An enjoyable smoking experience requires a fresh cigar. Quality cigars will very rarely go bad if they are stored correctly. If a cigar is stored in dehydrated conditions, it will eventually dry out and go stale. Cigars that are stored in overly moist environments can become moldy and rancid. A dried out cigar can sometimes be rehydrated, but it’s always best to keep your cigars as fresh as possible. Below are 3 ways to tell if a cigar is fresh and ready to be enjoyed.
The Pinch Test
One of the easiest ways to tell if your cigar is fresh is to do “the pinch test.” When you pinch the cigar between your fingers, it should feel firm with a slight bounce to it. If the cigar feels hard or like a piece of dry wood, it is not fresh. It also should not feel too soft or cushiony, as this indicates that the cigar has become too moist.
The Smell Test
It’s always a good idea to smell a cigar before you purchase or smoke it. A fresh cigar should have a mild tobacco scent. If your cigar smells moldy, throw it away. If your cigar smells stale, it has probably dried out and it is no longer fresh. You can occasionally save a dried out cigar by rehydrating it, if you wish to do so.
Taste Your Cigar
A fresh cigar should taste pleasant in your mouth. A slight earthy flavor is usually detected, but cigars can also taste somewhat fruity and sweet. If a cigar has gone bad, it may taste stale, rancid, or sour. If the cigar tastes somewhat like dirt or soil, it is definitely not fresh. Avoid smoking a cigar that tastes off or unusual because it will usually taste even worse when lit.
Finding a stale or moldy cigar can be very disappointing, so it’s recommended that you always store your cigars in the proper humidity. Avoid excessive moisture or dampness. Moisture will lead to mold and ruined cigars. In addition, storing your cigars in conditions that are too dry will cause the cigar to go stale. You should protect your cigars by keeping them in a cigar humidor or cooler. If this is not an option, you can store your cigars in a plastic bag with a damp sponge. If you want to enjoy fresh cigars, humidity is essential.