Posted 03 June 2012 - 03:15 AM
I'll bet dollars to donuts it is construction. In my experience, I've run into that problem with every line I've smoked out of that factory. These are too danged expensive to put up with garbage like that.
I smoke several cigars a day. That means I have smoked more in a month than a lot of folks smoke in a year. A lot of experience with box after box, and this is a something that I have constantly run into with this manufacturer. I have had far too many rolled like drinking straws or underfilled. That is my experience.
Now, I love the blends and honestly think that they are some of the best on the planet, made with the best tobacco. So, I do buy them, and immediately open the box and inspect every cigar, inspecting the foot, and pinching them to see if they are underfilled. A pain in the butt, but a neccessity.
Dry them down a lot before smoking. It takes a minimum of 3 weeks just for a cigar to mechanically stabilize. Then you have to make sure that the cigar itself has consistent moisture content from filler to wrapper. That could take a month or more, depending on how you store. That tobacco loves being smoked at 60 RH. It will be a lot sweeter at that humidity. Make sure you cut them with as large an opening as possible. All the way to the outer diameter of the stick. No punches, etc. If they continue to to tunnel, just lightly pinch behind the ember as you draw. That will at least keep you from wasting a cigar.
Also, imo, in the absence of electronically controlled humidification, Humidipaks are superior for staying consistent, and allowing the cigar to take in moisture evenly. Unfortunately, they do not come at 60% RH. The 65s are good for long term aging. The 69% ones are too wet, and you can get mold. Beads are great if you are real careful on how you rehydrate them. (remember, everything has a plus or minus tolerance) Better to add too little water, and have to add more a few days later, than to overdo it.