Cigars 101

Bad burning cigars dilemma

Q. I’ve only been smoking cigars for maybe 4 months.I’d say I get maybe 1 in 15 that burn correctly throughout. Mosteither burn too hot and tunnel, or won’t stay lit. Sometimes the wrapper/binder will burn too fast then go out so just the filler burns,which will then…you guessed it…tunnel. I’ve lit them countless ways: matches, colibris, bics, you name it. I’ve used techniques fromCigarAficianado.com, I’ve even YouTubed it (as sad as that sounds. I’ve tried humidity in the humidor from 75 to 60 percent trying tofigure it out. I admit, it pisses me off when I see someone sitting atone of our windy outdoor bars, light up with a bic once and smoke it ’til their finger tips burn. Any helpful insight you could provide?
– Bill (Smokeless in St. Thomas)
A. Since you’ve already tried just about everything even I could think of, it could be due to too many fluctuations in your temp and humidity. I understand that you’ve been experimenting, which may be more a part of the problem rather than the solution.

Try to get the temp down to about 68, and try to get the RH at an average of about 67%. If you can keep those two requisites within +/- 2-3 digits, the cigars should stabilize over about a period of a month. You may have been too eager to smoke the cigars once you got the temp and/or RH where you wanted it.

All I can add is this: 1) When you toast the cigar, make sure you have a good burn going on the wrapper. Blow on it several times to make sure the leaf has taken. 2) Try rotating the cigar a revolution or two each time you puff on it. This helps maintain a more even burn, especially outdoors.

Finally, you may be drawing too hard or too often on the cigar. If the binder, which naturally burns faster, is too hot, that could be part of your tunneling problem, too.

Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

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