Cigar Tar: My Own Epidemic?

Stogie Talk25 Comments on Cigar Tar: My Own Epidemic?

Cigar Tar: My Own Epidemic?

Its been some time since we last talked about tar oozing out of cigar. Nothing ruins a cigar experience like the foul taste of tar. If you are lucky and paying attention you will notice the tar forming on the cut end and usually make a deeper cut and be on your way. No harm, no foul. If, like me, you aren’t in the habit of looking, you will be greeted with a foul, bitter, burning taste. While a quick cut gets rid of the tar oozing out of the cigar, there is no saving grace for your palate. Coffee, soda, juice…you are basically screwed for an hour until things return to normal.

Untitled Untitled

Historically, I only need two fingers (#twss) to count how many times I’ve run into this tar issue and those were way back in the early days of Stogie Review circa 2006-2007. Over the course of the past month and a half, it feels like an epidemic. At least once a week I’m having to put a cigar down because I’m just grossed out. Poor Walt has been on the receiving end of my pictures of tar oozing out (I try to time it for when I think he’s eating lunch). At first I thought it was me. I have been enjoying a punch cut lately but that theory went out the window when I started having the issue using a straight cut and a v-cut too. Smoking too fast? Whether I puff once a minute or hot box a cigar it happened. Then I thought it was my humidor but then it happened with both cigars from home and local shops. Then I thought it was a particular brand but I’ve experienced on a wide range of well known brands that I’ve smoked a lot of this year. Then I thought maybe country of origin but that too was disproven when I got it on Dominicans, Nicaraguan and Honduran cigars. So we’ve eliminated type of cut, smoking rate, storage conditions, brand, country of origin and even price range? So what else is there?

When we last discussed this the answer we received from a manufacturer was:

“This grotesque syrup is somewhat of an enigma. We assume that it is sap left inside the stem of the leaf which doesn’t evaporate during fermentation. It is extremely rare, but by far one of the most pungent and foul substances of the world. It has been my experience that cutting below the ooze usually ends the matter.”

That makes sense except for the “extremely rare” part. I wouldn’t call what I’ve been experiencing “extremely rare”. If this was something I occassionaly experienced like once a blue moon that would be one thing. But this has been a weekly ordeal the past four to six weeks. I actually take deep breathes wondering if the cigar I’m enjoying is gonna ooze tar. Just bad luck catching up with me after all these years?

Is anyone experiencing this or is just me?


25 thoughts on “Cigar Tar: My Own Epidemic?

  1. This was happening to me last year, mostly with Belicoso ‘s, but a few other vitolas as well. No matter how far I cut, how slow I smoked it would happen. Even with aged sticks! Needless to say, I don’t smoke Beli’ s very often for fear of the goo!

  2. I think I’m in the Mr. C category where it’s in the 1% range. Not too often but often enough to where you really get to notice the early signs of the bitter taste. I have to admit, I rarely get tarring as bad as those pictures you put up Jerry. Those were simply hideous. It could be your just biased against tar and this is the universes way of teaching you acceptance for tar and all things tobacco? Or it could be Frank snuck over, took all your good, manufacturer donated premium swag cigars and swapped them out for CA rejects???? So many possibilities to explain your recent rash of bad luck.

  3. I have this happen with some cigars occasionally but almost always with A Fuentes , which I happen to love.
    Usually I will adjust my cut but if I am already close to getting rid of the cap altogether I will use a paper towel and hold it on the area for a few seconds and that seems to help although once the oozing starts it seems to just keep coming.(thats what she said!!!)

  4. The times I’ve had this happen to me, it’s been with cigars that have a tight enough draw that I’m pulling much harder than usual on the cigar. When I notice this and cut more of the cap off, I try to ease up on the draw and that seems to help.

  5. I had this happen to me the first time just the other day, and though I have only been smoking cigars for a few years, it was something I had never seen before. Since then I have already seen it a couple of more times (~3), within a month.

  6. I smoke about two per day and only see this rarely… once so far this year. The one time was a box purchase and all the others in the box were fine.

    Sap makes sense because the volume of the tar that came out made me believe it was in the stick before I lit it, no just saliva from normal smoking…

  7. ive had this happen a few times and have noticed it with stronger cigars……..wondering if it could be beacause of the amount of ligero being used in blends nowadays.

  8. Strangely enough, I have never had this experience and I have been smoking regularly since the late 90s.

    I blame Frank.

  9. I have had only a few issues in the past and this last week I had two sticks do this to me. One was an undercrown and the other a Fuente Anjeo…odd.

  10. I’ve had some of the cigars that I ‘ve smoked. Those cigars were usually low budget cigars and bad aging the tobacco leaves. Sometime the cigars have too many stems inside a cigar that it poduced the tarts. Bad treated the tobacco leaves resolved to produce tarts……..

  11. I’ve been told it has to do with swinging temperatures. I tend to believe this as it started happening to me more since moving from FL to NY. I was keeping my humidors in a spare bedroom that got hit with afternoon sun so the temp would vary quite a bit, I moved them to the basement and it seems to only be an occasional issue now. If I remember right Forry had this issue a while back but I don’t recall him bitching about it recently. Did he do anything that helped eliminate the problem?

  12. I too had it happen last night while I was smoking a 1926 Padron 40yr. Anniversary. I noticed it in the first 3rd. I cut it and it still tasted horrendously bad! Bye bye $26

  13. Hmm Jerry. I wonder if your onto something here based on comments. I am curios if your seeing this in cigars recently delivered to shops or in more new brand cigars? My suspicion would be cigars rushed to shops to meet production deliveries?

  14. I know this is an old thread, but this is one issue that really bugs me because nobody seems to know the answer for sure. Anybody in the bizness that I’ve asked (because I assume they know more about cigars than me) just kind of brushes me off- like “hmm, I never had that. Probably just need to purge it.” But it’s not a purging issue. And I have noticed this phenomenon more: 1. During cold weather; 2. When smoking outdoors or in my garage; and 3. With cigars that supposedly contain more ligero. Could it be not so much the cold weather, but a combination of lower temperatures and a sudden humidity swing in a short period of time? If I keep my stogies at 72 degrees and 67%, maybe something chemically happens when I take that bad boy outside for a smoke in 52 degrees and 25% humidity. I don’t know, but as anybody knows who has had this happen, it is a horribly foul taste.

  15. I’ve had this happen to me with 4 sticks from the same pack of Don Tomas Nicaragua bundles. Yeah, sure, not the swankiest of cigars, but these are my “regulars” as I smoke 4-5 cigars per day. And I’ve smoked 50 of these in the past year with any problems.
    I’ve also had it happen on a Los Duenes that was tarry as soon as I cut it. It felt like cutting a head of cabbage in half. I could not get any smoke out of that one, so I decided dissect it and I found a lot of stems, and wet leaves.
    I typically dry box cigars for a couple of hours before smoking them, but sometimes I also just pull one out straight out of the humidor (72 %RH) and 9 out of 10 smoke beautifully. That 1 out of 10 gets the poker and then it behaves.
    I blame it on bad construction.
    The thing what most of you guys are talking about with tight draws and smoking too fast – yeah, that typically happens with tighter draws where you just tend to suck on it like there’s no tomorrow (!) just to get a decent amount of smoke out. In those cases, trimming the cap a few millimeters further typically fixes the thing.
    What I’m talking about here is goddamn sap all the way through before even lighting up – swanky cigars or no.
    I had a CAO 770 big block a month ago – a gargantuan cigar – smoothest smoke I ever had.
    I am convinced that I’m not doing anything wrong because I’m not doing anything differently than before.
    It’s amazing how cigar smoking is a fantastic primer for developing full-blown OCD. I wonder if Freud codified psychoanalysis because of his cigar smoking…
    Bad production batches and, yeah, a really sad way to ruin what should have been an enjoyable experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top