This is my first cigar in weeks.
I bit the inside of my lip and had a nasty sore, so I’ve held off on the celebratory cigar for my Evileye Books announcement until I could be sure the smoke wouldn’t irritate or infect the wound. Now that it’s smoothed over again, I got my ass back out on the front porch and lit up a Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real. It only took a few puffs to remember why it’s one of my go-to smokes for casual smoking.
I’ve ranted about the joys of the RyJ plenty of times in the past, though, so this time I thought I’d concentrate on the Cigar Spike I used to pierce the end cap for smoking. I’m normally a punch guy, but in my experience, most of them don’t hold an edge and I sometimes feel like I’m about to break the cigar or I’ll compress the tobacco near the foot as I’m punching the hole. This is especially a problem when a cigar is a little too moist and the cap doesn’t cut as easily.
On those occasions I’ll turn to a cutter. I can’t say I’ve got much of a preference between the cutter and the punch other than a punch is more convenient to carry (I tend to use the coin pocket in my jeans for my lighter and cutting gear), so it’s not a big deal to switch back and forth. However, if the cap isn’t fixed properly, they may fall apart. I’ve also had problems with some cigars crushing before cutting, and often times I’ll get bits of tobacco in my mouth.
The Cigar Spike promised to solve all of these problems: they’re tiny and portable, there’s no knife edge to lose sharpness, and because they’re pushing a hole into the cap there are no bits of tobacco falling out. I was a bit skeptical, but for three bucks shipped, I decided to give it a shot. A few days later my three Cigar Spikes arrived.
They delivered on being tiny and portable. The small piece of smooth plastic fit into my pocket with ease, right up against my lighter. Because it’s not metal, there’s no danger of it scratching or scuffing my trusty Xikar lighter, either. The point is slightly rounded, so it won’t poke anything and there are no worries about it going dull. Time to put it to work.
It took no effort to push the Spike through the Reserva Real’s cap, which made me happy. No compression or excessive pushing to endanger the draw is a good thing. I took a test draw on the unlit cigar and it felt a little tough, so I pushed the Spike in again to widen the hole (just push in farther and the hole gets wider), then turned it ninety degrees and poked again. I didn’t get a plus sign some of the reviews mentioned, just a small, roundish hole a bit smaller than a punch would have made. The next test draw proved smoother and easier.
Satisfied that far, I left the punch and cutter inside and went out to light up. I will say the draw with a punch or cutter is a bit looser, but the spiked draw worked just fine. An hour into the cigar I had zero problems with the draw. I tend to bite the end from time to time, though, and a half hour later the draw got tougher. Another quick and effortless poke, though, and the draw was right back to the way it started.
All in all, I’m happy with the little guys. I look forward to trying them again with a few more smokes, and I’m going to give one to a local friend, a rookie smoker who just purchased his first box of Avos (after sampling a couple I gave him, natch). I’ll let you know how it goes in my next Smoke Blog entry.