Top Rated Cigars for Beginners

In the past, the best cigars for beginners are those premium handmade cigars than those produced massively by machines. However, the times have evolved and for new cigar smokers, they must start with cigars that have mild to medium body. Here are the top rated cigars that are best for beginners:

Top Rated Cigars for Beginners
  1. Casa Torano – The cigars of Casa Torano are made from Honduras by the Torano family. The cigars have mild to medium flavor, they are mild enough for someone starting but possess a complex flavor which will satisfy the most seasoned smokers. The taste is smooth, rich and very enjoyable from the start all the way to the last 2 inches. You can never go wrong if you choose Casa Torano.
  2. Macanudo Hyde Park – This brand is one of the best-selling premium cigars in the US. They are made in the Dominican Republic by the General Cigar Company. If you want a cigar that is a real pleasure, try their Macanudo Hyde Park Cafй, it produces a lighter taste of almonds, fresh herbs and cashews. This is definitely a great choice for someone starting and it can be the benchmark to evaluate other cigar brands.
  3. Gran Habano Connecticut #1 – This kind of cigar has a body of mild to medium but it is closer to the upper end of this range. They are made in Honduras by Guillermo Rico, the blend of Connecticut #1 is made from the wrappers of Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade and the filler tobaccos are made from Nicaragua. This is a great cigar for all beginners at the same time for the mainstream cigar smokers because it is flavorful but not too much like a power bomb.
  4. Gispert – This brand has a body of mild to medium and made from Honduras. Smoking this cigar is very easy; it has a woodsy and earthy flavor with a touch of leather. Also, the aroma is pleasing with leather and wood undertones. For just $3 per stick, it is for sure reasonably priced.
  5. Helix Blue Tubular – This cigar has a very mild flavor and strength which makes it very enjoyable to smoke. It is a great choice for beginners and even for experienced smokers who are enjoying a mild cigar occasionally. The cigar is made in Honduras by the General Cigar Company, it has a touch of similarity with their more popular and expensive line, the Macanudo cigars. The Helix cigars also come in artificially flavored cigars such as the Helix Remix, also prescribed for beginners.
Top Rated Cigars for Beginners

These are the top rated cigar brands that every beginner should try.

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The Importance of Aging Cigars

When you age your cigars in a well-maintained humidor, generally, the cigar’s flavor will continually improve for a maximum of ten years. After this amount of years, there will be no significant improvement but you must continue to store them properly in a humidor so that their integrity will be preserved. However, most of the smokers cannot wait for too long before they can light up the sticks, so this article will give you an idea on how long does a specific bundle of cigars must be aged until the taste has improved to make the whole effort worthwhile.

The Importance of Aging Cigars

Most of the cigar tobaccos are cured, processed, fermented and aged for several years after they were harvested and prior they are used for making cigars. When the cigars are rolled, it does not stop there, they will be finished through an aging process for another couple of years. The number of years varies; it depends upon the manufacturer as well as other factors that will affect marketing. There are some kinds of finished cigars that do not undergo the aging process or for a shorter period of time than the traditional process because the manufacturers do not want to blend the cigars with other different tobacco leaves and to dissipate the bitter elements of the tobacco. This is true for the cheaper bundled cigars but the case is different with the expensive boxed cigars that include some of the popular national brands. Also, when the cigars leave the factory, they are going to be shipped and stored in different conditions, this makes it even harder whether to use them before aging in the humidor.

The Importance of Aging Cigars

Therefore, these are the conclusions on the importance of aging cigars in a well-maintained humidor prior to smoking them:

  • Aging cigars for a minimum of 2 to 3 months before smoking will have a great improvement of taste.
  • To attain a significant mellow flavor of the cigars, age them for a year or even more.
  • The cigar or brand that you think is bad will not become a good cigar if you age it even for several years but a good cigar which at first tastes bad will improve dramatically when they are aged.
  • Inexpensive bundled cigars require more aging after buying compared to those premium boxed cigars.
  • Fuller bodied cigars are going to improve and mellow more when they undergo long-term aging process than the milder cigars.
  • Cigars bought from the humidor of a local tobacconist are more ready to be smoked immediately or requires less aging than those bought via mail order or online.
  • Every cigar is unique even those in the same bundle or box, each one tastes and ages differently.

These are the reasons why aging of cigars is an important process so that you can enjoy them to its fullest flavor.

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Review of the Four-Star Cigar Brands

Here are the reviews of the three cigar brands that are rated four stars. They are Perdomo Habano, E.P. Carillo and Nestor Miranda.

Perdomo Habano

The Perdomo Habano is available in Maduro, Connecticut or Corojo wrappers. The blend has 3 different filler tobaccos coming from Nicaragua’s three regions. For this review, it used the Connecticut which comes in the Torpedo size with a length of 6 Ѕ inches and 54 ring gauge. Aside from this size, there are six other sizes available too. The Connecticut Torpedo cigar has a body of mild to medium and it has an enjoyable flavor of natural tobacco with the appropriate amount of sweet spice. Also, it has a generous and a very smooth draw and when it comes to its after taste, it has a mild light pepper. This cigar is an excellent choice for both the new cigar smokers and the connoisseurs but it is milder than the other sticks available. Above all, the Connecticut’s flavor is not short and the taste is consistent from start to finish. It is not too complex but the experience is definitely most enjoyable.

