Beginners guide

The taste of a Cuban cigar

What’s important is that at the beginning you want to start of easy. Find a nice, mild cigar to start with. Some cigars may be a bit too strong for beginners and may ruin experience due to the flavours being too heavy to deal with.

Cutting the cigar

The cut should be made just above the line where the cap meets the wrapper. You must create an aperture broad enough to ensure an unobstructed draw whilst retaining enough of the cap to stop the wrapper from unravelling.

The most popular device to cut with is the single or double bladed guillotine. Alternatively there are pairs of special cigar scissors.

Another is the punch cutter with a circular blade. It removes a section from the cap, which preserves the shape of the cigars head, although it cannot cut pointed ends.

Do not remove the band for fear of damaging the wrapper. Should you like to preserve the wrapper, make sure the cigar is lit. When warm the glue of the band will let loose a lot easier.

Lighting your cigar

Light your cigar with an odourless flame. Always use a butane gas lighter, a wooden match or a spill. Never use a petrol lighter, a wax match or a candle because their aroma will permeate the cigar.

Second take your time and do a thorough job. Nothing ruins the enjoyment of a Habano faster than the thin smoke you draw when it is badly lit.

Hold the foot of the cigar at 90 degrees to the flame and rotate it until the surface is evenly charred.

Place the Habano between your lips and, holding the flame a centimetre away, draw on it until the flame jumps onto the foot. Continue to rotate the cigar.

Lastly Check that it is evenly lit, in case it isn’t you have to adjust and make sure it is evenly lit at all sides.

Smoking your cigar

A Habano should be enjoyed. Take your time. It should be sipped rather than gulped or it may overheat, which can harm the flavour.

Don’t inhale. Gently draw the smoke into your mouth and allow it to play gloriously on your taste buds.

Relax and savour the subtle flavours and aromas of the tobaccos in the blend.

It is fine to relight your Habano if it goes out. But first clean off any loose ash, nobody likes ash in their cigars.

A Habano should be smoked with enjoyment for at least three quarters of its length. Don’t concern yourself with the length or fate of the ash.

It is not done to tap your Habano, like a cigarette. Let the ash fall in its own time, preferably into an ashtray.

Final Goodbye

When the sad moment comes to part with your Habano, lay it to rest in the ashtray and it will go out by itself.

Allow it to die with dignity.