How do you know if a cigar is bad?


Learn how to determine if a cigar is bad with these helpful tips. Discover the signs of a spoiled cigar and how to avoid them.

How do you know if a cigar is bad?


Enjoying a fine cigar is a luxurious experience that many people around the world relish. The aroma, the taste, and the relaxation it brings can make it a truly special moment. But what happens if you light up a cigar and it doesn’t live up to your expectations? How do you know if a cigar is bad?

In this article, we will explore the signs of a bad cigar and provide you with some helpful tips to ensure your smoking experience is always enjoyable. Whether you are a seasoned cigar aficionado or just starting to explore the world of cigars, this information will help you avoid the disappointment of a spoiled cigar.

Table of Contents

  • Signs of a bad cigar
  • How to tell if a cigar is bad
  • How to avoid bad cigars
  • Key takeaways
  • FAQs
  • Conclusion

Signs of a bad cigar

Before we delve into how to tell if a cigar is bad, let’s first understand what makes a cigar go bad. Cigars are made from tobacco leaves, and like any natural product, they are susceptible to changes in temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors. When a cigar is exposed to unfavorable conditions, it can become spoiled, affecting its flavor, aroma, and overall smoking experience. Here are some signs that indicate a cigar may be bad:

  • Mold: Mold is a common problem with cigars that have been stored in high humidity environments. If you notice any fuzzy, green, or white spots on the wrapper or foot of the cigar, it is likely moldy and should not be smoked.
  • Dryness: On the other end of the spectrum, a cigar that is too dry may have lost its essential oils and flavors. If the wrapper feels brittle and the cigar crumbles easily, it is likely dried out and will not provide an enjoyable smoking experience.
  • Off flavors: A bad cigar may have an unpleasant, bitter, or harsh taste. This can be a result of poor storage conditions or low-quality tobacco.
  • Uneven burn: A well-constructed cigar should burn evenly from start to finish. If you notice that one side of the cigar is burning faster than the other or if it keeps going out, it may be a sign of a poorly made or damaged cigar.
  • Unpleasant aroma: A spoiled cigar may emit an unpleasant odor, such as a moldy or musty smell.

How to tell if a cigar is bad

Now that you know the signs of a bad cigar, let’s discuss how to tell if a cigar is bad before you light it up:

  • Inspect the wrapper: Look for any visible signs of mold, discoloration, or damage on the wrapper. A healthy cigar should have a smooth, even color and a slightly oily sheen.
  • Squeeze the cigar: Gently squeeze the cigar between your fingers. A properly humidified cigar should have a slight give and bounce back when released. If it feels too soft or too hard, it may be a sign of poor storage conditions.
  • Smell the cigar: Take a whiff of the cigar to assess its aroma. A good cigar should have a pleasant, earthy smell. If it smells musty, moldy, or overly strong, it is likely spoiled.
  • Check the foot: Examine the foot of the cigar, which is the end you light. It should be clean, without any visible signs of mold or damage.

By following these steps, you can quickly determine if a cigar is bad before you invest time and effort into lighting it up.

How to avoid bad cigars

Prevention is always better than cure, and the same applies to cigars. To avoid ending up with a bad cigar, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Buy from reputable sources: Purchase your cigars from trusted and reliable sources, such as specialty cigar shops or reputable online retailers. This ensures that you are getting high-quality cigars that have been stored properly.
  • Store cigars properly: If you plan on storing cigars for an extended period, invest in a humidor to maintain the ideal temperature and humidity levels. This will help preserve the flavor and freshness of your cigars.
  • Inspect cigars before purchasing: Before buying a cigar, inspect it for any signs of mold, damage, or dryness. If it doesn’t look or feel right, choose a different cigar.
  • Learn about different brands and blends: Educate yourself about different cigar brands, blends, and flavors. This knowledge will help you make informed decisions when selecting cigars.

Key takeaways

When it comes to enjoying a good cigar, it’s important to be able to identify the signs of a bad cigar. Here are the key takeaways from this article:

  • Signs of a bad cigar include mold, dryness, off flavors, uneven burn, and unpleasant aroma.
  • You can tell if a cigar is bad by inspecting the wrapper, squeezing the cigar, smelling the aroma, and checking the foot.
  • To avoid bad cigars, buy from reputable sources, store cigars properly, inspect them before purchasing, and educate yourself about different brands and blends.


Can a bad cigar make you sick?

While a bad cigar may not necessarily make you sick, it can ruin your smoking experience and leave a bad taste in your mouth. Moldy or poorly made cigars can have an unpleasant taste and aroma, which can be off-putting.

How can I revive a dry cigar?

If you have a dry cigar, you can try to revive it by placing it in a humidor at the appropriate humidity level for a few days. However, keep in mind that the flavor and aroma may not fully recover.

Are all moldy cigars bad?

Yes, all moldy cigars should be considered bad and should not be smoked. Smoking a moldy cigar can be harmful to your health and can ruin the flavor of the cigar.


Knowing how to determine if a cigar is bad is essential for any cigar enthusiast. By familiarizing yourself with the signs of a bad cigar and following the tips to avoid them, you can ensure that every smoking experience is enjoyable and satisfying. Remember, investing in high-quality cigars and storing them properly are key to preserving their flavor and freshness. So, the next time you light up a cigar, you can do so with confidence, knowing that it will provide the ultimate smoking pleasure.

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