If you’re like me, then you are more likely to enjoy that fine cigar sitting outside or perched atop a lawnmower than in the plush leather chairs an upscale smoking lounge. But even the most introverted smokers enjoy occasional socialization. More so, when it involves gathering around a shared passion for a well-crafted cigar and long conversation. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the sofa of your local tobacconist or bellied-up against the bar of your favorite cigar club. Tobacco lounges are bringing more aficionados together than ever before.
Here’s the rub: your local cigar bar is not your neighbor’s garage. Treating it as such is a good way to earn the ire of your fellow smokers, so it doesn’t hurt to go in armed with a few pointers. What follows is a crash course in cigar lounge etiquette. It’s etiquette designed to elevate the cigar experience for everyone involved.
Get Your Cigar From the Cigar Lounge
Bringing your own cigar is actually prohibited at many lounges and smoke shops. But, there is a better reason than leaving your stash in your personal humidor and picking one up from the tobacconist. Buying in-house is a good way to support the industry and culture of cigar smoking. It also boosts the local economy in which they operate.
Beyond that, lounges and smoke shops likely have a much bigger selection than you do at home. This allows you to branch out and try some new brands and styles.
Cut Before Tasting
Tasting the cigar before it is lit is like listening to the overture of a play. You get to preview all the notes and themes of the upcoming experience. Some smokers prefer to roll the unlit cigar between their lips. Others will draw their tongue across the length of the cigar.
Whatever your tasting method, do the rest of us a favor. Save it for after you cut the cigar. Using a borrowed cutter on a cigar that is already coated in your saliva is hardly a gentleman thing to do.
Hold Your Calls
Even in a social setting, atmosphere is everything for a good cigar. Blabbing on your cell phone is disrespectful to smokers around you. It’s also getting in the way of your own experience. Do the whole lounge a favor. Set your phone to vibrate and take important calls outside.
Watch Your Ash
Falling ash is a quick way to smudge furniture and clothing. The real danger, though, is ruining someone else’s drink because you weren’t paying attention to how big the ash was getting. Be sure to use the provided trays to keep your ash to a manageable level. Don’t ash on the floor … that’s just bad manners.
Don’t Smash Your Cigar
This is one that I see all the time, and it makes long-time cigar smokers cringe. We’ve told you how to light your cigar, and now it’s time to learn how to put it out with dignity.
When you finish with your cigar, place it on the ash tray and leave it be. Don’t smash it into the ash tray like you’re trying to put out a cigarette. The high moisture content of cigars is enough to ensure that the cigar will go out on its own. Besides, being destructive in such ways is beneath the art of cigar smoking. It can also lead to some harsh, unwanted aromas to waft throughout the room.
Remember: no one goes to the cigar lounge to have a bad time. Relax, be courteous, and don’t talk too loud. Before you know it you will be enveloped with the sweet comfort of a well-curated cigar lounge. A lounge where it’s possible to pursue that delicate, centuries-old art of enjoying a cigar amidst the company and conversation of strangers.
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