Lighting



This is the phase which requires the most concentration in the ritual of the cigar. The instant that lays between the moments you light the flame and you puff for the first time, reveals the art and elegance the smoker possesses. Whether it results in a delightful experience or a senseless one, will depend on this moment.



Enthusiast smokers greatly enjoy this ceremony by grabbing the cigar with care and placing it horizontally half a centimeter above the flame, not quite touching the cigar’s foot, in which case it would carbonize and an unpleasant taste would remain throughout the entire smoke. They do not place the cigar in their mouths, but hold it between their lips and rotate it completely in order to create a ring of red hot ash which they blow on gently to create a perfect ash ring. Bringing the cigar close to their mouths, they puff gently as they continue to rotate the cigar until it is lit in a uniform way. This avoids the tunneling effect, in which one side burns faster than the other.

 

Careful attention when lighting the cigar will enable the smoker to submerge himself in the most gratifying and intense feeling of pleasure throughout the rest of the smoke.
The lighting process is also a cigar quality detector. Too much humidity will make the draw difficult and make the cigar go off; a 100% hand-made cigar might also present imperfections in its rolling.



A perfectly lit cigar may, nevertheless, go off, due to these reasons or because too much time goes by without puffing during the smoke. This occurs often and it doesn’t mean you should give up on the experience. First, you must shake and blow the ash to make sure that it has, in fact, gone off. Once the foot has been re-heated by using a distanced flame, and by rotating it, the cigar will turn on again with the same disposition as the first time. Trying to do this after several hours have gone by or even yet, the following day, is not recommended since its excessive strength will alter the original flavor.
 

The most appropriate lighters are those which provide a thick flame and intensity regulator, fuel and flame being the most important factors to consider when choosing a lighter. Extra long wooden matches are also appropriate, especially if they don’t contain sulfur. If regular matches are used, you must wait until they consume their sulfur composition. Some brands contain a cedar chip in their boxes, ideal to turn cigars on. The use of gasoline lighters and candles is not recommended since they alter noticeably the delicate characteristics of a cigar.