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The Brown Leaf Hall of Shame cigar band thread

You know, Columbo, that's how I learned to smoke too! Peel off the band before you even cut it. Of course, some used that good glue. So waiting until the ember warmed it up enough to peel off was sometimes a necessity, but it was never supposed to be flaunting. If you got comments, hand the band over, but you'd never volunteer that info. It was considered crass. I miss those days!
 
I typically do not remove my band until it’s time. Like RookieGuy says, the heat warms the glue for a better peel. Nothing worse than removing a band and it takes some wrapper with it, now you have to nurse that stick from light to finish hoping it doesn’t unravel. I do that with expensive sticks and inexpensive sticks.
 
Here's a view some gents won't like. Today's cigar bands are ridiculous. Garish and pretentious. Grotesquely oversized. Even for mediocre cigars, they are embarrassingly over-the-top anymore. And getting worse every year.

The only thing worse are the young men who wave them around, always with the crest facing out like a billboard, and show them off as some fleeting, cheesy, status symbol. "Look at me, I'm smoking an Ashton (and you're not)!"

It wasn't always this way.

I picked up a polite habit a very long time ago, a British cigar practice, that is not much practiced any more: The very first thing I always do with any cigar before smoking it is remove the band.

From a modest 8-5-8 to a $30 Padron, they all get stripped naked before lighting. No one ever knows what I'm smoking.

The reason for this old practice is not just to extend the smokable portion of the stick. It was done as a polite courtesy, so that the smoker sitting alongside - who might be smoking a much cheaper cigar (perhaps all he could afford) - would never be embarrassed. Typical British understatement and courtesy. It's a good practice. A gentleman's practice. I heartily encourage it to all good men.

The interesting thing is, many of today's very best cigars still carry a more traditional band. Just enough to let you know what you selected. But not enough to advertise it to the gentlemen 20 feet away at the lounge table. And they peel right off without need of a circular saw.

Naked cigars all present alike to the world, just like all naked men, rich or poor.

I had never really considered it. I just did it naturally (I did not realize that displaying a band was a "status" thing when I first smoked. To be fair, I'm sure that the brands I smoked when I first picked up cigars were not those that anybody would consider showing off for prestige. But I enjoyed them.) I'm sure that I just got into the habit because it made sense. The bad provided no useful purpose and it reduces the "tactile" feel of the tobacco leaf.

I was in another city (don't recall where anymore) in a trendy cigar bar and the counter staff just about died when I peeled the band off. It kind of made me smile just a little... It was then that I realized that I was "supposed" to show off what I was smoking to everybody else in the cigar bar all doing the same thing.

*I'm kind of leaning towards Orlando, FL as the location?
 

Toothpick

Needs milk and a bidet!
Moderator
I typically do not remove my band until it’s time. Like RookieGuy says, the heat warms the glue for a better peel. Nothing worse than removing a band and it takes some wrapper with it, now you have to nurse that stick from light to finish hoping it doesn’t unravel. I do that with expensive sticks and inexpensive sticks.
I started doing this. I would remove them before lighting and noticed how difficult they were to peel off if they were not already loose. Smoke it till you get to the band then peel. Much easier. A lot of times you can just slide them off.
 
You know, Columbo, that's how I learned to smoke too! Peel off the band before you even cut it. Of course, some used that good glue. So waiting until the ember warmed it up enough to peel off was sometimes a necessity, but it was never supposed to be flaunting. If you got comments, hand the band over, but you'd never volunteer that info. It was considered crass. I miss those days!
If you are having difficulty removing a band, tear it aside the crest. The rear of the band is typically where the glue is. Lift the top edge of the crest up with your fingernail like a pull tab, and then just gently rip it. After a dozen or so, it becomes an easy habit. If it's still glued to the wrapper at the back, give it a dab of spittle and it should loosen. Peeling a band starting at the glued seam is more prone to tear off a speck of wrapper. And even if you do, it's no big deal.

Separate from the social courtesy, a naked cigar just feels and handles better. If I wanted to touch and feel paper when smoking, I'd smoke a cigarette.
 
I had never really considered it. I just did it naturally (I did not realize that displaying a band was a "status" thing when I first smoked. To be fair, I'm sure that the brands I smoked when I first picked up cigars were not those that anybody would consider showing off for prestige. But I enjoyed them.) I'm sure that I just got into the habit because it made sense. The bad provided no useful purpose and it reduces the "tactile" feel of the tobacco leaf.

I was in another city (don't recall where anymore) in a trendy cigar bar and the counter staff just about died when I peeled the band off. It kind of made me smile just a little... It was then that I realized that I was "supposed" to show off what I was smoking to everybody else in the cigar bar all doing the same thing.

*I'm kind of leaning towards Orlando, FL as the location?
Once you discover it, the feel of the wrapper is part of the experience of a nice stick.

Sounds like you walked into a cigar snob clubhouse. Too many of them nowadays, sorry to say.
 

Isaac

B&B Tease-in-Residence
Moderator Emeritus
I was in another city (don't recall where anymore) in a trendy cigar bar and the counter staff just about died when I peeled the band off. It kind of made me smile just a little... It was then that I realized that I was "supposed" to show off what I was smoking to everybody else in the cigar bar all doing the same thing.

*I'm kind of leaning towards Orlando, FL as the location?
A true aficionado smokes the cigar, not the band.
 

oc_in_fw

Contributor
My first cigar was when I was 18 and spending a couple weeks with my uncle. He got me a Hoyo deMontery Excalibur #1 (still my go to when I buy the occasional cigar). He removed his hand before lighting, so I did, too. I have done that since, never thinking anything of it. I have no need to impress anyone (if a HdM would actually impress anyone :) )
 
I started doing this. I would remove them before lighting and noticed how difficult they were to peel off if they were not already loose. Smoke it till you get to the band then peel. Much easier. A lot of times you can just slide them off.
This is what I do as well. If people leave their bands on to show off, they would be sad to realize that I can't make out bands from cigars I don't smoke, and most often even from brands that I do smoke.
 
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