There are several threads here from people new to cigars asking about what they should try in order to learn more about cigars. Invariably, they receive dozens of suggestions from folks who have their own personal favorites and their simple question quickly yields overwhelming and confusing information. Itís kind of like someone from another country and culture asking ďwhat type of food should I try now that I'm here in the USA?
In order to make things easier for people interested in taking up cigar smoking, here are a few observations and suggestions in no particular order.
1. Your introduction to cigars should include primarily mild or mild-medium strength cigars. Most all veteran cigar smokers started this way and as their tastes evolved, many moved on to more complex and stronger cigars.
2. Youíll want to try a variety of cigars to begin with so donít even think about buying a box until you have a clear idea about what you really like. Itís no different than buying a sampler pack of DE blades.
3. Go to your local cigar store and tell them youíre new to cigars and get recommendations for 3-4 or enough cigars youíll smoke within a week or less. Decide how much you want to spend on each cigar and keep it reasonable. You may not get a decent cigar for $2.00 but you donít want to spend $10.00 for a cigar you hate. After smoking them, return and buy several more. If you purchase too many theyíll dry out and wonít be a good representation of what that particular cigar actually has to offer.
4. Go to on-line cigar forums such as Herfers Paradise and Cigar Weekly. These sites are particularly friendly to newbies. Register and go to the buy/trade forums and click on the Newbie Sampler Trade Thread. Youíll be treated extremely well by the FOGís (F***ing Old Guys) who will sell you a sample pack of cigars usually at a fraction of the retail cost.
5. Buy/smoke corona and robusto sized cigars thatíll last 30-45 minutes. Youíre new to smoking and smoking a large cigar may be too much and make the experience unpleasant.
6. A cigar someone else likes may not be to your liking. Allow your own tastes to evolve without thinking you should like a particular brand because someone else does.
7. If you decide to read cigar magazines and their ratings and reviews, use them as a guide only and not as gospel.
8. Buy a decent cigar cutter and a torch lighter.
9. Smoking cigars is generally very relaxing, but for new smokers even mild cigars may cause nausea. Take your time between puffs and donít inhale. Include food and a beverage if youíre so inclined.
10. Over time youíll learn about different brands, construction, wrappers, fillers and sizes. Go to jrcigars.com and check out jr university to learn more.
11. After your own personal tastes begin to develop, consider buying a box. Prices on-line are generally less than brick and mortar shops, but thereís something to be said for supporting your local tobacconist.
No doubt the cigar smokers here at B&B will want to add to this thread so go at it!