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Aging cigars
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Chadboskie
Posted 7/31/2014 6:21 PM (#487431)
Subject: Aging cigars



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Can anyone tell me more about aging cigars in my humidor? Why age them? Arent they aged by the manufacturer? Is it just to stabilize the humidity of the cigar after buying them? And how does aging change the taste? Maybe you guys think it isn't necessary.
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kxthor911
Posted 7/31/2014 6:25 PM (#487432 - in reply to #487431)
Subject: Re: Aging cigars


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Cigars come aged from the factories for different lengths of time. Normally more expensive lines in brands are aged longer. For example the Padron 1926 is aged longer than the Padron x000 series. Aging cigars mellows harsh flavors and smoothes them out normally. If you buy cheaper cigars I would recommend aging them (others may not agree.) I guess you could test this theory and buy a 10 pack of your favorite brand and smoke one a month or one every two months and see if you find that age helps or hurts. Some cigars peak faster than others, there is plenty of research on which cigars peak faster than others.
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Chip Lemaster
Posted 7/31/2014 6:34 PM (#487435 - in reply to #487431)
Subject: Re: Aging cigars



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I am new at this but can say with complete honesty, aging cigars helps,,, I purchased some Garo double Maduro, ROTT they were but bitter and harsh,,,,over the two months that I smoked them the last three had the best flavor and the bitterness and harsh notes had mellowed to nothing,,,,,may not work like this everytime on every cigar, but I know it helped the ones I had,,
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nwb
Posted 7/31/2014 6:40 PM (#487438 - in reply to #487435)
Subject: Re: Aging cigars



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A couple of good articles:

http://www.cigargeeks.com/community/boxx/knowledgebase.asp?iid=30&C...

http://www.cigargeeks.com/community/boxx/knowledgebase.asp?iid=11&C...
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Mojo66
Posted 7/31/2014 7:26 PM (#487456 - in reply to #487431)
Subject: Re: Aging cigars



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To me aging cigars is like aging wine, time can only do them good but only if done properly and even then, only some will age well or very well over long periods of time. It can be a hit and miss adventure but when a cigar has aged particularly well, it's a real treat.

But since they can't all be 10 year old cigars, I'll at least try to give new cigars a few months in my humidors before smoking.

Some OK ROTT smoking experiences, many disastrous and none a better experience than the next one of the same cigar a couple months later
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Rebecca Silverwolf
Posted 7/31/2014 8:12 PM (#487465 - in reply to #487431)
Subject: Re: Aging cigars



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I give the majority of cigars at least two weeks in my humidor to even out the humidity. Beyond that time, aging can help some cigars, but others don't age as well. A cigar that has been in the humidor for months, or even years, will tend towards being smoother. The flavors will mellow and come together a little more. The tobacco does continue to ferment in a humidor. How much time you give it is really a matter of personal preference.
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dddddmorgan
Posted 8/1/2014 5:22 AM (#487499 - in reply to #487431)
Subject: Re: Aging cigars



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I'm in with the experts here, I'm not an expert but I can reaffirm their guidance.

Letting something sit after traveling is the minimum you should do. Right note all the smokes are mKing a hot trip and depending on how long the shipping takes it an be a real shock to them, a couple weeks will do wonders.

What Chip pointed out as well as the links provided by our fearless leader (NWB) and the other insights offered is the truth, a bit of aging can make a good cigar better and a great one even greater.

If you want to improve a cheap stick, pull it out of the cellophane and give it a few months aging 'naked' with other cigars, the marriage of flavors between a quality humidor and the other cigars can be great, sometimes even amazing.
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DonM
Posted 8/1/2014 5:37 AM (#487504 - in reply to #487431)
Subject: RE: Aging cigars



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While the tobacco is aged during the mfr's process, a little humidor time never hurts either. I gifted a cigar to a friend yesterday after lunch. His 1st comment was how well it burned and smoked. It had been in my humidor for a year. Humidors don't just allow the cigar to age, it provides perfect storage conditions until it is time to fire it up
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nwb
Posted 8/1/2014 5:46 AM (#487507 - in reply to #487504)
Subject: RE: Aging cigars



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DonM - 8/1/2014 8:37 AM
Humidors don't just allow the cigar to age, it provides perfect storage conditions until it is time to fire it up


Exactly.


