Cigar Cases: Traditional and Modern Styles Featuring Andre Garcia

Cigar Cases: Traditional and Modern Styles Featuring Andre Garcia

Each cigar is a story. We learn the details of the tale as we smoke, but when selecting a case we are the writers of the story. We pick a case that reflects us and through its use, people discover more about us. Are you modern, traditional, or a little bit of both?

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Cigar Accessories: Humidor ( Part Five )

Cigar Accessories: Humidor ( Part Five )

A humidor is a wonderful gift any cigar smoker can appreciate. Having “too much storage” is hardly a problem, and you’ll quickly find that a humidor will fill up faster than you may think. Keeping our cigars at their optimal smoking condition is critical to the smoking experience. There are endless styles of humidors available; the important factor to focus on here is the proper storage of our cigars. Style, of course, is a lovely bonus.

The humidity our cigars are stored in is very important. You want a secured seal to keep and maintain the proper humidity. An easy check for any suspected leaks is to place a small flashlight in the humidor, close the humidor, then turn off the lights in the room to see if any light is escaping.

There are many options for humidification from distilled water, propylene glycol solution, crystals, and packs. I recommend going to your local cigar shop to see what your tobacconist keeps in stock and what replacement system will work best for you. The ideal number we all here is “70/70″ for temperature and humidity of our cigars. Don’t worry too much about an exact number- as long as your cigars feel and smoke fine then chances are they are fine. I personally like to keep mine stored just a bit below at 65 as I find that works best for me. You don’t want your cigars too dry as they will fall apart and all those natural oils will be lost, nor do you want the cigars to be too humid as they will not burn properly.

Most humidors will come with a hygrometer, most commonly an analog hygrometer. It has been my experience that through shipping and time, these analog hygrometers can be a little off. You can do a salt test at home to check the accuracy of your hygrometers reading or simply take it to a cigar shop where you know the cigars are kept at an ideal and controlled environment. Most tobacconists will be happy to keep your hygrometer for a day or so and calibrate it for you. With an adjustable analog hygrometer this is easy. If there is no way of adjusting it then you’ll have to make a note of the difference in reading. Another option is to invest in a digital hygrometer for a more accurate reading.

desktop-cigar-humidor

cigar-humidor-hygrometer

Remember, a humidor is more than just style. It’s about maintaining the perfect condition of your cigars. Find a system that works best for you. Most are quite simple and don’t take too much effort on your part. It’s a small step to invest in your cigar purchases and gifts. There’s nothing worse than being given an absolutely wonderful and special cigar to be smoked on a special date, only to be discovered months later that without any humidification it is hard as a rock and tearing apart at the touch. Take care of your cigars and they will reward you with the best of smoking experiences.

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Cigar Accessories: V-Cut Cigar Cutter ( Part Four )

Cigar Accessories: V-Cut Cigar Cutter ( Part Four )

I had forgotten how much I enjoy a v-cut cigar until the release of this well designed v-cutter was presented from Xikar. Previous v-cutters would wear quickly in my experience. The blade would get dull and start tearing the tobacco, if not the entire cap of the cigar, apart. I had almost completely written off the v-cut for that reason alone.

What’s different here is an inverted blade that remains sharp and strong. The cutter is remarkably sturdy and even has an added design as a cigar holder (love it). The cut feels like air- there is no resistance which means no tearing apart your tobacco. This is especially beneficial when cutting torpedos as you need a very precise and clean cut. I’ve had absolutely no issues with this cutter and it performs the same today as when I first used it many months ago.

Smoking cigars with a v-cut again is like reminiscing with an old friend. What I enjoy about this particular style of cut is that it gives you a direct draw while maintaining plenty of the wrapper. The wrapper is such an important part of the smoking experience for me which is why I prefer smaller cuts whenever possible. Even when I use my scissors to cut I don’t open them all the way- I use them as something between a punch and a v-cut trying to make as delicate as a cut as I can. Of course now with this v-cut it makes life a lot simpler and direct. It’s also fun to change up the overall experience.

It’s interesting just how much the cut of a cigar can impact how you taste your cigar. It’s for that reason that I don’t like to limit myself to one style of cut. I may have preferences for certain cigars, but changing it up from time to time is a great reminder of how all the elements come together in the smoking experience. Every detail counts from proper humidification, lighting, cutting, and of course the time we spend smoking the cigar. If you haven’t had a v-cut cigar I would highly recommend it. Consider bringing it into your rotation of cigar cutters to enhance your cigar smoking ventures.

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Cigar Accessories: Lighters ( Part Three )

Cigar Accessories: Lighters ( Part Three )

If there is one accessory a cigar smoker can never have too many of, it’s a proper cigar lighter!

