Biloxi, Mississippi (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 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.
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.
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