Cigar smoking has enjoyed a long, venerable history. There is archaeological evidence that the ancient Mayans wrapped up tobacco in plantain leaves as the world’s first stogies, according to Wikipedia. It still has a strong following around the world. Even if you are a seasoned cigar smoker, you may still believe some of the myths that linger about cigars. Here are eight common cigar myths debunked:
Myth 1: Cigars age like a fine wine.
If you believe this prevailing urban myth, then you are just going to end up with stale smokes. There are no flavor enhancements to aging cigars. Unless they are stored properly under the right conditions, they actually lose flavor.
Humidors keep the humidity and temperature at levels where you can keep your cigars. Without this, the tobacco will dry out within hours, according to Cigarafficionado.com. Even with an excellent humidor, they will lose their potency in a few short years. There is no way to rejuvenate a stale stogie—that is another tall tale.
Myth 2: If I buy a box of cigars, they should all taste the same.
You really cannot expect handmade products to be exactly alike—even if they are the same brand and from the same box. Like a snowflake, each cigar is unique in its wrapper and filler tobacco. There are going to be some nuance variants in each one you smoke. It is safe to say that you should still have dependable quality from the brands that your purchase.
Myth 3: I will look like an old pro if I hold my cigar between my teeth.
Half of the time, the cigar-clinching gangsters in movies were not even smoking a real stogie. Unless you are auditioning for the part of Boss Hog in a Duke’s revival, do not do it. Chomping on the cigar gets it soggy and the smoking experience is all but ruined. Cheap Little Cigars said, “Cigars are to be savored puff by puff for optimal pleasure.” A cigar vet would never think of biting the end from a cigar, either.
Myth 4: No cigar can match the quality of a Cuban cigar.
It is absolutely true that Cuban cigars are excellent smokes. Still, they have stiff competition from other tropical factories who have worked for years to perfect their craft. Finding the world’s “best” cigar is completely subjective. You might find a smoke from Honduras to be as pleasant or even better than a Cuban Havana. Enjoy a variety of cigars from around the world. Of course, you should try a Cuban cigar if you get the chance.
Myth 5: I can enhance my cigar’s flavor by dipping it in my favorite drink.
This old wives’ tale defies reason. Why would you dunk something in a liquid that you are going to light with fire? True, booze is flammable; however, you are just going to end up with a soggy smoke with inferior taste and smoking performance. Do you like the taste of a superb whiskey or brandy? Enjoy a glass of it between puffs of your stogie. You get the best of both worlds! Just do not dunk your smoke.
Myth 6: I only smoke this certain brand of cigars.
Have you found a cigar brand that you really enjoy? Great! But do not let that narrow your smoking experience. No wine connoisseur would only consider one brand or vintage of wine. Likewise, you should broaden your palate by trying different brands and styles of cigars. It is the only way you can confidently compare taste and quality.
Myth 7: If the cigar is not handmade, then it is not worth smoking.
There is a hint of truth in this popular myth. Yes, you are usually going to have better quality and taste experience from a hand-rolled cigar; but that should not detract you from trying mechanically-made ones. You might be pleasantly surprised with some of the better ones. There are some machine-rolled cigars that will give you some smoking variety. However, if you pick up one of those popular cheapos that have two for 99 cents, you will get what you paid for.
Myth 8: I will get the full effect of my cigar by inhaling the smoke.
If you are inclined to inhale smoke, then stick with cigarettes. Cigars are savored slowly by holding the smoke in your mouth for a few seconds, and exhaling. They were not meant to be smoked like a cigarette. Cigars are bigger and have much more tobacco. Inhaling your stogie is just going to make you sick, not cool.
The world of cigar smoking is ever expanding and is a fascinating past-time. If you are new to the art, take time to do some research and talk to experienced cigar enthusiasts. You do not have to be a millionaire to enjoy a good stogie (another myth). Just buy the best quality that fits your budget.