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How To Tell If A Cigar Has Gone Bad

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One of the worst feelings for cigar enthusiasts is getting to their stash of rich Cuban cigars or whatever brand they like and seeing that they are bad.

Now, that can be demoralizing, especially if you have some friends over and all you want to do is hang out with the crew holding a cigar in one hand and a glass of great wine in another. The funny thing about cigars going bad is one bad cigar can spoil the taste of all the others. Hence, the question that lingers on your mind is how to tell if a cigar has gone bad.

For beginners in the cigar world, it may be difficult to detect when a cigar is bad. Thankfully, there are four ways through which you can detect if the cigar is bad or not.

How to Tell if a Cigar Has Gone Bad

How to Tell if a Cigar Has Gone Bad - Infographic CigarCigar Info


Everyone enjoys their cigar for the experience each smoke and puff brings. It is an amazing feeling to be able to smoke rich cigars with oils that add to the aesthetics of the cigar brand. So, you can easily tell when a cigar is bad if you notice that it has gone dry.

This usually happens when it has lost the necessary oils from the wrapper. Asides from looking unappealing, it loses any form of its prior flavor. Sometimes, a cracked paper can usually lead to the dryness of your cigar.

This then means you have to check on the cigars you have, even before an event or gathering.


This is one of the most obvious ways you can detect if a cigar has gone bad or not. Once veterans taste a cigar, they often find it easy to talk about the quality. A bad cigar will have an unusual taste in the mouth; some veterans have attributed this taste to dirt or sand. This can be because the cigar was not properly stored.


A quality cigar has a distinctive smell that lovers and veterans can identify. When the cigar is bad, there is a different smell from what you are used to. At this point, you shouldn’t even try to smoke it. Once you perceive that the smell has gone sour, it is best to throw away the cigar and other affected cigars in your humidor.


People often confuse mold for bloom. The bloom is an indicator that your cigar is aging well. However, the mold appears to be the same color, but it sticks to the cigar and grows from the bottom. The mold grows from within the cigar and is capable of affecting the other cigars in the humidor.

How long does it take a cigar to go bad?

a dry cigar

A cigar can last up to 18 years with the right method of preservation applied to it.

Some people end after some months because their cigars go bad.

The peculiar issue associated with the cigar going bad is humidity.

It would help if you found the right temperature for the cigars; humidity plays a significant role in preserving the cigars.

Can you smoke a bad cigar?

You sure do not want to smoke a cigar with mold growing from within. Also, check the other cigars to see if they are affected. If they are bad, remove them immediately, people often feel that the other cigars in the set are not as affected or damaged. But it is better to be safe than sorry. You can always discard the cigars and buy another set.

Bottom Line

You need to ensure that there is enough air coming into the room where the cigars are. Also, the state of the cigars from time to time, even when you feel they are in good humid conditions. Finally, once you detect an issue, address it immediately. Delay can lead to you throwing away major parts of your collection.

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Dan Stevenson
Dan Stevenson

I have been smoking cigars for 30 years and counting, I started at 18 years old with mild Cubans and worked my way up to medium and now bold. I own 4 humidors, that I try to keep stocked at all times.

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