5 Cigar Myths Debunked for Beginners

5 Cigar Myths Debunked for Beginners

Chances are if you are a new cigar smoker you have heard or seen things from others that have left you wondering is that true?  Below I have debunked 5 cigar myths that are often presented as facts.  These are myths that a new cigar smoker should not fall for.



Cigar Myth #1 – I  should store my cigars in the refrigerator or freezer


While you may hear it suggested that you should store your cigars in the refrigerator to keep them “fresh”.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  A typical household refrigerator will be much too cold and dry and store cigars.

Cigars should be stored in an air-tight container like a humidor, tupperdor, cigar jar, coolidor, etc. where humidity levels can be controled and kept at optimum levels.

An alternative to this would be storing cigars in a wine refrigerator.  Most of these have temperature and humidity controls that would allow you to set them at 70 degrees F and 70% RH.

Storing cigars in a freezer is also a bad idea as it will be even colder and drier than the refrigerator.  The only time cigars should be put in a freezer is if you have a tobacco beetle infestation.  Even then, they should only be left in the freezer for a specific amount of time.


Cigar Myth #2 – Cigars made with Cuban Seed tobacco are somehow comparable to true Cuban Cigars


This is a marketing myth, used by some cigar manufactures.  Cigars made from Cuban seed tobacco are what they advertise.  To the uninformed this may somehow imply that these cigars are better than others and maybe on par with a true Cuban cigar.  This is simply not the case.

The source of the tobacco seed plays a miniscule part in resulting over all quality of a cigar.  Factors like the soil and climate the tobacco is grown in, the way the tobacco is fermented and the blending of tobaccos play a much bigger part in a cigar’s overall quality.

The use of the tag “Cuban Seed” started after the America’s embargo on Cuba as a way to imply quality or value.  Its use continues to this day, and should not be a trap that the new cigar smoker falls for.


Cigar Myth #3 – I should lick the end of my cigar


If you have been around many cigar smokers or hung out at  a cigar lounge, chances are you have seen someone do this.  The goal is to wet down the cigar before it s smoked.

This was a common practice over a 100 years ago when cigars were not able to be stored at the proper humidity level.  Licking the cigar before it was smoked added some much needed moisture.  This worked to keep the cigar from unraveling as it was smoked.

Another reason you may see someone lick the end of their is cigar is if they cut it incorrectly.  If you get a little overzealous and cut off too much from your cigars head, this can cause your cigar’s wrapper to begin coming apart.  Wetting the wrapper, by licking or sucking on it may be the only to keep it in place.

If you are storing your cigars in a properly humidified environment and you cut them correctly, you should never need to lick any part of your cigar.  That is unless you want to..  I don’t know some people are weird like that.


Cigar Myth #4 – Maduro cigars are stronger


While their deep,dark rich color may make maduro cigars look more intimidating than others, this couldn’t be further from the truth.  There are mild, medium and full bodied cigars.

The color of a  maduro (the Spanish word for ripe) cigar comes from the fact the that the tobacco that is used for its wrapper is fermented longer.   This allows the deep rich color to develop.  It also allows sugars to develop in the tobacco that gives a maduro cigar a hint of sweetness.  Maduro cigars oft tend to have a more earthy smell to them.

Generally speaking, the color of a cigar does not give any indication to its strength. The different tobaccos that make up cigar (binders, fillers, etc.) determine a cigars strength and not just the wrapper.


Cigar Myth #5 – Cuban Cigars are the best cigars


This is by far one of the most widespread cigar myths out there.  And while this may have been the case many years ago, today it simply is not true.

While Cuba is the birthplace of the cigar, it is not the only country that is producing exceptional cigars.  While some still hold them as the gold standard of what a cigar should be.  Cuban cigars are also the “forbidden fruit” of cigars for American cigar smokers.

Political turmoil and the the communist revolution that led to the US trade embargo on Cuba changed the cigar industry into what it is today.  Most non cuban cigar companies were started by Cubans who fled this turmoil and struck out to make cigars elsewhere.

This led to sort of a renaissance in the cigar industry.  While Cuban cigars have roughly remained the same,  non cuban cigar makers haven’t.  They have experimented and pioneered many new places to grow tobacco along with blending and fermentation techniques.

In my opinion, most of the best cigars made today are coming out of the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.


Have you heard any other cigar myths or been told things you question whether or not that they are true?  Let me know what they, and I can find some answers for you…



Photo credit: Jungle Jim’s International Market / Foter / CC BY