoke would do wonders for moral.

    So with that said I am starting this thread. I am starting it with cigars in mind but plan on extending it to all luxury items. Clyde has the beer covered so I think here would be a good place to include spirits. Seeing as how a good smoke requires a good adult beverage to accompany it.

    So I think I will call this the "Lounge" to include any of the finer things in life that we all enjoy. Wines, liquers, smokes, etc.

    So I start it off with a primer for cigar smokers, afficiandos or novices.
    I keep a journal and do a mini review of any new cigars that I try so that I can narrow down my preferences. I will add some of those in the next few days. Also my wife and I are very much the wine connoisseurs. So later I may add a wine primer and reviews.

    So here goes. We'll see if there's any interest.
     
  2. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    I found that the cigar world has a language all it's own that a newcomer sometimes finds daunting.

    So I think a glossary of terms should be the first step.


    Cigar Glossary


    Amarillo - A yellow wrapper leaf grown under shade.

    Amatista - A glass jar containing 50 or 25 cigars, sealed and sold as factory fresh.

    Band - A paper ring around the head of most cigars. Legend has it that cigar bands were invented by Spanish nobles to keep their gloves from being stained. Cigar bands are often printed with the name of the brand, country of origin, and/or indication that the cigar is hand-rolled. They often have colorful graphics, which have made them a popular collectors item.

    Barrel - The main body of the cigar.

    Belicoso - Traditionally a short, pyramid-shaped cigar, 5 or 5 1/2 inches in length with a shorter, more rounded taper at the head and a ring gauge of 50 or less. Belicoso is often used to describe Coronas or Corona Gordas with a tapered head.

    Binder - The portion of leaf used to hold together the blend of filler leaves; with the wrapper and filler, it is one of the three main components in a cigar.

    Blend - The mix tobacco in a cigar, including up to five types of filler leaves, a binder leaf and an outer wrapper.

    Boite Nature - The cedar box in which many cigars are sold.

    Book Style (also, Booking) - A rolling method by which the cigarmaker lays the filler leaves atop one another, then rolls them up like a scroll. Book style, or booking, is common in Honduras. The alternate style is based on the old Cuban method called entubar.

    Bouquet - The smell, or nose of a fine cigar. A badly stored cigars can lose its bouquet.

    Box - The container used to package cigars.

    Box-pressed - The slightly square appearance taken on by cigars packed tightly in a box.

    Bull's-Eye Piercer - A device for opening the closed head of A cigar before smoking.

    Bunch - Up to four different types of filler tobacco blended to create the body of the cigar. The bunch is held together by the binder.

    Bundle - A packaging method designed with economy in mind that uses a cellophane overwrap. It usually contains 25 or 50 cigars, traditionally without bands. Bundles, oftentimes seconds of premium brands, are usually less expensive than boxed cigars.

    Burros (also called bulks) - The piles, or bulks, in which cigar tobacco is fermented. They can be six feet tall and are carefully monitored. If the heat level inside them gets too high, the burro is taken apart to slow the fermentation.

    Cabinet Selection - Cigars packed in a wooden box rather than the standard cardboard or paper-covered cigar boxes. These are preferable when buying cigars for aging.

    Candela - A bright green shade of wrapper, achieved by a heat-curing process that fixes the chlorophyll content of the wrapper while it's still in the barn. Also referred to as double claro.

    Cap - A circular piece of wrapper leaf placed at the head of the cigar.

    Capa - The cigar's wrapper (also called the binder).

    Case - In the cigar production process, workers case (slightly moisten) aged tobacco so it will be easy for hand rollers to work with.

    Catador - A professional cigar taster who determines a cigar's qualities of taste, texture and aroma.

    Chaveta (roller's knife) - The knife used in a cigar factory for cutting the wrapper leaf.

    Churchill - A large Corona-format cigar.

    Claro - The lightest in color (like milky coffee) wrapper, usually mild and is also sometimes called a "natural."

    Colorado - A medium-brown to brownish-red shade of wrapper tobacco. Colorado cigars are usually aromatic and are associated with well-matured cigars.

    Corojos - Plants chosen to provide wrapper leaves and grown under a gauze sunscreen.

    Corona - The most familiar size and shape for premium cigars: generally straight-sided with an open foot and a closed, rounded head.

    Culebra - A cigar made of three Panetelas braided together.

    Curing - The process of drying newly harvested tobaccos.

    Diademas - A big cigar with a closed and tapered head, generally about eight inches long; the foot may be open or closed like a Perfecto.

    Dominican Republic - East of Cuba with a similar growing climate, the Dominican Republic has recently become a major exporter of cigars, mostly to the U.S.

    Double Claro - A cigar, greenish brown, from an unmatured leaf that was dried fast. These cigars are mild or bland with little oil. (See Candela)

    Double Corona (also called prominente) - A big cigar, generally 7 1/2 to 8 inches by a 49 to 52 ring gauge.

    Draw - The flow of smoke from a cigar.

    English Market Selection - a color designation for wrapper leaves that are somewhat lighter in color than Maduro, especially selected for taste and bouquet. Also referred to as Naturals.

    Entubar - A rolling method that originated in Cuba. Rather than booking the filler leaves, the roller folds each individual filler leaf back on itself, then bunches the leaves together. Proponents of this method say it creates superior air flow through the cigar, which results in a more even draw and burn.

    Escaparates - Cooling cabinets in which cigars are kept at the factory for a few weeks after they have been rolled.

    Fermentation - After harvest, the tobacco leaves are gathered in large bulks (or piles), then moistenedand allowed to ferment. Temperatures may reach 140 F before the bulk is broken down and restacked until fermentation stops naturally. This process, called working the bulk, releases ammonia from the tobacco.

    Figurado - A Spanish term that refers to cigars with shapes sizes, such as Belicosos, Torpedos, Pyramids, Perfectos and Culebras (see our Shapes and Shades page).

    Filler - The individual tobacco used in the body of the cigar. A fine cigar usually contains between two to five different types of filler. Handmade cigars have long fillers where machine made cigars usually contain smaller-cut leaf.

    Finish - A tasting term which refers to the taste that lingers on your palate after a puff. Mild cigars do not have much finish, either in terms of length or complexity, but stronger, more full-bodied cigars have distinctive flavors that linger.

    Flag - An extension of the wrapper leaf shaped to finish the head of a cigar; used instead of a cap. Flags are sometimes tied off in a pigtail or a curly head.

    Foot - The end of the cigar one lights. Most often it is pre-cut, except in the case of Torpedos and Perfectos.

    Gran Corona - A very large cigar; generally 9 1/4 inches by 47 ring gauge.

    Gum - A vegetable adhesive used to secure the head of the wrapper leaf around the finished bunch.

    Habana - A designation which, when inscribed on a cigar band, indicates that a cigar is Cuban. (Note: not all Cuban cigars are marked with "Habana" or "Havana.")

    Half-wheel (media ruedas) - A bundle of 50 cigars. Cigar rollers usually use ribbon to tie the cigars they produce into half-wheels.

    Hand - Individual tobacco leaves hung together after harvest and tied at the top. These hands are piled together to make a bulk for fermentation.

    Handmade - A cigar made entirely by hand with high-quality wrapper and long filler. All premium cigars are handmade. Hand-rollers can generally use more delicate wrapper leaves than machines.

    Hand-rolled - A cigar made entirely by hand with high-quality wrapper and long filler.

    Head - The closed end of the cigar opposite from the end one lights.

    Homogenized Binder - Binder made of chopped tobacco leaf and cellulose; used most often in machine production and to facilitate the burn of certain products.

    Hot - Describes a cigar that is underfilled and has a quick, loose draw. Can cause harsh flavors.

    Humidor - A room or a box, of varying sizes, designed to preserve or promote the proper storage and aging of cigars by maintaining a relative humidity level of 70 percent and a temperature of approximately 65 to 70 F.

    Hygrometer - A device that indicates the humidity (percentage of moisture in the air; used to monitor humidor conditions.

    Lance - A cutter used to pierce a small hole in the closed end of a cigar. Also called a piercer.

    Lector - Traditionally, the person who reads to the cigar rollers while they work.

    Ligero - One of the three basic types of filler tobacco. The name means light in Spanish, but this aromatic tobacco lends body to a blend.

    Long Filler - Filler tobacco that runs the length of the body of the cigar, rather than chopped pieces found in machine-made cigars.

    Lonsdale - A long cigar; generally 6 to 6 3/4 inches by a 42 to 44 ring gauge, but there are many variations.

    Machine-made - Cigars made entirely by machine, using heavier-weight wrappers and binders and, frequently, cut filler in place of long filler.

    Maduro - A cigar, very dark brown in color (like black coffee). These are usually selected by experienced smokers. Thought of as the traditional Cuban color.

    Oil - The mark of a well-humidified cigar. Even well-aged cigars secrete oil at 70 to 72 percent relative humidity, the level at which they should be stored.

    Oscuro - A cigar, black, very strong with little bouquet and are not produced in large quantities.

    Panetela - A long, thin cigar shape.

    Parejos - Straight-sided cigars, such as coronas, panetelas and lonsdales.

    Perfecto - A distinctive cigar shape that is closed at both ends, with a rounded head; usually with a bulge in the middle.

    Piercer - A cutter used to pierce a small hole in the closed end of a cigar. Also called a lance.

    Planchas - Boards on which tobacco leaves are spread before fermentation.

    Plug - A blockage that sometimes occurs in the tobacco that can prevent a cigar from drawing properly. A plug can sometimes be alleviated by gently massaging the cigar.

    Primings - The rows of leaves on a tobacco plant. The number of primings varies, but six is average. The first priming is closest to the ground, the sixth is near the top. The higher the, priming the stronger the tobacco.

    Puro - A Spanish term used to distinguish a cigar from a cigarette. Modern usage refers to a cigar blended with tobaccos from a single country. (All Cuban cigars use 100 percent Cuban tobacco, so all Cuban cigars, according to modern usage, are puros.)

    Pyramid - A sharply tapered cigar with a wide, open foot and a closed head.

    Ring gauges - The circumference of cigars. A measurement for the diameter of a cigar, based on 64ths of an inch. A 40 ring gauge cigar is 40/64ths of an inch thick.

    Robusto - A substantial, but short cigar; traditionally 5 to 5 1/2 inches by a 50 ring gauge.

    Rosado - A Spanish term that means "rose-colored." It is used to describe the reddish tint of some Cuban-seed wrapper.

    Seco - The Spanish word for dry, seco is a type of filler tobacco. It often contributes aroma and is usually medium-bodied.

    Shade-grown - Wrapper leaves that have been grown under a cheesecloth tent, called a tapado. The filtered sunlight creates a thinner, more elastic leaf.

    Short Filler - Used mainly in machine-made cigars, it consists of chopped scraps of leaf. Short filler burns quicker and hotter than long filler.

    Smoking Time - A 5-inch cigar with a 50 ring gauge, such as a robusto, should provide anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes of smoking pleasure. A double corona, a 7 1/2-inch cigar with a 50 ring gauge, may give over an hour's worth of smoking time. A thinner cigar, such as a lonsdale, smokes in less time than a cigar with a 50 ring gauge.

    Shoulder - The area of a cigar where the cap meets the body. If you cut into the shoulder, the cigar will begin to unravel.

    Spanish Cedar - The kind of wood that is used to make most cigar boxes and humidors.

    Spill - A strip of cedar used to light a cigar when using a candle or a fluid lighter, both of which can alter the taste of the cigar.

