Fired Up

E
veryone has a preferred method to fire up their cigar.  Wooden matches are timeless and classy, butane torches are fast and convenient, while the trusty ‘Bic’ lighter can be found in just about every home in the country.  Like a lot of things in life, there is no right answer or best option.  It all comes down to preference.

Slow burning, long wooden matches are made for lighting up a good smoke.  Strike it, wait for the phosphorus to burn off, and you’re on your way to Flavortown.  They are ideal for indoor lounges, though, as a stiff breeze can easily extinguish the flame and lead to a most frustrating experience — something we are trying to escape with a fine cigar.  If you can only find short matches, don’t fret: Save the cedar wraps cloaking some cigars, or the dividers found in most boxes.  When broken into smaller pieces, they are easy to ignite, chemical free, and come with a most pleasant odor.

Butane torches are the most popular and preferred method.  Using an electrical ignition, the flame is clean burning and very hot, making for a fast and effortless start to your smoke.  Most of them are windproof, too, so no worries if the weather isn’t ideal.  However this tool is useless if the butane runs out, and many of these often expensive accessories can fail to work altogether in a short while quickly.  And be sure to keep a safe distance.  If the flam is too close the foot can turn in to a cinder.

Many connoisseurs turn their noses up at the thought of using a classic ‘Bic’ type lighter.  The friction ignition uses flint, and the flame burns much cooler, both of which are said to add a foul flavor to the smoke.  In a pinch, though, there isn’t much room for discrimination.  Not to mention they are found in every gas station, corner store, back pocket, and junk drawer in America.

Whichever option you choose, the key to a good light is patience.  Start by gently toasting the foot before bringing the cigar to your lips.  Once nicely and evenly started, move the desired flame closer and puff slowly and evenly until the cigar can burn for a while without becoming extinguished.

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