Long ash competitions are a common cigar game. Who has the longest ash, wins. It’s also probably one of the silliest games invented, doing nothing for the enjoyment of the cigar. The smoker has to concentrate so much on the length of the ash, he forgets to savour the flavours, he almost always forgets the whole experience. What if there was a game that encourage good smoking technique? A game where, in order to win, the smoker had to develop a draw pattern that allowed for the cigar’s flavours to shine through?
There is such a game, it’s called “Last Stick Standing” (trademarked by My Cigar Blog!)
Here are the rules:
- Every player puts a cigar into a pot, his ante.
- Every player smokes the same cigar, from the same box is possible. (which makes this game a fun one to play when breaking out a new box for tasting)
- Every player lights up at the same time, and gets their cigar going. The objective of the game is to keep your cigar going as long as possible without requiring a relight, touch up or any additional touches of the flame. If the cigar goes out, the player is out; if the cigar, at the nub, becomes too difficult to keep smoking and the player puts it down, he is out.
- The winner is the person whose cigar goes out last; “Last Stick Standing”. All the cigars in the pot go to him/her.
Proper draw technique is something i rarely see in cigar smokers nowadays. They tend to either draw too quickly, or too deeply (thus making the cigar burn too hot thus leading to hot smoke thus leading to bitter tar yuckiness) or they draw too slowly or too shallow (thus stalling the cigar, starved for oxygen the cigar goes out, thus requiring relighting that leads to bitter yuckiness).
It takes proper pacing and patience to draw on a cigar correctly, to ensure that each draw provides a cool, flavoursome mouthful of smoke. The pacing for each cigar, depending on a variety of factors such as density of the roll, type of tobacco, and vitola will be different. But a seasoned aficionado, someone who understands the characteristics of how the draw works in the process of combustion, and how this leads to the smoke, will be able to judge and pace out each draw to maximize the enjoyment of the experience.
This game helps you learn things from both ends: if you draw too quickly, your cigar will burn too fast, reaching the nub too soon, and you’ll be out. If you draw too slowly, your cigar will go out, requiring a relight, and you’ll be out. Exact and proper pacing is the key to success.
Have fun with this! Let me know if you play it with your friends and buddies sometimes, and what your experiences were with the game!