Ernesto Perez-Carillo

For this review, it used the Core Natural cigars of Ernesto Perez-Carillo, all the products of this brand are created in the Dominican Republic. The wrappers are made of Ecuadorian Sumatra, the binders are Nicaraguan and it has a blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos. The cigars come in eight different sizes; the smallest is the Encantos which measures 4 7/8 x 50, the cigar used for this review. In 2010, the Encantos got a 3 Ѕ stars but in 2014, it deserves a solid rating of 4 stars. It has a medium body and possesses a spicy flavor but less intense compared to the Olivia Series O. Also, the smoke is very mellow, well-balanced and aromatic at the same time; it has a great draw and holds a long ash. During the entire smoke, there is no need for relights or touch-ups until it is down to 1 Ѕ inches which is great compared to other brands that usually stop when it reaches 2 inches. The Encantos cigar is of great value, the single stick only costs $6.50 and the box of twenty cigars is only $115.

Nestor Miranda

The Special Selection cigars of Nestor Miranda are made from Nicaragua, the wrappers are made of Nicaraguan Habano, the binders are Nicaraguan made too and the filler tobaccos are made of Honduran, Nicaraguan and Dominical fillers. The cigars come in five different sizes and the Coffee Break was used for this review. It has a body of medium to full and a woodsy flavor with some sweet spice. The combined flavors are very interesting in the first ten minutes but after that, there is a predominant cedar flavor.

Review of the Four-Star Cigar Brands

These are the top-rated brands that have a four-star rating, so if you are a beginner and want to taste the best, you can pick among the three brands reviewed.

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Proper Care for Humidor and Cigars

If you want to keep your cigars for more than two weeks, then you really need a humidor. The cigars should be kept below 23 degrees Celsius and the humidity is between 65%-72%. The most ideal conditions are 21 degrees Celsius and humidity of 70%. Proper storage of cigars is very crucial since improper storage may cause problems such as too rapid or uneven burn, bitter or harsh taste, difficulty lighting, broken wrapper, tiny holes in the cigars which are signs of beetle infestation and mold.

Proper Care for Humidor and Cigars

When setting up your humidor, you should check the level of humidity every two weeks so that it will not change. Every month, it is recommended to put a solution of propylene glycol or just distilled water into the humidifier. You will be more comfortable with your humidor the longer you take care of it and you can make it stable. Do not use tap water because it has chlorine and minerals that can clog the pores of the humidifier, as a result, the operation will inhibit.

Make sure that the humidor is stored in a cool and dry place to avoid the growth of mold. Also, avoid placing the cigars in direct heat or sunlight since too high of temperature and humidity can develop damaging mold and fungus. Another reason why you should not store the cigars in too humid or hot environment is to avoid worm infestation called lacioderma, the worms will lay eggs and burrow out inside the cigars. If this happens, the wrapper will have tiny holes and transforming into very tiny brown beetles. When this happens, immediately inspect all the cigars and remove the affected cigars and destroy them.

Proper Care for Humidor and Cigars

Never keep the cigars in your refrigerator because it can suck out the moisture of the sticks. Freezing the cigars is done as an extreme measure when they are infested with bugs but the victory is attained when you will learn how to get rid of them.

Following these tips will help you maintain the quality of your cigars even for a long time.

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Miscellaneous Facts of Alcohol

There are many facts about alcohol but the things listed below may be your first time to read. Here they are:

Miscellaneous Facts of Alcohol
  • There are thirteen minerals which are essential to the human life, all of these are found in alcohol.
  • For centuries, people believed that tequila has worm but this information is not accurate. Mezcal is the first drink which started the tradition and it did not use worm but a Gusano butterfly caterpillar.
  • The word brandy comes from the brandwejin, a Dutch word which means burnt wine.
  • One bottle of Champagne has approximately 49 million bubbles.
  • Drinking one glass of milk is enough for a person to produce .02 blow on a breath analyzer, this figure is enough for a person to be filed with legal issues in some states.
  • To make one bottle of wine, you need to have at least 600 grapes.
  • In Europe, it is very common for teenagers to obtain permission to drink. In fact, they can get alcoholic beverages at the cafeteria in many high schools. Also, it is common all over Europe to look for alcohol at any McDonalds’ menu. On the other hand, in the US, the scenario is totally different; their laws with regards to teenage drinking are the strictest.

These miscellaneous facts are very interesting to know and will be an addition to your knowledge bank.

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Middle-aged Men who Indulge in Heavy Drinking are More Likely to Experience Accelerated Memory Loss

In the recent publication of Neurology, researchers showed that middle-aged men who drink heavily on alcohol will suffer from memory loss by six years earlier compared to those who are moderately or not drinking. For this study, heavy drinking means a consumption of 2.5 alcoholic beverages each day or 36 grams of alcohol. Based on the study, heavy drinking showed that it can significantly reduce memory and cognitive abilities of men later in life while those who did not drink, former drinkers or even those who drink light to moderate did not show a significant loss of memory.

