What Causes A Cigar Wrapper To Crack?

What Causes A Cigar Wrapper To Crack?
When a cigar's wrapper cracks, is it due to a manufacturing defect or something else?

The reason for the unfortunate unraveling isn't always the result of a defective cigar. While it's impossible to pinpoint the exact reason without knowing the full details, we can offer a few likely culprits. The first, and most common cause, is a dry cigar. This occurs when your humidor or your tobacconist's humidor is not humidified correctly, which is somewhere between 68 percent and 72 percent.

To keep your cigars from drying out, first check your hygrometer to make sure it is properly calibrated. Next, ensure your humidor closes tightly so that the internal humidity level can be maintained.

Unraveling can also happen when you inadvertently cut too much of the cap off your smoke. The cap on a premium, handmade cigar is designed to secure the wrapper. When a cigarmaker finishes the head of a cigar, he or she applies a bit of vegetable based adhesive, or gomma, which secures the wrapper in place. Cut too much off and you will remove the part with the gomma, and the wrapper will begin to unwind from the cigar, ruining your smoke. (Click here to learn how to properly cut a cigar.)

The third scenario, however, is that the manufacturer could very well have not applied enough gomma to the cap atop the head of the cigar. In this case, even a proper cut can cause the wrapper to peel off.

Although a poorly capped cigar can't be avoided, user error can.

It might also be a good idea to get in the habit of testing the cigar before you fire it up. Many cigar enthusiasts will gently roll their cigar in their fingertips and listen for a crackle. That crackle sound, which is akin to dry leaves in the fall, signifies that cigar is too dry and could use some more time in the humidor.

"I had cigars crack right after I light them, had them crack in the middle. not too often have I had them unwrapped from a cut. any comments will help me understand what or what not to do, thanks" —January 25, 2017 10:32 AM
"I find that if i keep the cigars in too high a humidity, when you smoke them in the cold or low humidity, they flex and pop off their wrappers. Happens less with thicker maduro wrappers but it can still happen. Typically we are talking about over 72% relative humidity ones. " —January 24, 2017 11:19 AM
"Another cause of wrapper cracking is smoking outside in the cold winter air. Bringing a cigar that has just been plucked from its relatively warm humid environment of a humidor into frigid dry air will guarantee a split wrapper." —January 23, 2017 21:57 PM