Testing for cigar freshness by listening to your cigar
Q. I have seen some "aficionados" gently roll a cigar between thumb and index finger while holding it close to their ear prior to lighting up. I assume this is a test of freshness or proper humidification. It also seems this could really stress the wrapper. Can you shed some light on this?
- Ben G.
A. Yes, it's supposed to indicate freshness. I don't know how this practice originated, but for the purposes of this response, allow me to quote Steve Saka, noted cigar writer extraordinaire, president of Drew Estate Cigars, and creator of the Liga Privada No.9 cigars:
"Do not 'listen' to your cigar by placing it beside your ear as you roll it, as all cigars make that crinkle sound even when at their perfect moisture content - so, all you are accomplishing is making yourself look plain silly." (Cigar Magazine, Spring 2008)
The best way to tell if a cigar is fresh is to very gently "pinch" it at the foot, middle and near the band. If it has a little "spring" to it, the cigar is fine.
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.Show all Gary Korb's Articles