    Sugar - Sugars occur naturally in tobacco. Darker wrappers, such as maduros, contain more sugar, making them sweeter.

    Sun-grown - Tobacco grown in direct sunlight, which creates a thicker leaf with thicker veins.

    Tapado - A cheesecloth tent under which shade-grown wrapper leaf is cultivated.

    Torcedores - A person who rolls cigars.

    Torpedo - A cigar shape that features a closed foot, a pointed head and a bulge in the middle.

    Totalamente a Mano - Made totally by hand; a description found on cigar boxes. Much better than "Hecho a Mano" (made by hand, which can mean it is filled with machine-bunched filler), or "Envuelto a Mano" (packed by hand).

    Tubos - Cigars packed in individual wood, metal or glass tubes to keep them fresh.

    Tunneling - The unwelcome phenomenon of having your cigar burn unevenly. To prevent it, rotate your cigar now and then.

    Vega - A tobacco plantation.

    Vein - The rib of the tobacco leaf. A quality cigar should not be too veined.

    Vintage - When a vintage is used for a cigar, it usually refers to the year the tobacco was harvested, not the year the cigar was made.

    Viso - A glossy wrapper leaf grown under cover.

    Volado - A type of filler tobacco chosen for its burning qualities.

    Wedge Cut - A V-shaped cut made in the closed end of a cigar.

    Wrapper (capa) - Leaves with elasticity are used to restrain the filler within the cigar. Good wrappers usually have no visable veins. Colors vary due to the maturing process.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com<img src=" />





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  3. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    Shapes and Shades




    Cigar size names originally specified the exact physical size and shape of cigars, but after a dozen decades of manufacturer individualizing, these original standards are long gone. Only Cuban manufacturers have stayed with these original standard shapes and sizes.


    Cigars can be divided by shape into two broad categories: Parejos, which have straight sides, and Figurados, which include all "irregular" shapes.


    Parejos


    Parejos include three basic divisions by the relative proportion of their dimensions: Coronas, Panatelas and Lonsdales.

    Coronas


    This is a broad category including Coronas, Double Coronas, Presidentes, Robustos, and Churchills. All Coronas are characterized by an open "foot" and a rounded "head".

    Panatelas


    Longer than Coronas, Panatelas are usually considerably thinner.


    Lonsdales

    The third division is Lonsdales - thicker than Panatelas, but generally longer than Coronas.



    Figuardos


    Figuardos, or "irregular" shaped cigars are better defined. Figuardos are very hard to make - a master roller's job.

    Belicoso


    The smallest of the Figuardos, the Belicoso is a small tapered cigar with a rounded head and a larger foot.

    Pyramids


    Pyramids taper from a large foot to a small, pointed head. Although many smokers call a large pyramid a torpedo, a true torpedo has a slight bulge in the middle. Next to the Torpedo, the Pyramid is probably one of the most recogonized of the Figuardos.

    Perfecto


    A cigar that tapers at both ends and is closed at the head and foot. Once very popular in the early half of the 20th century, this cigar has fallen hard out of favor. As a result it has lost popularity with smokers and is hard to find, although many major brands still produce it.

    Diademas


    The Diademas is the giant of cigars, measuring eight inches or greater in length.


    Culebras


    Culebras cigars are an odd size not often found on the market today. It involves three smaller cigars being "snaked" together into a braided final product. In fact, the word culebra means "snake" in Spanish.


    Culebras first appeared when trouble arose around workers being able to take complementary cigars home at the end of the work day. It was soon discovered that they were taking premium cigars and putting their lesser-quality gift cigars into the the premium cigar boxes. To stop this, the practice of twisting the workers' cigars together when they were still moist to identify what was a daily gift and what was the real thing was begun.


    This unique cigar eventually found public demand, but such demand has dwindled recently. Hoyo De Monterrey dropped its production of Culebras in 1998, leaving Davidoff as the only manufacturer outside Cuba that still produces the shape.
     
