Smoking a Wet Cigar… Wait, What?

Smoking a Wet Cigar

There have been several heated discussions in blogs and forums on the web, over the benefits of wetting your cigar before smoking it. Min Ron Nee, a well respected aficionado was the one that said he sometimes puts his cigars under the tap before smoking them to enhance their flavours and the overall smoking experience. Some people said that it did seem logical, some more adventurous tried it and some simply said this was impossible! I thought I should try the experiment myself and find out if wetting a cigar would make it more pleasurable to me. To be able to compare it with a dry cigar, I picked up two Ramon Allones Small Club Coronas, in order to smoke them at the same time. Both cigars were from the same 2008 box.

In order to wet your cigar, you need to place it under a running tap and keep it there for 6-7 seconds. The wrapper acts as a repellent, preventing the water from getting into the filler. If the filler gets wet during the procedure, the cigar will be unsmokable. With one of the Small Club Coronas soaking wet, its time to light them both and see what the fuss is all about.

Smoking a Wet Cigar

Cutting

The dry RASCC is cut straight and evenly, while the wet one requires a little more effort and the wrapper is not cut as clean as in the dry cigar.

Lighting

Both cigars light up equally well. The wet cigar shows no signs of black, charcoaled wrapper. A few puffs later, both cigars have developed a good coal and the wet RASCC looks as if it has already dried, however it feels cooler on the lips.

Draw

Not much of a difference here, however the wet RASCC delivers smoke that has a cooler feel!

Burn

Both cigars burn evenly at start, but the wet cigar starts burning unevenly after the first half. This could have been caused by the wrapper being more soaked on some parts.

Smoke

The wet RASCC produces ample smoke, more than the dry one, that has a richer texture and a darker colour.

Ash

The ash is of similar colour on both cigars, however it stays longer on the wet cigar. On the dry cigar it quickly falls after reaching 3/4″ length, while on the wet RASCC it reaches an inch.

Wet Cigar Ash

Coal

The coal is similar on both cigars, flat and slightly tunneling.

Flavour

Although the flavours are almost identical on both cigars, the finish and intensity are different. While the dry RASCC is sharper and has more kick, the wet one is more robust and full. The dry cigar has a long finish, with a slight acidic taste and the wet cigar has a bitter finish.

Closing Thoughts

It was obvious to me that wetting the cigar had some benefit on the overall experience. It did not result in massive changes in the flavours and it certainly wont turn a bad cigar to a great one. I was happy with the experiment and I would recommend it to everyone. Thumbs up to Min Ron Nee for sharing this technique. Will I be putting every cigar under the tap from now on? Possibly not, but it is something I would do every now and then.

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28 Comments on “Smoking a Wet Cigar… Wait, What?”

  1. Dorian Espinal says:

    I use whiskey when I wet my cigars. Pour it on the cigars for about 3 5 seconds, I get some of the oak teaste from the whiskey when smokeing.

  2. I tried it out (I must be crazy… or maybe not). Didn’t want to ruin a expensive cigar, so I tried it with flor de oliva robusto. Didn’t notice any other difference, other than that it was harder to cut. But on the positive side, I didn’t notice any other negative effects. I’ll have to try it with other cigars to see, if it affects them differently.

  3. Interesting! I’d have been scared of ruining the cigar, but good on you for investing the time and cigars in the experiment.

  4. Bill Cosby is also a firm believer in wetting the cigar; but in light of recent events, he may have other reasons for the practice.

  5. Interesting concept…but I think Bill Clinton was first to wet his cigars before enjoying.

  6. I’ve done this a time or two but my purpose is to soften and otherwise brittle or delicate wrapper and hopefully avoid wrapper crack during smoking. I think it’s helped, especially on some of my Cubans and when the outside humidity is especially low. It hovers around 10-12% sometimes around here in the winter and in my mind the radical change from my tupperdor causes wrapper distress. Oh, and I’ve never put it under a running faucet, I have a fine spray bottle that I put distilled water in…

