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Help! Cigars Taste Bitter and Smell Burnt

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I have been having troubles for years with cigars. I used to have a 75-100ct humi and I struggled with all kinds of humidification. I figured the humi was leaky so I bought a few tubes of heartfelt beads. They helped with the humidity, but it was never consistently "in the zone". Eventually the beads turned yelllow and I assumed they were imparting bad flavor into my cigars. Last year I threw in the towel. I was tired of spending tons of money on cigars and only having the first few weeks as a positive experience before the rest went to rubbish.

Fast forward to this year, three weeks ago I bought 50+ cigars on cigarbid (joya 1970 and some ave marias). I also bought one of those "humi jars" with the expanding blue beads and I have them all stored in two tupperware containers - one with the heartfelt and one with the blue stuff. Both boxes have settled at 68 degrees, and I have switched the digital hygro's between boxes to verify.

The first few I smoked were magic. 1970s are my favorite, I know how they should taste and smell. One week later and I can't get a single one to not taste like bitter shit, smell like burnt trash, canoe like hell, and when I put them out black charcoal comes out. I also notice the end gets almost "calcified", it's hard a stone. I thought maybe they were too wet, due to a spike in humi when I put them in the tupperware, but they have been at a perfect 68 for almost two weeks. I thought I was burning them with my quad torch, so I backed down to single torch. Still bad. Then to a soft flame. Still bad.

I'm at a total loss. When I say they taste bad, I mean bad. I gag on the charcoal taste and everyone around me agrees they smell terrible.

What the hell?
 
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Boudie

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What you are describing is a classic problem with over humidified cigars. If the humidity in your home is dryer then the humidor leave a couple on your desk for a week or so and see what happens.

I store at 65 and usually dry box my cigars at 62 for a couple of weeks before smoking. Your environment will affect how cigars burn and taste. Someone living in the arid SW USA will treat their cigars differently then I do living in the arm pit we call Louisiana.

You need to be patient and give everything time to settle down.
 
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What you are describing is a classic problem with over humidified cigars. If the humidity in your home is dryer then the humidor leave a couple on your desk for a week or so and see what happens.

I store at 65 and usually dry box my cigars at 62 for a couple of weeks before smoking. Your environment will affect how cigars burn and taste. Someone living in the arid SW USA will treat their cigars differently then I do living in the arm pit we call Louisiana.

You need to be patient and give everything time to settle down.
I do have my humidor in the basement, which I imagine is more humid than upstairs. I only tried leaving them out of the tupperdore for one day, I didn't think to try longer.

What baffles me is both my hygro's say 68, which seems to be a typical "safe zone". Is that a false assumption?
 
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68 would be too high for me. 60-65 is where I usually like things (CCs even lower!). Bitter taste and burn issues are generally a thing of the past.

Your sticks may have come in perfectly humidified and then got over humidified in the weeks that they sat.

And I’ll echo others in saying switch to Boveda packs.


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Which RH pack do you recommend?
I store at 65 for CC and 69 for NC, lately I’ve been dryboxing a lot at 62 and 65 with good results... ultimately, rh is a matter of personal preference - some guys go lower than me, as @Tacket said for example - but I’m on the high end and I don’t think anyone here is going to recommend you go higher than 65 and 69
 

Nacho Daddy

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" Both boxes have settled at 86 degree "

bring this down to 75 degrees or less.

at 86 deg, you have too much moisture in there.

dry box a couple of sticks for 3 days and see what happens.

remember it takes many days for cigars to dry down in a 65 % or higher environment...........
 
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" Both boxes have settled at 86 degree "

bring this down to 75 degrees or less.

at 86 deg, you have too much moisture in there.

dry box a couple of sticks for 3 days and see what happens.

remember it takes many days for cigars to dry down in a 65 % or higher environment...........
Whoops. Typo. That should have been 68. Both my tupperdors are at 68.
 

Nacho Daddy

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at 68 deg you should be able to smoke NC cigars from 65 to 68 % rh easily.

CCs smoke best at 62 to 66 % rh.

are you using digital hydometers ?
 
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Something is missing here, or some patience needs learned. Rule of thumb is to assume cigars will acclimate and change at a rate of 1% per week effectively. Let's say your cigars were 72% humidity when they showed up, but it was equal throughout and you smoked one that was great. 2 weeks only puts them at 70%, but they are changing and the center may still be higher RH than out by the wrapper and binder. So that scenario may well explain a bad experience after the initial good one. I can't say it enough, PATIENCE. Once the humidity settles, that's not good enough, use the 1% per week figure to estimate your worst case scenario acclimation. Once you think they're ready to smoke, give them another week or two.
Experiences vary because there's so many variables, even ambient humidity in your smoking environment, and your cadence. Slow down, be patient, and enjoy. Cigars are to relax, not cause stress.
For an example, here's a pic of my small wino. Notice the temp and humidity, and that's high for my usual preference of 60%.IMG_20200718_160417.jpg

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What's the temperature in your humidor?

The best RH% for your cigars depends on the temperature. 68% can be fine at 71° but way too much at 73-74°.

Here's a chart that may help you :
cigar-humidity-table (1).jpg
 
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