Ashing a cigar is something that must be done every time you smoke. It is often overlooked and something that is consistently not done properly. Improper ashing can result in a mess, a less tasty smoke and can even damage your cigar! Proper timing and ashing technique is good cigar etiquette and will save you both time and money.
Roll, Don’t Tap or Flick
The best technique for proper ashing of your cigar is to roll the edges of your ash against the side of your ashtray. This allows for the loose ash to fall off while protecting the cone of tobacco that is lit. This rolling technique also protects the wrapper of your cigar from damage.
We all have tapped our cigars to get the ash to fall off, but this can be a risky maneuver and is a bad habit to form. With thinner wrappers (such as Connecticut shade) tapping your cigar can cause cracks to form in the wrapper and cause your cigar to “blow up”. This can ruin both the taste and draw of your cigar at no fault of the manufacturer. Avoid taping your cigar against your ashtray or other hard objects. If you must tap, gently pinch the sides of the cigar and gently tap your finger against the top your cigar, and let the ash fall into your ashtray. Whatever you do, don’t flick your cigar like a cigarette, this will quickly damage your cigar and almost always gets ash all over the place.
When Should I Ash My Cigar?
As cool as long ash photos can be, more often than not this just results in ash getting all over your shirt and your furniture. Unless you are in the World Smoking Championship or are looking for a social media picture, we don’t recommend leaving ash on your cigar for several inches. While a well made cigar will hold ash for several inches, a good rule of thumb is to keep a half inch to inch of ash on your cigar. This ash helps keep the cherry cooler and allows for maximum aroma and flavor to be produced.
Don’t Force It
As ironic as it sounds, the cigar will let you know when it is ready to be ashed. The more you smoke the more you develop a feel of when a cigar is ready to be ashed. Ash should come off naturally, and should never be forced. If you have gently rolled your cigar and the ash is still on, leave it! Overashing can cause your cigar to burn hot, which creates more tar and gives a bitter taste.
While we typically ash our cigars unconsciously, next time you are enjoying a cigar take an extra second to pay more attention to how you are ashing. You will most likely save yourself some cleanup time, avoid ruining any shirts, and enjoy a better tasting cigar. Join us next week as we take a deeper dive into what ash can tell us about the cigar you are smoking!