Cigar Aficionado

Colibri Hybrid Lighter

The great cigar lighter question: to torch, or not to torch? Torch flames offer a modern twist on cigar lighters, a high-powered, high-temperature jet of flame that roars to life with the sound of gale-force winds. These powerful tools are akin to miniaturized blowtorches, throwing enough heat to solder pipes or even melt a penny, but more to the point offering cigar smokers a light even in windy conditions. The torch is ideal for the golf course or any outdoor smoking activity, but purists argue that it is overkill. For a cigar aficionado to gently toast a cigar, he needs the warm finger of a gentle, soft, normal flame provided by traditional lighters.

The cigar-smoking indoor/outdoorsman doesn't have to make a choice between the two any longer. The reborn cigar accessory leader Colibri Inc. has an intriguing answer to the torch/no torch question, and it is the Colibri Hybrid. Sturdily built, yet elegantly finished, it contains the best of both lighting worlds in one compact device.

Flip the metal lid protecting the Hybrid's dual flame jets and spin the flint roller toward you to ignite the traditional flame. It burns with a flame about as powerful as that of a candle(1,400° F.), perfect for lighting a cigar indoors or on a still day. If you're outdoors, push the button in front, and butane fuel is redirected to a second jet. The lighter then roars to a blaze, igniting the 1,900° F. torch and producing a slim and very powerful wind-resistant flame. Release the button and it returns to the normal flame. Close the metal lid to extinguish the lighter.

While the Hybrid has the capability of firing up cigars outside, it has a sophisticated look that makes it seem ideal for a posh cigar bar. The surface is a mix of brushed chrome and two-tone polished lacquer, and it comes in four color options-black, charcoal gray, navy blue and white. It retails for $100.