Cigars that are not well kept typically dries up due to the lack of humid conditions. But first, how do you know if your cigar is too dry?
- Your cigar is lighter than it is supposed to be
- Your cigar feels a lot tighter than before
- The draw is too tight in your cigar and it's not because it's rolled too tightly
- Your cigar is stale and tastes like dirt
- There is a crack in your cigar
You can also verify these things by pinching the cigar between your fingers. If it feels hard like a wooden stick then perhaps it might be a little too dry due to the evaporation of the natural oils in the tobacco.
If your cigar fits any of the descriptions above, then your cigar is definitely in danger. However, if your cigar meets the following criteria, then I'm afraid it might be too late and you might as well just chuck your cigar away.
- If your cigar has a crack, then it is still fine as long as the crack doesn't reach the filler of the cigar.
- If the oil has completely evaporated from your cigar
If not, then you are in luck and your cigar still has a fighting chance to stay alive. Keep in mind that this is going to be a long process that could take weeks and even months. Although it takes quite some time to re-hydrate your cigar, it is a process that is worth investing your time in as the altered taste of a dry cigar tastes like dirt. In some instances, the cigar may even become too tight and effect the draw of the cigar.
Now we will get right to it.
- Assuming you have a table-top humidor, take out the contents.
- Take a towel and moisten it with distilled water. Tap water is a no-go for this situation.
- Take your moist towel and wipe the walls of the humidor clean. The point in doing this is to take precautionary steps in order to avoid potential bugs or mould.
- With a moist towel, re-moisten the humidification part of the humidor with distilled water. Make sure it doesn't get over humidified, otherwise it'll over hydrate the cigar and cause it to expand the cigar too quickly, which would crack the wrapper of the cigar.
- Eventually the humidor should return to the optimal 70 degree humidity equilibrium. The cigar(s) being kept inside should also return to the optimal humidity within a couple weeks or so depending of the size of the cigar's ring gauge.
- Finally, check if your cigar has been salvaged by giving it a small, gentle squeeze between your fingers. If it is still too hard then you should continue with the process, if it is a little squishier, and plumper, then you have saved your cigar!
Hope you were able to salvage your cigar from destruction with our help. If you found this helpful maybe you can share this article with people who could benefit from it.
You might have seen it in the movies, or in TV shows, or on the cover of a gangster novel. The big boss – be he a mafia don, drug lord, or your plain, run-of-the-mill CEO – is sporting a large cigar, and is smoking it unaffectedly. He seems to like it, that tight, large wad of smoke and leaves. But what makes cigars so prized, and why is it often associated with wealth and business?
Very simply, a cigar is a rolled-up heap of dried, fermented tobacco. One end is lit with fire, and the other is the opening by which smoke can enter a user’s mouth. Cigar tobacco is special: its flavour is reputedly richer and deeper than the tobacco used for ordinary cigarettes. Such tobacco is grown in tropical countries, with Brazil, Cuba, Honduras, and Mexico leading the pack. Cuban cigars, in particular, are considered to be the best varieties, although experts contend that Nicaraguan and Honduran cigars easily rival the mighty Cuban.
Cigars were once extremely expensive, and were usually confined to banquets, where “smokers” were held. These were gatherings where important politicians convened to discuss important issues while they smoked. When the U.S. imposed a trade embargo on Cuba in the 20th century, the price of cigars rose much higher, and the use of them was confined to those who could afford them.
In mid 2005, however, cigar prices declined, allowing many smokers (and smoking beginners) to taste and enjoy cigar smoking. But what is there to enjoy in cigars? According to aficionados, cigars have less of the smoky taste of cigarettes, and can even take on the taste of whisky, chocolate, or even wine!
How are cigars made? Choice tobacco leaves are first harvested, then aged by a combination of heat and shade. This serves to lower the leaves’ water and sugar content, without causing leaves to rot. Once the dried leaves are ready, they are made to “die with grace” by a slow process of fermentation. During this time, humidity levels and temperature are controlled, such that the lea will ferment without disintegrating or rotting. In this critical period are ushered out of the leaves the flavours and aroma that characterize the cigar into which it will eventually be made.
When fermentation is done, leaves are sorted out depending on whether they will be used as filler for the cigar, or as wrapper. Leaves must be kept moist, and should be handled very carefully. As soon as they are sorted, a cigar maker will roll them into any of the various cigar shapes, carefully, and by hand.
The flavour of a cigar depends on the leaves used for its wrapper and filler. Wrapper leaves usually come from the widest part of a tobacco plant. Their colour can range from the very light, mildly greenish brown shade called the Double Claro; to the oily, black Oscuro grown in Nicaragua, Mexico, Cuba, or Brazil. The colour of a wrapper also describes the colour of a cigar.
Most of a cigar is made up of fillers, or the interior, where smoking tobacco leaves are bundled together by elastic leaves called binders. Some cigar makers mix up a variety of leaves of various tastes and strengths, in order to produce different flavours of cigar.
To keep their flavour, cigars should be stored at room temperature, but at relatively high humidity. A humidor, or a special wooden box, usually comes with cigars when they are purchased.
Cigars still retain their mystique, whether they are seen on the silver screen, or read about in books.
Till next time, Cigars are a Lifestyle!
Experienced cigar enthusiasts are well acquainted with the pleasures of a well-aged cigar. The subtle flavours and complex constitution of a well-aged cigar is indescribable and unforgettable. Like wine, many cigar aficionados swear by the process of ageing. A great cigar, the argument goes, is an aged one. How can you attain a well-aged cigar that provides the mellow, complex flavours you crave? You can always fork over a good deal of your money and purchase a box of expensive vintage cigars. If you would rather save the money and experiment with ageing on your own, here are a few tips to help you get started.
