The Right Way to Ash Your Cigar
Is there a right way to ash a Cuban Cigar? Though there are countless ways to eliminate your ash, whether that's tapping, thumb flicking or perhaps even shaking it – should keep in mind that ashing a cigar is an art in itself. As Zino Davidoff puts it, "Respect the ash – as you would with the rest of the cigar." So in that spirit, we are going to teach you the right way to to get rid of your cigar ash.
"LET IT DIE NATURALLY"
One thing to keep in mind is that cigar ash is entirely different from a cigarette. Cuban cigars are made with long-filler tobacco, which means that the cigar has the capacity to create long ash without having to tip it off. Some aficionados can even get it as long as several inches! But beware, tampering with the ash too much can disrupt your smoking flow. It goes like this; tipping your cigar too frequently can cause the cigar to burn too hot, causing it to taste bitter – and if you keep your cigar ash long, it will cause the cigar to burn too cold, and therefore stop it from burning. There needs to be a balance.
The best way to tip ash is by letting it fall naturally. By one inch, the cigar should have enough weight on the smoke for the cigar to crack and tip-off. The key idea is not to force it and just let it die 'naturally'. As Zino Davidoff cities in the Connoisseur's Book of the Cigar – as much it is vain to limit your movements to keep it from falling, it is also 'senseless' tapping it off or shaking it in all different directions. Handle the cigar delicately and be sure not to manhandle it. Give the ash the right amount of respect, but not too much attention. Keep in mind, if you do decide to let it grow too long, you do run the risk of accidentally letting it drop to the floor or clothes, causing it to stain or have an odour. So be sure to keep a handy Cigar Ashtray such as the Cohiba Classic Ashtray to keep all your ash in place.
"EXAMINING THE ASH"
Many aficionados enjoy examining their own ash as it could indicate something about the cigar. For instance – the colour of the ash. As a rule, the whiter the ash, the more calcium content the tobacco has. This specifies that the long-filler tobacco grew on the nutrient-rich soils of Cuba (or wherever the leaf was grown). If you find that your ash creates a darker hue, then it is generally considered 'undesirable', as it stipulates the fact that the soil did not have enough nutrients and therefore had a higher acidic content. However, there are exceptions; Cuban soil can have a higher concentration of magnesium and thus generates a darker grey colour. Some of the best cigars you can smoke for long ash is the Cohiba Robusto Cigar or the Trinidad Esmeralda Cigar, as they hold a reputation for being impeccably wrapped, and therefore, will have a higher chance to staying put.
"BE SURE TO REST"
After finishing and tipping off a cigar, be sure to take a rest whether that's sitting down and having a glass of whiskey, coffee or tea – or perhaps even just a simple contemplation. The point is to take in the pleasure and let the flavours of the cigar linger. Smoking a cigar is all about taking your time and giving a moment to yourself, so do take your precious time before picking up a fresh new stick.
To learn about all-things Cuban cigars, be sure to check out our Cigar Blog:
- The Art of Turning Cigar Boxes into Guitars
- Are 'Thicker Cigars' Better?
- The Rising Value of Cuban Cigars: A Worthwhile Investment