If you’re a cigar enthusiast, you know how important the right cigars can be to your smoking enjoyment. When you purchase a Cuban Montecristo #8, you expect it to taste like the one from Cuba and not something close to an unfinished product.
You want it to have that perfect burn, that subtle cola and tobacco scent in the air, and for everyone around you—even yourself—to enjoy its rich flavors. One can do many things to preserve their cigars from aging improperly and maintain the unique taste they’ve come to know through years of enjoying them over past decades.
Are Fresh-Rolled Cigars Fresher?
One of the biggest myths in the cigar industry today is that fresh-rolled cigars are better than aged ones. This is far from reality. Many fresh cigars are sent out to stores as soon as they are rolled, making them less than ideal for aging, and certainly not something you would want to take home and smoke. Also, if you purchase a box of cigars from a reputable store, it is unlikely that they were in there for very long before you brought them home. The longer a cigar sits on a shelf, the more likely it will be dried out or cracked when you buy it.
Pre-made cigars are delivered in the most humid place possible, commonly a boat. This prevents them from extreme temperature changes and stops the fermentation process from starting early. While this can be beneficial if you walk into a cigar store and purchase a cigar directly from the shelves, it’s not always advantageous to your taste buds. They are also stored in long boxes that do not offer much airflow, so they never really reach their full potential as they age.
What Is The Best Way To Age Cigars?
The most common methods of aging cigars are:
Letting them age at room temperature or in an enclosure that allows for a constant temperature to be maintained.
Aging them in a humidor for extended periods.
Many people enjoy storing their cigars at room temperature for about a month before smoking them, giving them the exact perspective of how they should taste as if they were 40 years old. The process is simple, cut off the heads from the cigars, place them back in their box, and place them on your counter.
This will allow you to keep track of the specific date you purchased them, which helps a lot when you are sure to have opened at least one cigar each day over your smoking period. However, this method can be risky if you forget to check the date codes on your cigars and they start aging improperly.
What Does Aging Do?
The process of aging cigars is not too much different than aging alcohol. The cigars themselves become more mellow and smoother as they age. The extra oils and finer details that are lost in the manufacturing process come back over time. If you give a cigar a little more age with a slow-burning, consistent method of smoking, you will notice the subtle changes taking place and whether or not they are for the better or worse. These cigars can be aged for up to 20 years or aged at room temperature for about a month. It’s up to the individual to choose the method that’s best for them and their cigar preferences.
Aging any type of product is not always the most beneficial thing to do. Some manufacturers have developed methods to alter their cigars before they are even purchased, allowing them to retain their original potency and flavor profiles until you smoke them. They do this by adding a humidifying agent that keeps the cigars from losing moisture faster than normal.
This allows for more efficient aging, without having to store it in an enclosed humidor for years on end. Some people do this with their cigars and take them out just to smell the tobacco. This way, you don’t have to worry about exposing them to too much oxygen over time and letting outside factors affect the flavor profile you enjoy so much.
How Long Should I Age My Cigars?
The aging of cigars can be a controversial subject with many varied opinions. Some say they should be aged for at least a year or so, while others say that one month at room temperature is plenty of time to make your cigars as flavourful and smooth as they will ever be. The longer you give them, the more mellow and flavourful they become. However, don’t let them sit for too long because, after about three to five years of aging, the tobacco starts losing its potency, and you lose the flavor that makes it so enjoyable in the first place.
How Can I Know If My Cigars Are Aged?
There are several ways to tell whether or not your cigars are ready to smoke. It all depends on the type of cigar you’re trying to smoke and how much you want to enjoy it. Some people will go through the process of cutting off the head and placing them in a humidor; however, this can be dangerous, so it’s important to know how long they will be out of date before doing this.
When looking at your cigars, if they look dry, cracked, or discolored in any way, they’re ready for smoking. Take them out immediately and make sure they are still fresh by smelling the head of the cigar or taking a small pinch. If they smell stale, earthy, or otherwise “off” in any way, they should be discarded.
Cigars From The Archives
When it comes to age, taste, and quality, many famous cigars stick out in the minds of cigar lovers worldwide. These cigars may have been produced over 50 years ago, but they are still worth smoking today.
Two of the most famous and memorable cigars come from Cuba. They have been so well-made over time that most people say you can’t smoke them all at once—and some even say you can’t smoke them all after a certain number of years because their flavor profile is compromised over time. One thing is for sure: these cigars are famous for a reason.
Cuba was one of the first countries to embrace aging cigars and is home to many of the most famous aged cigars in history. The country doesn’t have many hand-rolled cigars, but the ones it does have are sought after by the cigar-smoking community.
Some of the most popular aged cigar brands include:
- The Churchills, which can be seen hanging in photos from around 1910, are an example of a cigar that’s been well-aged over time. The cigars are slightly larger in circumference, with an easy-going flavor profile of sweet tobacco and a cup of coffee. They’re known to be one of the longest-lasting cigars in existence and are sure to please even the most discerning cigar smokers out there.
The Hoyo de Monterrey’s have been made for over 100 years and have earned a place in the hearts of many cigar smokers worldwide because they offer a creamy, full-bodied taste that leaves you feeling satiated after smoking.
Another famous aged Cuban cigar is the Partagas No. 2, which comes with its unique design on every box because they’ve been made by hand for so long.
The Punch Cubans are a brand that is known throughout the world and one of the most famous from Cuba. The cigars are available in regular, corona, and Robusto sizes and have been made by hand for more than a hundred years.
The Partagas Black Label Robusto is one of the top-rated cigars in history, especially for those who enjoy stronger-tasting smokes. They’re also well-aged because they’ve been made for over 30 years.
The Cohiba Behike Dark is one of the most famous from Cuba with its immense flavor profile that blends strong tobacco with a rich coffee taste to create an unforgettable smoking experience.
The La Aurora Preferidos is another example of a fine cigar from Cuba that’s been in production for over 50 years.
The Partagas has several different cigars, but their Partagas Black Double Corona has been made for over 50 years and is one of the most well-known aged cigars from Cuba. These cigars have an oily consistency because they are rolled in Connecticut wrappers.
Note About Aging Cigars For Resale
There are certain considerations to take into account when aging your cigars for resale. While many people are perfectly happy smoking and enjoying their cigars, there might be others who would like to have them preserved for future enjoyment or simply long-term storage purposes.
The Aftermath Of Aging
While maintaining a set temperature in a humidor may not be necessary, it can help with preventing damage caused by exposure to oxygen, UV light, and humidity. It’s important to note that no matter how much you do to prevent these factors from harming your cigars, they will always have an expiration date.