  4. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    Cigar Wrapper Shades
    Candela -
    A green color that was first popularized in the U.S. in the 1800's and early 1900's.

    Claro -
    Pale to light brown, this is the classic color of a Connecticut shade grown tobacco wrapper. This color can also be referred to as natural.

    Colorado Claro -
    Darker brown in color and similar to a Cameroon wrapper from West Africa.

    Colorado -
    A reddish brown wrapper most often seen in well-aged and mature cigars.

    Colorado Maduro -
    A dark brown wrapper, usually seen on cigars produced in Honduras, Nicaragua and sometimes in Cuba.

    Double Claro -
    A greenish-brown wrapper that produces a somewhat light and bland taste.

    Maduro -
    A dark, almost coffee-like color associated with full flavored and slightly sweet-tasting cigars.

    Oscuro -
    Very dark, strong-flavored wrapper produced in Mexico, Brazil and Nicaragua.


    .​
     
  5. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    Size Guide

     


    There are 64 rings to an inch, so a ring size of 46 equal 46/64 of an inch in diameter (thickness).
     
     
     


    g
    Belicoso
    Churchill
    Corona
    Corona Gorda
    Culebras
    Demi Tasse
    Double Corona
    Especial
    Gran Corona
    Hermoso
    Long Panetela
    Lonsdale
    PanetalaPerla
    Petit Corona
    Pyramid/Torpedo
    Robusto
    Rothschild
    Tres Petit Corona
    5 1/2 inches
    7 inches
    5 1/2 inches
    5 1/4 inches
    5 3/4 inches
    4 inches
    7 1/2 inches
    7 1/2 inches
    9 1/4 inches
    5 inches
    7 inches
    6 1/2 inches
    4 1/2 inches
    4 inches
    5 inches
    5 inches
    5 inches
    4 1/2 inches
    52
    47
    44
    46
    39
    30
    49
    38
    47
    48
    36
    42
    26
    40
    42
    50
    50
    40
     
  6. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    Cigar Parts
    <DIR><DIR>
    Wrapper

    The wrapper is the outside layer of tobacco and gives a cigar one of its primary flavor components. Wrappers are usually very high quality leaves, available in colors ranging from Double Claro (the lightest), to Oscuro (the darkest). Wrappers are very important to taste.

    Binders

    The intermediate leaf used to hold the filler tobacco together. Binder leaves vary from one manufacturer to the next.

    Filler​
    The bunch of tobacco the forms the center of the cigar. Generally, filler is responsible for determining how strong a cigar smokes. There are two types of filler: long filler (which contains the whole leaf running from the head to the foot of the cigar) and short filler (comprised of scraps of tobacco - often the trimmed ends of long fillers).
    </DIR></DIR>
    Blending​
    The blending of wrapper, filler and binder is what determines the overall flavor of a cigar. There is a definite art blending tobaccos to achieve particular flavors. As you smoke different cigars, you'll notice how the various tobaccos used interact with each other. One thing manufacturers do is use the same blend in different sizes, thus producing different tastes. The blend is the same, but the there is a difference in the proportions of each type of leaf used.
    A veteran, experienced cigar roller will use different proportions in different sizes In a smaller ring cigar, the binder and wrapper have moreinfluence on taste. The roller accomodate this difference by using a different proportion of filler.
     
