There are certain things in life that just seem to get better with age. Off the top of my head, some examples include fine wines, high-quality cheese, a strong Irish whiskey, myself, and of course, cigars.
Okay, well maybe some of those things age better than others, but you get the idea.
One of the most common questions that we receive from novice cigar smokers is should you age your cigars.
Let’s get the bad news out of the way first – there is no easy yes or no answer to that question.
So what does it come down to? As with many things in life – it depends.
Instead of just giving you guys a contrarian answer like that and leaving it at that, we’re going to take a deep dive in today and look at some of the reasons why you would maybe (or maybe not) want to consider aging your cigars.
Should You Age Your Cigars?
Aging Cigars – Things to Consider
Before you go and decide to invest in a humidor and start aging every cigar that you purchase, stop, and take a moment to review the following information. This is especially important ‘need to know’ information for cigar smoking novices.
Here are some important things to keep in mind when it comes to aging your cigars.
The tobacco inside of your cigar has already been aged. Believe it or not, but the average time it takes from harvesting the tobacco to the cigar reaching store shelves is three years.
The tobacco is typically harvested, fermented, and then aged in bales made from burlap, or sometimes even in palm bark tercios before being rolled.
As for the tobacco wrap itself? They’re quite often aged even longer, with some cigar brands aging their wrapping leaf for up to 10 years!
Even after being rolled, the finished cigars are usually placed inside a special aging room. They typically remain here for anywhere from three months up to a year or even longer.
The amount of time each cigar is aged for largely depends on the master blender; most cigar makers truly are in no rush, preferring to take their time with aging their cigars to let the flavors properly blend. Patience is a virtue when it comes to cigar making.
The reason we mentioned the point about patience above is because if you do want to get serious about aging your cigars, you’re also going to have to learn to adopt a rather patient approach.
What we mean by that is if you’re a smoker who goes through your packs rather quickly, then perhaps cigar aging isn’t quite for you.
Continuing from the point above, while you can quite easily use a home humidor and age your newly bought cigars for a few days or even a week to try and improve the flavor, proper cigar aging is an art form that takes time.
You have to be ready to invest months, or maybe even years, into aging your cigars. With time, experience, and commitment you’ll gradually begin to learn which cigars taste better with longer aging.
Finally, it’s important to stop and consider the following statement about cigars – older does not automatically mean that a cigar is better. Contrary to what some novices may think, sometimes you are better off not aging your cigars.
While it’s true that even one or two years of aging can take a good cigar and turn it into a truly great one, it’s also important to remember that in our modern-day and age, most cigars are made under vastly better conditions than they were even 10 or 20 years ago.
Many cigars these days are at their best as soon as they hit store shelves and come out of the box.
At the end of the day, whether or not you decide to age your cigars will largely come down to two main things – your personal preferences and a mixture of time and experience.
As you begin to experiment more with aging and how long exactly you decide to age your cigars, you’ll eventually come to find a sweet spot for where your specific tastes lie.
Maybe you’re the type of cigar smoker who doesn’t mind waiting years to enjoy the occasional puff from a well-aged cigar.
Alternatively, maybe you find that your preferred brand tastes best straight out of the packaging. There is no right or wrong approach; there’s only the approach that works best for you.
Every cigar aficionado should strive to reach the sweet spot mentioned above, for there is truly nothing better than sitting back and enjoying taking a puff from a cigar that has (or maybe even hasn’t!) been aged to perfection.