As many fellow cigar aficionados will know, there’s no better feeling than sitting down after a long day, lighting up your favourite cigar and relaxing. However, this blissful moment can be ruined by a bitter tasting cigar. In the wrong circumstances, even the best cigars can produce very bitter smoke.
Here are some of the causes of bitter tasting cigars, and what you can be doing to prevent a nasty flavour ruining your moment to relax.
Lighting the Cigar
Using the right flame to light your cigar is an essential part of the overall cigar smoking experience. It is always best to use a cigar torch lighter or sulphur-free wooden matches.
Now that you’ve got the right equipment, you’re ready to light the cigar. To do this properly, you’ll want to keep the cigar above and near the flame, but you don’t want them to touch, you’ll also want to keep rotating the cigar so all parts of the tip are being equally lit. Slow and steady wins the race here, keep going until there is a glowing ring all the way around the tip of the cigar. Once it is glowing, gently blow on the embers to create completely rounded ash.
Wet Cigar Head
Getting the head of the cigar too wet can, unfortunately, result in bitterness coming through. The cigar head often gets too wet from people simply leaving the cigar in their mouth too long, or just not making a conscious effort to keep it reasonably dry.
Making sure that your cigars are being correctly humidified in order to prevent them from drying out is essential to prevent bitterness – but they can become over humidified, you need to find the right balance. Check the humidity on your cigar humidor, you should be aiming for between 62-70%.
One Puff Per Minute
Smoking your cigar too quickly can result in the taste being bitter. A generally good rule to follow is to make sure that you’re only puffing on your cigar once every minute. Frequent puffing can cause the cigar to become too hot which can cause the cigar to taste bitter. Why not give our 5 Tips for a New Cigar Smoker blog a read to brush up on your technique?
Another method to employ when smoking a cigar is to purge the cigar every now and again, perhaps every five to ten minutes. A purge is when you simply put the cigar in your mouth and blow air out and through the cigar. This removes any tar or ammonia that has built up from lighting the cigar.
With these tips, you’ll be smoking beautifully tasting cigars all the time, with no nasty bitter surprises.