For some cigar lovers, trying to ash the entire cigar is something of a challenge, making the smoke even more fun. In fact, the art of keeping the entire cigar’s worth of ash intact has now surpassed the realm of being a fun game for cigar lovers, becoming a worldwide competition at the likes of the Cigar Smoking World Championship. We take a look at why cigar smokers want to achieve a long ash, and how it can be done!
Why Can Cigars Be Ashed?
For those who have smoked cigarettes, the idea of maintaining the full smoke’s worth of ash intact may seem unachievable. Cigarettes are typically wrapped in a paper wrapper, so when they are burnt, the resulting ash is too brittle to remain intact. If you do manage to build up ash with a cigarette, it is likely to blow away or be disturbed very easily, and it’s quite likely you’ll end up covered in it. Cigars, on the other hand, are wrapped with a tobacco leaf that has undergone the process of fermenting, rolling and ageing, and is combined with the beefier binder leaf and bunched, thick filler leaf. All together, this provides a burn that can create an even, stronger ash.
Should You Ash Your Cigar?
While having a full cigar’s worth of ash still attached can look cool, many cigar lovers may wonder if there are any actual benefits to your smoke. It is generally agreed that yes, having a long ash can impact on your smoke. The ash acts as a filter to your cigar, stopping as much air reaching the part of the cigar that is burning, which helps keep the cigar cooler. With your cigar not burning as hot, the cigar will burn slower and begin to build flavour, allowing you to get greater enjoyment out of your cigar for longer.
Why is a Long Ash Desirable for Cigars?
Your cigar’s ash is a great indicator of its quality. For one, the colour will tell you a lot about how the tobacco was grown. Many cigar lovers will seek the whitest ash, as this reveals that the tobacco was grown in a mineral-rich soil, which may make it better quality. Furthermore, the longer and tighter a cigar’s ash is, the better the cigar was rolled. Therefore, if you are able to create a long ash from your cigar, then it suggests your cigar is of excellent quality – we can certainly see why cigar aficionados would want to show that off!
How to Get a Long Cigar Ash
While you will be able to get a decent ash on many cigars, to be able to create the longest possible cigar ash, you will need to be clever about your cigar selection. For starters, as mentioned above, you will need to seek out a quality brand that you know will be using the best hand-rollers and top quality tobacco. It is also a good idea to opt for a cigar with a thicker ring gauge, as the wider the cigar, the stronger the ash will be, giving more support to the ash to help it remain intact for the duration of the smoke.
When attempting to gain a long ash, you will not be able to relight or touch up the burn on your cigar, meaning that it is essential to choose a cigar that you know smokes well. The cigar cannot have any soft spots and should feature an even burn throughout so that you won’t need to come back to it with a lighter. To ensure a consistent and even burn, ensure that the cigar is gently rotated as you smoke it.
Be sure to keep the cigar steady when you are smoking it, as, while you’re bound to want to get a good look at the ash you are creating, all the movement can easily cause the ash to break away. Keep your puffs gentle and slow and try not to put the cigar down too much, as you don’t want to knock the ash on the ashtray by accident! You should only really puff on the cigar once every minute, as too much will cause the cigar to burn hotter and uneven, which could make the ash come loose. Many cigar lovers who create long ash from their cigars will also tilt their cigar upwards, as this stops gravity from making the longer ash droop and fall off.
If you want to master the art of creating long ash on your cigars, then you can buy cigars online to make the practising process easier! Let us know how you get on by leaving a comment below or reaching out via our social media channels!