Last week a listener wrote in about some cigars she found in her late grandfather’s attic. She wanted to know if there was any chance of saving the cigars, and making them smoke-able.
Why can’t I just smoke the dry cigars?
In theory, you could give the cigars a try anyway, but you may end up with some issues. When cutting a dry stick you run the risk of cracking the cigar. You will also be dealing with a cigar that smokes extremely fast, and is maybe more harsh than the blender intended.
We recommend re-conditioning the cigar before attempting to light it up.
Cornelius lays out the process he uses:
Firstly, it is not recommended to store the dry sticks in your existing humidor. This could cause instability in your setup, and end up causing issues for your already rested cigars.
Cornelius reccomends putting the questionable cigars in a zip lock bag or food storage container. Get yourself a 84% pack from Boveda, and store it along with the cigars.
After a couple weeks, to a month, you’ll want to check on your sticks and see how they’re doing. If the boveda pack has dried out, or the cigars seem to have absorbed some moisture, you can start stepping your humidity down until you get to your desired level.
If you don’t have that kind of patience there is an option:
If you don’t want to wait for you overly dry sticks to recondition themselves, you can always use some water. You would run the cigar under your faucet for a couple of seconds, let the water absorb, and light up.
This is NOT recommended, but we are not here to tell you how to live your life.
How do I know when the cigar is ready to smoke?
For this, Cornelius recommends a simple ear test.
Just get the cigar close to your ear, and roll it around in your fingers a bit. If the cigar is still dry, you will hear a “crackle” from the stick.
Do note that it may still crackle a bit even when humidified. To be absolutely sure the conditions have improved, give the sticks the ol’ ear test before you start the humidification process so that you have a benchmark to compare against.