  7. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    Wrapper Types

    Double Claro (also called Candela or American Market Select) -
    green to greenish brown. The color is achieved by picking the leaf before it reaches maturity, and then drying it rapidly. Very mild, almost bland with very little oil.
    Claro -
    Light tan. Usually this is the color of shade grown tobacco. Connecticut Shade wrappers are said to be some of the finest in the world. Shade grown tobacco is grown under large canopies to protect the tobacco from harsh sunlight. Neutral flavor and smooth smoking.
    Natural (see also English Market Selection) -
    Light brown to brown. These are most often sun grown, meaning they are not protected by canopies like shade grown leaves. Fuller bodied flavor than shade grown leaves, but still very smooth.
    Colorado Claro -
    Mid-brown, tawny. (For example, brands such as Dominican Partagas or Fuentes, using Camaroon wrappers.)
    Colorado -
    Reddish dark brown, aromatic. A cigar with this wrapper tastes robust and rich.
    Colorado Maduro -
    Dark brown, medium strength, slightly more aromatic the maduro. Usually gives a rich flavor, as found in many of the best Honduran cigars.
    Maduro -
    Dark brown to very dark brown. These usually have more texture and veining than the lighter wrappers. They are often described as oily looking, with stronger taste - sweet to some palates with a unique aroma.
    Oscuro -
    Very dark brown or almost black. They are the strongest tasting of all wrappers. These wrappers tend to be from Nicaragua, Brazil, Mexico, or Connecticut Broadleaf.
    English Market Selection -
    A broad designation refering to brown cigars (anything other double claro essentially). The darker the color, the sweeter and stronger the flavor and the greater the oil and sugar content of the wrapper. Darker wrappers normally spend longer on the plant or come from greater altitudes. The additional exposure to the sun at higher altitudes tends to enhance the production of oil (which protects the plant) and sugar (because of increased photosynthesis). Sure leaves are typically fermented for longer as well.
     
  8. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    Taste and Flavor

     

    "As concerns tobacco, there are many superstitions. And the chiefest is this—that there is a standard governing the matter, whereas there is nothing of the kind. Each man's preference is the only standard for him,the only one which can command him. A congress of all the tobacco-lovers in the world could not elect a standard which would be binding upon you or me, or would even influence us."
    -- Mark Twain, Concerning Tobacco (1893)


    Why construction is important.
    If a cigar is under-filled, constructed by skimping on the number of leaves in the filler, it will draw easily. Some consider an easy draw to be a benefit, but the ultra-easy draw will be offset by hot burning and harshness. In an under-filled cigar, there are too many air pockets, causing a fast burn and a hot smoke.
    If a cigar is over-filled, it will be hard to draw, sometimes impossible (termed "plugged"). A hard-to-draw cigar gives a much lower volume of smoke, resulting in less taste and aroma and a lot of frustration.
    You can use the best, most expensive tobacco in the world, put together by the most creative and knowledgeable blenders, but if the cigar is not constructed properly, none of the intrinsic quality of that tobacco can be brought home to the smoker.


    Body and Flavor
    Many smokers, new and experienced alike, often confuse concepts of body and flavor. Most smokers use these two primary components to define a cigar's character:



    <DIR><DIR> Body
    also referred to as strength or intensity, primarily by the the descriptive term full, medium, or light.



    Flavor
    the actual taste of the cigar


    Ring Guage


    The ring gauge of the cigar will give you a general indication of how full the body is. The larger the ring size, generally, the fuller, smoother, cooler, and slower the smoke will be.
    </DIR></DIR>
    Ultimately, experience will be your guide. When selecting a cigar, personal taste, occasion and size should all be considered
     
  9. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    Selecting a Single

     


    You queeze gently up and down the length of the body, checking for lumps or soft spots. A well-made cigar shouldn't have any. The cigar should have some give, but not be too soft. Rolling it between your fingers can damage the wrapper; just squeeze gently.
    The wrapper should be smooth and tight and the ends should be undamaged. Check the size of the veins - smaller veins usually smoke smoother. Check the tobacco in the exposed end. Most cigars are made from a blend of tobaccos, so some color variation is normal, but extreme or abrupt color changes could indicate an inferior leaf, or that the leaves weren't laid together properly in the bunching process.
    Follow the guidelines above and you're sure to end up with a winner. Now head off to your favorite cigar smoking spot, light up, and enjoy!
     
