Now that your cigar is properly lit, it’s time to relax and enjoy it. But are you doing everything you can do to get the perfect puff out of each and every one of your cigars?
No matter if that answer is yes, no, or maybe so, this blog will teach you everything you need to know about getting the perfect puff so you’ll never struggle with another cigar again.
First things first...
Know the golden rule of cigars: do not inhale. We repeat, do not inhale.
When trying to get the perfect puff, all you’ll want to do is lightly draw your cigar’s smoke in, whirl it around in your mouth so you can experience the cigar’s full flavor, and then set it free from your mouth.
However, if you are looking to optimize your cigar experience, there is one trick that true aficionados have learned to get the most flavor.
This practice is known as retrohaling. While retrohaling isn’t something we’d recommend for everyone, particularly some cigar beginners, it could enhance your cigar’s flavor nuances.
What is retrohaling a cigar?
Short and simple, retrohaling is when you bring the cigar’s smoke into your mouth before releasing some of it through your nose.
Why release through your nose? Well, not only is your nose responsible for your sense of smell, but it also plays a great deal in your sense of taste, and brings the cigar’s true aroma into the equation.
How to retrohale your cigar
It might seem tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, retrohaling will come second nature to you.
Follow these simple steps and you should be retrohaling in no-time:
- First step, puff your cigar like normal.
- When the smoke’s in your mouth, use the air in your lungs to push some of it into your nasal passage.
- Then, release a subtle and slow breath exhaling out of your nose.
Do keep in mind, this may take a bit of practice, and it may be a bit touch and go at first, but once you master it your tastes are going to evolve. Heck, you may even begin to enjoy cigars you never enjoyed in your past.
How to puff your cigar like a pro
Get a rhythm.
Rotate your cigar every 30 to 60 seconds while puffing so it won’t go out.
Maximum enjoyment is all about the right speed on your puffs. Smoke your cigar too fast and it will burn too hot, which will hurt the flavor of your cigar. Smoke your cigar too slow and it will not stay lit.
Find your middle-ground.
Keep it dry.
Believe it or not, some of the most highly acclaimed cigar aficionados consider the ability to keep a cigar tucked between their lips as a sign of might.
However, as “mighty” as that may seem, remember that the process of smoking can produce ample amounts of saliva which can lead to the dampening of your cigar. This will completely destroy your air flow and minimize the cigar’s flavor. So, enjoy your cigar and the experience, but don’t slobber all over it.
Pay attention to your ash.
While you’re puffing on your cigar, make sure to allow the ash to do its thing. Keep in mind, a well constructed cigar normally attains about an inch of ash.
Don’t feel like you have to ash your cigar like one would a cigarette. Leave it for as long as you can. Your cigar’s ash actually serves as a temperature regulator, minimizing contact between the air and the lit tobacco, thus keeping it cooler.
If you’re interested in learning more about cigar ash, check out our Mastering Cigar Ash blog.
Remember, the perfect puff is all about enjoyment
Drawing on a cigar is a fine art and takes a little practice, but once you get it down, the smoking experience gets better and better with every puff. With a little effort, you will soon be smoking as smoothly as a seasoned cigar aficionado!
If you have any more perfect puff tips for us, let us know in the comments!