Are you the “cigar guy" in your group of friends? You will know if you are. There is always “that guy” in the group that always likes cigars just a little bit more then everyone else. I know you're shocked to hear that I've always been that guy. Embrace the Cigar Guy label after all it's a pretty dope title to have, and with it comes certain responsibilities. Here's a quick guide to improve your cigar hosting skills.
1. Bring extra smokes! When heading out for the evening to enjoy your favorite pastime with friends or clients always always bring extra cigars. A good rule of thumb is to always bring two cigars per person. Why so many you ask? You will be prepared for the following possibilities: first, should you have a problem with a cigar, whether that it be plugged or tight on the draw, you have one in reserves for that person. Secondly, if the evening either go long OR your friend or client bring an unexpected friend, no one is left out. This has happened to me countless times and the ability to produce another cigar without interruption makes you appear incredibly well prepared and suave (yes I said "Suave") and provides for a wonderful, uninnterupted evening.
Think ahead: Bring cigars that you can best believe will compliment your evening and company the best. If there are novice cigar smokers there, then bring something of a smaller size and lighter flavor profile. If they are a cigar snob like myself, it can sometimes be difficult to find a cigar that will impress them. Here is a tip, bring them something new that you both haven't tried yet. This show forethought and you both get to share in the experience and discus your thoughts on it.
Bonus points if you plan your cigars around the meal you will be enjoying. Lighter cigars when dining on fish or sushi, spicier smokes for barbecue and full bodied cigars with steak or wild game.
2. Take the lead. This can be a bit of a delicate transaction its best if you cut the cigar before you hand it to your company. (Note: If the company you keep are comprised of experienced smokers this is not necessary but still a welcome gesture. I have seen far too many cigars graciously handed out only to be ruined by a poorly executed cut.) If you cut too deeply the cigar can unravel and fall apart while smoking, ruining the experience and wasting the smoke.
Lighting the cigar can also be done tactfully but tread lightly here. The easiest way to do this without offending anyone is to take the lead. Have the smoker, draw slowly while you hold the flame far enough away that only the heat of the flame is drawn in. Ask them to gently roll the cigar back and forth in the mouth, assisting in the lighting process and hopefully preventing them from leaning into the flame and burning the fine cigar you just gifted them.
3. Less is more. Just because you are cigar knowledgeable, don't bore them with facts. Whenever someone asks me about the cigar I gave them, I keep the description under two lines; just enough info to give them background, maybe a fun fact about origin etc. For instance, if I am gifting a Fuente OpusX to someone who is not familiar with the brand, I would mention the unique flavor profile, their overall rating and desireability. In my opinion, cigars punctuate the important moments of life.
Use these simple tips and be confident in your ability to curate a most enjoyable evening for friends and clients alike.