It's no secret that cigars are getting fatter. Whereas 60 ring gauge cigars used to be anomalies, they are now commonplace, and even smokes ranging from 70 to 80 ring gauge are cropping up now in retail shop humidors.
While finding a fat cigar has never been easier, lighting one up can still be a bit tedious, especially for those who prefer the elegance of a soft flame. But what if, instead of one soft flame, your lighter had two?
That's the concept behind Colibri's smartly designed Julius dual-flame soft lighter, which is named in honor of Colibri founder Julius Lowenthal and new for 2015. When the Julius is lit, two soft flames shoot out—one at a 90-degree angle and the other at 45 degrees—and merge to create a flame fat enough to quickly toast a thick cigar.
The high-quality build of the Julius is apparent, as it has a bit of heft due to the all-metal alloy body and internal stainless-steel blades. The lighter is draped in a diamond-pattern casing that's not only attractive, but practical, too, as it provides some welcomed grip. Additionally, the fuel window located on the spine of the lighter has a blue backing, which makes it easier to see if the lighter is running low on butane.
The best features of the Julius, though, is it's oversized flint wheel and "touch" fuel adjuster. Colibri's James Miudo, who designed the Julius in New York City, says he chose to enlarge the flint wheel so that it requires much less torque to operate. This ease-of-use concept carries over to the fuel adjuster located on the bottom of the lighter. Whereas normal flame-adjustment valves require a fingernail or coin to turn, the Julius' adjuster is ridged and can be easily twisted with a thumb or finger. According to Miudo, the Julius holds enough butane to light up 40 to 60 cigars before refueling.
After extensive testing that included torching many cigars north of 60 ring gauge, we found the Julius lived up to its billing as a superior soft-flame lighter. In addition to its smart design, we enjoyed the fact that there is no need to hold the flint wheel after ignition, which meant more time focusing on toasting the cigar and less time straining our thumbs.
The Julius carries a retail price of $125 and is available in five colors: black, black and chrome, black and gold, black and red, and black and blue.
Visit www.colibri.com either for more information or to purchase.