Properly Storing Cigars

Leave the first response January 4, 2010 / Posted in Cigar Smoking Tips

Anyone who has ever visited a tobacconist shop that specializes in high-quality cigars is likely to remember the enormous cabinets in which all of the boxes and brands were displayed for sale. Such a cabinet is known as a humidor, and anyone who hopes to retain and even improve the quality of their own cigars will need to invest in at least one home-sized version. Why would someone require more than a single humidor? Apart from the obvious fact that they may own many boxes of costly cigars that need to be stored properly, they may also want to age cigars without loss of quality.

So, does this mean that you can take all of your cigars and put them in the same box without any further worries or concerns? No, it helps to understand that cigars are full of volatile oils and humidity, and these can often cause a few “clashes” between varieties. For example, most modern cigars will come with a cellophane wrapper, and this is not to maintain the humidity, but to allow the cigar to actually pull air through the wrapper. This cellophane is used primarily to prevent damage from occurring to the tobacco wrapping the cigar and to minimize the amount of flavor or aroma mingling that can occur within a humidor.

This means that storing different types of cigars in the same cabinet or box is not usually recommended. While there are some exceptions – such as storing the same basic varieties together, outside of their cellophane sleeves, for no more than a two month time span – the standard rule of thumb is to keep only one brand in a box for long-term storage. If this is going to be too costly or difficult, most cigar shops and websites sell boxes with Spanish cedar dividers that can help to minimize flavor mingling, and some that even come with dividers and separate trays too.

Now, if you are someone who is going to age their cigars, which is a process that takes upwards of two to three years to successfully complete, then you have to really consider the impact of mixing cigars in the same tray or box. Certainly it would take a knowing palette to detect the subtle mingling that might transpire over the aging period, but is it worth the risk of keeping several types together?

Now, a bit earlier in this discussion the cellophane sleeves that wrap individual cigars were mentioned, and many wonder if these prevent flavor blending or mingling. While they might slow the process to a measurable degree, if you are taking the time to age cigars you may want to still stick with keeping them in individual trays or divided from one another via cedar partitions regardless of the cellophane or not.

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