How long until a cigar goes bad?


Discover how long it takes for a cigar to go bad and how to properly store them. Learn the signs of a bad cigar and how to prevent it.

How long until a cigar goes bad?


For cigar enthusiasts, there’s nothing quite like the experience of enjoying a perfectly aged and expertly crafted cigar. The rich aroma, smooth draw, and complex flavors make it a truly indulgent pleasure. But have you ever wondered how long a cigar can last before it goes bad? In this article, we’ll explore the factors that can affect the lifespan of a cigar, signs that indicate a cigar has gone bad, and how to properly store cigars to ensure their longevity.

Table of Contents

  • Factors that affect the lifespan of a cigar
  • Signs that a cigar has gone bad
  • Proper cigar storage
  • How to prevent cigars from going bad
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Conclusion

Factors that affect the lifespan of a cigar

Just like fine wine or cheese, cigars are a product of careful craftsmanship and aging. The lifespan of a cigar can vary depending on several factors:

  • Quality: High-quality cigars made with premium tobacco leaves and expert construction tend to have a longer lifespan.
  • Humidity: Cigars need to be stored in a controlled environment with the right level of humidity. If the humidity is too high or too low, it can affect the lifespan and flavor of a cigar.
  • Temperature: Extreme temperatures can cause the oils in a cigar to evaporate, leading to a loss of flavor and aroma.
  • Light: Exposure to direct sunlight or bright artificial light can fade the color and degrade the quality of a cigar.
  • Airflow: Proper airflow is essential for aging cigars. Too much airflow can dry out a cigar, while too little airflow can create mold or other issues.

Signs that a cigar has gone bad

While cigars can last for a long time if stored properly, there are some signs that indicate a cigar has gone bad:

  • Mold: If you see mold on the wrapper or filler of a cigar, it’s a clear sign that it has gone bad.
  • Dryness: A dry and brittle cigar can indicate that it has lost its moisture and flavor.
  • Uneven burn: If a cigar burns unevenly or goes out frequently, it may be a sign of poor construction or improper storage.
  • Off-flavors: A cigar that tastes bitter, sour, or unpleasant may have deteriorated.
  • Foul smell: A foul or musty smell is another indication that a cigar has gone bad.

Proper cigar storage

To maximize the lifespan of your cigars and ensure they stay in prime condition, proper storage is crucial. Here are some tips for storing cigars:

  • Humidor: Invest in a high-quality humidor, which is a specially designed box that maintains a consistent level of humidity. Make sure to season the humidor properly before storing your cigars.
  • Temperature: Store your cigars in a cool, dark place with a temperature between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Humidity: Maintain a humidity level of around 65-70%. Use a hygrometer to monitor the humidity levels and a humidification device to add moisture when needed.
  • Separation: Avoid storing different types of cigars together, as they can transfer flavors and aromas to each other.

How to prevent cigars from going bad

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to cigars. Here are some additional tips to ensure your cigars stay fresh and flavorful:

  • Rotate your cigars: If you have a collection of cigars, make sure to rotate them regularly to ensure even aging.
  • Avoid touching the wrapper: The oils on your fingers can affect the flavor and appearance of a cigar, so handle it by the foot or with gloves.
  • Don’t remove the cellophane: The cellophane wrapper on individual cigars helps protect them from damage and maintain their moisture.
  • Don’t rush the aging process: While aging can improve the flavor of a cigar, there’s no need to rush it. Allow the cigar to age naturally and enjoy it when it’s at its peak.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can a properly stored cigar last?

A properly stored cigar can last for several years, if not longer. Some cigar enthusiasts even age their cigars for decades to enhance the flavors.

Can a bad cigar make you sick?

While smoking a bad cigar is unlikely to make you seriously ill, it can result in an unpleasant smoking experience with off-flavors and a harsh burn.

Can you revive a dry cigar?

It’s challenging to revive a dry cigar completely, but you can try using a humidification device to slowly add moisture back into the cigar. However, the flavor may still be compromised.


A cigar is a delicate and complex creation that requires proper care to maintain its quality and flavor over time. By understanding the factors that affect the lifespan of a cigar and following the guidelines for proper storage, you can ensure that your cigars stay in prime condition for as long as possible. So, the next time you enjoy a cigar, savor the experience knowing that it has been well-preserved and cared for, just like a fine work of art.

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