Funny odor in humidor

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.

Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor at

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for 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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