After mastering the basic tips and tricks, every beginner smoker wants to develop a fine taste for the intricacies of cigars. After all, the industry has a lot to offer from Ashton Cigars to Gurkha cigars. However, you cannot call yourself a cigar connoisseur if you don’t know how to maintain your cigars to keep them fresh. Cigar aging is an important practice that is different from cigar storage. In cigar aging, an optimal environment is created for the continuous evolution of the tobacco.
Why Age Cigars?
Tobacco is breathing, organic material that changes continuously. A cigar is entirely made of tobacco. Wrapper, filler and all other parts of the cigar are made from tobacco leaves. So, your cigars also change continuously. Cigars continue to evolve even when the manufacturer finished the fermentation. A cigar further consists of various tobacco blends. So, it undergoes many changes.
Smokers prefer smoking well-aged cigars because these cigars burn better and provide finer flavors. These flavors may not be developed or detectable when the cigar is in its young age. Aging makes a cigar free from imperfections by eliminating harsh and astringent flavors. As a result, you get a well-balanced cigar to smoke. Ashton Cigars, Rocky Patel cigars and all other cigars benefit from aging when kept under the proper conditions for 1-2 years. Some blends reach ultimate potential when aged for around 10-15 years. Keep in mind that each blend is different. Perform the practice of aging on premium brands. Your $2 cigar will not give you the flavor profile of a $15 cigar if you age it.
Techniques For Aging Cigars
Basic Storage Techniques
- Get an authentic humidor with Spanish cedar shelves.
- Season the humidor.
- Maintain humidity levels of 72%.
- Rotate your cigars every 3 months.
Choosing A Humidor For Aging
Have a dedicated wineador or humidor for cigar aging. A cigar coolidor may not be the right choice. This should be a large humidor as you will continue to add new cigars throughout the years. Don’t skip seasoning the cigar.
Sanding Cedar Shelves
Spanish cedar shelves bring pleasant aroma. It also repels tobacco beetles. Cigars greatly benefit from this combination of wood and tobacco. However, the cedar loses its luster. It cannot provide a distinct aroma forever. Re-line your humidor with cedar shelves.
Remove Cellophane Wrappers
Cello or not, it’s a hot topic among smoking enthusiasts. Do what works best for your cigars. Some smokers leave them as they are sold. However, when it comes to aging, this is not the case. You might see people bragging of their aged cello wrappers. However, this is not necessarily a good thing. What you are doing is suffocating your cigars for years. Continuously fragmenting cigars emit ammonia. This is not the desired quality. The cellophane wrapper absorbs quite a bit of ammonia, oils, nicotine and other compounds from the cigar. This causes the brownish color. The ammonia gets trapped in the cello. From there, it is reabsorbed into the cigar. Though, the porous cello allows humidity to reach the cigars. The ammonia is still discharged. Cello is for short-term scenarios.
Vary Temperature Levels
It is recommended to keep cigars under unchanged environments. Keep in mind that your cigar is an organic material that breathes and evolves. Change keep your cigars alive. 65℉ is the right temperature around your cigars. However, once every two months, bring the temperature up for 10 days. After 10 days, keep your humidor open for 1-2 hours and let ammonia escape. Keep in mind that this does not work for every blend.
Let Ammonia Escape
Even when you are not changing the temperature, open the humidor up so that ammonia can escape the humidor. You don’t want it to settle back into your cigars. So, open it for 1 hour every 3 weeks.
Aging cigars, there is a lot of work to do, right? Advanced cigar aging is not for every smoker. If you are a serious hobbyist, you might want your ultra-premium cigars to perform beyond your expectations. You need to take cigar storage to the next level. However, it is important to stay organized. You can keep track of the complete aging process with a dedicated app or a notepad. You can also mark dates on the calendar to raise or lower temperature and air out the humidor. Sand shelves once a year and remove ammonia on a regular basis.