Middle-aged Men who Indulge in Heavy Drinking are More Likely to Experience Accelerated Memory Loss

The study had 5,054 respondents, all are in the middle-age bracket from 34 to 59 years old, and all of them were under observation for ten years to assess their drinking habits every quarter. Once the respondents reached the age of 56, the researchers conducted cognitive tests for two times in the next 10 years so that they will determine the age where cognitive functions start to decrease. From the study, they were able to determine that memory as well as other cognitive functions start to have a faster decline for those heavy drinkers by 1.5 years to 6 years earlier compared to the non-drinkers and moderate alcohol consumers.

In some studies, they were able to observe that alcohol consumption is actually good to improve memory and for the brain. One example is the study conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine, older women who drink one alcoholic beverage each day will have 20% less chance of dementia and other problems associated with memory loss. Also, in a study conducted by Norwegian researchers, they find out that drinking wine, preferably 4 or more glasses for two weeks can improve cognitive abilities than those who drink less or avoid alcohol.

On the other hand, light to moderate alcohol consumption is good for the cognitive abilities while heavy drinking has an adverse effect to mental health like short-term memory loss. In a publication issued by the American Journal of Public Health, heavy consumption of alcohol can last for more than 24 hours.

Today, the short-term altering cognitive effects are well-known but the long-term implications are still being studied most especially among older people. In the study for middle-aged respondents for a long duration, the results are very helpful to illustrate the negative effects of heavy drinking in the future.

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How to Make a Hand-Rolled Cigar

Do you want to make your own hand-rolled cigar? Then, this article is the right one for you. First, hand-rolled cigar is hard to make but if you just follow the instructions, then, you will learn the basics. Here are the steps:

How to Make a Hand-Rolled Cigar
  1. With the use of a chaveta or a sharp knife, cut and shape the binder tobacco leaf by placing it on a cutting board then smooth the leaf.
  2. Blend and bunch a couple of filler tobacco leaves, it all depends on your desired size and taste of the cigar.
  3. Roll the filler leaves that you bunched inside the binder leaf.
  4. Secure, shape and then cut the binder leaf in order to form a cigar tobacco roll.
  5. With the use of a chaveta or a sharp knife, the wrapper tobacco leaf must be cut and shape and place the leaf flat on the cutting board for smoothing.
  6. Prepare the binder leaf that contains the filler tobaccos to be wrapped with the wrapper leaf.
  7. The wrapper leaf must be secured, shaped and cut which contains the rolled cigar tobaccos.
  8. Do not throw the leftover wrapper tobacco, cut just a small piece from it and create a round cap. After, attach it to the cigar’s head by using a vegetable gum.
How to Make a Hand-Rolled Cigar

The whole process of making hand-rolled cigars may look easy but to become a master of this craft, it takes a lot of years to practice. The filler leaves should be bunched carefully to avoid plugs which can hinder the cigar’s draw. Also, if the cigar is rolled too tight or loose, it will not properly draw. There are a number of methods on how to bunch and fold the filler leaves and the steps given above are just some of them.

It takes a lot of experimenting in order to find the most appropriate blend for your taste. The key here is to practice often and in no time, you will become a master cigar roller.

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Drinking Facts

This article deals about women and alcohol, athletic ability and unintentional injury caused by alcohol.

Women and Alcohol

  • Women absorb alcohol faster into the bloodstream than men but metabolize the alcohol slower than men.
  • Women who drink alcohol regularly have a greater risk of having liver damage compared to men even they indulge into lesser drinking or only for a short time.
  • Based on statistics, more alcoholic women suffer and die from liver cirrhosis compared to alcoholic men.
  • Women who consume heavy on alcohol are nine times more sexually aggressive than on days without alcohol consumption.
  • Women who have eating disorders have greater chances of alcohol misuse especially those suffering from bulimia compared to the general population.
  • Girls starting to diet in the sixth grade have greater chances of engaging in the misuse of alcohol in the future.

Athletic Ability and Alcohol

  • Moderate drinking which is 2-3 drinks results in motor coordination loss for 12 to 18 hours after the drinking session.
  • Moderate drinking can also deplete aerobic capacity at the same time negative impact to endure for a maximum of 48 hours after drinking.
Drinking Facts

Unintentional Injury

  • Alcohol drinking among college students has been linked to about 1,400 deaths and unintentional injuries of 500,000 each year.
  • Evidence showed that there are high percentage of deaths from fires, burns, falls and drownings because of drinking.
  • In various studies, they found out that from 13% to 63% of falls are due to alcohol drinking.
  • The common cause of fire under the influence of alcohol is when the person has fallen asleep or passed out before extinguishing his cigarette.
  • The use of alcohol has been linked to one-third of the total drowning incidents.
  • About 8% of the total ER visits for injuries or illness are due to alcohol.

These are the facts about alcohol.

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