It is often the finest details that distinguish a gentleman from the average person. The instrument used to light a cigar or a pipe is one of such factors that differentiates a man with class.
It is common for inexperienced youth to mistake cheaper alternative apparatus for choice lighters that a gentleman should wield. This is a guide for the gentleman-in-the-making to make the right choice in his accessories.
Butane lighters are the only way to go
To properly enjoy a choice cigar, the lighting apparatus is key in ensuring an even and quick toast of the cigar. Most of the common lighters that are available are convenience stores tend to leave a disagreeable chemical scent that mixes with the flavors of the tobacco. This is not ideal as the integrity of the cigar’s flavor is compromised.
Lighters fuelled by butane offer a quick and even toast of the cigar as the flames burn at a higher temperature, and the gas does not tamper with the flavor of the cigar.
Cigar Versus Pipe Lighters
We have established that butane lighters are the rule. The differentiating factor for cigar and pipe lighters is the intensity of the size of the flame. Cigars require a more intense and precise flame to ensure a proper light. Pipes require a softer flame that can coat the entire base of the apparatus.
To the average person, these differences are a matter of semantics, however, to distinguish oneself as a gentleman, one should always be aware of the difference.
Carrying a lighter is only polite
A lighter is more than a practical tool for yourself, it can be a social tool. Imagine you are sitting by the country club having a smoke, and a fellow member needs a light. There you are to save the day, and that is a new friend made.
The tradition of carrying a light around stems from the Victorian era whereby lighters were cumbersome and risky to bring around due to the tendency of accidentally dropping gunpowder around. It has since morphed into it being a polite gesture to have a light available for your fellow man if need be. And, given the increase in the popularity of tobacco products, you are more likely to come across someone who needs light when you are walking around town.
It is a handy tool to have in your pocket as well. A reliable lighter is important in any gentleman’s arsenal. Providing light to your fellow gentlemen, starting your missus’ fire, or even lighting candles for a romantic dinner you threw together for the anniversary you almost forgot. It is important to have it on your person at all times.
Carrying lighters in the 21st century
Now with commercial flights available, we must exercise caution when bringing our trusty devices along for our travels. Butane is a flammable gas, which makes it a hazard to fly with. Many a time will gentlemen forget that their lighters are in their pockets, and have to surrender the pricey object at airport security.
A reliable tobacconist in the locale of your visit should be able to supply and light a choice cigar for you. Make sure that you do not cheapen out on your cigar experience just because you are overseas. There are reliable tobacconists in every city. Do not be shy to ask them for their recommendations, and more often than not they are happy to sell you a cheaper alternative but quality lighter.
Types of Flames
Lighter manufacturers these days are coming up with more extravagant ways to produce a flame. There are lighters with two to three flames or others with flames burning at fancy shapes.
In my opinion, a strong and reliable flame is all you need. A gentleman should be refined and elegant, letting his taste in the more refined things in life speak for itself. It would certainly be classier to be sporting an elegant, single flame lighter than one that has three heads and is glaring in three different colors.
With all that said, let us take a look at the lighters that I would recommend any gentleman to use. There are a plethora of lighters out there in the market. Let me help you make the right choice for your own needs.
An easy way to know if the lighter you are purchasing will provide you with a quick and even light is if it comes from a reputable tobacconist. Here are some of the lighters that I have used in the past.
Sleek, elegant, a classic. S.T. Dupont is known to produce luxury accessories, with limited edition lighters going for thousands of dollars. Any gentleman worth their word knows that S.T. Dupont is a lighter worth the buck. Far from the ostentatious designs of other more modern brands, S.T. Dupont prides itself on craftsmanship and evergreen design.
For a more everyday model, Xikar is a good alternative to S.T. Dupont, for a more affordable option. It comes in a variety of different designs that is sure to win you over to its loyal customer base.
Colibri offers less pricey options for beginner cigar connoisseurs. It provides a reliable flame that is key for a good light from anywhere between twenty to fifty dollars. It does not require frequent maintenance, making it a great choice for beginners.
For the more modern gentleman, Lotus is a good choice. This European brand specializes in crafting intricate designs on their lighters which go for much lower than you would expect. A fantastic statement piece, and a conversation starter for any lighter enthusiast.
Types of Lighter Fluids
We have well-established that butane should be the only gas in your lighter. Well, there is one more thing to note – which is the quality of butane in your lighter. Going for one that has the least amount of impurities is the most optimal, also why you should stay away from the convenience store choices.
The options listed above have trustworthy standards of butane in their lighters. When choosing lighters, always opt for quality over price, your palate will thank you.
A good lighter is one of the hallmarks of a distinguished gentleman. It is only ostentatious when the lighter you wield is all flare but no flame.
Make your choice wisely, and happy puffing!