Nothing can be more disappointing for a cigar enthusiast than eagerly anticipating a relaxing smoke, only to find that their cigar is plugged. A plugged cigar, also known as a tight draw, can hinder the smooth flow of smoke, affecting the overall smoking experience. But fear not! In this guide, we’ll explore some useful techniques to help you fix a plugged cigar and ensure you can savor every moment of your smoke.
Identify the Problem
It’s important to note that while these uncommon causes are possible, most plugged cigars are still a result of factors like improper humidity levels, tobacco packing, or construction issues. Regardless of the cause, knowing how to address a plugged cigar can save your smoking session and ensure you get the most out of your premium cigar collection.
Surprisingly, the shipping process can also play a role in causing a plugged cigar. As cigars move through varying climates and conditions during transportation, some expansion and contraction of the tobacco may occur. These changes can provoke the tobacco leaves to obstruct the draw, leading to an unsatisfying smoking experience.
One of the rarest causes of a plugged cigar can be traced back to the factory’s rolling process. Occasionally, the roller, also known as the buncher, may add an excessive amount of tobacco during the construction of the cigar. This over-packing can lead to restricted airflow and hinder the draw.
Incorrect Cigar Cutting: Common Mistakes to Avoid
Have you trimmed enough from the cigar’s head? In certain cases, making a slightly larger cut at the cap can significantly improve the draw, especially with Torpedo or Figurado cigars featuring tapered heads.
Moreover, some individuals prefer punch or V-cuts over straight cuts, which can sometimes restrict the draw. Don’t hesitate to remove a bit more of the cap using a straight cutter if the draw feels excessively tight. While we advise against cutting too deeply, sometimes a deeper cut is necessary, even if you initially used a straight cut. In most instances, a deeper cut can rectify a plugged draw.
Use a Draw Tool
A draw tool, also known as a cigar poker or a draw enhancer, is a handy tool designed to open the tobacco passage inside a plugged cigar. Insert the draw tool gently into the foot (open end) of the cigar and push it through the center of the cigar to create a clear path for smoke to flow. Be cautious not to damage the wrapper or filler while using the draw tool.
Your Cigar is Too Moist
If you observe a high humidity level in your humidor, typically exceeding 70% RH, your cigar might be over-humidified. An excessively moist cigar can result in a tight draw, making it difficult to smoke. To address this issue, the best approach is to let the cigar rest outside the humidor overnight or for a day before smoking it. Some aficionados even use this method proactively, regardless of whether their cigars are plugged, to ensure an optimal smoking experience.