Lightly toast the foot of the cigar, the end you did not cut. Similar to a marshmallow, do not touch the cigar to the flame, hold it just above. Rotate the cigar while doing this. As you are doing this the center should start to glow while the edges are lightly blackened. Put the unlit end in your mouth and take a puff, the cigar should be burning evenly. If not, take the cigar out and touch up the end as you did to start.
You will want to avoid gas lighters like a zippo as that can alter the cigars taste profile. A torch lighter will be the easiest option as it provides you with a consistent flame. Wood matches are more difficult but will impact the desired smoking experience the least. Soft flame lighters are tricky, the flame can be inconsistent. Cedar strips are often the cleanest method and will even impart a slight cedar flavor on the cigar.
Give your cigar more attention. A puff every 1 to 3 minutes should keep it lit. Your cigar may be too moist, try bringing your storage humidity down. It may just be the cigar you chose; Every cigar burns differently. Some will stay lit on their own for hours, others you need to relight every 30 minutes. It just depends on the smoke! Occasionally during the rolling process a cigar will get plugged and will block the airflow. Lightly squeeze the cigar until you feel the plug, then roll the cigar in your fingers at that point. Poke a hole through the bottom with a cigar draw poker or something similar in order to break up the plug.
Cigars should ideally be kept between 65% and 72% humidity and between 65 and 72 Degrees. Any air-tight container can hold your cigars to keep them fresh. A Ziploc bag, a true humidor, a travel case, or plastic container all work. For keeping the humidity, you have a number of different options: Crystal Humidifiers that come in all shapes and sizes, these are long term reusable options. Humidipaks, like Boveda, are good disposable options and probably the easiest method. It is a good idea to invest in a hydrometer so you can keep track of the humidity.
These are the 3 components of tobacco that make your cigar. The filler is the guts of the cigar, gives the cigar its shape and size The binder is essentially the ribcage of a cigar. Usually a different tobacco than the filler this will keep the filler in place and closes the cigar. The wrapper is what you see when looking at a cigar. It is the outermost leaf, will contribute heavily to the flavor and occasionally to the cigars name.
The wrapper on your cigar gives it the color. A darker cigar does not always mean stronger While some darker cigars are stronger you must account for the binder and filler as well when considering a cigars flavor profile and strength. It is a common misconception that every dark cigar is a maduro. Corojo, Sungrown, Rosado cigars are all usually dark wrappers as well, don’t believe those that tell you any dark cigar is a maduro. Don’t knock it till you try it; There are maduro cigars that you can smoke and will seem milder than a light-colored Connecticut Shade wrapper. Each cigar is different, always be open to trying something new you never know what you might like.
Occasionally manufacturers will create a cigar that has a sweetened tip. Cigars are given a sweet tip by using a sweetened gum or liquid on the cap of the cigar. This adds a sugary aroma to the cigar and will mellow out some harsher flavors. Unlike infused cigars these still have all of the natural tobacco taste and it is just the tip of the cigar that is closed differently to add that sweetness.
There are a few reasons why a cigar could unravel when you cut it, they are: You could be cutting too low, try cutting a little higher. Your cutter blade(s) may be getting dull and is not creating a clean cut. Your cigar may be too dry, check your storage humidity level.