Burning problems in cigars can be a major bummer. They can be separated into several different categories – construction problems, blend problems, lighting problems, smoking problems, and weather problems. Rosemary and I have been noticing our cigars being affected by weather lately, so we agreed this would make a great topic of exploration to write about.

Construction and Blend Problems

Canoeing and tunneling may sounds like fun springtime activities, but in this context aren’t good things- these are oftentimes indicative of serious construction problems with your cigar. Poor construction can cause fast burns, slow burns, uneven burns, and even can cause your cigar to go out completely. I recently spoke with Alec Bradley Sales and Marketing Director Jonathan Lipson about another article, and I took the opportunity to get his thoughts on burning issues.

Canoeing, says Jonathan Lipson, is “where the wrapper, binder, and filler haven’t been put correctly into the blend- it’s human error on the roller’s part. The roller and buncher aren’t on the same page at that point,” adding that the wrapper, filler, and binder aren’t burning at the same interval in this scenario. Tunneling, he explains, is a tobacco placement issue, while a cone often means the wrapper is at a lower priming than fillers and binders and have yet to catch up with wrapper.

For a cigar to burn properly, the blend has to be correct and the roll has to be perfect. When you consider all the factors that go into a perfectly constructed cigar, it’s a wonder any of them burn properly.

User Errors

Lighting your cigar improperly can cause a bad burn, but smoking too quickly or too slowly can also cause a bad burn. If your ash splits or your cigar becomes hot and pliable, it’s very likely you are smoking too fast.

How and where you store your cigars as well as the weather outside can also have a serious impact on the burn.  “The perfect conditions for a cigar are 70/70 – that’s 70 degrees and 70% humidity,” explains Lipson. “When you’re smoking outside and it’s chilly . . . it can go out or it can also pop – the cigar is trying to adjust to its circumstances. It’s a product that is built around humidity and it’s trying to adjust.” Excessive heat and humidity can also affect the burn, explains Lipson. It’s best to avoid extreme shifts in temperature and humidity when you are enjoying a premium cigar.

How to Avoid Problems

  • Choose cigars that have been stored properly
  • Choose cigars that have been manufactured well – avoid overly soft or overly hard cigars, and be on the lookout for large veins or cracking
  • Choose an optimal smoking location – as close to 70 degrees and 70% humidity as you can get
  • Light your cigar properly – don’t scorch it and use the right fuel
  • Smoke at a reasonable pace – you’re supposed to be relaxing!

Smoking a cigar is supposed to be a relaxing and enjoyable experience. Any problems, including burn problems, can put a serious damper on the fun. “Cigars are made to perform,” says Lipson, “and if they don’t perform nobody is going to smoke them.”

Photos Courtesy of Sweetaholic/Pixabay