A true cigar aficionado is a smoker who has reached the pinnacle of his or her cigar passion. To be a true aficionado, you don’t need to understand everything about cigars, but you should have embarked on a serious quest to improve your knowledge on the topic. A cigar aficionado lights up when it comes to a discussion of cigars and is eager and willing to help others understand cigars, too.
If you want to be recognized as a cigar aficionado, there are some behaviors you should avoid. Steer clear of these gaffes when smoking cigars:
- Expecting the same from two different cigars – Premium cigars are handmade with many variations. Different blends, tobacco types, and production processes are involved in the manufacture of cigars. It is a mistake, therefore, to expect to predict with certainty how a certain cigar will smoke—even if you have tried a similar one.
- Choosing old cigars – Cigars are not like vintage wines whose flavors improve over the years. Cigars should be as fresh as possible for optimal flavor. Cigar blends can be tweaked or manipulated to improve flavor, but they will not improve as they age.
- Holding the cigar in your mouth – You don’t smoke a cigar like a cigarette—clenched between your lips as you suck in. A cigar should be held in your hand, brought up to your mouth, puffed, then brought down and balanced between the fingers.
- Dipping a cigar in alcohol – The flavor of the cigar will not improve by dipping it into liquor. Instead, this practice will ruin the cigar’s flavor. The way to enjoy both of these indulgences simultaneously is to smoke your cigar and drink your alcohol.
- Smoking only one type of cigar – It may be safe to stay with just one brand and flavor, but you will miss out on a whole host of other exciting cigars. Don’t limit yourself. Your ultimate “dream cigar” may be out there if you’re willing to search for it.
- Smoking what everybody else is smoking – While it’s nice to take recommendations, it’s still important to find your own way. Ask around and try different flavors. Remember that different people have different tastes. What appeals to the masses may not be best for you.
- Inhaling cigar smoke – Cigars are not cigarettes. The tobacco used in the manufacture of cigars is much stronger than the tobacco in cigarettes. Take a puff from your cigar and let the smoke sit in your mouth for a while to taste it. Then blow the smoke away.
If you have the passion, couple it with some crucial know-how, and you’ll soon become a trusted, cigar-smoking pro.