As any cigar aficionado will tell you, cigars are a hobby, not a habit. And like any hobby, knowledge is passed down from expert to novice.
We spoke with Michael Herklots, vice president for retail and brand development for the Nat Sherman cigar brand, and asked him what true cigar connoisseurs avoid while smoking.
Whether you're a beginner or an expert, keep reading to see the seven worst mistakes that you can make while lighting up.
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Mistake #1: Expecting two cigars to smoke the same.
Premium cigars are handmade products created from agricultural crops. Since so much variation can occur — from the blends and types of tobacco used to the manufacturing process — it's next to impossible to predict how a cigar will smoke with 100% certainty, according to Herklots.
Real cigar aficionados know this and embrace these small variations. You should, too.
Mistake #2: Thinking that cigar flavors change from year to year, like wines.
Cigars are a nonvintage industry, which means cigar manufacturers try to ensure their cigar offerings taste the same from year to year — that the blend maintains the same taste, while accounting for natural variation.
Over time, the taste of the cigar model will change, but very slowly. According to Herklots, the difference is negligible in the short term.
Mistake #3: Holding the cigar in your mouth.
A cigar isn't something to "clench between your teeth and cheek and suck on," Herklots says. It should be held in your hand and brought up to your mouth to puff, then brought back down to hang between your fingers.
This also helps the cigar burn cooler, so you don't waste any precious tobacco.
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