Cigar smoking is something people have been doing for generations upon generations. I think it’s fair to say the making of a great cigar is an art form in its own right. There are many options out there for the first time cigar smoker, to the seasoned aficionado, but how do you know what’s right for you?

The first thing anyone should look at when looking for a cigar shop and a great cigar is finding a shape and size that is comfortable for you. Not everyone will be able to handle smoking a cigar the size of a Churchill. Start by discussing the ring dimension, which is the thickness of the cigar, with the cigar shop connoisseur. Have that connoisseur show you a couple different sizes until you find the right match for you. Then you can work on the preferred length and taste. Because you can find cigars ranging from the size of a cigarette up to 7 or more inches, this is a personal preference you will have to decide upon.

Once you have decided on these factors, next, you’ll want to inspect the wrapper of a few different brands. When it comes to purchasing cigars, it’s almost necessary to look how they’re individually wrapped. This is going to determine how it’s going to smoke. It’s fairly obvious most people want to stay away from machine-made cigars and stick with hand-wrapped cigars. This is where the art form comes into play. You want to make sure there are no gaps in the leaf, which could lead to an uneven burning when smoking your cigar. While you’re inspecting the wrapping, make sure the cigar is uniform in color. If it looks spotted, this is a sign that it’s one you’ll want to stay away from.

Now you’re going to want to check to make sure the cigar has an equal amount of tobacco throughout the entire rolling. I’ve had many cigars that were weak in areas, which causes the cigar to burn hotter and faster. So just make sure your potential cigar is firm throughout. This next tip might sound a little strange, but it’s really no different than selecting a fine wine. You want to smell the cigar. Obviously ask permission before you start taking any cigar out of it’s protective wrapping. Just smell the cigar, because smell and taste are linked, so if the smell is appealing to you, than the taste should be pretty on point for you as well.

These are tips I try to tell people to go by when selecting cigars. I don’t think you should look at brand, or where they are made, because I’ve had cigars made in the Dominican Republic that were just as good as cigars from Cuba. The point is to find the cigar that fits your needs and is within the price range that you’re wanting to spend. Happy hunting and I hope you find that cigar you will be able to enjoy for a long time.