There is a lot to consider, when it comes to cigar smoking. The type of cigar you smoke, the size and shape of your cigar, how you cut or punch the end of your cigar, how often you smoke cigars…the list goes on. But what about enhancing your experience? How can one go about doing this? In this blog post we will explore some ways in which you can enhance your cigar smoking experience! Let’s get started Birmingham!
Slow Down and Enjoy It!
Smoking too fast is a mistake many beginners make, which is why it’s often recommended that they smoke at a slower pace. If you are smoking your cigar too quickly, then the flavors will never develop fully and many of the subtle nuances in flavor may be lost on you as well!
The best way to slow down when smoking cigars is take shorter puffs more frequently. This allows for maximum enjoyment without sacrificing quality or intensity. So don’t rush – allow yourself time with each puff so that all those deep rich notes can come out to play!
How Cigar Size Controls the Rate of Burn
Premium cigars come in many shapes and sizes, and each one has a different burn rate. This is because the degree of vitola (or shape) affects how quickly or slowly the cigar will burn down and this, in turn, changes the smoking experience.
For example: A robusto size cigar with a 50 ring gauge will have a longer duration than say, for instance, an Lonsdale which has about 25-26 ring gauge on average. If you’re looking to smoke your cigars slower, then it’s recommended that you go for thinner gauges like petite coronas and panetelas – these are perfect if you want more time between puffs!
The most popular sizes include Churchill (a long-shaped cigar), Corona Extra (medium length), Robust and Toro.
Cigar Strength and Flavor
The strength of a cigar is classified as either strong, medium or mild. A cigar with strong flavors is typically full bodied and has a higher nicotine content. Medium strength cigars are milder than the aforementioned, but still pack a pleasantly aromatic punch. Mild cigars have softer flavor profiles and less nicotine content overall.
A cigar’s flavor comes from its wrapper, filler, binder, size (or vitola), age as well as other factors such as soil type where it was grown or how long it was aged for post-harvesting. The most popular wrappers include Connecticut Shade, Claro, Oscuro, Maduro, Habano, and Corojo. Knowing this, you can easily sample several and find one that fits your taste best. Next let’s take a look at how pairings can help enhance the flavor of your favorite cigar.
Food Pairings to Enhance Cigar Flavor
A cigar after dinner is definitely a great way to kick off the weekend, but what’s the best food pairing to make the flavor of your cigar even better? Pairing cigars with aged cheese and wine are two ways you can create a unique experience. Try some hard cheddar or swiss and red zinfandel for an afternoon delight. For those who enjoy whisky (or smoky flavors in general), I recommend trying a shot of Lagavulin 16-year Scotch single malt scotch served neat alongside a Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Churchill – a match made in heaven! You’ll be surprised by just how complimentary a good aged whiskey can be paired with a cigar, so let’s look at that pairing next.
Pairing Whiskey With Your Fine Cigar
Pairing the right whiskey with your favorite cigar type can take a little time to figure out, but it’s worth the effort. Here are a few guidelines that may come in handy:
Matching your cigar with a whiskey of similar intensity is an easy way to get started, and provides you with a balance between lighter flavors and the richer ones (such as heavy malt scotches).
Another general rule to keep in mind when pairing the two is that you’ll want your cigar to be richer than the whiskey that it’s paired with.
For a lighter, smoother smoke, try whiskies from Ireland and Scotland such as Jameson Irish Whiskey or Dalwhinnie 15 Year Scotch Whisky – both are great matches for cigars like Ashton VSGs.
If you’re looking for something with a little less alcohol content, stick to darker ales like Guinness or a good Trappist beer.
To learn more about cigars, visit your local store!
In conclusion, there’s a few other things to consider like the type of cut or punch you use on your cigar or the make of your cigar lighter. A wider cut can produce a smoother, more aromatic smoke whereas a punch is better for cigars with bigger rings.
We hope this article helped you learn a little more about cigar pairing. If you’re still not sure, try going to any tobacco shop like Vitola Fine Cigars and asking questions of the staff there – they’ll be happy to help!