Maintain a cigar humidor - care of cigars

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The storage of cigars is just as important as the storage of fine wine. Read our article on caring for your cigar humidor and keeping your cigars in prime condition.

Cuban, Dominican or Honduras cigars need moisture to stay in good conditiuon - is your humidor being properly maintained? Top up that humidifier!

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MAINTAINING YOUR CIGAR HUMIDOR

By Staff Writer

Is your cigar humidor sitting on a shelf gathering dust and cobwebs? When was the last time you checked the humidifier (from which the humidor gets its name)? Do you know how to top it up with water and so maintain a controlled environment to store your cigars so that they do not dry out, go stale and lose their flavour?

Why do you need a cigar humidor?

The countries that produce the finest cigars - Cuba, The Dominican Republic for example are countries that are high in humidity. When exported to countries with lower humidity levels cigars can quickly dry out.

This explains the need for cigar humidors. A humidor is a box, usually made from wood or lined with wood (generally cedar), that keeps the cigars moist. With the help of the humidifier, the humidor maintains a higher humidity inside than outside by ‘moisturizing’ the wooden lining. This in turn helps to maintain the correct moisture percentage in the cigars themselves to preserve their flavour.

 
 

Selecting a Cigar - especially when it’s from someone else’s humidor or cigar box

 

This video from our friends at the Bowmore Malt Whisky Distillery on Islay confirms the most important content of a fine cigar, other than the tobacco leaf used, - moisture! Maybe even more important than the leaf as a dried out cigar, whetever its provenance tastes poor and burns badly

Using your humidor for the first time

Many people make the mistake of putting their favorite cigars straight into their newly purchased humidor. This is a mistake. The humidor does not have the right humidity needed when it is first purchased. If you store them immediately the moisture in  your precious cigars will be absorbed by the humidor and that would dry them out and ruin their taste. To avoid this from happening, you need to re-humidify the wood and set it to the ideal humidity before transferring the cigars.

Getting the humidity right

Every cigar humidor contains an humidifer. Without it you could not control the humidity inside the box. To maintain the right humidity inside the humidor, all you need to do is to add distilled water  periodically (ideally once a month but more often if the humidor is opened daily). It’s easy to see if the water level is low by just looking - so check the water level weekly and top up as necessary.

Add this esssential task to your list of weekly duties.

Fine cigars, like fine wines,  improve with age - but only if stored correctly. The longer they are kept in a controlled environment, the better they will taste. A full humidor of cigars is quite an investment so treat it as such.

Keep the humidor in a position that remains at around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, give ot take two degrees either way, and keep it out of direct sunlight and draughts.

Be affirmative when cutting the cigar for a good clean cut. Some prefer to create an opening with a cocktail stick or similar rather than cutting. Keep some cedar tapers in the humidor too for the best lighting process (don’t use matches, why would you want all that sulphurous smoke polluting your cigar?) As for removing the paper band this is an often argued point which we won’t cover here - each to their own!

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