One other observation - certain cigars age well for a finite amount of time, peak, and then begin to lose some flavor (or at least become too mellow). This is something else to watch and depends on personal preference. Recently, I started noticing this happen because some of my collection is hitting 5+ years old. This is more applicable to non-Cubans.
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BlackIrish
Posted 8/1/2014 6:30 AM (#487520 - in reply to #487431)
Subject: Re: Aging cigars



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To add my own $0.02 to the excellent advice that's already been shared:

1. Letting your cigars rest after receiving them isn't really aging, in my mind. It's just letting them recover and settle from the travel. For me, this is essential. Others have different views.

2. When I talk of aging, I mean at least 6 months, and probably a year or more.

3. Aging non-Cuban cigars is trickier, because you often don't know how old they are when you get them. Some non-Cuban manufacturers follow the Cuban practice of putting a box code on the cigars (Tatuaje used to, Curivari does), which makes it much easier to tell how old your cigars are, and thus helps you decide whether they get better with age or not.

4. Generally -- and this is a broad generalization -- stronger cigars do better with age, as the tannins mellow and the flavors meld. Mild cigars often tend to lose what flavor they have.

5. Many non-Cuban cigars are made with tobacco that's already been aged, and then are aged some more after being rolled. Often they're at or near their best when released or within a year thereafter.

6. Bad cigars will never get good with age. Some may get better, but they never get good.

7. Ultimately it's a queston of trial-and-error and preference. Many folks who age their cigars will try one every 3-6 months to see if they're getting better.

Have fun!

Edited by BlackIrish 8/1/2014 1:11 PM
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Chadboskie
Posted 8/1/2014 9:41 AM (#487575 - in reply to #487431)
Subject: Re: Aging cigars



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Thanks guys. This all helps. Now that my stock is getting bigger ill be able to let some age for a while
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Cigary
Posted 8/1/2014 12:11 PM (#487618 - in reply to #487431)
Subject: Re: Aging cigars



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The common denominator in this process is that anything below 5 years is called "resting" while over 5 years is "aging" and there is a ton of reading on this subject as far as to its purpose...how to go about it and what to expect. Experience is something that one needs with any brand of cigar..to know it intimately so you can determine if it's wise to 'rest' or 'age' because not every cigar is the same. I went about this a few years back with cigars that I knew very well and did a spreadsheet on each one to see how it developed from ROTT to about a 3 year resting phase. There was about 20 different cigars I knew enough to be impartial because if you don't have enough exposure to how it tastes you can be jaded into thinking it changes a lot. I had my standard base profile and then smoked each one in 3 month tests afterwards...all the way out to about 3 years and found that about 65% of them changed enough to merit saying it made them better. In some brands as much as 40% better which was profound to me in that NC's tend to have some well founded rest before being sold.

Most of you on here are already knowledgeable about setting up humidors to accommodate your cigars and how they smoke best at a given RH and temp. Black Irish pretty much hits the nail right on the head with his 2 cents and if one is interested in resting/aging cigars it's best to know that particular cigars' history. Bad or cheaper cigars don't really benefit from resting...they are what they are and complex cigars that are medium to full bodied are usually the best candidates for this process...they balance the cigar to such an extent that it makes the process worth it IMO but for most people they just want a good cigar w/o all the work and waiting.
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Jackal
Posted 8/1/2014 1:04 PM (#487632 - in reply to #487618)
Subject: Re: Aging cigars



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Cigary - 8/1/2014 1:11 PM

The common denominator in this process is that anything below 5 years is called "resting" while over 5 years is "aging" and there is a ton of reading on this subject as far as to its purpose...how to go about it and what to expect. Experience is something that one needs with any brand of cigar..to know it intimately so you can determine if it's wise to 'rest' or 'age' because not every cigar is the same. I went about this a few years back with cigars that I knew very well and did a spreadsheet on each one to see how it developed from ROTT to about a 3 year resting phase. There was about 20 different cigars I knew enough to be impartial because if you don't have enough exposure to how it tastes you can be jaded into thinking it changes a lot. I had my standard base profile and then smoked each one in 3 month tests afterwards...all the way out to about 3 years and found that about 65% of them changed enough to merit saying it made them better. In some brands as much as 40% better which was profound to me in that NC's tend to have some well founded rest before being sold.

