You’ve cut your cigar expertly, you’re perched comfortably and ready for a delicious smoke, so now all that’s left is to light it.
After choosing a cigar perfectly suited to your tastes, use a butane torch lighter or wooden match so you don’t risk introducing any foreign flavours to your delicate Cuban cigar. Ignite your lighter while gently holding your cigar near the band or about an inch from the head. Then hover the cigar just above and not quite touching the flame while you gently rotate the cigar so each edge has a chance to ignite. Rotate slowly to ensure the entire surface area is evenly exposed to the heat of the flame.
Rookie Tip: Never smoke a cigar in the same room with a strong perfume, such as a scented candle, and certainly never light your cigar with one - not that you’d even consider it, right? The perfumes will mingle and muddle the aromas of your cigar, ruining the subtle flavours.
Filling your lighter
Choose purified butane to fill your cigar to prevent contamination of your cigar’s tobacco. There are different options of purified butane, but find one that's refined preferably with less than 15 parts-per-million of impurities, such as Xikar’s Purofine™ butane. Once you have some appropriate fuel, it’s time to fill your lighter.
Whether it’s the first time you’re filling your lighter or your favourite lighter requires refilling, there’s a specific way to fill each lighter. Firstly, release the fuel tank’s pressure by pushing down the inlet valve on the bottom of the lighter. The easiest way to do this is with a small screwdriver or ball point pen. Some lighters even come with a ‘bleeder’ tool to do the job. Be sure to hold the lighter upright when you push down on the valve and keep pushing down repeatedly until you can’t hear a hissing noise coming from the valve.
Adjust the flame’s size to the lowest setting to keep the opening tight. This limits the amount of air getting in. Now turn the lighter upside down to insert the tip of the butane valve over the fuel valve. Press firmly and hold for five seconds.
Some lighters have a handy fuel tank window, allowing you to see if it has filled completely. After the lighter is full, you’ll notice the lighter and fuel tank will feel extremely cold. For your safety, make sure you wait a few minutes after you’ve filled the lighter before you use it. If there’s any extra butane around the opening, this short wait will help it evaporate and bring the liquid gas up to room temperature.
Next, change the flame back to your preferred height and size, but ensure you don’t open the valve all the way as it could cause the flame to burst out too quickly, which is not only dangerous but wastes valuable fuel. It’s safest to adjust the dial to the halfway point and then your can fine tune the flame height to your preference from there.