Cigars 101

Even More Cigar Questions – Answered (Part XIII)

CA Readers Asked Us 4 More Cigar Questions – We Answered…With Video!

As we get into the high season for cigar enjoyment, more and more of our readers are wondering: how can I get more satisfaction from my cigar? And with that, begins the stuffing of cigar questions into the Cigar Advisor e-mailbag.

As we have over the past twelve installments, we’ve hand-picked some interesting and important queries from CA fans who are in a bit of a quandary, for one reason or another. This time, someone asked about the proper stacking and storage of cigars; someone else wanted to know how to decipher those pesky cigar reviewer notes. Another wanted some tips on lighting cigars, while one guy – like many new cigar smokers – simply wanted to know more about how the tobaccos work together to create that smoky bliss. No matter how far and/or deep you are into your cigar journey, we figured you might benefit from the answers to their cigar questions, too – which is why we put them into video form to share with the community. There are no dumb questions, nor are any of them too simple…it’s just the way this hobby has worked for years: if you want to speak the language of the good cigar, you ask the right questions.

Do you have cigar questions? We’ll try to answer ’em too. Hit us up on the Twitter or drop us a Facebook message, and we’ll either reply with the info or take it up here in our relatively-monthly mail bag feature. Or check out these 4 short videos, as we may already have the answers you’re looking for


Cigar Question #1: What is the purpose of cigar binder tobacco?

With three components to a cigar, it’s a little odd that we only focus on the wrapper and filler tobaccos, while we completely ignore the binder when we’re deciding on which tasty treat to buy next. At least, that’s one of the cigar questions that was running through the head of one Cigar Advisor reader named Tyron, from Baltimore. I decided to take Tyron’s question to task and spill the beans on what makes the binder of a cigar so important. Is it flavor output? What about burn quality? The answers to all this and more lie ahead, when you watch my video now…

~ Jonathan Detore

Cigar Question #2: How do I properly stack cigars in a humidor?

I just bought my first cigar humidor. I seasoned it according to your directions and I’m ready to put in the cigars – about 2 boxes worth. Is there any particular way you’re supposed to stack them?

Thanks for the help.

– Barry Gordon in Santa Barbara, CA

There’s nothing more beautiful than a nicely stacked humidor; especially if it’s stacked with a full complement of your favorite cigars. There aren’t any strict rules for stacking cigars, but there is one way to do it that will ensure your smokes get the best possible airflow during their limited lifespan. To see my answer, click on the video.

~ Gary Korb

Cigar Question #3: Why do cigar reviewers talk about pre-light draw, and what do they mean?

While we editors get asked a lot of good questions, every once in a while a great one comes along, like this little gem from Marcos in Tampa. He wants to know why cigar reviewers talk about the pre-light draw of a cigar and better yet, why should anyone care? So, I called upon the great guru master blender, Jose Blanco, to shed some light on this excellent inquiry… and his answer is most awesome, as expected!

~ Tommy Zman

Cigar Question #4: How much flame is necessary to light a cigar?

For this round of cigar questions and answers, I fielded this one from James Lalumondier‎ of Columbia, SC, who wrote to us on Facebook:

“I see so many photos and profile pics of people with a giant flame lighting a cigar. I guess they don’t care about the smoke they are about to have or the money they spent on the stick. What do y’all think?”

I think….James has a very good point. Not only is this not discussed enough when lighting a cigar, he understands that it’s possible to “overlight” a cigar. It actually doesn’t take very much to get a cigar started – and hitting your smoke with a ton of torch flame is probably doing that stick more harm than good. Watch this video, and you’ll understand why it’s the heat – not the flame – that we’re after when lighting cigars.

~ John Pullo

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Cindy Mannino D'Ascheberg
Cindy Mannino D'Ascheberg


Cigar Advisor Staff

Cigar Advisor Staff

The Cigar Advisor Staff is comprised of three good-humored, yet dangerously unpredictable writers who share over 75 years of premium cigar smoking experience. Traversing the tobacco landscape like smoke-shrouded Avengers, they wander (mostly because the fat one ate the map) in search of new leaf adventures armed with nothing but torch lighters and runcible spoons as their weapons. Each is equally knowledgeable on the matters and pursuits of the cigar lifestyle, with his own unique and capricious insights on various luxury, sports, automobiles and entertainment affairs - all served with good counsel for your reading pleasure.

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