The Art of Lighting a Cigar
Unlike lighting up cigarettes or candles, lighting a Cuban Cigar requires more thought and patience. If you do not ensure that all the cigar components are correctly lit, then you are missing out on the beautifully curated flavours that the cigar maker intended – and might even find yourself inconveniently relighting your cigar. Once you figure out the right way to ignite your cigar, expect a relaxing experience, knowing that you do not need to touch up and are tasting the precise flavours that the cigar offers. Cutting the cigar is also an important step to the optimum cigar experience, read The Art of Cigar Cutting for helpful tips on how to cut the head of the cigar; to further ensure a smooth smoking experience.
"Selecting Your Lighter of Choice"
BUTANE LIGHTER – The Butane Lighter, also known as ‘Torch lighter’, is a common choice by cigar aficionados due to its ease-of-use. It releases a medium-to-strong flame, and as soon as it touches the cigar, the butane dissipates and creates a clean odourless burn. Make sure to purchase a butane lighter and not other alternatives like stoves or Zippo lighters as their components may affect the flavour and taste of the cigar - spoiling the whole experience. We recommend products like the Davidoff Prestige Palladium Lighter or the Le Grande S.T. Dupont Lighter – they are lightweight, ergonomic and wind-resistant, making the perfect torch lighter for an outdoor smoke.
MATCHSTICKS – Cigar matchsticks, usually about 4” long and are essentially odourless, is another elegant method of lighting your cigar. It is the natural option that requires much finesse and a better momentum to ignite the cigar. When selecting your cigar matchstick, make sure it is long, the stick is pure wood and the end does not have any sulphur – as it could affect the flavour of the cigar. The cigar matches are a great option for indoor occasions; such as Cigar Lounges because the slightest wind could interrupt your lighting momentum.
Above: S.T. Dupont Lighter
"Toast the Edges Until it's Charred Black"
i. TOAST THE FOOT - Possibly the most important step of the cigar lighting process. To ensure an even burn, it is essential to toast the edges of the foot, this will help ignite the outer layers (binder and the wrapper). Toast the edges first because if you just held up the match and draw, only the inner tobacco will light and will give you an uneven smoke. Keep the foot of the cigar a 45-degree angle and few inches away from the flame – almost as if you are toasting marshmallows over a fire. If you directly light the cigar too closely, it will be too hot and might ruin the flavours of the cigar; but if you just hold the cigar so that it barely touches the fire, it will toast just enough to char the edges, emitting a glowing ring around the foot. Remember, you cannot go wrong with taking the time to light the cigar until all the edges are lit.
ii. FULLY LIGHT IT UP – To ensure an even burn, it is absolutely necessary to check that the foot of the cigar is fully, and properly lit. Observe the foot of the cigar and it should have an ashen appearance around the end and the rims – not halfway lit or else ‘canoeing’ may happen, this is the phenomenon when the top burns while the bottom remains unlit – this is to be avoided.
iii. SLOWLY DRAW THE CIGAR – Once you are happy with the foot, it is time to draw the cigar. Release the draw slowly, taking long puffs of smoke - let the surge of flame shoot up from the foot of the cigar to a puff of smoke coming from your mouth. If you take short, quick puffs of smoke, it heats up the tobacco too quickly which could destroy the flavour of the cigar. Tip-over the cigar and examine the foot, checking that there is an even burn – if not – touch it up with your lighter until satisfied.
iv. ENJOY – Congratulations! You have finally lit your cigar and you can now sit back, relax and savour the gorgeous, curated tobacco. Savour the notes, the flavours and the experience.
Above: Lighting A Cigar
Now you have all the know-how on the art of lighting a cigar, indulge yourself in our premium selection of Cuban Cigars Online and check out the range of Cigar Lighters we have for sale. Discover and learn more about cigars on our Cuban Cigar Blog: