The Impact of Humidity on Cigar Flavor and Quality: How Improper Levels Affect Your Smoke

The Impact of Humidity on Cigar Flavor and Quality: How Improper Levels Affect Your Smoke

When it comes to enjoying a fine cigar, aficionados know that maintaining the right humidity levels is crucial. The delicate balance of moisture can significantly impact a cigar's flavor, aroma, and overall smoking experience. Let's dive into how improper humidity levels can affect your cigars and why keeping them in optimal conditions is essential.

The Role of Humidity in Cigar Storage

Cigars are made from natural tobacco leaves, which are highly sensitive to their environment. The ideal humidity level for storing cigars is typically between 65% and 75%. This range helps maintain the right amount of moisture in the tobacco, ensuring it burns evenly and produces the best flavor.

What Happens When Humidity is Too High?

High humidity levels, above 75%, can lead to several issues that detract from the cigar-smoking experience:

  1. Mold Growth: Excess moisture can create a breeding ground for mold, which can ruin the appearance and taste of your cigars. Moldy cigars are not only unpleasant to smoke but also potentially harmful.

  2. Swelling and Splitting: Too much humidity can cause the tobacco leaves to absorb excess moisture, leading to swelling. This can make the cigar tight and difficult to draw. In severe cases, the wrapper can split, rendering the cigar unsmokable.

  3. Flavor Deterioration: High humidity can dilute the essential oils in the tobacco, leading to a bland or muted flavor profile. The cigar might also develop a musty taste, which is far from desirable.

The Downside of Low Humidity

On the flip side, low humidity levels, below 65%, can dry out your cigars, resulting in the following problems:

  1. Brittleness: Dry cigars become brittle and prone to cracking. A cracked wrapper can ruin the smoking experience, causing the cigar to burn unevenly and lose its structure.

  2. Harsh Taste: When cigars dry out, the tobacco loses its natural oils and flavors, leading to a harsher, less enjoyable taste. The smoke can become hot and irritating to the throat and nose.

  3. Burn Issues: Under-humidified cigars often burn too quickly and unevenly. This can cause tunneling or canoeing, where one side of the cigar burns faster than the other, affecting the overall smoking experience.

Achieving the Perfect Balance

To preserve the quality of your cigars, it's essential to store them in a properly maintained humidor. Here are some tips to ensure your cigars stay in top condition:

  1. Use a Hygrometer: A reliable hygrometer measures the humidity levels inside your humidor. Check it regularly to ensure the levels remain within the optimal range.

  2. Humidification Devices: Invest in quality humidification devices, such as gel jars, beads, or electronic humidifiers, to maintain consistent humidity levels.

  3. Regular Maintenance: Keep your humidor clean and well-seasoned. Re-season it periodically to maintain its effectiveness.

  4. Monitor Environmental Changes: Be aware of seasonal and environmental changes that can affect humidity levels. Adjust your humidor settings accordingly to keep your cigars in prime condition.


Maintaining the right humidity levels is key to preserving the flavor and quality of your cigars. By understanding how improper humidity can impact your smokes, you can take the necessary steps to ensure each cigar you light up delivers the rich, satisfying experience you crave. So, keep your humidor in check, and enjoy your cigars at their best!