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Gentlemen,

I've been smoking for about 12 years now but I think I've only ever had a perfect smoke on a handful of occasions. You know the type, the one where you do not have to relight, even the burn up, drag hard or take soft draws lest it get too hot and most importantly where the flavour is even throughout the whole stick.

Well it shits me, it's not only with my own stored cigars but also sticks purchased from reputable dealers and smoked straight away. The whole range of Havanas I'm talking here from Trinidads to Monte tubos.

Am I doing something wrong or is this par for the course?

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Am I doing something wrong or is this par for the course?

Hard questin to answer.

Here in the States there are so many factors to Cuban cigars it gets complicated.

First most Vendors ship cigars a little moist, so it will take 30 days of rest before I like to smoke anything that has been shipped in.

I do not smoke Domestic cigars, but have found more han not most stores do not store cigars at the proper RH.

SO now a question - what RH do you store your cigars at?

I have been using 65% in the winter.

Still with some sticks I find that I wished I had dropped it down to 63-62%

Also age can play a big part in how well a cigar smokes.

I have always found 5+ years to aid in the way a cigar smokes.

Not really sure why?

maybe something to do with the oils/plume and the change a cigar goes through?

Also I think the new draw machines in Cuba will greatly effect

the problem with plugged cigars and all such things.

CC

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I believe that CC hit the nail correctly when he spoke about maintaining your storing conditions at a constaint RH. I live in an extremely humid climate and can tell the difference from a Habanos that I just took out of my humidor and one that I took out in the morning and smoked it over lunch. The tobacco in many aspects acts like a sponge absorbing moisture. I keep my humidors steady at 63% RH and I also keep the temp controlled to 65 degrees (F), off the top of my head, I do not know the © temp.

Cigars that are found in the shops locally (ie. Non-Cuban), have such a wide range of storing conditions that some may be way over humidified and some are found to be very dried out. As for Habanos vendors, this same situation in the range of storage conditions has been the case. Thus most of the Habanos smokers that I know have sort of an un-written rule they use, and that is not to smoke any Habanos for a minimum of 30 days after they have received it. They let the new arrival "rest" and aclimate to their personalized storage conditions.

Some Habanos are just very hard to roll properly, thus construction issues plague some Habanos. Lonsdales and Lanceros are two vitolas that come to mind that are just difficult sticks to roll and have been known for tight draws and in some cases out right plugged cigars.

I find that the longer I have stored my Habanos in the storing conditions that I control, they smoke better, and I experience better draw and flavors. I hope that helps.

Tampa

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Three things:

Age

Humidity

Construction

My experience is that a cigar needs 3 years box age to get a consistent burn. You can get lucky earlier...but a consistent burn needs a balanced cigar. A balanced cigar (particularly an oily one) takes three years.

Humidity must be 65% - 68%. Check your hygrometer. Calibrate it and make sure it is reading right.

Construction is the final frontier. If rolled poorly it will never burn perfectly. 1999-2002 was a prettyaverage period.

Should get better from here.

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» Age

Yeah this must be it. I've always found that the longer I leave a Cigar sitting in my Humidor the better it gets. I did have it set to 72RH but a while back I asked you about tight draws and you recommended I set it to 68 which is where it is now.

Unfortunately I do not have the resources to buy cigars and just put them away, when I buy em I smoke em. Obviously stores like Bogarts, Levy's & Havana in Sydney have too high a turnover for them to age stock and Czars would be even higher. With my buying lately being limited to singles as I want them (A mate runs decent Store just up the road) I guess I'm buggered.

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With my buying lately being limited to singles as I want them

I understand hw that goes, being in the States it is hard enough to get Habanos that buying singles is out of the question.

One thing I did to save money and have a few different smokes was buy a box and trade wth a few friends.

That way I have a few different sticks to choose from.

I also saved money buying a box rather than one or two at a time.

CC

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Ben you got tons of great advice.

If a cigar is constructed properly you may get even better results lowering your humidity a bit more to about 65%. At 68% I still find the draws tight and especially moist as the cigars gets into the last third. It is amazing what a few percentage points will make in burn quality and flavor. If it is constructed poorly humidity won't matter.

I have been getting better at telling if it will be ok to burn by giving it a gentle squeeze. It should have a little give but not be mushy. If it feels hard it is either overfilled or overhumidified. This is best learned by experience, check before and make a mental note of what works and what doesnt.

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One item that appears to be left uncovered is your meaning of “perfect draw.”

CC’s have a characteristic stiff draw, you are not missing anything. I enjoy a bit of resistance myself and the fact that my cigar was generously packed means that it won’t turn to mush or burn too hot.

A perfect draw to me is moderately stiff. It reminds me to slow down and enjoy my time with my intimate partner! Enjoy. -Piggy

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I think the guys have hit just about everything I can think of.

I keep my Humidor at a steady 65 rh and temp around 68-70 f

I have had my share of tight draw CC's. And was always concerned...What I had found, and I am not sure if this is coincedence or what.. The Cigars were always a lesser ring guage, like less than churhill size, or they were from an a lesser Marque.

Example...LCG Tainos, from 01 most of them were plugged, SLR coronas, again plugged, ANd down the line I can go.

I have never had a Cohiba, PSD#4, Lusi, BCG, or BBF that was plugged, I have had some of them that were too tight , but that was more my fault because I had at ine time uncontrolled Rh from a cheap Hygrometer. I am not sure sure if there is a QA issue with less popular Marques or it was mere coincidence...but it was something I have noticed.

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  • 15 years later...

You already got all the advice.  I smoke reeeeaaalllly slowly (a DC takes almost 3 hours, a robusto almost 1.5 hours).

To me, 68% is way too high.  They'll always go out with my pace at that RH.  I used to keep everything at 65%, but my smoking stock is actually at 62% right now, and that seems to be the sweet spot for me, but I'd say anything between 62-65 seems to be good.

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I get plenty of cigars that perform just fine young. I'm going through some 19 Monte DEs right now that are drawing and burning great. Same with some Mag 50s, Connie 1s, La Fuerza. Some are not: Trini Coloniales, Mag 54, RyJ PRs. 

I've always noticed, all things controllable equal, certain cigars just have good runs. 

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I’m with PigFish on this and what is a perfect draw ? It’s about preference. If you want super easy draw every time you can smoke Padron thousand series that are wind tunnels. I prefer a stiffer draw for many reasons. One it keeps the cigar cooler, burns slower and from my experience it is much richer but what do I know I have only been smoking cigars for over 25 years. Some people thrive on complaining about things to rationalize what ever they deem correct. It’s ridiculous 

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On 9/10/2020 at 3:17 AM, Fuzz said:

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcTYRSKzE8SHqBCy4738wmm3xb0MIkOY6OHNSg&usqp=CAU

Hell, even the OP hasn't been on the forum in more than 7 years.

And Diselfitter , the last poster 15 years ago hasn't visited since 25 years before FOH was founded! Damned Unix time.....

Agree lower RH helps draw, burn and flavor.

I prefer a draw on the easier side. By that I mean there is reasonable air flow to actually get smoke through the cigar with just enough resistance.

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