First, know that you will have to be patient if you want a properly aged cigar. You will have to age your cigars for about a year in order to achieve the flavours and complex subtleties of a well-aged cigar. Also, know that in order to achieve the rewards of a well-aged cigar; you must begin the process with a high-quality cigar. If you try to age a lower quality cigar, chances are that any amount of ageing will not improve their flavours significantly. Many high-quality cigars that you find too strong or odorous are perfect candidates for ageing. In fact, almost all high-quality cigars can be improved through the process of ageing.
To age your cigars, purchase a good quality humidor. Cigars must be stored in a constant and stable environment. Follow the 70-70 rules. That means the humidity must be at a constant humidity of 70%, and at a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Of course, the environment in which they are stored in is crucial. Follow the usual 70-70 rules for temperature and humidity. Any more and your cigars will get mouldy; any less and the ageing process begins to be stunted. Maintaining a stable environment for your cigars is key - a constantly fluctuating environment can be disastrous. Swings in temperature and humidity causes cigars to expand and contract, which leads to cracking in its wrappers and a disruption in the ageing process. Ideally, the space in the humidor should be about twice the volume of cigars. The lining should be cedar - cedar wood is highly aromatic wood, full of its own oils. Over time, the tobacco oil, and the cedar oil leads to a mellowing and blending of flavours which results to a subtle complexity that you can only get from proper ageing.
Derived from the Spanish word for “ripe,” the Maduro wrapper is one of the darkest types of wrapper there is for cigars. But did you know that the term “Maduro” used to be used to classify a specific shade of a cigar wrapper? Nowadays the term is used to determine a type of cigar wrapper.
Although there are a wide variety of Maduro wrappers, the main two types are Natural Maduro and Boiled Maduro. The main differences between these two lies mainly in the process of how the tobacco leaves processed.
When it comes to the Natural Maduro, the way the leaves are processed is like natural selection for survival. Not every tobacco leaf that pledges gets into the frat, and certainly not every tobacco leaf can survive the hazing process. So how exactly do companies make sure they find the right tobacco leaves for Natural Maduro? Unlike Boiled Maudro, Natural Maudro’s process is done in a more “natural” way. The right tobacco leaves should have strong genetics and morphological features. In order to find the ones that possesses these features, they are put to the test when they go through fermentation that takes a much longer time than usual in order to weed out the ones that can be used as Maduro and the ones that cannot. If the tobacco leaves come out with a dark smooth color, then those are the ones that not only possess those desired genetic features, but also the right flavors that are essential to a cigar.
Boiled Maduro on the other hand, may be considered controversial because unlike Natural Maduro, it is not processed “naturally.” When processing tobacco leaves for Boiled Maduro, it does not matter if the tobacco leaves have the same genetics that Natural Maduro tobacco leaves have. Instead of being selected from birth, Boiled Maduro is created by mixing different ingredients together with the tobacco leaves in order for it to have the desired result. The ingredients used to make Boiled Maduro can be from anything like sugar, citrus juice, rum, tobacco stems, and other various materials. The material is mixed together forming a black liquid that gets boiled with tobacco leaves which soaks up the ingredients that it is being boiled with. However, the industry continues its practice of “boiling” Maduro with minimal repercussions.
At nextCigar, we only carry premium cigar brands that distributes only Natural Maduro cigars, available only through years and experience of cultivation.
Lighting up a cigar with the wrong kind of flame is a very common rookie mistake. Although there are many different types of ways to light up your cigar, we will be discussing how to pick out the right cigar lighter for you.
Unfortunately, you will not be able to use a typical cigarette lighter to light up your cigars. The reason is because different types of flames are produced with certain chemicals like sulphur or gasoline. The reason why cigar aficionados do not use chemical inducing lighters is because those chemicals gets soaked into the tobacco which inevitably ends up altering the cigar's taste. Which is why buying a butane or torch lighter would be most ideal. Both odourless and non-chemical inducing.
The great thing about butane lighters is that they are considered wind resistant. Worrying about wind blowing off your smoke would then become less of a concern. But more importantly, when you are lighting up your cigar at a 45-degree angle, the flame would stand straight instead of "willowing" or leaning over and burning your precious little fingers. Having multiple flames on your butane cigar lighter tends to be stronger and is less prone to "willow" over. However, that is not the only advantage having an extra flame brings.
Knowing what kind of cigars that you smoke is an important factor into picking out the right cigar lighter. If you smoke cigars with a bigger ring gauge, you might want to use a torch lighter with multiple flames, as opposed to one. The reason being that cigars with a big ring gauge tends to take longer to light up, so having a torch lighter with two or more flames would get the job done a lot quicker.
Lighters unfortunately do not carry an unlimited supply of fuel. In the case of worrying about whether you will run out of fuel or not, a cigar lighter that shows you how much fuel is left in the tank might be something you would be looking for in your lighter.
However, note that if you do not need a cigar lighter with multiple flames, do not feel the absolute need to buy them as they are pricier. The more the flames do not necessarily mean the better it is.
Do you forget your cutter every time you go out? Well as long as you do not forget your lighter, purchasing as lighter with a cutter or other accessories might be the lighter you might be looking for. There are lighters that come with accessories like a punch cutter, v-cutter, or even a pair of scissors.
Lighters come in various shapes and sizes, different people may prefer a certain size or shape of a lighter more than others because of how it feels in their hands. But more importantly, the grip on switching the flame on is important as well. If you run into a lighter with a poor switch, you might have to consider looking at a different model.
Finally, if you've narrowed down your search down to this point, looking at the kind of aesthetic and design you want in your cigar lighter and decide from there.