Most of you on here are already knowledgeable about setting up humidors to accommodate your cigars and how they smoke best at a given RH and temp. Black Irish pretty much hits the nail right on the head with his 2 cents and if one is interested in resting/aging cigars it's best to know that particular cigars' history. Bad or cheaper cigars don't really benefit from resting...they are what they are and complex cigars that are medium to full bodied are usually the best candidates for this process...they balance the cigar to such an extent that it makes the process worth it IMO but for most people they just want a good cigar w/o all the work and waiting.


I disagree. 2-3 years in a proper environment can have a dramatic effect on some cigars. Those that are affected are definitely aging (having a chemical reaction taking place). Resting is the equilibration of humidity between itself and its environment (which should generally take days to weeks).

Depending on how long the tobacco and finished cigars were kept in the facilities at the factory before they were shipped will be a major effect on how much effect home aging will have (aging being a rate reaction). Some manufacturers will specify their aging time (e.g. Leon Jimenes 300 days). A cigar that is young (close to its 'sick' period) will benefit much more from aging than one that is mature (aged well beyond the 'sick period').
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Kevin48438
Posted 8/1/2014 1:53 PM (#487649 - in reply to #487431)
Subject: Re: Aging cigars



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Just to add another $.02. We're saving up for a nickel. Good points by all, but I would add:

Sometimes a cigar ROTT can taste young. Kind of an amonia taste. Sometimes it's in the aroma more than than the palate. Kind of like the difference between green leaves burning and dried, dead leaves in the fall.

It's just a matter of terms, but i always thought of rest as just getting the humidity right (something within 2 weeks) or getting that young taste out (under 6 months), Aging is something 6 months or longer with expectation that a good cigar will improve even more. IMO, Opus peaks at 2-5 years, which is a common peak for a lot of cigars. A lot of cigars age out sometime after 5 years and start to lose flavor. Conversely, I like Liga Privada within the first year. I like the roughness they have. As they age they get too mellow and smooth and lose that character which has the flavor and interest.

It's been my experience that cigars with more oil age better. It eventually becomes plume and somehting in that transition hits the spot
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The Burn Ward
Posted 8/1/2014 1:57 PM (#487655 - in reply to #487431)
Subject: RE: Aging cigars



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I smoke cigars.
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Cigary
Posted 8/1/2014 2:00 PM (#487659 - in reply to #487431)
Subject: Re: Aging cigars



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I said in my experience that in the years of rest on a cigar ...."about 3 years and found that about 65% of them changed enough to merit saying it made them better." Resting lets the cigar acclimate to it's environment RH speaking and to say it can be done in days is a bit misleading....that would be almost the same as dryboxing in that dryboxing is a term that isn't within the confines of a humidor. Most agree that resting and acclimation of a cigar that was bought and put into your own humidor takes at the very least a month and longer. It is with practical experience with that cigar ( a cigar we have experience with) that tells us how much of a change there is. While I have practical experience with over 20 brands in my experience it obviously isn't with every brand so I can only talk about a brand I know...this isn't a general one size fits all program.

The terms 'rest' and 'age' tend to be ambiguous terms in the cigar communities because they tend to be applied in the same terms. Aging is a process by which the "resting phase" is over with and the general terms of it being as much as 5 years while aging is a process of keeping that phase of long term storage in an environment of what was called the 'resting' phase. One can see that both terms are applied because in the aging phase nothing changes except for the time frame.

