As a cigar smoker progresses from the casual smoker to someone who smokes regularly, there is usually a desire or even a need to purchase cigars in quantity. You may buy some cigars so you’ll always have a supply to smoke at home and other times, you may want to purchase special editions or just a favorite blend and age them at home.
It’s interesting to see how a cigar matures and changes in profile when you lay them down for awhile. In this article, I’ll give you some tips on how to age cigars at home properly.
First, it is important to know that you need to start off with a good quality cigar. No amount of aging is going to turn a “dog rocket” into a good cigar. Also, aging will work best with fuller bodied and fuller strength cigars. The aging process will cause these cigars to mellow and bring out complexities in the flavor profile that are not normally present when a cigar is first purchased.
It’s true that just about every premium cigar you buy from your tobacconist is ready to smoke at the time of purchase. While at the manufacturer, the tobaccos used in a cigar have most likely aged for a long time and generally sit in a storage area for 90 days or so before being shipped to distributors. There are times though, when you just want to lay your cigars down to rest and leave them alone for an extended period of time.
You can age cigars in tupperdors, coolidors, desktop humidors or go to such lengths as to turn a walk in closet into a humidor. No matter the size of your humidor, the process of aging cigars remains the same.
The first and foremost requirement for aging cigars is to put your smokes in a stable, controlled environment. The golden rule of 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 70 percent humidity is number one. A cedar lined humidor is preferred but, if you are using a non-porous container, you’ll have to open the lid occasionally to exchange the air to help prevent mold and to release any build up of impurities that may be released from your cigars.
If the cigars are wrapped in cellophane, I would keep it on. If you are storing a large amount of the same cigar in one space and don’t plan on touching them often, it’s OK to remove the cellophane. This may hasten the “marrying” effect of flavors from the different tobaccos in a cigar.
In fact, in larger humidors, you can just add full boxes of cigars that are still sealed in cellophane and age your collection as is. As long as the temp / humidity are at the ideal levels, everything will be fine with your cigars.
Of course, only you can tell when those cigars you have been aging are at their optimum level of enjoyment. Some people have aged cigars for decades but usually anything over 10 years has a negligible effect on flavor.
You should experiment with your favorite blends while aging. Take a sample cigar out at various intervals and smoke one. Compare how the cigar burns and tastes after six months, two years or even ten years if you are that patient and have enough will power.
With enough experience, you’ll know when that favorite cigar of yours has hit its peak of perfection and you’ll enjoy one fine smoke for sure.How to Age Cigars at Home by Tom Ufer