How do you define a good cigar? While this is a very subjective topic, there are certain characteristics we can agree on. Here’s our list of qualities we look for in cigars that eventually rank among our favorites. Eye Appeal While we all agree that it’s more fun to own and smoke a good-looking cigar, what each of us considers beautiful is different. Some prefer the look of a light Connecticut Natural while others appreciate the swarthy appearance of a rich maduro like the Alec Bradley Tempus Maduro. How a cigar looks does matter. Consider that you may have that cigar in your humidor for months or years before lighting it, and you’ll look at it often as you browse for your next smoke. You might as well enjoy the color and texture of the wrapper and the band and its artwork. This isn’t the most important feature, but it’s the first one that grabs us when considering cigars. Good Construction A nicely tailored cigar impacts the quality of the smoking experience. We enjoy stogies that have a firm pack that will stay cool during the smoke, but not so firm it makes the draw difficult. A wrapper that doesn’t unravel is essential. A Fuss-Free Burn Cigars that are hard to light are a pain. Those with burns that cone or canoe are too. The burn doesn’t have to be “razor-sharp” for us, as long as it doesn’t get so uneven we need to touch it up with the torch. A cigar that won’t stay lit is a dud in our opinion, even if the flavors are delicious. Ash that Doesn’t Flake We’re not ones that think an ash has to grow to two-plus inches to be worthy of praise. Ash that doesn’t flake, even if the cigar needs ashing every inch or so, is what pleases us. Flaky ash sends off little particles consistently. There’s no defense against these flakes, and they end up everywhere. Ash that flakes are typically the result of the tobacco being grown in soil with too much magnesium added to it. A proper amount of that nutrient makes ash white; too much leads to flaking. Flavor YOU Like Today’s trend in flavor tends to be big, bold and spicy like the LFD Double Ligero. Milder cigars tend to be frowned upon by many. If you like a spicy stick, have a spicy stick. However, if you prefer something milder, sweeter and smoother, go with it. In reality, medium-bodied cigars still outsell full-bodied smokes, so the hype doesn’t match reality. Smoke what you like, not what advertising says you should like. If a buddy is going to clown you for smoking something milder like a Macanudo Maduro, just ignore the blowhard. Give the ribbing back to him by suggesting he’s insecure about his manliness, so he compensates with powerful cigars. The Cigar Tastes Good After the Band Some cigars are good for about 50 percent of their length, and then tar builds up or the stogie becomes too hot to smoke. A good cigar will continue to be smooth past the band without developing those tar-induced harsh tones that signal it is time to let the stogie go out. Not every good cigar smokes sweet to the three-quarter mark or the nub, but when you find one that does give you more puffs for your buck, that’s a winner. Cigars Direct has all the cigars you deem enjoyable. Our selection and prices are excellent, and every shipment arrives in peak smoking condition. Quality is guaranteed, so shop with peace of mind today.