     
    Clippers and Cutters

     




    Closely examine the "head" of the cigar - this is the closed end to be clipped. Most cigars have what is called a "cap" - a bit of tobacco leaf used to close of the end. Inspect the cigar to determine how far down the length of the cigar the cap goes (this is usually 1/4" - 3/8; sometimes less, and on figurado shapes sometimes longer). Where the cap stops is your cutting limit, If you cut beneath this, or even too close, your cigar will start to unravel.
    Try to cut as minimally as possible while still opening approximately 75%-85% of the end. This might mean cutting as little as 1/32" down or as much as 3/8" - it depends on the cigar's roll and cap.


    When using a guillotine cutter, line up your cigar at eye level and clip it quickly. This method will almost always guarantee satisfactory results.

     


    A punch cutter, although this isn't really a cutter, is easy to use, makes a perfect round opening, and negates the problem of how much to clip.
    Another option is a V-Cut clipper. Cap length isn't a concern here, as the smoker rests the cigar against the clipper while it takes out a v-notched shaped bit of tobacco of the same size every time.
    Cigar scissors are elegant, but difficult to use and hard to carry around. Other more personal methods include razor blades, Swiss Army or pocket knives, or even your teeth. Ultimately, clipping your cigar is a matter of what works best for you.
     
    CUTTING YOUR CIGAR
    First, you must cut the cap, or head, off the cigar, that is unless you have chosen one of the cigar types that come precut from the factory. Be sure not to remove the entire cap as this may damage your cigar’s wrapper and result in a loose, hot and bitter cigar.
     
     
    Lighting Your Cigar
    Is there a special, approved method that all smokers should use? This question will provide endless hours of debate with your fellow aficionados. Everyone seems to have their own opinion on how best to light a cigar. Ultimately, you'll have to find your own best method. To help, here are a few "opinions" we've gathered.
    When using a match, wait until the sulfur burns off before placing it to your cigar. Many smokers prefer long cedar matches called a cedar

    spill. A cedar spill is a long, thin strip of Spanish Cedar which is lit first and then used to light the cigar. This method is often observed at fancy cigar dinners, as it is a rather elegant way to light up, but not all circumstances lend itself to this method.
    Butane lighters seem to be the lighter of choice. Many smokers complain that gasoline based lighters impart an unpleasant flavor. Zippo (who manufactures such lighters) claims that if the flame is allowed to burn a few seconds first, the disturbing odor will dissipate.
    What ever your flame source, preheat the foot by slowly rolling the cigar above the flame. Once the foot is heated, place the cigar in your mouth and draw as you keep slowly rolling the cigar above the flame, but never quite letting the flame touch the cigar. Slowly spin the cigar to establish an even burn. Once you've got it going (examine the glowing foot to make sure the burn is even) take a few slow steady draws. Then wait a half minute or so for the burn to establish. Now sit back and enjoy.


    LIGHTING YOUR CIGAR
    Using a butane lighter is the most effective way to light your cigar but if one is not available use a wooden match or a spill. Remember to never let your cigar touch the flame. Hold your cigar horizontally at a 45º angle above the flame. Then, rotate the foot of your cigar to evenly warm the end. When embers appear lightly blow out through your cigar. This initial exhalation will remove any unwanted flavors or odors that the flame may have caused. Then put the cigar in your mouth while keeping it in the horizontal position and puff, or draw, slowly on the cigar as you continue to rotate.
    If your cigar goes out, knock off the ash, gently blow through the cigar to clear out the old smoke, then follow your method of choice to relight.

     
     
     
    ENJOYING YOUR CIGAR
    A cigar is meant to be smoked slowly and should never be rushed. Taking one puff, or draw, per minute will allow you to truly savor the flavors and aroma of your smoke. If your cigar happens to extinguish itself during your smoke it is okay to relight it within one to two hours, any longer than that and your cigar will become stale. Also, remember to never butt out your cigar. Your cigar will extinguish itself in a matter of minutes if it is not drawn upon.
     
