Cigars 101

Still More Cigar Questions – Answered (Part XIV)

We’ve Got Mail: Our Favorite Cigar Questions from Cigar Advisor Readers

With cigar season in full swing, the Advisor mailbag overfloweth: more readers, more cigar questions to answer, and (hopefully) getting more enjoyment from their smoke. That’s the goal, anyway – share tips and info that will help up your cigar game for premium satisfaction. You ask and we answer, no matter how trivial or titanic your cigar-related query.

Thirteen installments in the bag, and there’s still work to be done…these cigar questions all came from CA readers like you. So if you were wondering the same things, our answers on sharpening a cigar cutter or the whys of cigars in tubes will help you; if you’re looking to calm the turbulent waters between you and SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed – aka, your wife) over your ability to smoke cigars at home, we can at least offer some advice there as well. We’re also getting pretty good at pairing wine and cigars, and have some knowledge to tip about that as well. The best part? They’re all short n’ sweet video answers, designed for easy consumption – and demonstrations, where appropriate.

What are your cigar questions? Ask us, and we’ll try to answer ’em too. Try us first with a Facebook message, or tweet to us; one of the Advisors will either reply with the info or take it up here in our almost-monthly mail feature.

Cigar Question #1: Do cigar terms mean the same thing as wine terms?

I’m a wine drinker who started smoking cigars about two years ago, and I always pair them with a glass of wine, usually a good Spanish Rioja. The reason for my question is, I’ve noticed that many cigars have wine-like names like Crianza, Reserva, Grand Reserva, and Grand Cru. I know these terms have to do with how the wine is aged. Does the same apply to how the cigar tobaccos are aged?


Tom Napolitano in Cold Spring Harbor, NY

Yes, and no. Many cigar smokers, myself included, acknowledge a unique connection between wine and premium cigars. Cigar tobaccos, like wine grapes, are classified by their year of harvest, overall quality, color, and flavor. And like great winemakers, great cigar blenders know how to handle each harvest, including which tobaccos will offer the best flavor and aroma, and how long it will take to cure, ferment and age them. As to whether cigars are designated “Reserva,” “Grand Reserva,” or “Grand Cru” in the same way as wines, watch my answer.

~ Gary

Cigar Question #2: How do I get my wife to stop complaining about my cigar smoking?

The Cigar Advisor staff gets asked some great questions from you, the fans, but this most recent one is pretty much the mother of all doozies…Izzy from Staten Island, New York wants to know how to get his wife to stop hatin’ on him about his beloved pastime of cigar smoking. You know, I’m never going to pull any punches, so I gave it to the old boy straight and in yo’ face. Now let’s see how YOU feel about it…

~ Tommy Zman

Cigar Question #3: Why are cigars in tubes?

It’s probably one of those simple cigar questions that you might never thought to have asked – or, you don’t remember the answer, it was so long ago. That was the kind of question I got this time from Ed, a self-professed “cigar rookie” in Tyler, Texas: If the cigars that come in tubes are the same as the ones that come in boxes, why do cigar makers put cigars in tubes?

Yes, Ed, they are the same – it’s a mix of tradition and marketing (along with some added side benefits) that keep cigar makers selling cigars in tubes, as there are some inherent benefits to your en tubo cigar selection. I talk about them in this short video – as well as a couple quick tips for keeping cigars in tubes fresh, and ready to smoke.

~ Pullo


Cigar Question #4: How do I sharpen a cigar cutter?

This is one of those cigar questions that landed in our mail bag at just the right time, as I  wrote about this in our July 2016 cigar hacks article…Tino, who’s from New York, messaged me on Facebook wanting to know how to sharpen a cigar cutter. Great question, Tino – and I think I have just the fix: aluminum foil. Turns out you’re not actually sharpening your cutter, you’re lightly deburring it. But this tip, along with a good cleaning of the cutter’s blades, is a temporary solution to fixing a dull cigar cutter and may keep your cigar from burning poorly. It’s a little more difficult but relatively doable to do on cheapie cigar cutters – but this technique might just help you if your double blade guillotine isn’t cutting cigars like it used to.

~ Jonathan

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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