You can finally make sure of improper storage of a cigar by smoking it. However, there are also signs by which this can be visually determined. If cigars are kept in an environment with insufficient humidity for a long period of time, damage to the wrapper leaf often occurs.
Changes in the color of the wrapper leaf may also indicate that the cigars have been exposed to direct sunlight. But cigars’ taste is negatively affected by the accompanying fluctuations in temperature and humidity, not the color changes themselves.
Experienced smokers will distinguish a dry cigar by simply touching the surface of the wrapper and pushing down on the cigar. If, however, this cigar was at one time dry and then revived in a humidor, it is likely that this will only show up in its taste.
As with other problems inherent in cigars (for example, tobacco beetle infestation), buying from reliable and experienced tobacco companies, whether online or in store, is the best assurance that the cigar has been stored in ideal conditions.
Can cigars be refrigerated?
This question is often asked by people who are just starting to smoke cigars and who do not have a humidor yet. The humidity level in the refrigerator is usually much lower than the indoor humidity level. Therefore, when they are stored in the refrigerator, they run the risk, firstly, to dry out quickly, and, secondly, to absorb extraneous odors. If you are still hesitant to buy a humidor, you need to store your cigars in plastic bags or metal cases and then smoke them for a maximum of one week. If you plan on storing your cigars longer, you should consider purchasing a humidor.
Can cigars be frozen? What happens in this case?
The main purpose of freezing cigars is to control the tobacco beetle , its eggs and larvae. Some cigar importers carry out this process prior to sale in order to eradicate the tobacco beetles in their product. Cigars are frozen at -12 ° C for several days and then thawed very slowly.
Any smoker at home can do this, for example after returning from vacation with new cigars, in order to make sure that they do not contain tobacco beetles, their eggs or larvae. But special care must be taken when defrosting cigars. Defrosting should be carried out in the refrigerator, and only after complete thawing can they be brought to room temperature. Throughout the entire process, cigars must be stored in completely sealed packaging so as not to expose them to foreign odors. If you cannot do this, you need to smoke cigars as soon as possible, because the growth phase from egg to beetle takes about 120 days.
What are the benefits of maturing cigars and how does it affect their taste?
When experts talk about the art of mixing different varieties of tobaccos and fusing their flavors, they are referring to a process that continues after the cigar has left the factory. Even when manufacturers use mature tobacco in their cigars, the flavor continues to evolve over time.
As with good wines, long-term storage of most premium cigars results in a positive change in their taste. Typically, the journey from the manufacturer to the final point of sale of a cigar takes only a few months. Young cigars can still have a strong, unpleasant, ammonia-like taste that usually disappears within the first year after the cigar is made. Over a long period of storage, cigars lose their tannin content and, with it, their bitter taste; the aromas become more pronounced, the taste is softer and more harmonious, and the cigars lose any unwanted bitterness. The flavor is also enhanced by the aroma of Spanish cedar, the influence of which becomes more noticeable over time.
If the used tobacco is not mature enough when the cigar is rolled, another aspect is added that makes post-purchase maturation more reasonable. Freshly rolled cigars can taste somewhat rough or simple. These are the flavor impressions that usually disappear during ripening. With very long storage, over decades, the strength of the cigars decreases. In this context, long maturation periods are often recommended for very strong cigars. Unlike wine, storage for several years longer does not pose a risk of negatively affecting the taste of the cigar.
Just as seasoned wine connoisseurs have a wine cellar, often cigar connoisseurs have a cigar cabinet. But smokers are less fortunate in that cigars that have matured over time are rarely available on the market, making long-term storage space all the more important.