Friday, March 6, 2009

Biting the bullet

Here's one for you. I recently began an email relationship with a reader who originally wrote to me for advice on how to re-humidify some cigars he felt were drying-out. I gave him the 411, yadda-yadda-yadda, and at the end of one of his replies he wrote:

"P.S. I have given up on all cutters. I now prefer to bite off the cap. Maybe that is just a personal preference but I find that it gives me a better “opening taste” after I light it up."

Over the years, I've written dozens of articles on the different types of cigar cutters, their advantages and disadvantages, how to properly clip cigars, etc., and have often received comments from readers about their preferred choice of cutter and their personal clipping techniques. To that end, I have maintained the philosophy that when it comes to the myriad aspects of enjoying premium cigars, "to each his own."

Personally, I'm partial to using a double-blade cutter, and basically "circumcise" the cap (no jokes, please) by rotating the cigar as I clamp the blades together. I've found that this technique helps "pop" the cap off in a near perfect circle, while leaving enough tobacco around the shoulders to prevent the wrapper from unraveling.

That said, I have to admit that during some rare instances, I have bitten the cap off my cigar. However, it didn't necessarily give me a better "opening taste." More often then not, I ended up spitting out pieces of tobacco. Well, maybe I'm just not cut out for biting cigars.

What I'm driving at is, I wonder how many regular cigar smokers opt for their teeth in lieu of a cutter? If you do, or know someone who does, please leave a comment. I'd be curious to know why and what the advantages are, if any.

~ G.K.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I prefer the V cutter. But if I don't have it with me? Chomp. I don't think it gives any better opening taste either. I find myself spitting little bits as well. Not that attractive to any onlookers. But if it means bite to smoke? I'm a biter.

Steve4KU

Kenny said...

nothing ruins a good cigar for me even if i have to chomp off the end to get at it

Aficionado of Cigars said...

If I don't have a cutter with me I'll normally ask the shop to cut them for me. However if I've forgotten to do both then I'll usually go for a match stick in the end. I don't seem to have the accuracy for good biting and it normally ends with the cigar unwravelling.

Anonymous said...

i usually cut my cigars as i take them from the humidor to my case - i think i've only ever chomped once in my life!

JohnHayCigars said...

Tried biting off the cap once. Never again. Ruined the cigar for me. Never did get all of the loose pieces out of my mouth and the cigar started unraveling. I have never been without a cutter since that experiance. Usually the multitool or my new favorite duel blade guillotine with the bottom and hole for a perfect cut every time.