Q.When I open my travel humidor I smell ammonia. What does this mean to my cigars?
– Frank (from his cell phone)
A. The odor you smell is called “ammoniac,” which is released during the tobacco fermentation process. According to one of my sources in Nicaragua, the odor comes from cigars with tobaccos that haven’t been fermented long enough. The thing is, once the cigar has been rolled it’s pretty much set in stone and the cigars will continue to emit the odor.
Check your home humidor, too. I smell a little ammoniac in one of my home humidors when I open it, yet so far, the cigars, many of which are several years old or more, have tasted fine. I would only be concerned if the odor is very strong.