A man at Chaloner's Cigar House in Adrian, MI showing how to smoke a cigar properly

To an outsider, cigars may seem simple to buy and enjoy. But those with experience know the complexities surrounding cigar choice, flavors and even how to smoke them. You might not realize it, but there’s a right way and a wrong way when it comes to how to smoke a cigar. 

If you’re just getting started on your journey into the world of cigars, read on to learn tips that will make you look like an expert from the first draw. 

Smoking Your First Cigar 

Choosing Your First Cigar 

It’s easy to be intimidated by the range of appearances, names and flavors to be found when choosing your first cigar. Don’t worry – especially here at Chaloner’s Cigar House, we’re experts at helping you find the perfect match! 

Every person’s taste will be different, but there’s plenty of time to explore and refine your selections until you discover the cigar that’s ideal for you. Right now, the trick is to just get started with one that’s smooth and not too big. If you can’t decide, just ask for help! Like our own cigar house, every cigar has a rich history or story that we’re excited to share with you! 

The Packaging 

Cigars are wrapped uniquely for each brand and depending on how they’re stored or sold. They can be kept safe in anything from cellophane to paper or cedar sleeves. 

The big worry is the band – this is the part of the cigar that typically advertises the brand. You may be tempted to remove it immediately, but that’s not always the best idea. These bands are attached with a unique type of gum. In some cases, the adhesive gum can pull the cigar’s wrapper away with it when you remove it. 

A man holding a cigar at Chaloner's Cigar House in Adrian, MI

One of the first tips for those learning how to smoke a cigar is to wait until you’ve smoked your cigar for a few minutes before removing the band. The heat will loosen the adhesive enough to make it safer to remove the band without risking damage to your wrapper. 

Cutting a Your Cigar 

There are several ways to cut your first cigar. For beginners, your best bet is to start with a cigar cutter. Because they’re designed for cutting cigars, they’re less likely to tear the wrapper or cut unevenly. 

Place your cigar in the cutter and gently bring the blade into contact with the cigar. This prevents small movements that might leave your cut too far in or too far out. In a swift, confident motion, slice the cigar. A quick cut is key to avoid tearing the wrapper!  

Lighting a Cigar 

Did you know that your lighter could make your first few draws taste different? Depending on the lighter fluid or butane used, you may notice a different taste! Some cigar experts swear by a brand of lighter or prefer matches. You’ll come to learn your own preferences through experience! 

Lighting a cigar isn’t the same as lighting a cigarette. Take your time and rotate the flame around the cigar, gently puffing on the cigar when it begins to burn. Pay close attention to the burn – it should be equally across the whole foot of the cigar to ensure an even burn. 

Do You Inhale the Cigar?  

The number one question from those learning how to smoke a cigar: do you inhale? If you smoke cigarettes, you’re used to inhaling. It may even be muscle memory by now. But cigars don’t necessitate inhaling – in fact, many people consider it bad form to inhale. 

Flavors and tobacco from a cigar are much stronger than other types of smoking. You don’t need to inhale to get the most out of your cigar. In fact, inhaling the strong tobacco is likely to make you cough! 

Take your time, gently puff on the cigar and let the smoke roll through your mouth. After a few seconds, you can exhale through your mouth or do what’s known as “retrohaling.” This is when you close your mouth, open your throat, and let the pressure from your lungs naturally push the smoke through your nose. 

Retrohaling is one technique that changes how you appreciate the flavor of the cigar. It’s not for everyone; you may even find certain brands of cigars that you prefer regular exhaling or retrohaling for. Again, the more you experiment with different brands and types, the better! 

Choosing a cigar at Chaloner's Cigar House in Adrian, Michigan

Cigar Recommendations for Beginners 

Our cigar menu is brimming with incredible choices, but here are a few recommendations to help make your first visit a memorable one! 

Macanudo Cafe 

Few cigars are as easy to find anywhere you travel as the Macanudo Cafe. Its mild flavor of coffee, cinnamon and nutmeg make it a great introductory cigar for upcoming connoisseurs. 

Le Careme by Crowned Heads 

If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, you may be delighted to try a Le Careme. These Dominican Republic-based cigars radiate sweet hints of chocolate, toffee, caramel and spice. Affordable and sized appropriately for beginners, they’re an excellent first step. 

Warped Futuro 

The Futuro is sized comfortably in the middle of your average cigar sizes and features an authentic Nicaraguan tobacco. Its unique blend of pepper, cedar and earthy flavors make it a quick favorite for new or experienced cigar aficionados alike.  

Visit Chaloner’s 

Walk-ins are welcome! Come visit our dime store and Cigar House, located on West Maumee in downtown Adrian. We’re open every day, including weekends. If you’d like more information, please visit our website  
http://www.chalonerscigarhouse.com, stop into our store, or contact us: 

108 W Maumee St. Adrian, MI 49221

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