Figuring out a Figurado

Q. Smoked an Onyx Belicoso No.2 (7″ x 52) last night. Problem: hard to draw. Is that normal or does it mean it’s not mature yet? Also, how much do you clip off the end of torpedos & Belicosos (pointed end cigars)? [I find it] hard to draw on them. Is a slow draw natural? And one more question: When clipping a cigar, if the wrapper cracks, does that mean its old & dry? Thanks, Steven Newburgh.

A. Plugging has more to do with the rolling than the aging. Occasionally, even the best cigars get a stem or large vein caught in the bunch. Sometimes you can relieve the pressure with a gentle squeezing of the cigar while also turning it between your thumb and forefinger. I’ve noticed, particularly with pyramids, that if you gently bite down on the head, the draw will sometimes loosen up dramatically. It’s usually in a certain spot that you’ll find as you rotate the cigar in your mouth. As far as clipping pyramids and torpedos, clip off at least 1/4 inch. If you cut off too little it may not draw well. Three-eights of an inch is about the max you need. Remember, you don’t want to remove the entire head, otherwise, you defeat the whole purpose of the shape.

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