If you read my blog post two days ago you have an understanding of the hard work and great length of time it takes to harvest the tobacco leaves that make up your fine cigars. The growth cycle alone takes 9 months! As a general rule anything that requires that much effort to make requires an equal amount of effort to maintain. Today I’m going to go over the essential tools you need to help you on your journey of becoming a cigar connoisseur.
Firstly, you will definitely need a cutter! Whether it’s a V-cut, punch cut or guillotine cut; if you want to smoke that cigar you’ll have to cut it. Cutters can range in price from $5 to hundreds of dollars. I would say that a reasonable price for a cutter, that will be durable and of good quality, should range between $40 and $90. With that being said there is nothing wrong with an inexpensive cutter however, they will need to be replaced more often as the blades, especially for guillotine cutters, will start to dull. A great brand for cutters is Colibri. Not only do these cutters have a great warranty but also, these cutters are a great investment if you’re looking for quality and durability.
Now that you’ve got that cigar cut you’ve got to light it! Cedar matches work well to light up the cigars but on a windy day can be a pain. A wind-resistant torch lighter is the way to go. I find that torch lighters also work better when you are “toasting” the bottom end of the cigar, before simultaneously puffing and lighting it. Lighters can be such a personal choice. Plus there are many different styles, colors, features, size and weights to choose from. As with the cutters, lighters do range in price with some of the most expensive lighters on the market, designed by Dunhill and DuPont. Again for a mid-range lighter I would go for either the Colibri or for something more traditional yet stylish, I would definitely choose Cryril Brizard.
So you’ve cut and lit your cigar and are puffing away, enjoying all the aromas and flavours of that fine cigar, but where are you going to ash it? As you know cigars aren’t smoked like cigarettes. For most we take a few puffs and place our cigar down to rest in between. A cigar ashtray is designed with deep grooves, which allow this. Plus you can’t just place your fine cigar in any old ashtray. The grooves or stands on an ashtray are specially designed to have a sturdy hold on your cigars plus the grooves are made large enough to embrace any ring gauge. At some social cigar settings, most often, the cigar ashtray is the hot topic of the evening, especially if it bears the brand of your favourite cigar!
Now unless you’ve seriously got a problem most people don’t puff away a box of cigars at one time. So where are you going to keep them? Cigars need to be stored in an environment that is optimum. Let’s keep this simple and follow the 70/70 rule. The ideal temperature the cigars should be stored in is 70 F (approx. 21 Celsius) with 70% humidity. Fo
r a few days only it would be okay to leave the cigars in a dry area, away from windows and heaters but, unless you live in the tropics or have some area in your home that can mimic the above 70/70 conditions; Eventually, you will have to store them in a cigar humidor, if you don’t want to spoil them.
Most humidors are lined with Spanish cedar. It is said that Spanish cedar doesn’t warp with moisture and doesn’t alter the smell of the cigars. Place your cigars in a beautiful humidor, get a hygrometer that will monitor the temperature and humidity, a humibrick that you can add glycol solution to for moisture, when needed, and your all set. Your precious cigars can safely be stored while your humidor adds character to any room.
Of course, you will not carry this humidor with you when invited out to a cigar gathering. It would look slightly odd carrying it around not to mention can get a bit heavy. Which is why you will need a 2-4 finger cigar case or a single cigar tube. They protect your cigars; act as a great storage for a couple of hours and you can place this in your pocket or your girlfriend’s purse! Again, cigar cases range from various prices so it really comes down to your own personal style. Cyril Brizard designs are very classy and made with great quality and care. This is would make an excellent gift!
Now that you have all the essentials give yourself a pat on the back as you are embarking on that journey, of becoming a cigar connoisseur.