Cigar FAQ

What makes a cigar a quality cigar?

Quality cigars contain only tobacco. The best quality cigars are also finely constructed, meaning that the tobacco leaves and the wrappings are carefully selected and manually rolled, with the same care that any craftsman puts into his or her work.

Other cigars may contain non-tobacco ingredients such as paper, saltpeter, and other chemicals.

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How long will cigars last in a humidor?

There is no known time limit for quality cigars properly stored in a humidor.

A humidor is important for serious cigar smokers. Because premium cigars have no chemical additives, they must be stored at a 70-72% humidity level to preserve moisture, to avoid drying and crumbling — not to mention erosion of taste!

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What is ring gauge?

Ring gauge is often used as a general indication of a cigar's relative diameter. Strictly measured, a cigar's girth is gauged in 64ths of an inch. A 32-ring cigar measures ½ inch in diameter. For example, a Churchill type of cigar may have a ring gauge of 48, or about ¾ inch in diameter.

Cigar measurements are frequently stated as length x ring size. Examples: a Cohiba Triangulo - 6 x 24, an Ashton Prime Minister - 6.88 x 48, or a Macanudo Petit Corona - 5.00 x 38.

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What should I look for when buying singles?

Check the wrapper to make sure it is not open or damaged. Handling the cigar gently, it should feel somewhat flexible but not too soft. There should be no lumps or indentations. A quality cigar should have relatively even texture, as well as even coloration. (Some minor change in coloration is natural, but not any drastic differences.)

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How should I cut the cigar?

The closed end, the ‘head’, is covered by extra tobacco wrapping called a ‘cap’, which runs about ¼ inch or further depending on the style of the cigar. The best guideline is to make the cut a minimal amount necessary to open the surface, definitely not below where the cap ends.

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What type of cutter is best?

There are many styles of cigar cutters. Don't hesitate to ask the Cigar Emporium's staff for advice. They will suggest the best cutter based on your level of expertise as well as your choice of cigar. Eventually, you will develop your own preferences.

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Is there a preferred type of lighter?

Many types of lighting devices are available for different smoking styles. A good suggestion is to wait a moment for any odors to dissipate from a match or a gasoline lighter. Some people prefer a good butane lighter. Some love cedar matches. The choice is yours. The important thing is to get the cigar to start drawing evenly.

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How often should I tap the ash?

Don't treat a fine cigar like a cigarette, constantly tapping. Cigar ash is meant to linger on for a while if the cigar is burning evenly, as it should. Let the cigar ash go at least ½ inch. An inch or two is not unusual.

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Should I remove the paper band?

Best not to try, as you can damage the cigar. You may have heard, though, that in England and Europe, some people think it's trendy to not ‘show off’ the brand. If you want to remove the band, wait until the cigar has burned down near it and loosened it a bit. (But then you might as well just leave it on!) When in Rome....

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