The summer season is a time of cookouts, camping, and other outdoor activities. The warm weather calls us out to play. These outdoor events are perfect places to enjoy a fine cigar. For those of us who enjoy smoking, the heat and humidity of summer can definitely have a negative affect on our cigar quality.
Hot summer weather brings high humidity levels with it. Some days, the humidity can be near 100% for most of the day. The ideal humidity level for a cigar is around 70%. When a cigar is left in higher humidity, several ill effects are likely to occur. Heat can also cause problems for your cigar when over 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
The cigar is going to absorb the moisture in the air. The longer the cigar is exposed to the high moisture environment, the more water will be soaked into the tobacco inside. A moist cigar will not burn properly. With tobacco leaves swollen with water, air will not easily flow through.
A side effect of poor air flow and high moisture is that the cigar will not burn evenly. An unevenly burning cigar will not taste smooth or as intended by the manufacturer. Most fine cigars are rolled using multiple types of tobacco that are meant to burn together. When these burn unevenly, you’ll get more of one flavor and less of another in one puff, and the opposite in the next.
Another problem that can arise when a cigar is subjected to high heat and humidity is the cigar beetle. If measures haven’t been taken to rid a cigar of these beetles and their eggs, heat over 74 degrees may cause them to become active and hatch. These beetles will eat away at the tobacco leaves in a cigar. There might be small, pin-sized holes in the cigar wrapper after lengthly exposure to high heat and humidity. These holes are the tell-tale sign of a beetle problem.
Take caution this summer to protect cigars from the dangers of the seasonal high heat and humidity. Several problems are possible, so limit cigar exposure to these less than ideal conditions.