Useful Tips

SELECTING YOUR CIGARS

Three of your five senses are involved when selecting a cigar.

The wrapper must appeal to the eye. While some might prefer a lighter, or Claro color you others might choose a dark chocolate or Maduro wrapper. Similar to winetasting, cigar flavors are subjective and purely a matter of personal taste.

The Range in Color of a Cigar Depends on: How the plant was grown, as shaded plants have lighter colors, while fully exposed plants are darker. The section of the plant the leaf came from, as bottom and middle leaves are lighter and the top leaves tend to be darker (more sun exposure). The fermentation period, as longer fermentation leads to darker leaves.

The Color Range is as Follows:

Double Claro Green to Greenish Brown
Claro Light Tan
Colorado Claro Tawny, Mid-Brown
Colorado Reddish, Dark Brown
Colorado Maduro Dark Brown to Very Dark Brown
Oscuro Very Dark Brown Almost Black

Your cigar should feel firm but cushiony to the touch.

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CALIBRATING YOUR HUMIDOR

There is a very simple way to calibrate your hygrometer, doing it yourself will asure you that it marks the correct humidity.

Take a wet towel (not dripping wet, but wet enough) and wrap it completely around your hygrometer. Wait about half an hour, the reading should be of 98% or more, if this is so, your hygrometer is calibrated and you do not need to re-calibrate.

If the reading is off, turn the screw on the back of the hygrometer until it reads 98%. You have properly calibrated your hygrometer.
It is recomended that you calibrate your hygrometer at least once a year, twice a year is ideal. Also, never use tap water instead of distilled water in your humidifier as tap water contains residue and minerals which can be deposited inside the hygrometer, causing bad odors and unpleasant tastes on your cigars.

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STORING AND AGING

As the aromas and flavours of a wine develop with age so do those of exceptional cigars, provided, of course, they are stored at proper temperatures.
Any cigar aficionado, with plans to keep cigars over a period of time, should have access to a humidor.

Temperatures within the humidor should be maintained at 16-18°C (60-64°F) and humidity levels should be kept anywhere between 65 to 70 %. These levels are crucial to maintaining the perfect environment for your cigar, as a dry cigar can be unduly harsh and an overly moist cigar can be a tough light.

A PROPER CUT

A cigar should be cut above the cap line, just before the curved end of the cigar begins to straighten.

The objective is to create an aperture without damaging the overall structure.

A double or single bladed cutter, a special cigar scissor or a punch cutter with a circular blade are all different types of cigar cutters.x

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LIGHTING

Lighting a cigar is a ritual in itself.

To begin, always use a butane lighter or a cedar or wooden matchstick. Petrol lighters, candles and wax matches all impart unpleasant odors that a cigar is quick to absorb. Always remember that a cigar must be lit with patience and tranquillity. A poorly lit Habanos can quickly spoil the overall experience.

Hold your cigar at a 90° angle above the flame of your lighter. Patiently twist the cigar until all parts of the foot are evenly charred. With the flame still under the foot, place the cigar to your lips puffing gently until the flames jump up. Continue rotating the cigar while occasionally blowing on the foot to ensure an even burn.

Allowing the ashes to gently fall and rolling these off onto the edge of the ashtray, are both perfectly acceptable.

While it is fine to relight your Habanos, simply remember to clean off the ashes by gently tapping them onto an ashtray

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ENJOYING

Connoisseurs often note that one must be very mindful when savoring a great cigar. A Habanos should be smoked slowly to ensure a harmonious marriage of the rich and savoury aromas, simply relax and enjoy the moment.

While savoring your cigar, notice the subtle differences in taste, colour, smell and sight. Ascribing personalized scents and colours is similar to savouring a berry-filled Bordeaux or a Gerwüstraminer exploding with tropical fruit. Identifying the various flavors is a learned trait that develops through practice, practice and practice. Your enjoyment is entirely subjective and should always be open to personal interpretations and references.

Below is a list of a useful terms used to describe a cigar:
Pliable, soft, delicate, supple, tender, thick, rough, tight, sticky, oily, silky, compact, dry

Young leather, tanned leather, animal, spicy, piquant, sharp, bean (vanilla, cocoa, coffee), appealing, persistent, woody, floral, fruity, subtle, weak, short-lived, green

Tangy, piquant, tannic, strong, exotic, peppery, spicy, hot; burning, fruity, oily, sweet, sugary, butterscotch, caramel, toffee, woodsy, floral, grassy, blunt, flat, coffee, liquorice, cedary, nutty, cherry, orange-peel, citrus, nutty, almond, chestnut

From light to dark: Double Claro, Claro, Colorado Claro, Colorado, Colorado Maduro, Maduro, Oscuro

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EXTINGUISHING

When the sad moment arrives to part with your Habanos, simply lay it to rest and allow it to die out with dignity.

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