you advocate smoking?
Yes. After all, this is a cigar and whisky club. In
case you wonder, we also advocate drinking alcohol. There
is one restriction, though:
If you smoke and drink, make sure you are smoking and
drinking only the best (Cigars and Whisky. Other
products, e.g. cigarettes, we do not endorse at all).
It's not the quantity, but the quality. On the other
hand, best of all is a large quantitly of high quality
Scotch and Cigars.
smoking dangerous to your health?
Yes. Especially if you are in a room full of militant
non-smokers. And smoking Cigars is even more so. Smoking
will definitely adversely affect your health, sex appeal,
and popularity. But if you were smoking to increase those
"values", you can justifyably be called an idiot by any
- Do you
Yes - we are not Bill C. But beware. Cigar smoke is
very potent, and most people, us included, inhale only
very, very sparingly, and only infrequently. Mostly, we
enjoy the taste of a good cigar (again, Bill C. didn't
know what he was doing) - not the searing sesation of it
going Rambo on our lungs.
do I correctly light a cigar?
First, make sure that you have correctly cut your
cigar (any cigar that does not need to be cut before
smoking also does not need to be smoked either. Use it
for annoying and/or ignorant guests). See
how to do so. Now, take a small kindling (we recommend a
chip of cedar wood) and light it's tip (using a match, or
lighter). When your kindling is burning nicely, take the
cigar and hold it's correct end into the upper third of
the flame. Slowly turn the cigar in the flame to ensure
that it burns evenly. Do not draw on the cigar while
lighting it! When you feel that the cigar is burning
adequately, take it out of the flame, and draw on it.
Repeat until it burns to your satisfaction. Again, do not
draw on the cigar while you light it!
A recent addition to the accepted tools of cigar
enlightment is the cigar torch, a derivative from the
common gas lighter. These lighters burn very hot, and
have a very precisely defined flame. Although some people
feel that using these to light a cigar is an engineered
solution to a cultural problem (which holds some truth),
it remains a fact that these lighters are helpful for
those people who do not value the smoke and danger of
freshly lit kindlings.
It is our unwavering oppinion, however, that any one
caught lighting a good cigar with a petrol lighter
("Zippo"), or candle should be shot on the spot. Fidel,
- How do I
correctly hold a cigar?
There is only one way: Hold the cigar with your
thumb, index, and middle finger. Any other way is
considered as vulgar. Especially any way that does not
involve any hands at all.
- How do I
correctly cut a cigar?
A good cigar must be cut ("opened") before it can be
smoked. If you have a factory pre-cut cigar, throw it
To cut a cigar, you need a special, dedicated tool. Using
your teeth is not an option. There are three major
implementations for this:
This is a special kind of scissors that must only be
used for cutting cigars. It's blades are shaped to
minimise tear. They work very well with all but the
biggest cigars. If you are lucky enough to have such a
device, keep it safe, and make sure that it is
- Circular blades
These come in many varieties and sizes. They are in
effect a hollow cylinder with a razor sharp tip. It is
our oppinion that these circular blades are best
suited to cut all cigars except Figurados.
There are other implements (usually of the Guillotine
variety) available. Most of them are cheap. Some even
cut a V-shaped opening (this is considered to be the
definite insult to your cigar). Even though the
occasional implementations may work well, we do not
recommend them, as they more often than not damage the
Before you cut the cigar, make sure
that it's end is sufficiently moist as to prevent
damaging it. In general terms you should try to create as
large an opening as possible. If you are using a scissor
type cutter, press it gently against the cigar and cut
slowly, but in one stroke. If you are using a circular
blade, press it against the cigar, and turn the blade -
never turn the cigar!
- When should
I drop the ash?
To put it simply: Never. A good cigar should burn
5-10cm before the ash falls off. You should, generally,
not drop the ash yourself, but let if drop off by itself.
However, some progressive households frown on cigar ash
on carpet, leather, or cloth (as do some insurance
companies). With respect to your host you should
therefore consider to actively drop the ash before it
falls off. Just remember that a cigar is not a cigarette,
and that constant, nervous trips of your hand to the
asher are a sure indication of your immaturity.
I remove the cigar's label? How and When?
First of all, you should always remove the cigar's
label when you smoke it. You smoke the cigar because you
like it, not so that every one can see what you
But removing the label can be tricky, because the glue
used can also stick to the cigar. We recommend the
following procedure: Light the cigar, and smoke it for a
few minutes. This will increase the cigar's temperature,
and the glue will become soft. After the cigar has become
sufficiently warm, you can, and should, remove the label
without damaging the cigar.
