How to Retrohale: 3 Simple Steps

How to Retrohale: 3 Simple Steps

Aficionados, today we have somewhat of a Cuban cigar smoking science lesson for you… well almost. We are sure you must’ve come across the term ‘Retro-haling’ at some point in your smoking career. If not, you should know that it’s the process of expelling smoke past your olfactory receptors (sense of smell) – to put it simply, blow the smoke out of your nose rather than your mouth. But do not be naïve to think that this is an easy technique, it’s harder than it sounds. Then why try it, you ask? A wise aficionado once said – “unless you have blown smoke through your nose while smoking a cigar, you have never really tasted a cigar”. Much like fine cuisine, cigar notes cannot be fully appreciated without its aroma. Retro-haling will open up a much fuller smoking experience when trying our Cuban cigars for sale online.


HOW TO – With your tongue only being able to sense basic flavours such as – sweet, salty, sour, bitter and some may say savoury – that leaves certain notes that cigars have to offer off the cards. Holding back the smoke from venturing further than the mouth means you’ll only be able to discover its basic flavours. Retro-haling allows you to delve further into the deeper complexities of your smoke. Here’s what you need to do:                 

  • STEP 1 – As you can expect, you begin by drawing the smoke into your mouth
  • STEP 2 – Allow the smoke to dance around your mouth, giving you a taste of the basic flavours.
  • STEP 3 – With the smoke in your mouth and your breath held, open up your throat and let the pressure in your lungs push the smoke out of your nose.

IMAGINE THAT – If your having trouble visualising this, then allow us to help. Imagine your submerged in water – your holding your breath but you need to let some air out your lungs. So you open your throat and the pressure pushes the air out your mouth.

TOP TIP – This is a technique that requires practice and persistence to master. Until you get the hang of it, it will help if you blow the majority of the smoke out of your mouth before pursing your lips together and attempting to retro-hale.

Hoyo de monterrey epicure no.2 & montecristo linea 1935 dumas

Left: The Montecristo Linea 1935 Dumas Cigar/Right: The Hoyo De Monterrey Epicure No.2.

SHOULD I RETRO-HALE EVERY CIGAR? – Unless you’re a mastered retro-haler, we would advise against trying this technique with a full-bodied smoke. It could irritate your nasal tissues, which you could imagine will create an unpleasant (some even say painful) sensation. Think of inhaling a lump of wasabi…not good right? It’s best to start with some of the milder Cuban cigars online, like the Hoyo De Monterrey Epicure No.2Once you feel ready, you can then move onto the fuller-bodied cigars, or if you are already a pro-retro-haler then you're likely to want to try a full flavoured smoke – such as the Montecristo Linea 1935 Dumas Cigar.

We assure you that retro-haling is a key smoking experience that every aficionado should give a try. If you manage to perfect the technique you will open up a whole new world of great flavours and aromas. It’s the perfect way to enhance your smoke! Why not head over to our Cuban cigar shop to stock up and give retro-haling a try. In the meantime, if you want to learn more about the art of cigar smoking, be sure to check out our Cuban cigar blog: