What Causes a Cigar to Burn Up the Center/Core?

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Briar Baron

Can't Leave
Sep 30, 2016
438
562
Sydney
I had a Punch Elites EMS yesterday and things were well until the last 1/3rd when I started to taste an unpleasant change. I persevered for a bit longer and then gave up. I then cut the end off and saw that it had started to burn only in the core and had not been burning the outer wrapper. Does this happen much? Can I do anything to prevent this? I guess for a cigar under $4 I can not expect too much.
 
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Reactions: danimalia
Jan 28, 2018
10,818
90,981
65
Sarasota, FL
It could have been a stem, could have been several things that caused it to tunnel. Burning lopsided is a much bigger problem, especially with larger ring gages. Lower cost cigars generally aren't rolled as tight so several of these things will occur with a slightly higher frequency. But not all that common.
 
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danimalia

Lifer
Sep 2, 2015
4,301
25,708
40
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
In my experience, it's either the wrapper leaf is naturally thick or oily or too wet. You can mitigate the latter issues by dry-boxing your cigars and/or lowering the RH in your humidor. To dry-box take a cigar out of your humidor and let it rest for a couple of days in an environment with a lower RH than your humidor. I live in a climate where an empty cedar box will do the job.

Another trick I've found that also helps to take plenty of time to toast the cigar's foot before lighting. Hold the foot of your cigar a half inch from the flame while rotating the cigar, occassionally blowing on the foot. The cigar will light from the outside in, and when the wrapper has an even head start about the thickness of a nickel around the circumference of the cigar, then I'll finish the light by puffing the cigar.

Between dry-boxing, storing my cigars at 65% RH and taking my time on the light, this problem has become much rarer for me.
 
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Sonorisis

Part of the Furniture Now
Dec 24, 2019
846
4,550
Definitely humidity. Specifically, the cigar was recently put into a humidifier and the outer layers were wetter than the center, which had not yet stabilized. But, one suspects too much humidity where they were placed.
 
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