The last article of Friday Night Vices was all about bourbon.  The only next logical piece would be on stogies.  A group of guys on a Friday night sipping on bourbon and smoking cigars conjure up an image of classic masculinity.I am quitting smoking cigarettes, but a cigar is a luxury to be enjoyed every now and then.  Cigars come in all shapes, sizes, flavors and price points. Today we’ll go over the basics.

Where to Start

First, if you’re going to do something, do it right.  Don’t buy those shitty “cigars” at gas stations and mini-marts.  They are glorified cigarettes. Go to a legit cigar shop in your town because they’ll have the best selection and a staff that knows their shit.


Cigars can range from the low end at around $5 all the way up to $200 dollar cigars.  Don’t be fooled by a high price tag though.  Some of the best cigars I’ve had costed less than $20.  My go to cigar is a $7 dollar stub that I reserve for chilling with my friends on a Sunday.  Also, the myth that Cuban cigars are top of the line is bullshit.  It was taboo to have them because of the embargo, and while there are premium Cubano cigars, ones made in the US, Brazil, and other countries are just as good.


In actuality, no two cigars taste the same.  Each person will have to choose what flavors they’re going for.  Some guys like a dark leaf, Earthy flavor.  Some cigars have a mellow, almost honey taste while others can be spicy.  Grab a few different kinds to try them out or ask the guy at the cigar store what he suggests for what flavor you’re looking for. A few brands that I like are Davidoff, Camacho, and CAO.


Just like tasting a fine wine, smoking a cigar is a ritual.  You should first grab a cigar cutter and punch.  They’re available at any cigar shop or even cheaper online.  Depending on the cigar you’ve chosen, you’ll have to cut it on the foot end (the end you light) and almost all you have to use the punch to put a hole at the end you draw the smoke out of.  Others require you to cut the whole cap off the top to smoke it.  I usually go with the punch though.

You also need to use matches or a cigar lighter to light it.  Do not light a cigar the way you light a cigarette!  You’ll fuck it up and waste your money.   With matches or a lighter you have to “toast” the foot, which is holding the match about 1.5 to 2 inches away from the foot to gently char the foot end.  You wont be inhaling during this process.  Once you have a nice char, and the tobacco is heated up, you can begin to light it.  Inhale in quick light draws until you have a nice ember going.

This video shows you the basics on lighting a cigar.

Once lit, enjoy the cigar.  Take nice quick but strong puffs on it.  Don’t inhale into your lungs, just let the smoke linger in your mouth.  Some guys don’t ever ash their cigars, allowing the “cherry” and ash to travel up the cigar.  Others ash when it gets about an inch long.  This is personal preference to me.  I like to leave the ash for as long as possible.  Also, when you’re finished with the cigar, don’t stamp it out like a cigarette.  Just sit it in the ashtray and let it go out on its own.

BTM Vice Rating: 10/10

Cigars smell great, taste great, and provide you a nice experience.  Getting together with your buds and smoking stogies is a great way to bond and shoot the shit.  Throw some bourbon or other whiskey you enjoy into the mix and its just great.  Some of my favorite times I’ve had with my friends was out back of my house on a chilly night sipping whiskey and smoking cigars.  It just feels right.

-J. Nyx