Cigars 101


Reading Time: 3 minutes

Aaah, September…football is back, the leaves are beginning to change color, the nights are getting cooler, and it’s time to light-up the fire pits for enjoying your favorite cigars. Sitting before the fire, you take a moment to ponder that lovely premium you’re holding and suddenly a question about it arises. That’s where your friendly neighborhood Cigar Advisors come in. And this month, we’ve chosen three more great cigar questions to answer on video.

Paul explains the advantages of bleeding your cigar lighter and why you should do it. Gary explains where that “earthiness” flavor in your cigars comes from. And Jared takes on how long premium cigars will stay fresh without a humidor.

Have a question you’d like the Cigar Advisors to answer? Ask us in the comments section at the end of the article or drop us a line in any of our social media channels!


Cigar Question 1: What makes a cigar ‘earthy’ in flavor?

By Gary Korb

It’s always said that the flavors we sense in a cigar’s profile are subjective – but there are a few most cigar smokers can agree on, and one of them is “earth.” Like spice, sweetness and nuttiness, earth is a fairly easy-to-recognize flavor in cigars. And it could come in many forms: fresh, dry, dusty, damp or more. Cal in Indiana wanted to know if there’s something in the blend that contributes to a cigar’s earthy profile – and if you’ve ever wondered about this, too, see Gary’s answer.

Cigar Question 2: What’s the best way to refill a lighter?

By Paul Lukens

There are few things I hate more than sitting down to enjoy a cigar and finding my jet lighter is empty. And that brings me to our question from Joe in White Plains who asks if there is a best way to refill a cigar torch lighter?

The first thing is to resist the urge to do a ‘quickie’ fill—like skipping a few steps to save time. Rather, follow this tried-and-true method for the best results.

  • Gather your tools: lighter, good quality butane—not the gas station stuff. You’ll want refined butane. And you’ll need a tool to bleed the tank—I use either a small screwdriver or a straightened paper clip. Sometimes cigar accessories include a bleeding tool.
  • Bleed your lighter: You want to release the pressure in the fuel tank by pressing on the fuel valve located on the bottom of the lighter. Use whatever tool you have handy—I’m using a straightened paper clip. Press the valve until you don’t hear any more hissing.
  • Refill – Turn the flame adjustment to the lighter’s lowest setting. Turn the lighter upside down and the butane can upside down. Now, I press down for about 5 seconds or until the fuel spills out—whichever comes first. After filling you’ll notice that the can and the lighter will be very cold.
  • Wait until the lighter warms up a bit. Give it about 30 seconds.
  • Adjust flame to the height you prefer. I don’t recommend opening it all the way as that can spout large flames and waste fuel. I like to start at halfway and adjust it up or down from there.

Watch how Paul refills an empty lighter:


Cigar Question 3: How long can a cigar stay outside the humidor? (Part 2)

By Jared Gulick

Colin from Kipnuk, Alaska writes, “How long can my cigars stay fresh outside of a humidor? Will they go bad?” It’s a question we see all the time and have answered before – even right here on Cigar Advisor Fan Mail. But there are some aspects to the question we haven’t covered yet, so it’s finally getting a well-deserved Part 2 (see Part 1). The answer depends on the kind of cigar you’re smoking, where you live, and what season you’re in. Check the video for all the details.

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Cigar Advisor Staff

Cigar Advisor Staff


The Cigar Advisor Staff is comprised of three good-humored, yet dangerously unpredictable writers who share over 60 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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