The Cigar and the Student, the Benefits of Intense Heat

 

What does lighting a premium cigar have to do with training a student?
What does lighting a premium cigar have to do with training a student?

Biloxi, MissisStudent of the Gunsippi (Ammoland)  Let us consider for a moment the premium hand rolled cigar.

For those unenlightened, neither the Black and Mild nor Swisher Sweet Cherry flavored tobacco products are “premium cigars”. A premium cigar is compose of numerous distinct parts. You have the filler, binder, and wrapper, all of which were hand selected. A skilled torcedor, cigar roller, assembles it all by hand.

Those who understand the art of smoking a fine, premium cigar understand that you need more than just the cigar itself to have best experience possible, you need a sharp cutter to trim the tip and a hot flame of some sort. You see, even the finest cigar in all the world cannot achieve its full potential until it have been properly trimmed and ignited with high flame.

A cigar cutter should have a sharp and finely honed edge. A rough or dull edge will not clip the “stick” cleanly and you run the risk of tearing the wrapper leaf. If the wrapper is damaged, it will unravel when heat is applied and ruin the cigar smoking experience.

Hot Flame Required

A very hot flame is required in order to draw out the full potential of the cigar. Premium cigar smokers will use large wooden matches or a blue-flamed butane torch to properly toast the tip of the cigar. Unlike a cigarette, you should not immediate draw on the cigar but first allow the tip to be toasted evenly. The wooden match or the torch is hot enough to toast the end evenly. This is essential for a quality smoking experience.

Some neophytes will use cardboard matches or a kerosene lighter to ignite their cigar. Matchbooks do not offer enough heat to properly toast the tip evenly and kerosene lighters infuse the premium tobacco with a lighter fluid residue thus greatly diminishing or ruining the flavor of the hand rolled cigar.

There are those who would say that fire is fire and as long as you get the cigar lit it will take care of itself, but the initial lighting process is a critically important part of the overall experience. These folks may offer that at long as the cigar is burning and there is smoke that it is all the same. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Nurturing the Cigar

After the premium cigar has been properly toasted and lit, it must be nurtured properly. If the smoker draws on the “stick” too rapidly the fire within will become too hot and the taste will turn foul or the the wrapper may crack and begin to unravel. The cigar is then essentially ruined.

If the cigar is lit and then set aside without being nurtured, the fire will die out. The greatest care must be taken to relight it but the flavor can be fouled and the taste ruined. Also, constant tapping or flicking of the ash, as cigarette smokers tend to do, will again risk cracking or breaking the wrapper leaf or the internal flame can be disrupted.

Premium cigars require your time, you cannot rush them
Premium cigars require your time, you cannot rush them

Premium cigar connoisseurs will recommend toasting and lighting the cigar, enjoying a puff or two and then waiting a minute or so between puffs. Set the cigar down occasionally and let it be, just don't forget about it. Never try to rush a cigar. Premium cigars require dedication and time. If you only have a few minutes for a smoke, do not bother to light a hand rolled stick, revert back to the Black and Mild or an El Producto.

Smoking a fine hand rolled cigar is a process, and part of the enjoyment is proper application of all the above techniques. You cannot achieve a premium cigar experience in ten minutes.

Sadly, many who use kerosene lighters, puff incessantly, and flick and tap their cigars unceasingly, will never achieve the premium experience. Regardless of how much they paid for the cigar or the initial quality of its construction, these people never allow the hand rolled cigar to reach its full potential. Having smoked their cigars in that fashion habitually, they believe the taste of the poorly prepare smoke is actually the pinnacle or the best is can be.

The Student

The student need high flame training to draw out their potential.
The student needs high flame training to draw out their potential.

While pondering the proper way to draw the full potential from a premium cigar it occurred to me that getting the greatest performance from a student is a very similar procedure. Consider that with me if you will.

When a physically capable young man or woman steps onto the field or into the arena (football, baseball, wrestling, etc.) what we have is this case is the embodiment of potential. In order to draw out that potential and assist the student in being the most that they can be, the coach must see to it that the proper methods are employed.

Read the entire article at Student of the Gun (Click Here)

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5WarVeteranB. YoungCarlJim HalbersonElder Ambassador Recent comment authors
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5WarVeteran
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5WarVeteran

Carl,
I understand and those sound like awesome memories. If I could serve again I would.

B. Young
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B. Young

As far as cigars go DO NOT SMOKE A CUBAN cigar! If you do you will never enjoy any other as much and you’ll be helping those Cuban commie bastards so don’t do it. Looks like Obama will be smoking some Cubans(cigars that is) in the next few weeks.

Elder Ambassador
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Elder Ambassador

5WarVet, I have great sympathy for your situation. I truly enjoy Premium Cigars. I get together once a week with like minded folk and we light up our favorites and discuss them, as well as others that may be available. And did you know that there is now a butane insert for the Zippo lighter I used in the ’60s. So now I get the proper toasting heat and kerosene free flavor of the wrap from the lighter rather than lighting a long wooden match and waiting until the sulfur burns off so I can apply the flame to my… Read more »

5WarVeteran
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5WarVeteran

Thank You Elder! Please enjoy one for me. I will just sit here jealous…

5WarVeteran
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5WarVeteran

This could have been used to describe me. An officionado. I loved a good top quality cigar and had many. Some valued over $40 a piece. But the US Navy destroyed that habit with a 15 year sinus infection and antibiotics through breathing recycled air and shipboard contaminants. Now a puff on my favorite stogie hits me up with massive headaches and sinus infections. Still have my humidor and collapse into suffering on VERY special occasions. The next may be the marriage of my Grand daughter or my first Great Grand child. Of course a shot of Century also awaits… Read more »

Carl
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Carl

5 War; I smoked Camel unfiltered for my 8 year stint in Subs and I credited my non sinus condition to the Snorkel changing the atmosphere from 29.85 mmhg to 27 mmhg in seconds. It is the same as going from 1000 ft to 20000 ft altitude in 10 to 15 seconds, and then reversing the cycle. I was later informed that genetics has more to do with sinus than altitude changes. My Cigar experience started when I worked for a Dutch shipping company in the Netherlands. The high chief was an aficionado of good cigars and great brandy and… Read more »

Jim
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Jim

Dear cigar snob Durabo–There is no rule on rings or not on cigars as you imply. Shanken and Savona, the honchos at Cigar Aficionado remove their rings as not to show a favorite (not good for their advertisers). So in your case you can take it off but don’t be so arrogant and pedantic as to try to tell Americans how to smoke a cigar.

Jim Halberson
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Jim Halberson

Jim – You Sir get a gold star for your reply, as I was thinking the very same thing, “cigar snob”. I have nothing against expensive cigars or their accouterments. But a pack of Phillies blunts and a cheap Bic lighter work just fine for me. But then hay the wine I buy comes in a 3 liter jug with a finger hole to facilitate portability so go figure…..LOL Personally I’d prefer to save my money for more ammo and range time. What Mr. Durabo calls gauche we good old American boys just call practicality’s. 😉

durabo
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durabo

The gauche American cigar smoker will never learn that the cigar’s band must be removed before smoking.