As any cigar aficionado will tell you, cigars are a hobby, not a habit.
And like any hobby, there is knowledge that is passed down from expert to novice.
We spoke with Michael Herklots, vice president for retail and brand development for the Nat Sherman cigar brand, and asked him what true cigar connoisseurs avoid while smoking.
Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, keep reading to see the five worst mistakes that you can make while lighting up.
A cigar isn't something to 'clench between your teeth and cheek and suck on,' Herklots says. It should be held in your hand and brought up to your mouth to puff, then brought back down to hang out between your fingers.
This also helps the cigar burn cooler, so you don't waste any precious tobacco.
The flavour of the liquor can ruin the taste of the cigar and make it different from what the cigar manufacturer intended.
'I can assure you that if that cigar manufacturer wanted cognac at the end of the cigar, they would put it there,' Herklots says.
You can have your preferred brand, sure. But don't let some mistaken sense of duty or loyalty to a particular brand keep you from sampling several varieties of cigars.
Herklots says he has a repertoire of 10 to 12 go-to cigars that are all different types and brands. It's a great goal for any serious cigar smoker.
Don't just smoke the same fat cigar that the CEO you're meeting with is smoking. You're far better off asking the experts around you what you might enjoy instead of hacking up a lung and wasting a cigar.
This is especially good advice for beginners who aren't as comfortable smoking cigars just yet, Herklots says.
You should never inhale while smoking a cigar. They're not cigarettes, and the tobacco is often much stronger.
Instead, merely take a puff and let it sit in your mouth for a few seconds while you taste it. Then simply blow it out. Puff and rotate your cigar every 30 seconds to one minute, and enjoy it with a strong alcoholic beverage (but not simultaneously).
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.