Home > Cigars > Cigar Talk: Long Ashes

Cigar Talk: Long Ashes

A common perception regarding cigar smoking is that one should keep the ash on the cigar for as long as possible. Is this true? And, if so, why? Does it serve any real purpose?

The ability of your cigar to hold its ash for a long period does suggest high construction quality. A nicely rolled stogie with quality long filler will often hold onto its ash for two inches or more. Of course, just because the ash falls off early, doesn’t mean it’s a bad cigar…it’s just one indicator.

Long Ash On A Fonseca Serie F Robusto

Keeping the ash on longer can serve another purpose, other than bragging rights. Many cigar smokers believe that a bit of ash at the end of the cigar helps keep it at optimal smoking temperature. Overheating a cigar is bad news in terms of enjoyment, as it can ruin flavor, cause burn issues, and even burn your mouth if it gets too hot as the cigar shortens during consumption. Ash can provide a buffer between the air being sucked into the stick and the cherry itself, thereby avoiding these problems.

That doesn’t mean you have to keep the ash on at all times, however, or tempt fate by letting the ash grow until it falls into your lap. At that point it becomes a matter of preference. Some people enjoy a warmer smoke, which sometimes provides stronger flavor and more copious smoke output. The line between a warm smoke and overheating a cigar is a thin one.

So enjoy your cigar in any way you wish. If you prefer to keep your ash on as long as possible, then do it. But don’t worry too much about what people will think if you tap it off early.

Categories: Cigars Tags: , ,
  1. Luke Beuterbaugh
    July 22, 2012 at 7:39 am | #1

    Great point of view Craig. I was drinking a cold beer and smoking a stogie at this quaint little beachfront bar in St. Thomas one night. An older gentleman at the table next to me stuck up a conversation and told me he’d once been a defense lawyer up in Texas. I guess in those days they were allowed to smoke in the courtroom so when it was time for the prosecuting attorney to speak with the jury he’d light up a cigar. He laughed as he confessed to putting a wire through his cigar beforehand to keep the ashes from falling off. Apparently once the ash got to a certain length the jury couldn’t take their eyes off it. “Son, they weren’t listening to a word he said ha ha” …Now I can’t say I completely believed his story but as Steven King says, “When it comes to the past, we all stack the deck.”

  1. June 22, 2012 at 4:16 pm | #1

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