  7. Great review.

  8. Patrick julien says:

    I sometimes let my cigars soak in Grand Marnier before I smoke them great taste

  9. I’ve seen a few Habanos collectors do this and always wondered wtf they were doing?! From the look of the picture, it seems like the foot/filler would get wet when holding the cigar under a stream of water foot down? Also, there are some Cuban wrappers that are dry and are more absorbent while their are others that are oily and would repel water…

  10. Instead of soaking place them in tupperware for a few days to a week with a shot glass of your favorite spirit. This allows the whiskey to permeate the cigar just like humidity in your humidor

  11. Very interesting, hadn’t heard of this before. I may try it!

  12. Howard Salter says:

    I tried this out and just ruined a bolivar. it’s a daft idea. However I like my cigars moist and keep my humidor around 72degres. However doing this you need to keep a regular look out for mold.

  13. The differences you described between the 2 cigars could easily have been due to the fact that they were 2 different cigars, especially in light of the piss poor quality and consistency coming out of Habanos SA these days. This is just another ridiculous attempt to see how many idiots will ‘follow the leader’ when some self styled “aficionado” gets a screwball idea and makes it public.

  14. Wow!! really?,
    I will definitely give this a try. I’ve never heard of this practice, but if there is even a slight possibility of it enhancing my already exellent cigar experience, I am willing to give it a run… not sure if I will be doing so with a Ramon Allones (Heritage). Tune in…

  15. Accidentally dropped a Padron into coffee once ….damnnn was it good.

  16. The wetting the cigar idea is interesting. I’ve not heard of this before. I may do this with my next cigar.

  17. Vance Johnson says:

    I think when Clinton and Cosby wet their cigars, it was most likely a different technique!

    This makes some sense, and I’ll try it soon…but I’ll probably use one of my less expensive, but very nice, ceegars first!

  18. When it’s really cold and dry outdoors, RH wise, I will run a little water over the cigar to keep the wrapper from blowing up while smoking. Works great.

  19. Been doing this for years. Not for so long as 6 or 7 seconds, though. It is especially advantageous in the winter, to prevent split wrappers.

  20. I like it! I’m definitely going to give this a try. I think I’ll use Tim’s technique using distilled water and a spray bottle.

    Thanks for the tip.

  21. My grandfather always inserted the whole cigar in his mouth and moistened it slightly. I guess this is somewhat similar but in a different vain.

  22. Just curious, was the padron already lit when you dropped it in the coffee?

  23. Well Bill,
    This has been around for decades and there are more people who do this than you are aware of. Since your arrogance and limited knowledge about this is obvious. ..it’s not worth educating a closed mind. Go back to smoking your Ron Mexicos.

  24. Wow this really opens my eyes to something completely pointless. Who cares? Are we that unsatisfied with our cigars,we need to try different ways to “enhance” them?
    Thanks but I’ve enjoyed mine for over 20yrs without ever doing this because Iv’e never noticed any improved diffrrence.

  25. I read about this a couple of months back and decided to try it. I bought three AF Curly Heads ( I decided to go less expensive just in case it was a fail). I did not notice too big of a difference between the one that was wet and the one that was not except go in the smell, both unlit and lit. Of course I wet one ad let it dry at room temperature for about 15 minutes, once it dried out a little, it had a much stronger smell than the dry one and it held through the smoke, it also burned cooler and gave me a longer smoke by about 5 minutes. It was not bad. I may or may not try it on a Padron. As for the third cigar I decided to put that into Tupperware on a bed of roasted espresso beans just to experiment. That actually turned out pretty good.

  26. This is like putting ketchup on a good steak.

  27. Interesting.

    Wondering why people, when they don’t like something, don’t have the ability to just move on. Instead they have to make an asshole comment demeaning the writer.

  28. I would suggest soaking it. Every cigar I get unless it was just rolled is too dry. I want the filler to be reconstitited to a moist leaf. What I do is wrap them in a wet paper towel put them in a plastic bag and leave them in the sun for 4-5 hours. Take it out let the wrapper dry until silky smooth. Moistening them like this let’s the leaf resin mix with the smoke which releases more flavour. I do it with every cigar I smoke and if you don’t taste a difference you didn’t get it moist enough.

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