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Novice Cigar Questions

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1. How long will cigars stay fresh?

 

2. How do you know how fresh cigars are that you buy?

 

3. What is the best way to store cigars for freshness/longevity?

 

Thanks. :thumbup:

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1) indefinitely if stored properly

2) gently pinch the cigar between thumb and forefinger. If it gives slightly, without hearing any crackling noises, it's fresh. DON'T roll it between your fingers. Look for any visible cracks along the entire wrapper.

3) humidor

 

By the way, I applaud your excitement in the WS, however, it isn't necessary to start so many new threads. Do a quick search, and post your question or comment in a related thread. Thanks!

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Indeed, Brian is a font of wisdom as usual. When it comes to the humidor, here are a few pointers:

 

1) It's critical to keep it humidified at ~70% relative humidity. The little spool hygrometer usually included in the lid of a humidor isn't really up to the task. I use a digital hygrometer which cost ~$20. You'll need to calibrate the hygrometer, which you can do following these instructions.

 

2) Only fill the moisture device with distilled water, never tap water.

 

3) Don't put the humidor in a location where it will experience temperature swings (not on a windowsill, for example).

 

4) Make sure you open the humidor at least once a week to keep the air fresh, but not too often, or the humidity won't be able to stabilize.

 

Fine cigars are a most rewarding vice. I have some in my humidor that I bought 8 years ago, and every now and then I indulge in a smoke that is simply heavenly!

 

One side note - it's generally a bad idea to have a cigar and a glass of Absinthe, because the cigar will overpower most anything you eat or drink at the same time. I find a nice compliment to a cigar is a strong (French-press) coffee, or a rum like Bacardi Select. Both of these beverages can stand up to the cigar, and if you can pair agricultural products from the same region (say, a Honduran coffee and cigar), they tend to have a nice interplay.

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Thanks.

 

Well, I went through all 2 pages of the smoking section and did not see any threads that had titles related to this or my previous thread about the Ashton Maduros. I didn't realize I was doing anything wrong. I do search first by the way. :cheers:

 

I was thinking maybe having a nice cigar with some hennessy xo cognac.

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A few exceptions to Ken's post to consider. If you were planning to age the cigars indefinitely, you might want to consider running a higher humidity, say around 72-74 and wouldn't want to open it up as often. Also, consider one of these. I use this one in all my boxes. There is absolutely no margin of error, ever. It also has an ole' skewl look.

 

And oh, stouts and porters work with sticks.

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Nothing wrong; we just try to keep like-threads to a minimum. Some people post A LOT. Some post very little. But whenever we do, we all try to contribute. Enjoy the searches and the info! Its a great place here.

 

Plenty of options; plenty of good cigars. Sadly, I don’t know too terribly much about them. I’m a pipe man, myself :)

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I remember hearing about humidors many years ago. Forgot all about them until now.

 

Years ago, my grandfather in Connecticut always smoked cigars called John A. Uhl's.

He used to take me with him to the the farm office that sold them. I used to save the

empty boxes to keep stuff in.

 

Guess I will need to research humidors and hopefully find a good one for a reasonable price.

 

Thanks for your help everybody!!

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Generally speaking, I would suggest that "freshness" is not a desirable quality in a cigar. Cigars recently rolled are fine, as are those aged a couple years or longer. In between, they go through a final fermentation stage (commonly called the "sick period") in which they dissipate ammonia and can produce a bitter sub-taste. This is a simplification, but typically Cuban cigars are released into the market before the sick period occurs and non-Cubans are aged in the factory warehouses until after it has finished.

 

What you may be referring to when you say "freshness" is an appropriate humidity level in the cigar. Of course, the easiest way to determine this is when you have the opportunity to know the provenance of your cigar. Typically, cigars on the shelf at a store (or just delivered to it) will tend to be somewhat over-humidified, though not often to problematic levels, so if you find a quality shop, any recent purchases should usually be fine. To measure your own longer-term storage conditions, the manual-resistance test Brian describes is good and, if that fails, mid-smoke performance (or, lack thereof) will tell you pretty quickly.

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