Tell tell signs that your cigar is too dry. It is lighter than it seems for the size of the cigar. It is as hard as a rock. If you gently, and I mean gently, press the cigar between you pointer finger and thumb and find it won’t give you any play in the tobacco. Also if the wrapper (outer leaves) are as dry as a fall leaf on the ground. It would be the difference between a damp sponge and a bone dry one. The moisture in the tobacco has evaporated and that is ok. If this is the case don’t worry you need to look at the cigar to see if it is savable.
Well the first thing to check on the cigar is the wrapper. If the wrapper is not cracked through to the filler tobacco you might have a chance. All hand rolled cigars have an overlapping wrapper roll, which means that there is two and sometimes three layers of wrapper. Second, check the foot (the side you light) of the cigar and see if the tobacco is firm and in place. If it is not, you might have to wait and see after re-hydrating it to smoke it. Most good to excellent cigars will have filler (tobacco inside the wrapper) that runs the length of the cigar giving the cigar a good even burn and is a sign of a hand-rolled cigar. Others that are not so good will have cut tobacco, like pipe tobacco or cigarette tobacco, pressed and molded around the wrapper. If the tobacco falls out at the foot in little shreds it most likely won’t be worth the smoke to save it.
If your cigar has a crack in the wrapper it is not the end of the world. It all depends on where it is on the cigar. If it is near the foot of the cigar, that is ok. The science behind the wrapper is simple. If you take a garden hose and turn the water on, the water flows from the faucet to the bib of the hose and on the ground. Now if you slice a slit in the hose half way down the hose water begins to spray from the hole reducing the water pressure. To fix the problem you have to cut the damaged part off and reattach the hose. Well the closer the crack in the wrapper to the foot of the cigar the better chance you have of not having to cut half your cigar off. If it is close to the foot you wont have to cut the cigar as the cigar looses length as you smoke it.
To revive your cigar simply place it in your humidor or humidor like environment for approx. 1-2 weeks until the tobacco regulates itself to the new environment and increases in moisture content. If you don’t have a humidor check out the other “How To” sections of this web page. If you are going to cut the cigar and get rid of the damaged wrapper, DO NOT cut it when it is dry. Wait until it regulates to the humidity and becomes more pliable. Also if you cut it when it is too dry it will create more cracks in the wrapper, not good! If you get lucky the wrapper might even reattach together and seal the crack as it increases moisture. It has been known to happen.
This is not a difficult thing to figure out. You have two choices; throw it away or smoke it. That’s it. If your cigar is too squishy and looks almost water-logged just simply leave it out on the counter or on a shelf somewhere in you home. Give it about 2-3 hours until it regulates to the room humidity. If you live in a place where relative humidity is above 80% just leave it outside in a breezy spot. There are two things to look for before smoking the cigar. MOLD. There are two kinds of mold that effect cigars. Blue with white spots and Green-blue mold. Some cigars have discolorations on the wrappers themselves and look similar to mold but when you rub them they don’t come off. Blue mold is ok and is a sign that the place it was being stored was at optimum temp/humid levels. Simply rub it off and smoke. If it is Green-blue mold and you feel like saving them you can. View this page to see how.