Like fine wine or Scotch whisky, time is what makes high quality cigars so special. Sophisticated techniques are used to make these handcrafted products, and this doesn’t end when the product is on the shelf. Want a premium smoking experience? You will need a decent humidor cabinet.
Many new cigar enthusiasts ask: how long do cigars last in a humidor, and how long is the right amount of time to properly age your cigars.
The answer: 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.
When a cigar is not aged properly, the taste is altered, resulting in an unsatisfactory smoking experience. Being diligent about properly storing your cigars in a humidified cabinet can heighten the aging process of your premium cigars.
The ideal span of aging lighter cigars is 3 months to one year, with the flavor continuing to improve for up to 10 years.
Some cigar lovers even prefer keeping different cigars in one humidor to blend the aromas as they age.
Aging cigars in a humidor only works if you pay attention to the environment around the cigars.
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 moisture that is bad for 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 a humidor?" 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 impact 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
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:
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 cigars can be stored, 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.
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.
By following these steps, you won’t have to worry how long a cigar will last in a humidor.You can breathe easy knowing that your cigars are getting better with time.
Let us help you start your cigar collection and discover which humidor best suits your needs at Elegant Bar. Shop today!