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Beginner Cigar Mistakes To Avoid

Updated: Oct 12, 2023

Hey there, fellow cigar aficionados! I'm AJ, and today we're diving into some common rookie mistakes. Whether you're new to the world of cigars or you've been puffing away for a while, steering clear of these blunders will undoubtedly enhance your enjoyment.

So grab your favorite stogie, kick back, and let's explore those missteps you should avoid.

1. Cutting Too Much Off the Cap: Less Is More

Picture this: you're gearing up to enjoy your cigar, and you pull out your trusty cutter. One mistake many newcomers make is cutting too much off the cap. Remember, the cap's role is to secure the wrapper and maintain the cigar's integrity. Going past the cap and into the wrapper spells disaster for your draw and the cigar's construction.

If you're unsure about the correct cutting technique, check out my previous post on the subject.

Furthermore, cigars are designed to be enjoyed right down to the very end. That final third can often deliver the most exquisite flavors, so don't rob yourself of that experience by overzealously chopping off excess during your initial cut.

2. Dipping Your Cigar: A Wet Mess to Avoid

Ah, the allure of dipping your cigar into a glass of scotch might seem tempting, but take heed – this is a major faux pas. Anyone truly passionate about cigars knows that dunking your stogie is a recipe for disaster. The result? An overly wet cigar that will plug up your draw and hinder airflow, leading to a lackluster smoking experience.

Just like humidity can cause issues, excessive moisture from dipping is a surefire way to ruin your cigar's potential. So remember, keep your cigars and your drinks separate for an optimal smoke.

3. Don’t Inhale Cigars: Taste, Don’t Suffer

Inhaling cigars might seem intuitive if you're accustomed to inhaling cigarettes or hookah, but trust me, it's a mistake you want to avoid.

Inhaling cigar smoke can bring on a host of unpleasant effects: coughing, nausea, headaches – the works. Smoking a cigar is all about savoring the natural tobacco flavors, allowing the smoke to coat your palate, and then gently exhaling.

Want to amplify your experience? Give it a retrohale now and then. And newer smokers, don't worry if the flavors aren't immediate; they'll come with time and practice.

4. Puffing Rhythm: Goldilocks Zone

Puffing rhythm is crucial for maintaining the perfect burn and savoring the rich flavors of your cigar.

Puffing too fast heats up the cigar excessively, resulting in a bitter taste. Conversely, puffing too slowly can cause the cigar to go out, disrupting your enjoyment.

A simple trick to gauge your rhythm is to observe the cherry when you ash your cigar. A sharp point indicates you're puffing too fast, while tunneling suggests you're puffing too slow. Finding the sweet spot takes practice, but it's well worth it.

5. Snuffing the Nub: A Graceful Farewell

As your cigar nears its end, it's important to give it a proper send-off. Avoid stomping out the butt like a cigarette; doing so will leave you with an enduring rancid smell that sticks to everything. Believe me, you don't want to be that guy that stinks up the whole lounge.

Instead, honor the journey your cigar has taken you on by letting the nub extinguish on its own. Once you're done with the cigar, just rest it in the ashtray along with the ashes. It will die out on its own in a few minutes.

In conclusion, my fellow cigar enthusiasts, by steering clear of these rookie mistakes, you're ensuring that your journey into the world of cigars is nothing short of extraordinary.

Until next time, happy smoking!


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