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  • Writer's pictureBen Balliro

Purge My Cigar of What? Ghosts?

Updated: Oct 23, 2019

So, here’s a trick that I learned when I was in prison...ok that's an exaggeration. I did, however, learn a trick to “purge your cigar”. Now if you don’t know what that is or why it’s a trick, then you’re in the right place. Purging a cigar is not always required, but I find it helpful for longer cigars such as churchills or a toro. What happens when you are smoking a larger cigar is sometimes impurites and charred bits accumulate at the foot of the cigar. You have a controlled fire at the end of your cigar surrounded by leaves. No matter how much you ferment or age the tobacco at the end of the day, they are still leaves.

So now you want to know what this trick is. Ok, -How to purge your cigar. I have seen videos and read articles online that talk about the common use of purging your cigar, but I was taught to take purging one step further and found that particular method more effective. The purpose of purging your cigar is for a coupe of reasons. Some cigar smokers like to put their cigar down about halfway through and come back to it later. Personally, I almost never stop smoking about halfway through. Unless it’s an emergency only will I stop puffing on a good Dominican. Other reasons are to enhance or renew the flavors of the cigar. My rendition of purging I think plays more into the second reason. In my experience it amplifies the smoke output, cools the smoke a little bit, and opens up some of the cigars flavors. Kind of like adding a few drops of water to an aged whiskey, it opens up some of the flavors buried in the spirit. So, to purge your cigar you simply blow air gently back through the cigar for a few seconds. That’s the easy part, the second part involves using your lighter.

If you hold the lighter flame directly in front of the cigar and blow a constant air stream through, the flame should ignite the impurities and char, and most of the time produce a small flame protruding out the foot. It takes a little practice, but over time it will become second nature. It is important to try and continue blowing a consistent air stream through the cigar with small flame (hopefully) at the foot protruding out for as long as you can. If you keep the flame going long enough it will eventually burn itself out and “soft reset” the cigars flavors. Once that flame is gone, let the cigar sit for about 30 seconds and cool down. Then take draw on the cigar and you should find the smoke a little more full, and flavors reborn. I usually will do this purging at about the second third to halfway down the cigar when some of the char has built up. At some point I will make a small video and post it here so you can see what I mean.

If you have tried this and had success, or any other tricks you may know, drop up a line on Twitter or Instagram @cigartipsters. Thanks for reading, comments are always welcome.

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