Why did my cigar smoke like a tire fire?

Q: I recently bought some “Pina del whatever” cigars from another vendor. Using the char method, I lit up one of the cigars, took my first puff, and put the cigar in the ashtray. While sitting in the ashtray, the cigar started smoking like a tire-fire and would not stop. I could’ve sent smoke signals due to the volume. This continued until the end of the cigar. Not much fun and unhealthy, I’m sure. Any thoughts? Also, what is the purpose of caps?
– Vince in Chattanooga, TN
A: I believe you’re referring to Pinar Del Rio cigars, a well-respected boutique brand. Speaking for myself, I have never had problems with any of their cigars, but sometimes things happen that even the best cigar makers can’t avoid.

It sounds to me like the cigar was either poorly rolled, perhaps too loosely, or something happened to the cigar beyond that point. Perhaps that other vendor you purchased it from had poor storage conditions. If it was rolled too loosely, that would permit more air to pass through and keep the fire stoking. As you know, most premium longfiller cigars usually put themselves out within 5 minutes or so. Either that, or the binder leaf, which aids in the burning process, had higher than usual burning properties. The filler leaves may have been a little too dry; that could possibly make the cigar even more combustible. If the cigar was tunneling, that could be a sign that it’s binder-related.

RE Caps: The purpose of the cigar cap is to hold the wrapper leaf in place at the head so the cigar doesn’t unravel. Triple caps, which use three strands of wrapper leaf to secure the cap, are preferred because they’re more durable. Besides, if a cigar didn’t have a cap, how would you know which end to smoke?

Anyone else have a idea what’s going on here? If so, please leave a comment.

Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor at cigaradvisor.com

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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