We’re also thinking that some beginners who aren’t sure if they can “take the plunge” and get into cigars will realize it’s not a plunge – it’s more like laying down on a float on a lazy river ride. Tricky getting in, but then nothing but relaxation as you go along.
Without further ado, here is A Newbie’s Journey from Initiate to Cigar Lover: How to Get Into Cigars 101.
Damn, this thing smells pretty good.
Reminds me a little of my granddad’s garage, with all his woodworking tools.
I can smell all that rich tobacco.
And they say these things “stink?” What are people complaining about?
Okay, so my first experience with a cigar was off to a good start. It smelled pretty good. After I was done sniffing it, I decided the time was right to spark it up. I had a guillotine cutter, and tried to figure out where to make my first cut. It was a little intimidating. Was I about to wreck my first cigar? I decided to cut it where there would still be some “shoulder” left to hold in the tobacco, instead of going all the way down to the sides.
I made my cut.
Pretty satisfying to bring the cutter down and see the tobacco revealed. Why don’t I have a big guillotine cutter on my counter for chopping food? That would probably get me to cook more…
Looking inside, I was surprised at how many leaves actually made it into the cigar. No wonder these things take so long to smoke – they’re packed with a lot of tobacco all tight and smooshed together.
Okay, my cut was made. Now it was time to light up.
I wanted to be cool and struck a match. The flame lasted a little and went out. The foot of the cigar blackened a little. Barely any smoke. Okay, this is why everyone recommended torch lighters. They’re not just for gear geeks – you really need a strong flame to get things going. I went back to grab the torch lighter from inside and got back to my seat.
I got four jets of flame going at the foot of the cigar. Instantly, I was on my way. I toasted it all around and started taking draws. It glowed cherry red as I flipped it around to pop it in my mouth. I got a little tobacco on my lips and spit it out. I then tried some test draws, wanting the cigar to get lit for real. Finally, it seemed to catch and I got my first good pull, which I exhaled.
I’m smoking a cigar.
Wait. Did I not say what kind of cigar it was? I have an uncle who loves cigars, and who handed me one and said, “If you don’t like this, there’s nothing I can do for you. This is as good as it gets.”
It was a Padrón 1926. That doesn’t mean this thing is from 1926, does it? I know fancy wines and things get crazy like that, but there’s no way. It would be dust, right?
Anyway, he said it was probably a waste to give it to me, unless I turned out to be a cigar smoker. For that reason, I tried my best to enjoy it, taking another two small pulls and exhaling, savoring the smoke.
It wasn’t hard to enjoy this cigar at all.
I didn’t taste all the complicated notes that I just looked up. It just tasted like smoke to me, but very fine, smooth, and enjoyable smoke, with a little spiciness and bite. That much I could recognize. It was an aroma I was surprised to find I wanted to sit in, too. I’ve got a whiff of my uncle after a stogie and noticed that it wasn’t the kind of thing you could really hide. Not bad if you like that funky, smoky smell, but it’s a disaster if you only like clean Yankee Candle scents.
I settled in to puff away and relax. I could definitely see the allure of some music and a drink to go with my cigar (would I be getting into whiskey next? Shoot, the stereotypes really pile up, don’t they?) For the time being, though, I was content to sit outside and pass the time smoking.
I was going to need more of these cigar things.