Cigars & Culture
should I do when someone asks me to put out my cigar?
That really depends on who is asking you. Generally
we recommend the following approach when asked by someone
1. Put out cigar - no matter how expensive or good. You
are a person of sophistication.
2. Never talk to the person again. He/She is not worth
another second of your attention.
If someone you don't know asks you (e.g. a stranger in a
restaurant whilst sitting in the smoking section), we
recommend that you simply smile politely and either
ignore the person, or smile, nod, and do nothing.
We also have an unapproved list of come-back lines
available for people who think that they can tough it
out. This list is available upon request. See
on how to contact us.
stored, does a cigar increase in quality over the
Although some people believe that this is a myth, it
is actually true. If stored correctly, a cigar becomes
better the longer you store it. We recommend that you
store your cigars for two years before you smoke them.
Note that this requires that they are stored in perfect
conditions - conditions that only top-of-the-line
Humidors can provide. Consider renting storage space at a
professional provider, as it is definitely worth the
there fake cigars, and how can I find out if mine is
Yes, there are fake cigars (i.e. cigars that bear a
certain producer's label while in effect they have been
made by someone else). It is also a big business, and the
chances are high that you have smoked a fake cigar - even
if you purchase all your cigars through official
channels. The sad fact is that cigars do vary wildly in
taste, and a good fake is difficult to distinguish from a
bad original - even to the afficiado. Some fakes are
easily recognized, but as the customers get smarter, so
do the crooks. The best chance to avoid fakes is to only
buy from official channels and importers with good
reputation. Never buy from a streets
- Why do you
only recommend Cuban cigars?
Because they are the only cigars to recommend. There
are some nice cigars made in the Domenican Republic (e.g.
Davidoff's "Double R"), but none of them remotely
approaches the exquisite taste of a true Cuban.
- What about
Cubans made in the U.S.?
It is a fortunate fact for the rest of the world that
import restrictions prohibit the import of cuban-made
cigars onto US-American soil. To satisfy US-domestic
demand, clever (and without doubt very able) craftsmen
create "Cuban-looking" and "Cuban-sounding" cigars (e.g.
"Cohiba Robusto"), made in America. They are, in effect,
fakes. Their taste is nowhere near a real cuban
- Do I
need a humidor to store my cigars?
Yes. Otherwise, your cigar would lose it's humidity
and becomes unsmokable witin 48 hours. But simply owning
a Humidor is not enough. You must regularly verify that
it has the correct humidity and (to a lesser extend)
Good Humidors (i.e. the only kind that you should buy)
are made from wood, with it's inerior made from cedar
wood. They hold at least 200 cigars. There is no
substitute for wood. None. Trust us on that one. If you
cannot afford a wooden Humidor, you should consider
buying your cigar from a trusted Merchant/Restaurant
shortly before you intend to smoke it. But then again, if
you can't afford a humidor one should wonder what kind of
cigar you would be smoking.
long can a cigar survive in a humidor?
If your Humidor is kept at optimal Humidity/Temperature,
a cigar will not only hold indefinitely, but improve with
is this white stuff on my cigar? Has it gone bad?
Sometimes, after some period of storage under
near-optimal conditions, a cigar may exhibit a soft
coating of a fluffy white substance that may appear, to
the untrained eye, to be some kind of fungus. It is not.
A cigar is made from the leaves of the tobacco plant. The
white stuff is starch, and deposited on the cigar's
outside while the leaves continue their slow process of
fermentation. This process improves the taste
dramatically. Therefore, a knowledgeable cigar afficiado
will always choose such a cigar over a clean one because
s/he knows that this cigar was stored under perfect
conditions. Simply use a small brush to remove the
startch before lighting it.
If, on the other hand, the coating appears to be green or
black, you should immediately throw away the cigar,
everything else in the Humidor, and possibly even the
Humidor itself. This cigar is infested with
Tobacco-eating fungus, and very probably all your other
cigars are as well. Remember that Tobacco is a highly
toxic plant, and that any fungus surviving on Tobacco
will be difficult to remove.
Also, because fungus reproduces by spores, it is almost
impossible to get all of them out of your Humidor.
Destroying the Humidor and all of its contents is the
only sure way to rid yourself of that fungus.