Taking the time to relax and enjoy your cigar is something many of us look forward to all day. So, there’s nothing worse than finding that your cigar is ‘plugged’ and difficult to smoke. Thankfully, this is a rare occurrence but when it does happen, it can be frustrating. We reveal how to fix a plugged cigar and prevent it from happening again in the future.
What is a plugged cigar?
If you’re finding it hard to draw on your cigar, then it’s usually because the cigar is plugged. As premium cigars are handmade, there can be rare instances where a mistake has been made which leads to a plugged cigar, albeit an extremely rare occurrence.
You’ll find it very hard to draw a smoke when a cigar is plugged and you’ll notice a very low smoke volume. Puffing harder on the cigar won’t help and can cause unpleasantly harsh and bitter flavours.
How to fix a plugged cigar
There’s no need to despair, you can fix a plugged cigar! Here are our top tips:
1. Massage the cigar
Sometimes, cigars are rolled too tightly or have bunching near the top. Cigar rollers are experts and work carefully to achieve the perfect roll, however, sometimes a stray leaf can close off all the airways. You can try gently massaging the cigar whilst it’s lit to help loosen up any leaves. If this doesn’t work, move on to our next tip!
2. Use a skewer
A metal skewer or wooden satay stick can pierce a hole the entire length of the cigar, unplugging any blockages. Do this gently as it can result in the cigar burning too hot or fast. However, being able to smoke your cigar is better than nothing at all!
3. Cut your cigar
Still facing the dreaded plug? Then you can cut your cigar in half and smoke it reversed, although this will only work for larger cigars. As cigars aren’t designed to be smoked this way, you may encounter some new flavours, making it a unique smoking experience!
How to prevent a plugged cigar
Sometimes a plugged cigar can be the fault of ourselves or the environment, here are some things to look out for:
1. Avoid humidity
If cigars are over-humidified, they may not draw very easily. You can prevent this by taking the cigar out of the humidor overnight or the day before you smoke it. This will bring the humidity levels back down.
2. Cut cigars correctly
Are you sure you cut enough off the head of the cigar? Sometimes, cutting off just a little bit more can hugely open up the draw, especially on narrow-head cigars such as a Torpedo. Also, V-cutters or punch cutters create a more constricted draw, sometimes a straight cut is the best option.
3. Avoid excess mouth moisture
As much as you try not to, sometimes we can saturate the ends of our cigars with saliva whilst smoking. If a cigar’s a bit too wet, you can cut off the moist portion using a straight cutter.
We hope you never have to deal with a plugged cigar, but now you know exactly what to do, and what to avoid, if the situation ever occurs.