Your choice of cigar accessories should never be just an afterthought. The best cigars deserve the best cigar accessories so they can deliver the best smoking experience. You don’t need to go overboard but you should be prepared to invest in a few well-chosen cigar accessories. Here are some tips to help.
A humidor is, quite simply, a must-have. Premium cigars need to be stored at the right temperature and humidity to retain their flavour. This means that, ideally, they should stay in a humidor right up to the moment they are smoked. That’s why humidors come in a variety of sizes. There are larger ones for homes (of all sizes) and smaller ones for on the go.
Biting the end off a cigar may look good on TV. In the real world, however, it’s the last way you want to uncap any halfway decent cigar. Cutting the end off is only slightly behind. In either case, you’re practically guaranteed to be left with a jagged edge. That will lead to an uneven burn and hence a poorer smoking experience.
You can avoid this by investing in at least one cigar cutter. It’s even better if you can have three or four cigar cutters with different cutting styles. The main types of cigar cutters are the straight cut, the wedge (or V) cut, and the hole punch. The “Shuriken” or multiple-slit cut is a modern innovation and is definitely worth trying to see if it works for you.
Similarly, once you’ve cut your cigar cleanly, you want to light it so that it burns cleanly. The easiest way to do this is to use a proper cigar lighter. In fact, as with cigar cutters, it’s preferable to have two or three different cigar lighters to suit different thicknesses of cigars.
You can use a one-jet cigar lighter to light a thick cigar just as you can use a three-jet cigar lighter to light a slim cigar. You’ll make your life easier, however, if you use a lighter that’s sized for the cigar you’re lighting.
In principle, it’s fairly easy to improvise an ashtray. In practice, it generally makes a lot of sense to use a proper cigar ashtray. Cigar ashtrays are robust enough to hold all of your ash safely in one place. This makes it easier to dispose of later. As a bonus, they also look better and are generally more convenient to use.
Technically, for most cigar fans, a cigar case is a nice-to-have rather than a must-have. Realistically, however, they’re useful, affordable and portable, so it makes sense to have at least one. Cigar cases are more basic than humidors. They only protect your cigars from physical damage. This means that they’re really only suitable for short-term storage.
With that said, there are probably going to be a lot of times when short-term storage is all you need. For example, if you’re just taking a cigar or two to a friend’s house for a smoke, a cigar case will almost certainly be more convenient than even a travel humidor.
Also, cigar cases tend to be more robust than humidors (and less expensive to replace). That means if the worst does happen, it’ll be less frustrating for you.