A museum in Ybor City, Florida, is home to a box of cigars that is 116 years old. These cigars are in perfect condition and can be smoked today. While most aged cigars are not this old, the aging process can greatly improve their flavors.
But what factors do you need to consider when aging and storing cigars? What mistakes should you avoid? Keep reading and learn more about it below.
What Does Aging Do to a Cigar?
You might be wondering why aging is important for a cigar. Can't you smoke a box of freshly-rolled cigars and call it a day? All cigars are aged to a certain extent.
This is one of the factors that go into the cigar-making process. But most ordinary cigars are not aged for very long. They are aged enough to bring out the natural flavors of the tobacco.
Anything more is not necessary. But aging the cigars further can enhance the flavors and aromas. It also makes the cigars more complex and mature.
After being rolled, some cigars may be aged for many years. A cigar may be aged for decades in rare cases. But it is harder to keep the cigar fresh the longer you age it.
This is why most premium cigars are around three, four, or five years old. This is a good range that allows the flavors of the cigars to marinate and develop. Cigars can be aged for a far smaller period too.
Some people may age their cigars for a few months or a few weeks. This may seem pointless, but these small aging periods can make a difference. They won't create very dramatic flavors, but they will still allow the cigar notes to mingle and change.
Many people argue that the aging process brings out the true flavors of a cigar. While you can enjoy a cigar without aging it, aging indeed brings out more flavors. This is why many seasoned cigar enthusiasts prefer buying cigars that have been aged for some time.
But you can also age your own cigars. There is a certain art to this process. You can easily mess it up and ruin your cigars if you aren't careful.
Aging your cigars at home gives you more freedom to decide when your cigars are ready. The process has to do with how you store your cigars. But what do you need and where should you start?
Store Your Cigar Properly
If you don't store your cigar properly, you won't have a chance of aging it. You will be more likely to ruin the cigar. It might get too damp and moist to smoke.
Or it might dry out and get a dusty aroma. It could grow mold and mildew. You need to make sure you store your cigar in the right place.
A humidor is the best place. A humidor is a special box that has a controlled environment inside. It is very good at insulating your cigars and making sure that the temperature stays stable.
It can also stabilize humidity levels. This ensures that your cigars don't dry out or get too moist. Humidors can also protect your cigars against the elements like sunlight or excessive air.
Humidors are made out of special materials like Spanish cedar, a very luxurious and expensive type of wood. It is known for being one of the best choices for humidors.
What You Need to Know
This is because it is better at insulating than any other type of wood. But many people can't afford Spanish cedar humidors because they are too expensive. American cedar or mahogany are also good choices.
Some humidors also have dials and controls that allow you to control aspects inside the box. You may control the airflow, the temperature, the humidity, and so on.
Other humidors are more old-fashioned and only have a tight seal to keep your cigars safe. As long as you store your cigars in a place like this, it should be possible for you to age them. You do not want to store your cigars in a plastic bag or leave them out in the open.
This is a sure way to ruin them.
Aging your cigars will take a while. You might wait several months to age your cigars only to find that they have been ruined. You'll then have to start from scratch.
Aging cigars is a learning process. You likely won't get it right the first time. You also need to think about how long you want to age your cigars.
Aging a cigar for a long period will be difficult. More things can go wrong with the cigar the longer you age it. But aging a cigar for a few weeks or months should be fine.
You also won't have to wait as long to enjoy the cigar. Be sure that you don't age different cigars in the same place. This will cause the flavors and aromas to mix.
This will ruin the purity of each cigar. It is best to use separate humidors or a humidor with different compartments.
All about Aging and Storing Cigars
Storing cigars is a fine art that you'll have to master. Storing your cigars properly will ensure that the cigars stay in good shape. Aging a cigar will further enhance the cigar's flavors and aromas.
To learn more about cigars and how to enjoy them, take a look at our selection.