Premium tobacco and the method of production is what makes a good cigar; and while you might not be able to choose a good cigar just by its appearance; there ARE certain things you can keep an eye out for when you are searching for that ultimate smoke.
First of all, you want to make sure the cigar wrapper looks oily and seamless. What you don’t want are veins, inconsistent construction or any blotchy, spotted color, which indicate the possibility of a hurried fermentation process. There also shouldn’t be any gaps or air pockets between the folds on a cigar.
Next, you need to ensure that your cigar will produce a good burn. You don’t want to have to draw so hard that you pop a blood vessel. Nor do you want a pull that is too easy, signifying a loosely constructed cigar that most likely won’t burn straight. Gently squeeze your cigar. It should feel firm to the touch, without any hard or soft spots.
Finally, and most importantly, is the taste of a cigar. Whether your preference is a mild or strong cigar, we can all agree that a good cigar is never harsh or bitter. It should be smooth and balanced. Don’t forget that your cigar smoking experience can be greatly enhanced when you enjoy it with a premium beverage, like a good brandy, bourbon or scotch!
Once you decide on a good cigar, make sure you store it properly – optimally around 70 degrees with from about 65 to just over 70 percent humidity. If you don’t have a humidor, you can get yourself a humidity pouch. You can also store your cigar in Tupperware with a section of sponge that has been dipped in distilled water or you can even place your cigars in an airtight cooler or Ziploc bag.