Random questions frequently asked by novice smokers and aspiring cigar connoisseurs
What's the proper way to cut my cigar?
I can't count the number of times that I have seen someone smoking a cigar, or holding a cut cigar with the intention of lighting it at some point, and the wrapper is unraveling and making a sheer mess of the cigar. I actually met a gentleman (more senior than me) at a cigar shop a few weeks ago, who has been an enthusiast for many years. He was about midway through his smoke and the wrapper near the head was unraveled - and despite all attempts to fix it by rolling the cigar in his mouth hoping that his saliva would super-glue the wrapper back to the binder, the cigar was ruined. I took the liberty to inform this gentleman that he simply cut the cigar improperly. And surprisingly he inquired as to what he did wrong, because he has been cutting his cigars the same way for years.
To permit the proper draw, you must employ the proper cut to the appropriate place without damaging the structure of the cigar. The primary goal is to remove enough wrapper leaf of the cap from the head of the cigar (see picture). The curved portion of the head is called the shoulder. The optimal cut will remove just a portion of the cap and leave most of the shoulder intact, which will continue to hold the wrapper intact as well. Cutting the head off completely, or cutting below the shoulder will ultimately destroy the cigar.
This rule of thumb applies no matter what type of cutting tool is used; however this is best done using a guillotine or scissor cutter.