It’s bound to happen at some point. You smoke a cigar and you just don’t enjoy it. You just can’t finish it. Now while I’m always the first to say that there aren’t any bad cigars, just ones you don’t like, there are sticks out there that just won’t make your cut.
When your face crunches up in disgust and you wish you had a tongue scraper to get that aftertaste out of your mouth, what’s your next move? Is there a smoove (yes, smoove) way to dispose of that unpleasant stogie without anyone being offended or the wiser? Is it proper to just toss that thing? Was there something that could have been done differently to avoid what’s being tasted or not tasted?
One of the more interesting characteristics of cigars is that they can change as you smoke them. From beginning to end you can detect a myriad of flavors and notes, sometimes after every inch. Blenders hope that as the cigar transitions that it gets better, more complex. Unfortunately because we’re dealing with organic materials that will ultimately do what they want to do, sometimes the opposite happens. The transitions worsen, and our palettes just can’t take it anymore.
When starting a cigar and it’s not treating you the way you need to be treated, sometimes it’s just necessary to give it a little time. Depending on how it was lit, what was used to light it, or the cigar shape and size, it may take a few moments for some of the flamey taste to go away. Also, once the cigar has begun to cool off a little, the flavors will start to even out and offer up more pleasant notes.
If your cigar starts too spicy, too mild too full, there’s always a chance that whatever it is that is unpleasant to you will mellow out once it transitions. You’ll never know if you don’t finish it. Choosing a tasty cigar is always a crapshoot and the time taken to enjoy one is an investment. So if you don’t have the time or willingness to take that chance, it may be better to stick with something that you already know will deliver.
Let it die peacefully & respectfully
“Justin, I’m trying, but I can’t keep goin’ with this thing.” That’s fine too and perfectly understandable. There have been plenty of times I’ve walked into a brick and mortar and seen quarter or half-smoked stogies. But if you must lay that “not as tasty as I want it to be” cigar to rest in an ashtray, please follow a couple of points of etiquette:
- Remove The Band: Perception often becomes reality, and if a customer walks into an establishment and sees a discarded, identifiable cigar that obviously wasn’t enjoyed, it may deter them from trying it…and they may love it if they try it!
- Don’t Bash or Disrespect: After the band has been removed and you’ve let it go, those that notice that it wasn’t your cup of tea will have to ask you specifically what you had and what you didn’t like. This dialogue is a perfect chance for your thoughts to be articulated in a respectful way, never speaking ill of a manufacturer for that one miss. This (1) shows that you are a class act and (2) that you understand that everyone’s palettes are different…and that every aficionado should have the opportunity to make up their own mind about what they like.
Let it go, grab another
The great philosopher and songstress Queen Elsa of Arendelle from Disney’s Frozen (I have a 5 year old daughter) once said, “Let it go, let it go, Turn away and slam the door.” Excellent advise because it’s sometimes necessary to simply close the door on one cigar and spark up another! Life is too short to not enjoy your cigar, so while you may have spent money that you won’t get back, you can still relax and enjoy your time. Before grabbing your next stick though, be sure to clean your palette with something sweet, something salty or some black coffee to cancel out the unpleasantries.
While this list isn’t comprehensive, we think that these tips will assist in enhancing your cigar experience and that of those around you. It’s important also to not forget that where the cigar was smoked, how many others were smoking around you when you tried it, the people (annoying, obnoxious, etc.) you were with, the time of day, what you ate or didn’t eat/drink before or during, etc. can affect what you think of the cigar one way of the other. I encourage you to try a particular cigar more than once and under different circumstances to see if your opinion of it changes. If not, it’s cool. No harm, no foul. Let it go and smoke again tomorrow, hopefully with a better outcome.