How can I tell if my cigars are too moist?
Examine your cigars and look for the appearance of mold or plume on the wrapper or swelling at the end. A wet cigar will smoke hot, give you a sour taste in your mouth, a hard draw, and won’t stay lit. The wrapper may be slightly split at the end and it won’t bounce back as fast when squeezed between your fingers. It may actually feel soft. If you light a wet cigar, it will burn hot. The heat is from the steam created at the lit end, which travels through the cigar and into your mouth. It may also be hard to draw such a cigar and equally difficult to keep it lit.
What happens to a wet cigar?
When cigars are subjected to extremely high humidity (+75% RH), depending on the severity and length of the exposure, the structure of the cigar and/or the tobacco leaves may be affected. Wet tobacco leaves will swell as they absorb moisture and the wrapper may split. A split wrapper spells the end for most cigars. We’ve seen some unique shapes and sizes after desperate people have cut the ends off of their damaged sticks. Moderate over-humidification may result in interior swelling, the appearance of plume and possibly mold. If you catch the problem before mold appears, you should be able to fully revive your smokes without permanent damage. If mold appears, you should take immediate action.
Can I save wet cigars?
It depends on how wet they are. If your three-year-old son used them as props in the aquarium, then you probably should call your insurance agent. If the cigars have plume or mold, gently wipe them off with a dry paper towel, being careful not to tear the wrapper. Immediately place your cigars in a humidor that you know has 70% RH. If you don’t have a reliable humidor, take them to a tobacconist in a sealed box and plead with him to let you keep your cigars in his walk-in humidor for a month. It’s important that you don’t dry the cigars at room humidity for even an hour. This may cause rapid evaporation of the water from the tobacco, causing the leaves to shrink. Tobacco leaves that are exposed to repeated changes in humidity will eventually lose all their elasticity, resulting in a permanently damaged cigar.