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Cigar 101
Cutting
The better the cigars you smoke, the more attention you'll want to pay to the cut. A bad cut will ruin a cigar. The object of the cut is to create an ample, smooth opening for smoking without damaging the cigar's structure. With most cigars, this means cutting away part of the cap or flag leaf that closes the cigar, while leaving some of it glued around the end to keep the filler leaves together. If you are making a wedge cut or a bull's-eye cut, it means not penetrating too deeply into the cigar. You want to create a large, exposed surface of cleanly cut filler leaves that will allow equal draw from the core and the rim of the cigar

Firing it Up
ALighting a cigar is not like lighting the tip of a cigarette or the wick of a candle--it takes longer. Light your cigar the same way you would toast a marshmallow over a campfire--keep the cigar above and near the flame, but don't let them touch. Burning a cigar directly in a flame makes it too hot. And, as with a marshmallow, you'll want to rotate the cigar so all parts of its tip are equally heated. Be patient, and keep at it until there's a glowing ring all the way around the cigar's tip. Once the cigar is lit, gently blow on the embers to create a smooth, completely rounded ash. Then, raise the unlit end of the cigar to your mouth and take the first puff. The question is, which way to puff? Many aficionados blow the first puff out through the cigar in order to avoid unsavory flavors such as sulfur from matches or gasses from lighters. No one, of course, should ever apply more than one outward puff

Relight, or not to Relight
Some purists think that it's shameful to ever have to relight a cigar. Realistically, even the best cigars will go out on those occasions when the conversation becomes so absorbing that you forget to take a puff for a couple of minutes. It's no worse to have to relight a cigar than it is to have to fish a bit of cork out of a fine glass of wine. It will generally take you less time to relight an already-warm cigar than it does to light one for the first time.

Wrapper Color
When it comes to a cigar's color, what you're dealing with is the color of the cigar's wrapper, the leaf on the outside of the cigar. There are three major ones oin the market. They are as follows:

Natural- Often called EMS, or English Market Selection. A light brown to brown color and typically shade grown. It has a pronounced flavor but typically Meduim and smooth.

Colorado- This wrapper is a brown to reddish-brown color and is also typically shade grown. It can often have a richer flavor than natural colored wrapper.

Maduro- From the Spanish meaning "ripe," this wrapper is more dark in color than natural or colorado because it stays on the plant longer. It normally has an oily look and feel and is somewhat stronger in flavor.

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