At the end of the day we have individual experiences based on what we see and that means it can be subjective to personal tastes. As far as how much of a taste that changes it is again subjective and opinions ebb and flow based on individual experiences. Disagreements about experiences are to be expected and that's what makes things interesting because we learn from each others experiences.
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Kevin48438
Posted 8/1/2014 2:05 PM (#487665 - in reply to #487431)
Subject: RE: Aging cigars



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  Being geeks we can overcomplicate things.  Try a cigar.   Don't like it much?  Let it sit a year or two.   Still don't like it?   Trade the rest away.  Maybe the best advice for a newbie...
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DonM
Posted 8/1/2014 3:12 PM (#487691 - in reply to #487655)
Subject: RE: Aging cigars



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The Burn Ward - 8/1/2014 4:57 PM

I smoke cigars.


and if they suck, I will be the 1st to tell you!
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dddddmorgan
Posted 8/1/2014 6:37 PM (#487763 - in reply to #487691)
Subject: Re: Aging cigars



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Well the greatly understated point here is to have enough sticks that some of them can age!

Ya gotta smoke something, eh?
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Remodelx15
Posted 8/1/2014 8:56 PM (#487787 - in reply to #487431)
Subject: Re: Aging cigars


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Great discussion! I'm very interested in this subject and there's a lot of good stuff here. So thanks to everyone for sharing their thoughts.
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SparklePony
Posted 8/17/2014 4:29 PM (#491895 - in reply to #487763)
Subject: Re: Aging cigars



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dddddmorgan - 8/1/2014 9:37 PM

Well the greatly understated point here is to have enough sticks that some of them can age!

Ya gotta smoke something, eh?


Suddenly I feel empowered! No wait, not empowered. What's the word? Ummm... Enabled! YES! Enabled!
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Cigary
Posted 8/17/2014 5:46 PM (#491924 - in reply to #491895)
Subject: Re: Aging cigars



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SparklePony - 8/17/2014 7:29 PM
dddddmorgan - 8/1/2014 9:37 PM Well the greatly understated point here is to have enough sticks that some of them can age! Ya gotta smoke something, eh?
Suddenly I feel empowered! No wait, not empowered. What's the word? Ummm... Enabled! YES! Enabled!

 Lol...at the end of any conversation it's up to the person to take what they want and disregard what they don't want after research and that's really what's important.  Some of us love the process of trying to arrive at getting the best possible taste from our cigars while others are at the back of the truck waiting to unwrap the first cigar and smoking it.  Experience is the key as to what we enjoy as far as resting/experience and it's our own taste that we look to satisfy.  For some it takes a 2 1/2 inch Ribeye and others all it takes is hamburger...neither is right or wrong when it becomes our own tastes.  Happy smoking!

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SparklePony
Posted 8/17/2014 6:18 PM (#491929 - in reply to #487431)
Subject: Re: Aging cigars



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I'm looking forward to resting/aging a box of beauties that's on the way to me. I've never really done it, but these come highly recommended for the purpose. It's exciting!
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C130Driver
Posted 1/30/2015 2:01 PM (#532065 - in reply to #487431)
Subject: RE: Aging cigars



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I want to bring this thread back to life, but this time I'm interested in talking about cigars reaching their peak. Obviously each cigar is going to be different, but is there a general rule of thumb for when cigars begin their downhill trend?

I'm quite interested in aging cigars, but if I'm honest it seems like a long time and a lot of guess work to maybe have something better in the long run. If you age it, you might age it for the proper amount of time and if you guess right it might taste better. But if it doesn't taste better maybe you aged it too long or maybe not long enough. Or, maybe it just won't benefit this particular cigar. Maybe I'm just impatient but 3-5 years is a long time to wait in anticipation only to realize it either didn't help or you waited too long and it's actually worse than before.

I'm still very new to this hobby so what do I know, but I just try to let them sit a few months to acclimate and then call it good. Maybe with additional experience and an increased inventory I will begin to dabble a bit more in this realm. But, I digress, I would like to hear everyone's thoughts on cigars peaking. Is there a good rule of thumb? How do you know? Is it mostly trial and error like aging? If it has passed it's prime, does the cigar take on poor flavors or just begin working towards being flavorless?
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SparklePony
Posted 1/30/2015 3:23 PM (#532086 - in reply to #487431)
Subject: Re: Aging cigars



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Here is a video that is too long but is a good start. There several parts to it, but it's worth a watch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHbLoU4Ud0I
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