If you’ve smoked enough cigars, you’ve undoubtedly selected one that didn’t cooperate. And that’s no good – cigars are about satisfaction and relaxation, not headaches because of plugged cigars.
There are a number of culpable reasons ranging from a poorly rolled cigar to the environment that you’re storing them in, but we’ll be focusing on what you can do about it today. Here are the most common fixes to improve a cigar’s airflow without any additional tools:
- Give it another cut
- Gently massage the cigar
- Change your humidification
Fixing a Plugged Cigar: Cut It Again
This is usually the first resort, giving your cigar another haircut just in case it does the trick. I’d only recommend it though if you usually just cut the smallest amount necessary off the cap. In those situations, it has a 50% success rate. But if you’re like a lot of cigar enthusiasts that cut most of the cap off in the first round, a second cut is likely to increase your frustration by exposing you to an unraveling wrapper.
You’d be surprised just how often something like this works. Especially when cutting at a slight angle the second time.
Fixing a Plugged Cigar: Massage It Out
If you gently press around the cigar with your fingers and find a hard spot, there’s hope that you can massage it out. Being careful not to push too hard and crack the wrapper, slowly rotate the cigar and knead it.
I like to work from the head to the foot around the hard spot, but I’d imagine that it doesn’t really matter. This method usually works for a while but may require more touchups later. Be sure and try the draw as you work, because one movement may open the airflow while another closes it again.
Fixing a Plugged Cigar: Check Your Humidification
If a good amount of your cigars are drawing poorly, there’s a good chance that they’re over humidified. The good news is that it’s an easy fix, the better news is that they’ll likely taste better once you’ve lowered humidity as well!
The desired amount of humidification is a personal preference, but most seem to enjoy somewhere between 65%-69%. People in dryer climates usually prefer the higher percentage while wetter climates usually like to keep their cigars dryer.
It’s always best to calibrate and use a digital hygrometer with your humidor, even when humidifying with Boveda packs. More often than not, a humidity issue usually boils down to not having or not properly setting up a digital hygrometer.