How Long Do Cigars Last in a Humidor? - Your Elegant Bar

May 02, 2021 5 min read

When you think about great things that take time, cigars make it on the list. They're handcrafted products that involve topnotch craftsmanship, which takes a while to complete and even more time to achieve a premium smoking experience.

How long do cigars last in a box? A minimum of 3 months is an excellent aging start for cigars, but performing maintenance and other steps necessary to keep your humidor up and running are entirely up to you. Storing cigars in a humidor or humidor cabinet is a must until they're ready to be smoked. 

If it's your first time smoking and you find yourself asking, “how long do cigars last in a humidor?” then this article will walk you through cigar storage 101.

Cigar Aging

When a cigar is not aged properly, the taste alters and can create an unsatisfactory smoking experience. Being diligent about properly storing your cigars in a humidified cabinet can heighten the aging process of your premium cigars.

Other cigar lovers even prefer keeping different cigars in one humidor to blend aroma as they age. A rule of thumb cigar collectors follow is to refine their purchased cigars by storing them in a humidor for at least 3 months after purchase before smoking them. The ideal span of aging lighter cigars is 6 months to one year, and the flavor will continue to improve for up to 10 years.

This technique would intensify the cigars’ aroma as they age and create a more balanced touch to every puff once you decide to remove them from the box.

Humidor Seasoning

Cigars in Humidor

The lifespan of a cigar highly depends on the environment around it. The scent of surrounding objects may seep into the cigars, altering and eventually dampening the natural aroma. 

Another must in preserving cigar quality is to season the humidor cabinet. This process is tricky to pull off if you own a poorly constructed humidor. A well-designed humidor cabinet includes dividers that are used to avoid tainting the aromatic qualities of your cigars.

Looking into the humidor’s lining to ensure that it uses ideal materials that are non-aromatic, like Spanish cedar, is a crucial part of adequately seasoning a humidor. Spanish cedar can absorb and effuse moisture that is ponderous to the aging process. Not to mention, it adds to the overall aroma of the cigars and keeps tobacco beetles away.

Why Season a Humidor?

Many cigar enthusiasts make it a point to season their humidors to ensure they're not dry when placing a new box of premium cigars inside. Keep in mind that humidors must be moist and seasoned to house cigars. 

This is another process that can be taxing for new cigar collectors because the answer to "how long do cigars last in tubes?" won't always be accurate without a bit of trial and error. Here are five simple steps to season your humidor before use.

Step 1: Check the lining first and the manufacturer's instructions

Ensure your humidor's lining is not varnished before seasoning it. Some humidors are made with a varnish and a finish that can skip the entire seasoning process altogether. 

Double-check to see if your humidor's manufacturer recommends using distilled water. Tap water has minerals that can damage the humidification process and eventually clog the humidor. 

Step 2: Get your materials ready

  • A new unscented sponge
  • Distilled water
  • Ziplock bag
  • Hand towel
  • Humidification element 

Step 3: Begin moistening the humidor

Grab your new unscented sponge and wet it with a lot of distilled water. Start wiping the wood, as well as the trays, dividers, and the inner lid.

Proceed to squirt the sponge with more distilled water, then leave it in a plastic Ziplock bag sealed inside the humidor. Make sure it doesn't touch any wooden surfaces, then close the lid. 

Step 4: Prepare the humidification and let it rest

Prepare the humidifier and fill it with distilled water. Remove the excess water by gently wiping it off. For the next 30 minutes, ensure it's resting properly on a dry hand towel, then close the humidor. Leave the humidification device inside, along with the damp sponge overnight.  

Step 5: Refill the humidifier if necessary, then repeat the resting process

Check the humidor the next day and see if it needs to be refreshed. You will know it based on its dryness. If the unit is dry, add more distilled water, but there is no need to refill if it's damp.

Leave the humidor for another night and remove the bag and sponge the following day. By then, the humidor walls should have absorbed all the water and are ready to contain your cigars.

Get the Right Humidor

Box of cigars with drink

Take time to do your research and check the components of a good quality humidor. Ensure you're getting a humidor with a brilliant design, craftsmanship, and one that fits your cigar needs. A few factors to consider before buying your first humidor includes:

  • Size

If you're investing in your first humidor, it is best to check how many cigars you already have or plan on getting to add to your collection. 

Humidors come in a range of sizes, but the trick to finding a good fit for your set is buying a size up. This will allow you to slowly build your cigar collection while understanding the impact of a well-constructed humidor from a smaller scale.

  • Build and Design

This is one of the most crucial factors. Not only will it dictate how long will cigars last in a humidor, but it will also determine the humidor’s performance. Check every crevice and corner of the exterior for proper varnishing. The same goes for the interior corners since some corners tend to come curved.

Take a good look at the rims and the lid and whether they fit together and close properly. Also, watch out for any warping because it might let too much air in and out, affecting the humidor’s moisture mechanics.

  • Locks and Security

Another factor to consider is the humidor’s locks, which many prefer for security. Other humidors even have digitized locks or pin code access to be extra safe. No one wants lingering hands trying to touch your cigars when they're not even ready to be taken out of the box yet. 

  • Humidification Device

The humidification device is responsible for providing a tropical environment for your high-quality cigars. They're built with a sponge material or a reservoir that will gradually release moisture into the humidor to keep cigars fresh and plump.

However, this factor won't matter if you don't regularly add distilled water or other chemicals to keep the humidification system on point. Remember to schedule your maintenance and check the hygrometer on your humidor.

  • Thermometer or Hygrometer

These are the cigar accessories that ensure your humidor is set in a suitable condition. Many prefer digital hygrometers because they're able to accurately detect the humidity and moisture levels your cigars are exposed to.

Longevity is Key

Cigars are made with precision and natural ingredients, but they require tenacity when aging them to achieve the perfect puff. Until then, all you need is a little patience and a high-quality humidor cabinet to keep them snug.

Let us help you start your cigar collection and discover which humidor best suits your needs at Elegant Bar. Shop today!

Jephonie Villegas
Jephonie Villegas


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