Ash Impacts the Burn Rate and Draw
The ash is far more than a nuisance. It affects the burn rate of the cigar, the ease of draw and much more. Over time, a cigar smoker will develop the ability to determine exactly how much ash is the best on the foot of their cigar.
While a cigar is certainly hot, it should not be so hot that it affects the taste of the tobacco. This is why very powerful lighters are held a bit away from the cigar during the lighting process. To burn, fire or embers require fuel, oxygen and heat. The ash regulates the amount of oxygen the cherry receives, which regulates the overall temperature of the burn. As any smoker knows, the first puff of a cigar is usually the hottest. The temperature of the smoke mellows as ash is generated.
Can There be Too Much Ash?
Too much ash, of course, will extinguish the cherry. Usually someone ashes their cigar long before this happens, but if it happens to be set down in an ashtray, it will sometimes go out because of this effect. Generally, one wants to find the happy medium between a cool burn and having the cigar go out.
This takes some experience, but like most things related to cigar smoking, the experimentation means nothing more intense than enjoying a good cigar! Be sure to take note of how much ash lends the right temperature to the ember at the foot of the cigar.
When You’re Outdoors, Consider This…
The only other concern of which one should be aware has to do with being outdoors. If one flicks their ash too early, it may pull the cherry, or part of it, off of the cigar with it. This can result in a fire hazard, and should be a situation where it requires proper attention.
A longer ash will tend to drop off under its own weight. Let it detach a bit on its own before ashing to make sure none of the burning tobacco is pulled away with it when you’re in a dry area.How To Ash A Cigar by David Sabot