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KnowledgeBase --> Cigar Articles --> Cigar Lighting
Cigar Lighting

Cigar Lighting

Lighting your cigar seems like yet another of the more simple tasks. You have taken the time to select the cigar from the thousands available to you. You have properly stored it in your humidor in perfectly monitored and maintained humidity and temperature conditions. Now has come the time to enjoy the majesty that is smoking your cigar.

Lighting the cigar has everything to do with creating a smoke that burns evenly and produces an enjoyable aroma and taste. While there are many ways to light a cigar, some can ruin the experience from the beginning. It is important to light the cigar using a correct "tool" and with a proper technique so that you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your cigar as it was meant to be enjoyed in its full splendor.

The Correct Flame

The last thing you want to do is introduce any agents that will fowl the taste. Matches contain sulfur or phosphorous and can impart an off taste that will last for a good part of the smoke. The typical fluid lighters will add a taste of a fuel. Candles will leave a taste that is contained in the waxes of the candle.

The most popular and easy way to light a cigar is to use a butane fueled lighter. These lighters are easy to light, produce a good clean flame, and are reliable in windy conditions. There are many good butane lighters on the market and it really comes down to personal taste. Find one that has been designed for cigars, fits well in the hand, and has a flame or dual flames wide enough to light a cigar.

Strips of cedar known as spills can also be used to light a cigar. By first igniting the cedar and then using the lit spill to light the cigar you can impart the hint of Spanish cedar on the cigar.

If you have no other choice but to use matches, be sure to let the sulfur burn off before putting it to the cigar. Be ready to consume several matches in order to completely light the cigar this way.

Proper Technique

When lighting your cigar, take your time, don't rush it. Hold your cigar at an angle towards the flame and slightly above it. Rotate the cigar while holding the flame steady. The edges of the cigar will turn to a glowing gray ash. Once the edges around the cigar are glowing, blow on it to insure it is completely lit.

Now bring the cigar to your mouth and slowly draw on the cigar with the flame slightly below it. Continue to turn the cigar until it draws evenly and easily. You can look at the end of the cigar to make sure the entire foot is lit. Do not rush this process. Do not put the cigar directly in the flame or use to much heat as it can char the cigar leaving an ashen taste that will last a long time.

Relighting

If you have not been paying attention or never lit the cigar properly to begin with you may need to relight the cigar. Some cigar aficionados might insist that this is improper and creates a bad taste for the rest of the cigar. This will be true if the cigar has been sitting too long (several hours or the next day.) However, if the cigar went out recently and this cigar is still warm, you should be able to relight without ruining the taste. Before relighting, blow gently outward one time to expel any trapped gases and ash.




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