Cigar Lounge Etiquette: Five Pointers For The Newbie
If you are anything 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 can benefit from some occasional socialization, especially when it involves gathering around a shared passion for a well-crafted cigar and long conversation. Whether it is 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, designed for the sole purpose of elevating the cigar experience for everyone involved.
Get Your Cigar From the Lounge
While bringing your own cigar is actually prohibited at many lounges and smoke shops, there is a far better reason than that to leave your stash in your personal humidor and instead pick one up from the tobacconist. Buying in-house is a good way to support the industry and culture of cigar smoking while also boosting the local economies in which they operate.
Beyond that, lounges and smoke shops likely have a much bigger selection than you do at home, allowing 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, in which all the notes and themes of the upcoming experience are deftly previewed. Some smokers prefer to roll the unlit cigar between their lips, while others will simply draw their tongue across the length of the cigar.
Whatever your tasting method, do the rest of us a favor and save it for after the cigar is cut. Using a borrowed cutter on a cigar that is already coated in your saliva is hardly a gentlemanly thing to do.
Hold Your Calls
Even in a social setting, atmosphere is everything for a good cigar. Blabbing on your cell phone is not only disrespectful to the smokers around you, but it is also getting in the way of your own experience. Do the whole lounge a kindness by setting your phone to vibrate, and taking important calls outside.
Watch Your Ash
Falling ash is a quick way to smudge furniture and clothing, but the real danger 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 properly light your cigar, and now it’s time to learn how to put it out with dignity.
When you are finished with your cigar, simply 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 relatively high moisture content of cigars is enough to ensure that the cigar will go out on its own. Besides … being crudely destructive in such ways is beneath the art of cigar smoking, and in fact can lead to some harsh, unwanted aromas to waft through the room.
Remember: no one goes to the cigar lounge to have a bad time. Relax, be courteous, don’t talk too loud, and before you know it you will know what it feels like to be enveloped with the sweet comfort that is a well-curated cigar lounge … one where it is possible to pursue that delicate, centuries-old art of enjoying a cigar amidst the company & conversation of complete yet familiar strangers.
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