Cigars 101

Can "dry drawing" on your cigars lead to bitterness?

Gary KorbOne of the more familiar elements of smoking cigars is that some tend to taste bitter in the late innings. Bitterness can be caused by any number of factors. It could be the blend itself, or it can come from drawing too hard or too often on your cigar while smoking. The latter tends to draw the tars up the length of the cigar, which can lead to bitterness. So, as I've noted in previous posts, take it easy when you draw, and let your cigar rest for a minute or so between puffs.

Another thing that often happens when you're smoking cigars is they will go out on you. Speaking for myself, even when my cigar goes out, perhaps just out of habit, I tend to pick it up and draw on it. Moreover, those first few draws are usually a bit harder just to see if there's any live smoke still in there. After that, I tend to let it sit in my mouth until I realize nothing's happening, and at that point I put it in the saddle of the ashtray until I'm ready to relight. For lack of a better term, I'll refer to this as "dry drawing" a cigar that's already been lit, as opposed to "cold drawing" or pre-drawing on a fresh, unlit cigar.

When I relight, sometimes I find that the cigar tastes bitter, even if it went out in the first inch. My theory is, by pacifying on a cigar after it's gone out, you could be drawing tars into the core. One solution may be to cut the cigar far enough behind the ash to expose fresh tobacco. But to be perfectly honest, sometimes I just don't feel like shortening the cigar, or I'm just too lazy to bother and I'll take my chances.

So, for those of you who also do this, I'll put the question to you. Would you agree that sucking on your cigars between relights has a negative effect on their flavor? Please let me know by leaving a comment.

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

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