There's a secret society of rule makers. They are a timeless and ageless group that have accumulated a lengthy list of rules and regulations as to how us common folk should enjoy cigars. Every now and then they descend from the hills to visit the smoking village and then "POOF" like magic they return to Valhalla. Seriously, some of their rules are steeped in logic and reason passed down from parent to child but some are delusional. In this article I want to focus on one, DIPPING.
I have had the pleasure of convincing so many people over the years of dipping their cigar and they all say to themselves "I was always taught not to do this"! The logic goes like this. Firstly, the cigar is blended to have a distinct flavor profile and dipping the cigar changes to it in a manner that is unrecognizable. Secondly, it's just tacky and no self respecting cigar aficionado would do such a dastardly thing--it's an abomination. OK thats it, thats their case in a nutshell. Now its time to tear it apart.
Firstly, when you pair a cigar with a spirit or wine you should have some sort of process akin to a rudder and a compass. The flavor and body of the cigar should match the flavor and body of the spirit or wine. Why? Because the goal of the pairing is to produce a synergy greater than the sum of it's parts. It's like a symphony where the individual instruments produce a sound greater than any individual instrument. As you take the cigar smoke into your mouth and as you coat the lining of your mouth and throat with the spirit you are integrating two disparate flavors into one. The original flavor profile of the cigar can only be experienced by your sense of taste and once you pair a cigar with a spirit the taste you experience is changed by default.
Secondly, whether you are drinking water or rum the head of your cigar will always be wet. When you drink a single malt your saliva is saturated with the spirit which again is transferred to the cigar every single time that you puff the cigar (this is sheer physics). As you draw the smoke it is filtered through the Scotch drenched saliva on the cigar's head and then integrated with the same Scotch again that coats the mouth. That being said, every time that you puff the cigar you are essentially dipping the cigar.
Which brings me to this. What is the problem with outright dipping the cigar? Well, before we get too hasty I want to cover the following. When I eat a steak with baked potatoes and asparagus I don't put them into a blender and swallow it whole. I enjoy the flavors separately and in the latter parts of the dining experience I may end up with a piece of the steak, potato, and asparagus on my fork at one time but I would never do this from the start of the meal. The same is true when dipping a cigar. You should only dip the cigar in the last third once you have experienced the flavors independently to appreciate them for their individuality.
There is no counter argument--ADMIT IT AND DIP THAT DAM CIGAR!!!!!!