MAN STUFF: Selecting a Cigar

Written by Doug Giles on March 2, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-03-02 at 10.36.10 AMChoosing a cigar is an individual thing. It depends on personal taste, availability and budget. When one walks into a well-stocked humidor it is easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of different brands and facings that line the walls. If you are fortunate to be in the shop of a reputable retailer then you can count on receiving some sound advice in choosing the perfect cigar to fit the occasion or mood. If not, then these suggestions may help you find a great cigar anyway.

Choosing a cigar Step by step

Squeeze the cigar gently. It should “give” but not be too soft. Don’t roll it in your fingers, as some suggest – this can damage the wrapper. Squeeze gently up and down the body to look for lumps or soft spots. A good cigar should have neither. Remember to be gently. Even if you don’t buy that cigar somebody else might – don’t damage it!

Inspect the wrapper for “odd” discolorations, looseness, or cracks. The wrapper should be smooth and tight, and not damaged on either end. Smaller veins are good to watch for, as these often smoke smoother, but compare your single to other cigars with the same wrapper! Veins appear differently in different wrapper types.

Look at the tobacco in the exposed end. Some variation of color is normal, as most cigars are made from a blend of tobaccos. What you’re watching for is extreme or abrupt color changes. This sometimes means an inferior leaf was used, or the leaves weren’t laid together properly in the bunching process. Off tastes and uneven burns will often be the result.

Read more: