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Como Elegir el Puro


When a manufacturer ships cigars they traditionally 'over moisten' the cigars to surviv transit. It is usually customary to leave the cigars in a humidor for two weeks to give the cigars a chance to stabilize. However, when you walk into a cigar shop it's difficult to determine, just by look, whether the cigars have had a chance to properly stabilize.

When choosing a single cigar from a retailer it's important to follow these simple suggestions:

- Feel the cigar. Using your thumb and fore finger gently squeeze the cigar (remember it's not Charmin) working your way from tip to cap. You're looking for a pliable versus spongy feel throughout the cigar. If the cigar is spongy it hasn't had time to stabilize. Over moistened cigars will cause a hard draw and leave an ammonia taste in your mouth and an ammonia smell in the air. Quite unpleasant!

- Too hard a cigar means it's dried out often times resulting in a difficult drawing cigar which can explode (come completely apart)! Also quite unpleasant!

- Smell the cigar. Some people might think this is a no-no. I say if you're shelling out five dollars on average for a cigar you have a right to sniff! You're looking for a pleasant tobacco aroma. You'll know it when you smell it.

- Look for imperfections. Search for obvious nicks or tears in the cigar. Nicks and tears can cause the cigar wrapper to unravel during the smoke. Beware the cigar wrapper that has too may veins! This will cause the cigar to burn unevenly.

- First impression is not the most important. Finally, before making a judgment on a cigar you need to smoke that same cigar at least twice.

- Even if you've followed the above suggestions there is a chance that the cigar will not smoke or taste properly. It's been my experience that in a box of twenty five cigars on average five of the twenty five will not smoke great. Remember that the cigar manufacturers employ both experienced and inexperienced rollers. All the cigars in one box are not created equal!

Body Versus Flavor

First time cigar smokers are usually confused by the body versus flavor distinction. The cigar's body is characterized by the strength or intensity of the smoke, whereas the cigar's flavor is defined by the taste of the cigar. Cigars can either be mild, medium, or heavy bodied and have a variety of complex flavors (i.e., spice, pepper, chocolate, vanilla, coffee bean, etc.). Before purchasing a cigar you haven't smoked before ask your retailer about the cigar's body and flavor. If the retailer is knowledgeable(s)he should be able to help you choose a cigar that's right for you.

The Cut

I employ two different kinds of cuts determined by the ring size of my cigar. I use my guillotine cutter with cigars that have a 46 ring size or smaller. I use my hole or punch cutter with cigars that have a 47 ring size or larger. Why the two types of cuts?
I prefer the hole or punch cut on larger ring size cigars because it will keep the cigar cap intact and not leave any tobacco fragments in your mouth when smoking. With a smaller ring size cigar I've found that the hole cut doesn't make for an easy drawing cigar. Sounds crazy I know but that has been my experience and that of my friends. Just be careful not to lop off the cap when using a guillotine cutter as that will cause the cigar wrapper to unravel.

The Light

There are a lot of people that make a ceremony out of lighting their cigar. I don't stand on ceremony. I do believe though that there is a proper way to light a cigar. Using either a butane lighter or a wooden match gently puff your cigar while slowly turning it in a circular motion. Make sure to keep the flame slightly away from the cigar to obtain maximum lighting. If the cigar is too close the flame will extinguish. Keep this up until the cigar tip starts to flare. This is usually a good indication that the cigar is properly lit. Your goal here is to achieve even lighting thereby ensuring an even burn.


Some miscellaneous items to keep in mind when enjoying your cigar:

- Never remove the cigar band unless you're almost finished with the cigar and you want to smoke every last inch! This accomplishes two things:

. It won't damage the cigar wrapper if the band is on too tight.

. It acts as a shield for your fingers if the cigar gets too hot at the end of your smoke.

- If your cigar starts to burn unevenly (commonly referred to as canoeing, fishtailing, or tunneling) do the following:

. Hold your cigar upright with the cap end pointing down for several minutes. If caught early the burn should right itself.

. If the above doesn't work then you need to burn off the excess cigar. Place a flame an inch below the area you wish to burn off. Continue until the excess is removed.

   por Dr. Cigar




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