Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Clipping Figurado-shaped cigars

For some new cigar smokers, their first experience with "Torpedo," "Belicoso," "Pyramid," "Double Perfecto," and other tapered head cigars can be a little confusing. Do you clip it? Punch it? Bite it?

Generally referred to as "Figurados," one thing these attractive-looking cigars have in common is a tapered head, or a head that comes to a point. To that end (pun intended), here's my take on how to clip these cigars.

What you want to do is clip off just enough to keep the head pointed, but still give you a good draw. Start with clipping about a 1/4 of an inch using a standard single or double-blade guillotine cigar cutter. You can also use a one-sided double-blade cigar cutter. These are also referred to as "perfect cuts." They look and work just like a double-blade cutter, except they're closed on one side, giving you just enough depth to scalp the cap of the cigar. This type of cutter is effective for figurados because it permits you to literally "shave" the point down a little at a time until the draw is where you want it. It's a lot neater, too. (Hellboy could use a giant one of these for his horns.)

If you don't have a one-sided double-blade cutter, try "the table method." Using a single or double or blade cigar cutter, place the cutter flat on a tabletop. Open the blade/s, place the cigar in the middle so the head is resting on the table, then close the blade/s for a nice straight cut. If that doesn't do it for you, do it again. Usually no more than two or three snips is enough.

You can also use a V-cutter, which makes a triangular shaped wedge in the head of the cigar. Usually the depth of the cut is enough to get a decent draw, but I've found the above method works best, and gives you more control.

~ Gary Korb

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