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how to choose cigar beginners
how to choose cigar beginners

Cigar 101: How To Choose a Cigar

July 12th, 2016

5 questions to ask yourself for choosing the perfect cigar

Whether you’re a beginning cigar smoker or a veteran, you always want to choose a cigar that’s going to be perfect for the place, time, company and occasion.

Here’s the HSS guide on how to choose a cigar.

How much time do you have?

This is the very first question to ask yourself any time before lighting up a cigar. Do you have 30 minutes to smoke? An hour? Two hours? Answering this question will allow you to make the right choice when it comes to the cigar’s size.

If the answer is 30 minutes, then choose a corona, petit corona, or something smaller like a Davidoff Primero. Around an hour? Robusto all the way. If you’ve got more than an hour, a toro or churchill will do the trick.

THE PERFECT CUT: How To Cut a Cigar

N.B. In addition to the cigar’s size, also pay attention to how densely it is rolled. A smaller sized cigar, when packed tightly, can last much longer than its size lets on.

how to choose cigar beginners

What are you in the mood for?

If you’re a beginning cigar smoker, you might not know the answer to this question as it’s likely you haven’t sampled a wide variety of tobaccos. The more seasoned cigar smoker will know exactly what kind of experience he’s looking for.

Something spicy? Something mild? Something earthy with notes of cocoa nibs, marzipan, hay and cedar?

LIGHT UP: How To Properly Light a Cigar

The answer here is often dependent on the next question…

What time of day is it?

Just like we crave different kinds of foods at different times of the day, it’s the same for cigars. For a late-morning or afternoon smoke, stick with something on the milder side. Late-afternoon and evening, choose a cigar that’s more full-flavored or spicy.

Did you just eat?

Speaking of food, you should never smoke a cigar on an empty stomach. Many a beginning cigar smoker has fallen victim to this and gotten that awful nicotine sickness in the stomach. We’ve all been there. So, first, make sure you eat a nice meal.

Based on what you’ve just eaten, choose a cigar that will complement that dish. A spicy stick would be great after something rich and savory. A milder smoke would pair better after a spicy meal. And actually, one of my favorite pairings is the milder afternoon cigar with a nice espresso or cup of coffee.

how to choose cigar beginners

What’s the occasion?

Answering this question will help you choose a cigar in terms of price. Of course, you can always spend as much or as little on a cigar as you want, but if it’s for a regular day you might want to keep it within a reasonable budget that you’ve defined.

But for a special occasion, that’s the time to spring for the nice Padron, limited edition Davidoff or Cohiba Behike you scored overseas.

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa
He Spoke Style

Photography by Rob McIver Photo

Brian Sacawa

Brian Sacawa is the Founder of He Spoke Style and one of the original men’s style influencers. Since 2013, his goal has remained the same: to provide men the advice and inspiration they need to dress well, develop their personal style, and gain more confidence. Brian’s interest and passion for men’s style and luxury watches has led to his writing for The Robb Report, The Rake, and Sotheby’s and he has been quoted on menswear in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,, Brides Magazine, and the Huffington Post. He lives in the woods north of Baltimore with his wife, Robin, kitties Nick and Nora, and German Shepherd/Collie mix Charlie.

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