A number of problems may arise when storing fine cigars. For example, they may become too wet or too dry.

Dryness is worst because after two or three months they will start to lose their flavour – never to be regained. When re-humidifying dry cigars do it gently in stages or you will risk the wrappers bursting as the leaves absorb moisture.

Prolonged wetness rots tobacco, but you are much more likely to encounter ‘bloom’. This is a white, powdery mould that occurs naturally on a Habano when it is subjected to a sudden increase in humidity. It is a sign that the cigar is alive and well and should simply be removed with a brush.

Worst of all is tobacco weevil or lasioderma serricorne. It feasts on tobacco, perforates wrappers and renders cigars unsmokeable.

Thankfully, infestations are rare, but the best prevention is never to let the temperature in your humidor exceed 18°C.

The only solution is to put an infected box into a deep freeze and leave it there for a few days. This will kill the weevils and save the cigars that have not attracted their attention.

Since 2005, all Habanos have been frozen at the warehouse in Havana before they are released to the market, so this problem is rarer than it once was.

Earlier articles:

Humidors for your Habanos

Storing Habanos

The ritual of cutting, lighting and smoking a Habano

The leaves that clothe the body

Cigar anatomy

Cohiba: Fidel Castro’s all-time favourite cigar

Tobacco paradise

The best cigars come from Cuba

What’s the big deal with Havana cigar