Ashes and Rings…Oh My!

big_cuban_cigar_woman My friends, the worst time of the year is upon us.  Well, that is unless your NFL team has a few home playoff games left.  To those fans… you lucky bastards!

For the rest of us, it’s 3+ months until first pitch.  We have officially entered tailgating off-season.  Such a painful phrase to type.  But since we have the down time, why not make use of it and learn a few tricks for next season?

One of my favorite parts of tailgating is enjoying a good cigar.  It’s the perfect compliment to good food and good drink.  And there are no laws banning smoking in the lot, so it’s puff, puff away.

To help you get the most out of your cigar experience I thought I would pass along a lesson I learned this past NFL season.  The teacher was my dad and the topic of discussion was cigar burning and ashes.  More specifically, how cigar ashes can easily show you the quality of the cigar you are smoking.

Open your notebooks, class is in session.

– To smoke a cigar you have to light it.  And once lit, the speed at which the cigar burns is trick No. 1 in determining cigar quality.  The faster your cigar burns or becomes ashy, the lower quality grade of your cigar.

– At some point during your smoke you will have to tip off the ashes.  The resulting ashes becomes trick No. 2 in determining cigar quality.   Messy ashes that easily break apart signals a cheap, low quality cigar.  And since you are looking at the ashes also check the color of the ashes.  If you see a color change you again have confirmed that you have yourself a poor quality cigar.

So stop with the penny pitching and enjoy a high quality cigar.  Quality equals a cigar that is well packed, burns very slowly, and has ashes that are stiff in form.  Stiff in this context means that the ashes remain on the cigar in lengths up to 2 plus inches.  The few extra bucks spent on a quality cigar will also allow you to enjoy the cigar to the very last possible moment.   A high quality cigar will allow you to burn it to the nub.

And once you have yourself a quality cigar the next logical step is to have some fun with it.  Cigars can’t be all luxury and zero fun.  This website, with video, taught me how to blow smoke rings with a cigar.  I report that by week 16 of the NFL season I was successfully blowing the smoke rings (I’m a slow learner!).  Free entertainment for yourself and those tailgaters around you!

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