Sciacca Grill Valletta


Fortunately for cigar lovers today, the so called “savages” introduced Christopher Columbo to smoking, and they introduced Cuban Tobacco to the Western World as one of the first-ever globally traded goods. The word ‘cigar’ comes from the Spanish word, ‘Cigarro’, most likely stemming from a Mayan root, ‘sicar’. The original meaning was “to smoke rolled tobacco leaves”.

Dry Aged Beef

The Allure of the Cigar – 101

Cigars have an old-fashioned yet totally cool vibe that oozes character, class and pleasure. Smoking a cigar is a deep and reflective process, much like enjoying a fine wine – about what we happen to know a lot. In the late 19th century, cigar smoking was considered a leisurely pursuit reserved for the rich as proof of their wealth and status, and today it is more accessible to all.

Historically speaking

Christopher Columbus was not impressed when he first landed in what is known today as Cuba. Instead of treasure, he encountered local savages and their Tobacco called Cohiba. Fortunately for cigar lovers today, the savages introduced him to smoking, and he introduced Cuban Tobacco to the Western World as one of the first-ever globally traded goods.
The word ‘cigar’ comes from the Spanish word, ‘Cigarro’, most likely stemming from a Mayan root, ‘sicar’. The original meaning was “to smoke rolled tobacco leaves”.

Behind the Scenes

Cigars are a natural and artisanal product; not a single leaf is chemically treated or artificially altered for taste. Everything from colour to flavour is entirely natural.
Tobacco is primarily grown in the tropics and is one of the most labour-intensive crops to cultivate. Creating a cigar includes harvesting tobacco leaves, then cutting and hanging them up to dry before processing; as the next step, tobacco is rolled into thin sheets called “blades” which must be prepared carefully to ensure that the cigar burns evenly. To be able to roll, fermented tobacco leaves must be at an optimal (high) humidity level. The taste and aroma results from this process which varies depending on the type of cigar. A highly skilled cigar roller is called a “torcedor”, who can produce around 200 cigars a day. Cigar humidors – made from Spanish cedar wood – are a vital part of the process. A cigar can age for a lifetime and become something glorious when kept in optimum conditions. You can puff a cigar anywhere from 40 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size and type of blend – and you should not rush like smoking a cigarette.

‘Close but no cigar.’

Do you know where this common saying comes from? Many years ago, cigars were handed out as prizes for games at the local fair (instead of teddy bears), so this phrase was coined by the carnival workers operating the games.
Health check
They say it takes only three cigars to get addicted and that to quit the habit, and you should cut back very slowly to avoid tobacco withdrawal syndrome, which could be life-threatening.
Legendary writer Mark Twain smoked 300 cigars a month. He quit the habit, leading him to suffer from writer’s block for three months. He resumed the routine, and it only took another three months to complete his next book.
According to the American Cancer Society, cigars don’t contain anywhere near as many toxic ingredients as cigarettes. Still, it is also proven that those who smoke cigars heavily, or inhale deeply, will increase their risk of developing lung disease – so everything is in moderation, as they say.
Cigars are known to reduce stress, and psychiatrists often prescribe them to their patients; they also supposedly reduce the risk of contracting Parkinsons’ disease. Freud had something to say about their sexually stimulating effect. I am sure you will agree; they are rather sexy in the right hands.

Choosing the right cigar

? Thin versus thick,
? Long versus short,
? Specific shapes,
? Does the cigar feel comfortable in your hand and your mouth,
? How much time do you have to smoke

These are just some of the questions that will influence your choice.
It would be best if you savoured a cigar slowly to relish its tasting notes and aroma.

Dry Aged Meat - Sciacca Grill

Essential tips for beginners:

  • Always go for a premium, hand-made cigar, from long-leaf tobacco (not chopped-up tobacco), by experienced cigar-makers for a consistent taste. There is no need to spend a fortune on many good brands.
  • Start with a milder cigar with less nicotine if you are not accustomed to them, which does not mean it will be bland or have less flavour.
  • Don’t smoke on an empty stomach; keep your palate hydrated since smoking a cigar dries out your mouth naturally.
  • Your cigar will be much more enjoyable with the right accompaniments – we can help you with this! 😉

Smoke like a pro, from start to finish

  • Your first encounter should be based on sight, smell and touch. A good cigar can be felt by rolling it between your fingers. Cheap cigars are generally not consistent in colour, are usually rough in texture, and won’t emit a fresh, alluring aroma.
  • Next, your cigar may come out of the box with a closed head that must be cut off before smoking, when cutting, aim for the part where the end of the cigar begins to close. You can’t go wrong with a sharp cigar cutter and a steady pair of hands.
  • When lighting up, use a good old-fashioned matchstick over a cigarette lighter. Avoid overheating the cigar by holding it over the flame, rotating it gently to maintain a glowing ring around the tip, and drawing smoke until it is well-lit.
  • No two cigars will taste the same. The best smoking etiquette is to let the ash fall naturally from the cigar end; no need to knock or flick it off. Note: The whiter the ash, the better the tobacco quality.
  • Leave a stub of around 2 inches at the end; even the finest cigars will taste bitter if smoked to the very end.
  • Cigars, unlike cigarettes, are not designed to be inhaled – inhaling smoke won’t improve the taste or do your lungs any good if you do. Gently draw the cigar smoke into your palate, but expel it from your mouth and nasal cavity without inhaling.
  • It is considered good etiquette to smoke in the company of other cigar smokers.

Visit our cigar lounge area and explore our extensive collection of cigar brands for all tastes and occasions, from beginner’s first sticks to premium brands sought after by the most discerning cigar aficionado. It’s the perfect accompaniment to fine scotch or cognac and a most relaxing, therapeutic pastime. Why pay hundreds of euros on therapy when you can pay much, much less for a good cigar and a good shot at Sciacca Grill Valletta.

So, we end off with another good quote by Winston Churchill, who said, “Smoking cigars is like falling in love. First, you are attracted by its shape; you stay for its flavour, and you must always remember never to let the flame go out!”

We invite you to book a table at our elegant Valletta venue location, where you can come and enjoy a cigar experience with us like no other.


Here at Sciacca, we believe the dry ageing method is not only sophisticated, but ultimately boosts the flavour to the maximum.
We invite you to book a table at our elegant Valletta venue or at our more vibey St Julians location, where you can come and enjoy an intensely meaty experience with us like no other.

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