Know your Corona from your Churchill
Cigars have always been synonymous with manliness, who doesn’t want to look at cool as Jack Nicholson nonchalantly laughing and puffing away on a cigar?
However, most people when asked haven’t got a clue about cigars, apart from the fact that cut off the end and light them. So, here is our crash course.
There are many cigars options out there from all over the world and it can be difficult to decide between them. The best way to choose your perfect cigar is to experiment. Dubai has a number of excellent cigar lounges.
Bar 44 in Grosvenor House is complete with deep leather chairs and a live pianist. Sample one of the more prestigious cigars in the world the Cohiba Behik, from the cigar capital of Cuba. There are only a limited number of them available. Produced in limited quantities using the rare Medio Tiempo leaf, they will indulge your senses.
La Casa Del Habano is one of the most renowned Cuban cigar franchises globally, and Dubai is lucky enough to have a branch located on JBR. With more than 1,000 cigars on offer to try, this is a fantastic location to sample a taste of Havana in the Middle East.
The aptly named Cigar Bar, located at the Fairmont Hotel is well-respected. This haven for the cigar elite comes complete with a walk-in humidor, rich mahogany finish and in-house cigar sommelier. If you do get a taste for cigars, then it could be possible to have you own private cigar locker. In Dubai, there is always something to aspire to.
How to cut a cigar
If you truly want to look like a cigar expert then how you cut the cigar is the real test. There are several methods for cutting a cigar.
The most popular is a simple straight cut with a guillotine cutter. Place the head (top of the cigar) in your mouth; close one eye to carefully line up the cigar. In one swift and confident motion clip the foot (end) of the cigar. Remember it is better to cut too little than too much, you can always try to cut more later.
Another method is the cigar punch; this basically punches a hole in the head of the cigar. You can buy a simple bullet punch and place it on your key chain, so everyone can see what an expert you are. Or a multi hole punch to allow for different hole sizes and smoking experiences. You place the blade into the head of the cigar and twist to remove a small circle.
How to light and smoke a cigar
It is important to remember that unlike cigarettes cigar smoking is a refined art. Like with a well-aged single malt whisky you don’t drown it in coke or water. When lighting a cigar you hold the flame close to the foot, slowly toasting it, blow on the end to see which parts are not lit and then continue toasting.
Before smoking please avoid rolling the cigar between your fingers to ‘listen to it’, this only loosens the leaves and will obstruct the smooth flow of air and smoke. Plus it doesn’t look cool.
Do not inhale your cigar smoke! I repeat…do not inhale your cigar smoke!
You slowly and dapperly puff a cigar, hold the smoke in your mouth momentarily and elegantly exhale. If you need some inspiration then watch Clint Eastwood in The Good The Bad and the Ugly, or Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in the X-Men films. If you are going to emulate someone there are worse role models!
How to talk like a cigar expert
We know it shouldn’t matter, but knowing some of the cigar vernacular does go a long way to adding to the image. Here are a few words for you to drop into the conversation at your next cigar session:
Stogie: this is a long, thin cheap cigar. Please refrain to referring to cigars as stogies. You may offend!
Cigarillo: If a cigar is a bit much for you then first try a cigarillo or mini cigar.
Perfecto: the name for the classic shaped cigar, straight with a tapered end.
Corona: This is the standard size of all cigars, 6 inches long with a gauge of between 42 to 43.
Churchill: this is a larger Corona around 7 inches long, of course, named after the cigar-smoking man himself.
Figuardo: A cigar that has been shaped: torpedo, bullet or belicoso.
A humidor: a wooden temperature controlled box to store your cigars so they do not dry out.
Finish: the taste of the cigar left on the tongue after smoking.
With a little bit of knowledge and some new expressions in your back pocket it should be easier to saunter into any number of Dubai’s fine cigar rooms.
Check back in with us for more in-depth blogs about the world of cigars.
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