Like wine, scotch, or even craft beer, there is a lot to know about cigars. If you’re new to the world of cigars, the sheer variety of options can be overwhelming. With so many different brands, blends, and sizes available, it can be difficult to know where to start. We made this “cigars for beginners” guide to walk you through the process of selecting, purchasing, and enjoying your first few cigars.

Choosing Cigars When You’re a Beginner

Choosing a cigar is like dating: It’s always good to be a little picky, give yourself a few different options, and go in with a general idea of which kinds of people (cigars) you want to spend your quality time with. When selecting your first cigars, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Start off with a mild or medium-bodied cigar at first. When you’re not used to smoking, stronger cigars can be overwhelming for beginners because of their big flavor and the amount of smoke you’re able to draw in. Look for mild or medium-bodied options instead so you can get easily acquainted with a more mellow smoke.
  • Consider the size. The size of a cigar can affect your smoking experience. If you have a cigar with a larger ring size (basically, the cigar’s width), it will produce more smoke. This can be an unpleasant surprise for a new smoker. 
  • Choose reputable brands! Stick with well-known brands that have a good reputation in the industry. It’s like sipping a finely aged whiskey vs. one from the bottom shelf: It’ll be harsh and the flavor profile will be a let down. Assuming you’re something of a newbie, look for cigars your friends and fellow smokers recommend. 

Recommended Cigar Brands for Newcomers

  1. Macanudo Cafe.  Full of bright and zesty tobacco that won’t linger after smoking, this mild bodied cigar offers a mix of earthy and nutty notes. A great beginner cigar with a price point that’s perfect for the testing phase. 
  2. Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real.  We call this cigar a mellow-medium. It’s a flavorful and hearty cigar with a hint of spice, finished with a Connecticut Shade wrapper that smooths out the flavor. 
  3. Perdomo Reserve 10th Anniversary Champagne. This is a cigar beginner smokers obsess over. It delivers rich layers of complex flav​ors but offers a subtle, mellow-bodied profile. With rich tobacco flavors, hints of coffee, creamy undertones, and a subtle sweetness, almost like honey. 

Cigar Shopping as a Novice: Quick Tips

Shopping for cigars is a thrilling experience for any smoker, and it’s especially exciting when you’re new to the cigar scene.  You could very well buy a big assortment and try them all over time, but we highly suggest grabbing a few you’re most likely to enjoy to begin with.

  • Do a bit of research: Our site makes it really easy and fun to find information on cigars you might be interested in trying out. If you want a mellow cigar to try, just plug in “mild cigars”. A bunch of options will pop up and you can read the different descriptions for each. And, of course, our blog is a great resource for you as far as getting your questions answered and grabbing great cigar recommendations. 
  • Be curious: Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations or advice on how to properly store and enjoy your cigars. Buying cigars is only the first step in being able to enjoy them. It’ll be important for you to know how to keep them fresh until you’re ready to smoke. (For example, have you invested in a humidor yet?)
  • Check for freshness: Make sure the cigar feels firm, with a bit of give, and isn’t dry or brittle. Usually this is up to you to avoid while you’re storing the cigars you’ve purchased. Generally you won’t have anything to worry about, but if you’re shopping for cigars in person, freshness always good to keep in mind
smoking first cigar with friends
Image by LightFieldStudios by

Enjoying Cigars for New Smokers

You’ve surely smelled the leathery, sweet goodness of cigars, you’ve taken your friend’s recommendations on which ones to try, and now you’re ready to see for yourself what all the hype is about! 

Cut your cigar: Use a sharp cutter or cigar scissors to cut off just enough of the end so that you can draw smoke through it easily. There are many different types of cigar cutters for you to explore as you begin to smoke more. Different cuts provide a different smoking experience.

Light your cigar properly: Use a lighter designed specifically for lighting cigars. Hold the flame about an inch away from the foot of the cigar and rotate it slowly until all sides are lit evenly. If you light your cigar unevenly the smoke will travel through the cigar from one side which will give you an intense mouthfeel instead of a pleasing amount of smoke. 

Savor the experience: Take your sweet time when smoking your cigar. Sip on water or another beverage between puffs to give your palate a little break. Whisky or wine always make for a delicious accompaniment, but there are lots of non-alcoholic options, too.

Selecting, purchasing, and enjoying your first few cigars doesn’t have to be intimidating, in fact, it can be a really fun experience. As you navigate the exciting new world of cigars, remember to take it slow and savor the journey! Explore all your options for types of cigars from mild to full bodied at Flying Cigar Co.

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