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Cigar 101

Should You Dip Your Cigar in Whiskey?

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

We don’t like to tell anybody how to smoke their cigars. But, we get plenty of questions from newer cigar lovers who want to know how to smoke a cigar and what kind of cigar-smoking etiquette they should follow. Occasionally we’re asked if you should wet a cigar or dip it in whiskey or cognac before you smoke? Here’s our advice.

Dipping Your Cigar in Whiskey

It’s a natural assumption: whiskey and cigars taste so amazing on their own, how can you go wrong dipping the cigar in the whiskey? Savoring a vintage bourbon, scotch, or cognac with your cigar is one of the best ways to smoke. However, you don’t have to submerge your cigar in your drink to get the most out of a pairing. Sipping your whiskey in between puffs of a cigar is enough. It’s too easy to saturate the head of your cigar and plug the draw or cause your cigar to become mushy in your mouth if you dip it in your drink. Think of it like putting ketchup on an expensive steak.  

Should You Wet a Cigar in Your Mouth?

Sure, some cigars taste good enough to eat, but you don’t have to shove a cigar all the way into your mouth or lick it from top to bottom to appreciate its flavor. The best way to taste your cigar before you smoke it is to cut it and spin it around in your lips a few times before you light it. It’s not uncommon to savor an unlit cigar in your mouth. But, you don’t want to saturate the head with moisture or you’ll plug the draw. Your palate will engage with the natural taste of a cigar’s wrapper and its cold draw simply by spinning it or holding it in your mouth for a minute or two.

Should a Cigar Be Wet to the Touch?

Cigars should be humidified but not wet to the touch. A big misconception is that softer, spongier cigars are fresher, therefore wetting a cigar must be good for it. Not true. When a cigar is too wet, or over-humidified, it won’t light or burn correctly. Premium cigars should be stored consistently at 70% relative humidity and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. A good cigar will give slightly when you gently press it between your thumb and forefinger. It shouldn’t squish like a kitchen sponge, though. Dampening your cigar by submerging it in your whiskey or water will not improve its freshness nor its taste, but it can compromise its draw and construction. If you store your cigars properly, they will smoke perfectly without wetting them in any way.   

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