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A properly lit cigar is important because it makes all the components (wrapper, binder and filler) evenly lit. This imparts the flavors of the blend as the maker intended them to be experienced. Additionally, you won't be fighting an uneven burn while you're smoking, which can add hassle to a time that should be relaxing.

But before you can light up, you'll want to cut your cigar so air can pass through it. (Check out Cigars 101, Making The Cut) to learn the best method to cut your smoke.

To light a premium cigar, follow these three steps:


1.  Light your cigar the same way you would toast a marshmallow over a campfire - keep the cigar above and near the flame, but don't let them touch. Burning a cigar directly in a flame makes it too hot. If you do accidentally nick the cigar with the flame, don't worry! You haven't ruined the cigar. Instead, calmly, but quickly, move your smoke back out of the flame.

2.  As with a marshmallow, you'll want to rotate the cigar so all parts of its tip (cap) are equally heated. Be patient and keep at it until there's a glowing ring all the way around the cigar's tip and the edges are thinly blackened.

3.  Raise the unlit end of the cigar to your mouth and take the first puff. The ember should burn evenly while drawing. If it doesn't, take the cigar out of your mouth and touch up the end with the flame. You can also try to gently blow on the embers to create a smooth, completely rounded ash.

The best way to get the perfect light is to use a butane lighter designed specifically for cigars. They are available in multiple flames and should be wide enough to easily light a cigar. There are dozens of different cigar lighters on the market. Which one is best for you is a matter of personal preference. The most important element is performance - a lighter should fit easily in your hand, ignite easily and work without fail every time.

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