     
     For the record, I am well aware of the apparent sexual innuendos here. Let's don't go there.[rofllmao]
     
  10. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Holy cow! had no idea there was so much to cigars.. tried a pipe (with black cavendish Tobacco) as a teen, ( turned myself green in short order ; once I finally got it to stay lit...) would consider again...
     
  11. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Going to include pipe smoking with the cigars as a pleasant way to end the day? In wayback times, I smoked panatellas, then shifted to pipes.

    Sidelight on wrappers; My ex BIL was a grower in the CT valley, at one time or another ran up to 1100 acres of shade tobacco farms. (He is now in burley, less work and less trouble with tobacco worms and hybrid diseases.) In any given year, around 1/3 of the acreage is under tent, mostly for soil renewal with something like rye to hold it all together. The tents cut sunlight to about 1/2 the intensity, and retained moisture better to simulate the best growing climates which were in Sumatra. The principal reason the CT valley was selected for tobacco was the immediate need for a new cash crop for farmers returning from WWII. The administration in Washington put a slew of agricultural researchers in the field, and somehow they figured out that the upper Connecticut River Valley was a good place. BIL's father and uncles got into the business in the early 50's with about 10 acres each, and grew quite quickly.

    The plants are started from hybrid seeds in a hot frame a month or so before the last full moon in May, planting occurs just after the moon peaks, as that is considered to be the last chance of frost, usually true. Planting is really transplanting from the seed cups rather than handling the individual seeds which are quite tiny.

    In the old days the tents were cheesecloth, now it is nylon mesh. The cheesecloth was good for one year, nylon lasts several and has the advantage of being fire resistant. Every year, at least one field was lost to fire with the cheesecloth, and if you were lucky it would be a "small" field, less than say 5 acres. (The big ones run to 40 acres.) Tents are nominally 8 feet high

    After planting, no machinery goes under the tents, it is all manual labor. After a couple weeks, the plants are grown enough that they can't stand on their own, so strings are suspended from the tent support wires and the plants are "tied" for support. This has to be done several times as they grow, eventually to about 9 feet or a bit more. (Yes, that is more than tent height, the plants push it up.) After the first tie, the plants get "suckered" meaning the lowest two or three layers of leaves are knocked off. Those layers are always stunted, and useless for sale. The leaves grow in three leaf layers at nodes.

    When the plants mature, picking happens, meaning that the lowest (most ripe) layer is knocked off and carried out of the field, gently of course. There can be as many as 7 picks, usually 5 or 6. 5 is usually break even. The best deal is 6 for 6 of 7 years. One bad year in 7 puts the farmer in jeopardy.

    The leaves then get put into the curing barns. Damn if that isn't one of heaven's most delightful smells. The cure goes on for several months, and product is taken down thruout Nov and on into January, and shipped (in BIL's case) to the Dominican for grading, sorting, veining, further cure and distribution to manufacturing centers. In BIL's case, most of the coop's product went to England.

    Sidelight on fillers. Lower grade cigars are often filled with compacted sweeping and chopped stems left after the leaf is de-veined. Usually a pretty bitter smoke.
     
  12. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Hot house babies. BIL had two of these structures.
    48-05.
     
  13. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Planting. Notice the machine behind, has four people in the machine, and two runners to keep them supplied.
    48-19.
     
  14. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Prepared field under the tent.
    48-16.
     
  15. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Curing shed. They burn now and then, and take a LOT of product off the market. The unpainted slats are new that year, they can be opened to help control moisture and temperature. If too chilly, there are propane heaters installed on the ground to hold temps up. In the old days, the heaters were charcoal fired, a bit more hazardous.
    48-09.
     
  16. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Suckering. (No, not child labor, just my kids trying it out.) Sometimes, the tents go up after the planting.
    02-04.
     
  17. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Can't tell for sure, but at least two picks are done here.
    29-20.
     
  18. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Inside a full cure barn.
    30-03.
     
  19. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Half cured, lookin' pretty good, and smells GREAT!!
    30-06.
     
  20. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Mmmm Tobacco.
     
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