The Importance of Toasting a Cigar before Lighting

Lighting a cigar is the most important step to ensuring that your cigar burns correctly from start to finish. The cigar could have been rolled perfectly in the factory, but because of user error, all the hard work of the torcedores is wasted and your cigar could canoe, tunnel or burn unevenly. If you have already lit your cigar and it isn’t burning correctly, don’t be too quick to blame the brand or roller. It may not be poor construction. More times than not, it is user error. First assess…

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How to Troubleshoot a Butane Lighter

If you are like me, your lighter is your best friend. You never leave home without her. However, there is nothing more disheartening than when a friend disappoints us. No, I am not talking about your midnight “booty call,” I am talking about your butane lighter- your fire-wielding friend that always seems to let you down at the most inopportune times. If you are like me and fed up with failing butane lighters, than listen up cause Ol’ Ash is here to save the day. It is time to stop…

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Tips for Becoming an Expert Cigar Smoker

Have you secretly admired the culture surrounding cigars but have been hesitant to join the fraternity because you don’t know where to start? Are you the guy who envisions himself sunken in an oversized leather chair sipping on a single malt and puffing on a premium cigar all while engrossed in a heated conversation with a few local brothers of the leaf (BOTL)? If so, you have come to the right place. First of all, you have to understand your palate. Are you sensitive to ingredients in prepared foods? If…

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Nicaragua’s Tobacco is Quickly Becoming the ‘Holy Grail’ for Cigar Makers

It seems that Cuba has been the Mecca for cigar makers since the beginning of time. The “holy” isle was once the model for perfection, but the lack of consistency and proper growing techniques have sent some of the top growers,  master blenders, and premium rollers  to Nicaragua where the jet-black earth and ideal climate rival Cuba’s Vuelta Abajo region , which many consider the world’s best tobacco region. Generations of growers and manufacturers have feasted on Cuba’s bounty for far too long now. It’s time for Nicaragua’s benefactors to…

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Rodrigo Cigars Demonstrates Unique Smoking Tip

George Rodriguez demonstrates a unique tip usually reserved for the seasoned cigar smokers. A lot of smokers don’t like to smoke the nub because the tar build up starts to affect the flavors of the cigar and often creates a harsh smoke toward the end of the stick. Not anymore if you follow this simple tip. Rodrigo shows us how to eliminate tar build up when smoking the nub. See the video below            

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Cigar Wrappers and How They Affect Taste & Flavor

Cigar smokers tend to choose their cigars like they choose their women – appearance. It is probably not shocking to hear that most men are attracted to beautiful women. We love how they look, smell, taste, etc.  And, no matter how many times we have been told, ‘not to judge a book by its cover’, we continue to melt when in the presence of a striking woman with succulent coronas and a plump robusto. Her impeccable sense of style, alluring scent, and seductive curves draw us in like a magnetic…

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Best Free Mobile Apps for Leaf Lovers

I have searched high and low, flipped through thousands of website and apps, and talked to hundreds of cigar smokers to uncover the Ultimate Apps for those who worship the leaf. I have compiled a list of seven ‘must have’ apps that you must download NOW. They are listed in order with number one being my favorite of all. There are plenty of other apps out there but I think the other ones are a waste of time. There are also some apps that you have to pay for, but…

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Cigar Stacking – What is it?

Right now you probably sound like Woodchuck, that adorable yellow bird from snoopy, “blah, blah, blah, blah”. Nevertheless, it’s time to be educated my fellow lovers of the leaf about a very important process in cigar development, Stacking. What is stacking? Stacking is what differentiates a pleasurable smoking experience from a terrible one. Stacking is the process where tobacco leaves are cured and fermented to break down the tar buildup in the tobacco leaves used to create hand rolled cigar. Stacks of tobacco are wrapped in cloth and allowed to…

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Cigar Ratings are Worthless

Cigar ratings are worthless.  You are probably asking yourself right now, “is this guy nuts? Has he lost his mind?” No, I have not lost my mind, if fact I am here to knock some sense into you. That’s right I said it, those of you who live by ratings and worthless numbers are making a huge mistake. There are so many great cigars today from traditional blends to boutiques, so why should we believe the opinion of one stuffed shirt behind a desk at Cigar Aficionado. We shouldn’t. Has…

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Choosing the Correct Humidor

Many guys (I can’t be alone on this one) choose their humidor like they choose their women, physical beauty. We all yearn for that polished, shinny piece of eye candy mouthing from across the room, “I’ll take care of your Churchill”. Well the old adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” also fits when choosing a woman, I mean humidor. There are only two essential qualities to look for when choosing a good humidor:  A good seal and cedar  That’s right, everything else is just fluff. After all these…

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Choosing the correct humidification device

Picking the right humidification device is critical if you expect the tight white ash for which we burn. There are two kinds of devices, active and passive (terms that may also sound familiar in the bedroom). Passive devices are what most of us use. You fill them with distilled water, manually adjust the louvers and monitor the humidity using a hygrometer (digital preferred). When the hygrometer starts to dip below 68 degrees Fahrenheit, you know it is time to refill the device. I recommend a nice Diamond Crown brand humidifier.…

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How to reach ideal humidity level in your humidor

Every cigar smoker’s nightmare is realized when he opens a humidor fully stocked with the finest selection of cigars only to discover a bunch of hard, stale sticks with brittle, flaking wrappers crumbling to the touch. Sound like you? Hopefully not, but if it does, then you must learn how to properly care for and store your precious imports. Cigars are a work of art so you need to treat them better than you treat your wife. For me, that’s not hard because my wife tells me every day that…

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Aging Cigars

When you walk into a steak house, ever notice the fine aged steaks always cost much more money than the fresh cuts butchered a few hours before they landed on the dinner plates? Ever wonder why? It’s simple. Aged steaks, cigars and scotch tantalize our taste buds. (Can’t say the same for women, can we?) If you are a cigaroholic like me, then you probably already have multiple humidors, if not then you have to go out and buy, steal or borrow a second quality humidor. Here is how to…

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