How To Light a Cigar
There’s a subtle ritual to enjoying a cigar; from selecting, to cutting, to lighting, these are each small but important steps. After properly cutting your cigar, lighting is the transformative step that turns a good cigar into an enjoyable smoke.
While it may seem as simple as just setting something on fire, there are definitely ways to properly light a cigar, as well as methods to avoid. If you’re serious about the quality of your smoke, you’ll want to ensure that you’re lighting it by the best means possible.
Don’t touch the flame to your cigar. Usually when we light things, we touch fire to them and presto, they’re lit. Use the heat from your flame to light the cigar, not the flame itself. You can even ‘toast’ your cigar by rotating the cigar a few inches above the flame to warm it up. As you light the cigar, rotate it as you puff to ensure it’s lit evenly.
Do select the right heat source. If you’re going to use a lighter, avoid zippo-style lighter fluid models, because the fluid will impart its taste on your cigar. Use a butane lighter, if possible. If you’re using matches, go with wood, and let the chemical tip burn away completely before lighting. Paper matches also have chemicals in them that will negatively affect your smoke. Another way to light your cigar is a spill, which is a thin strip of pure wood. Some cigars come packaged with a spill for lighting, and many shops offer them.
While properly lighting a cigar might seem time-consuming to the beginner cigar enthusiast, it’s a crucial step to getting the most out of the fine cigar you selected. A good cigar is something to be savored, not rushed, so enjoy every small step in your ritual.