Friday, January 17, 2014

Shake it Off – Cigar Relighting Tip

Leftover Ash - Remove this before relighting
Well made cigars are generally blended with the right combination of tobacco leaves to provide for a good, even burn.  Sometimes a cigar will smolder endlessly while neglected on the ashtray.  Other times you may find that if you don’t continue to draw on it every couple of minutes that it will quietly extinguish.  This happens, and it’s not immediately an indication of a poor quality cigar.

Possible causes for a cigar that goes out are that it is a particularly oily ligero blend and the tobacco is so moist that continual combustion requires some additional attention from you.  It’s possible that the cigar is a bit over-humidified.  Or, you could be wholly to blame by dominating the conversation and forgetting to draw on your cigar now and then.

Regardless of how you cigar becomes unlit, here’s a handy pointer of how to relight it efficiently and effectively.  Gently roll the ash line of the cigar along the side of the ashtray to cause it to fall off.  Don’t tap it on the edge of the ashtray because you’re just asking to crack the wrapper.  Once the ash has fallen off you have a foot that looks a bit like the first picture.

Less Ash - Cleaner Tobacco
Many folks will go ahead and fire this up with their torch and resume smoking.  You can do that, but I recommend you go just one step further.  Holding the cigar firmly, flick or tap the remainder of the ash with your fingers, and be sure to angle your motion a little bit from the head towards the foot.  Angling it like this will coax the remainder of the ash off of the foot without disrupting the integrity of the remaining cigar.

Now you’ve got a cleaned up foot that looks like picture two.  Now hit it with your torch and light it pretty much the same way you originally lit the cigar.  By taking this extra step you have made it easier to light the cigar by exposing more un-burned tobacco, caused it to taste better by not cooking and drawing on already burned ash, and you have reduced the likelihood of unstable ash falling off the foot of the cigar into the jet of your lighter.  I think you’ll find this to be a win/win all the way around.

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