The source of fire we light our cigars with is crucial to the cigar smoking experience. A tainted flame will completely take over and ruin the best cigar. The fire sources we use in lighting our cigars is something we take very seriously and rightly so. We are also dependent on tools to accomplish this. Whereas with cutting, in a true act of desperation we can use our nails or teeth if we have nothing else, but the creation of a flame requires assistance.

Butane and matches. Our flame must be fueled by an odorless source. Lighter fluid will takeover the flavor nuances of a cigar and we must also be cautious of matches with a sulfur tip, being patient to allow it to pass the sulfur before using it to light our cigars. With most matches this means very little time to light our cigar and involves the use of multiple matches.

Butane fueled lighters provide us a beautiful option in functionality and in style thanks to the many lighter choices available. The choice now becomes one of flame style since we can relax knowing our cigars will have a clean flame. Soft flame, single torch, or multiple torches- we have many options presented in beautiful styles. You can find a lighter to match your personality and preferences and make each cigar smoking experience a perfect one.

We all have different preferences and tastes, so the best lighter will be different for each of us. I know I personally like to keep about three lighters in my purse at all times. I like having the option of different flame styles to choose from depending on the cigar I am smoking, and I also like to have a backup for when I forget to refill my lighter (it happens!) – I’m always prepared.

For me, style is a characteristic I adore involving in my hobbies. Cigars are of course no exception. I collect and use everything I own. That’s my mentality- rare cigars and lighters are meant to be enjoyed! I will use a lighter for as long as the lighter allows me. I like collecting them in as many colors and designs in my flame styling of choice (soft flame and single to double torch for me) and especially love matching them to my other accessories or my outfits. Xikar is a personal favorite of mine because of the many options they have! They also have a lifetime warranty which means your investment is secure.

I’ve had this pink lighter for years and adore it. It’s one of my favorites. I have a nail polish that matches it exactly and have now discovered that one of my new dresses (this one is from David Peck Collection) matches it exactly! It makes me feel like my favorite lighter is brand new again, ha.

Maybe you’re not matching your lighters with your dress, but the options for style are endless. From colors and designs to a lighter branded with your favorite cigar brand. What’s your favorite way to bring style into your cigars?

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Cigar Accessories: Cedar Spills ( Part Two )

Cigar Accessories: Cedar Spills ( Part Two )

Cigars are a luxury on their own, and when we look to expand on that luxury we must focus on the experience itself. The lighting ritual is a significant part of the smoking experience. It sets the tone. We must not only use the proper source of flame, but we must also take our time.

The use of cedar spills brings back an old tradition and reminds us each time we light up a cigar just what a treat that cigar truly is. It enhances the experience and reminds us to focus on the details.

The spills you see here are from Commonwealth Cedar Spills. Once lit, the flame makes its way slowly down the spill allowing for a slow controlled soft flame to light your cigar. The idea is to take your time and embrace a lighting style from history. You still want to use a proper source when lighting the spill (this means no lighter fluid or sulfur tip match). This is a very elegant way to light your cigar and enhance the entire smoking experience.

A cedar spill may not be something that is practical for every cigar, especially if you smoke often and are out and about. But for those moments where you want to treat yourself to something a little different, lighting your cigar with a cedar spill makes what may be an otherwise ordinary smoking experience into a special occasion.

I think these are especially a great gift idea for the “cigar smoker who has everything” to show your understood appreciation of their hobby. It’s also a fun treat to present your guests with this unique experience when you offer cigars at home. It offers a great lesson and reminder in taking our time to gently toast and light our cigars to both the seasoned cigar smoker and new aficionado alike.

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Cigar Accessories: Travel ( Part One )

Cigar Accessories: Travel ( Part One )

When we are traveling, often it isn’t just our cigars we are carrying with us. One of the things I like about this cigar briefcase from Andre Garcia, beyond the absolute luxury, is that it doesn’t look like a cigar traveling case. In fact, you can use it to carry just about anything.

Its versatility allows you to combine the security and humidification of your cigars along with the rest of the things in your life. Have contracts, your electronics, perhaps a bottle of whisky, and your cigars so that you are truly prepared for the day. When I go to events, often afterwards I either run into friends or create new ones and we all discuss how lovely it would be to continue the conversation with a cigar and after dinner drink. Depending on the hour, cigar shops nearby may be closed or too far for a quick visit. With a bag like this I can have cigars ready to share.

I like the small cases that hold about three cigars, too. However it is best for planned smaller gatherings and is much more personal. When I am at an event with friends, three isn’t enough and I’ve broken many a purse trying to hold multiple cases. I’m not kidding.

This is a briefcase I can carry my laptop or tablet in along with my cigars. I can go to a meeting, run errands, and be able to arrive to an event prepared. Bringing style into my cigar lifestyle matches my personality well, and this luxurious briefcase fits the role perfectly.

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