Cigars 101

What to do cigars about that turn strong and bitter

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Q. I smoke a lot of different cigars in all different price ranges and strengths. Why is it that cigars tend to get much stronger to the point of turning bitter in the last couple of inches?
– Lou from New Jersey
A. This is actually a naturally occurring phenomenon which is caused mainly by the buildup of tar, moisture and nicotine as you smoke your cigar. It’s not unlike what happens with a pipe after a while. As you get down toward the bottom of the bowl, the juices are often sucked up through the stem.

Basically, every time you puff on a cigar the same thing happens; tars build up in the tobacco. Add the build-up of moisture to the mix and the flavors are intensified in “the last act.”

According to one of my resources, the way you cut your cigar can actually positively or negatively affect the concentration of flavor in those final inches. By cutting a narrow opening at the head of the cigar, like that made by a punch cutter or a V-cutter, the tars and moisture will naturally build up more at the head. This also speaks to why tapered head cigars like torpedoes and pyramids tend to be stronger. However, a wide cut – one that shears off the top of the cap as a double-blade cutter would do – can actually help suppress the buildup of tars and moisture. Try it yourself and see.

Finally, try not to draw too hard or too often on your cigar. That will only increase the buildup of tars, nicotine and moisture that much faster.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
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, he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and Executive Editor of Cigar Advisor. 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
cigar advisor #nowsmoking cigar review hoyo illusione of excalibur no. 1 - cover

#NowSmoking Illusione of Excalibur Cigar Review

Reading Time: 4 minutes If you enjoy cigars by Excalibur and Illusione your ship has come in. The Excalibur Illusione No.1., a limited-edition collaboration cigar from Dion Giolito & Justin Andrews is the first Nicaraguan Excalibur puro and Gary’s got the full report in this review.

Read More

The Cigar Advisor Guide to Tobacco Beetles

Reading Time: 4 minutes If left to run rampant, a cigar beetle infestation will reduce cigars to rubble. Find out what these insatiable pests are, how they got into your humidor, and what you can do to get rid of cigar beetles and stop them from coming back.

Read More
cigar advisor #nowsmoking cigar review villiger la libertad - cover

#NowSmoking: Villiger La Libertad Robusto

Reading Time: 4 minutes Villiger’s La Libertad cigars selection has had its share of alterations over the years. But now, with a new factory and a Nicaraguan-forward blend, the line casts an entirely new flavor profile. Gary explains what that is and more in his review of the Robusto.

Read More

#nowsmoking: Warped Edition One Cloud Hopper No. 485

Reading Time: 3 minutes We’re #nowsmoking the boutique stuff: join us for a video tasting of a Warped cigar with generous flavor, as our Edition One Cloud Hopper cigar review reveals some scrumptious tasting notes. Is this your next smoke? Click to get the details…

Read More