Aging Cigars


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Since I’ve become an avid collector of cigar I’ve always looked for boxes to add to my humidor, some are rare some are just normal highly rated boxes. I have many boxes that I have not touched for example a box of PSP Cohiba Secretos its nothing special i know but I got it as a gift for graduation and would like to keep it around long enough for when I have a son to enjoy one. I know given any amount of time a cigar can really show their true colours, but at what point do you think that your aging a cigar into a tasteless roll of tobacco.

So the real question is to the experienced members is... has aging your cigars paid out for you or did you wish you smoked them when they tasted great already. I would hate to keep those Cohiba Secretos all that time just to find out they are tasteless or less tasty then they once were.

*Also mind you I’m storing these cigars at 18C and a low 63-65% humidity.

Thanks!

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You need to sample every box that comes your way and make your own judgement. If a box of cigars or wine come in for me and are fantastic right away I will smoke or drink them when I feel like it. Why wait when a product is really good in hope it might get better? It might not or it might turn into something you don't like as much.

Personally, I have about 10X more experience with wine than cigars, but they are very very similar products. With my wine I only set aside boxes to age that I feel need it to turn into a wine I will love to drink. If it comes from the winery checking all of my boxes I don't care if it's a $250 or $10 bottle, I will drink it. I view my cigars in the same way. If they come in the mail, and after being laid down for at least a month, smoke really well right away they will not get put down to age. If they arrive and are "tight", "tannic" or too strong I will set them aside to age. That is my view at least.

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For me there is settling down and there is ageing. Settling down sorts out burn issues, gets rid of that ammonia smell, and makes the cigar smoother, all really noticeable and worth waiting for. Ageing on the other hand is something I personally have no interest in.

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Most of my "aged" stuff maxes out at 10 years thus far....I can tell you that I have had the priveledge of smoking stuff from the 70's, 80's and 90's and Pre Embargo that had been properly cared for and I can say that it was a "life" changing experience in regards to cigars, the flavours on some of the really aged stuff I was smoking, there was no second guessing or a flavour on the tip of your tongue that you could not figure out, the flavours were very defined, very recognizable and is a whole different experience than smoking fresh or less than these types of aging times....Not all cigars will age well but the ones that do, my god man surreal....I guess really the only thing you can do is research, opinions and gut whether it will age well or not...

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Agree with what most on here said. Orion's view is similar to mine. A PSP box from here is already heads and shoulders above regular stuff most of the time and is ready to smoke now or within a few years. Letting it sit for decades without trying any? Well, nobody on earth can tell you what will happen. My opinion? Secretos are made to be more full bodied and strong cigars (not always though). Why wait 10-15 years to let the cigar mellow out? If you want a mellow cigar, pick up something other than a Cuban Maduro. Just my 2 cents

Yup I agree with you but i'm hoping for something like this -->

PSD4 is a pretty med-full bodied spicy cigar too so that contirbuts to my reasoning a little.
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Good advice here. Aging isn't so much a matter of setting something aside for X years and opening it up later. You've really got to sample those cigars. Try one ROTT. Assess it. Try another in 6 months, a year, two years, etc. Assess with each sample.

Now what you might want to be asking is what box is good to set aside for X years. You have identified a goal in your post (smoking something with your son in the future). Folks here cannot answer this authoritatively but many can give you their experiences and suggestions.

This has been raised before. There is no clear cut answer. But in general. Lay down something that is larger in RG, somewhat strong when fresh and you might get a really smooth, balanced, unique cigars in 10 years or more. And the storage conditions you currently use are ideal for long term aging. Open up whatever you set aside just to make sure there's nothing going wrong in that box or cab. Mold, drying out, etc.

I will say this. Aged cigars are quite special. So far I've smoked stuff that is 10 - 40 years old. The way the cigars taste is very different from a fresh box. Some very unique flavours evolve. I think your Secretos may evolve nicely over time. But that's just my opinion.

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Aging is coincidental to hoarding to me. I don't age cigars. I simply can't, nor do I wish to smoke all the cigars that I have in one day.

I hoard cigars. I do not collect them!

Hoarding is the most accurate term that describes my process of acquiring them. I don't need them! I want them in sufficient quantity as to not run out of them. Hoarding then is about the best term that I have been able to come up with.

I smoke mainly discontinued cigars. Of what is still made, I would consider hoarding more cigars such as the Monte 1 Esp, and other 42 and under cigars.

My system has served me well but age, has little or nothing to do with it. I tend to age the cigars that are not really worth aging. Orion made a point about smoking what is good. I live by this method. There is no reason to smoke a bad cigar while saving a good one. As a survivor of the "widow maker" heart attack, I can attest to the fact that each day of life is valuable. I remember thinking of cigars in the hospital and if I had smoked my last one!!!

The age of a cigar is meaningless to me. I am only interested in the best smoking experience. I typically open a box and smoke through them like they were coffin nails if they meet my standard of excellence. I don't sell cigars, so if they are not good I put them back to see if age affects them. This is a mind game... I don't believe that time heals bad cigars, but I want to smoke good ones, so if I have good ones, I go back to those. I have plenty of good ones!!!

I deserve the best cigars! So do you! Why smoke bad ones when you have good ones to smoke?

The process of hoarding has allowed me to continue to smoke great cigars in bad times. There is no more stability in the Cuban cigar catalogue. These morons could discontinue any cigar at any time. I believe that you should stock what you like and smoke them as often as you can afford them. If this is the expensive type cigar, so be it. If it is the popular cigar, so be it. If it is the less popular thin ring cigar... such as I enjoy, so be it!

Identify what you like and stock them. Smoke them everyday if it pleases you. Life is too short to smoke bad cigars!

Cheers. -Piggy

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... I think I would like to add the following.

Aging cigars is a pursuit that I actually reject. I don't wish to offend those that do it, but I have found that at least some do this as a means to emulate a process put forth by collectors and the super wealthy. People of course will do it for their own reasons and I don't wish to impugn those reasons. But some of these super rich collectors, the collectors that have made this process popular are not smoking bad cigars while waiting for others. In some ways it is simply a means by which they wish to stratify the endeavor and put space between themselves and you and me. Snobs exist! Cigar snobs exist as well!!! Snobbery does not lead to a good smoking experience. Smoking great cigars when they are great, leads to a great smoking experience.

If you think about why you are aging cigars and if you are honest with yourself about the process, your budget, etcetera; you may find that you cannot really play in this league except on a small level. There is no need to compete! If cigars are meeting your expectations, and you enjoy smoking them, regardless of age, smoke away!

Accept or reject my bias at your will. But smoking a good/excellent cigar when it is ready to smoke is worth the emphasis. If you want to age buy more of your favorites. But don't pass them up in order to save them for a day that might never come!

Cheers! -Piggy

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Aging is coincidental to hoarding to me. I don't age cigars. I simply can't, nor do I wish to smoke all the cigars that I have in one day.

I hoard cigars. I do not collect them!

Hoarding is the most accurate term that describes my process of acquiring them. I don't need them! I want them in sufficient quantity as to not run out of them. Hoarding then is about the best term that I have been able to come up with.

I smoke mainly discontinued cigars. Of what is still made, I would consider hoarding more cigars such as the Monte 1 Esp, and other 42 and under cigars.

My system has served me well but age, has little or nothing to do with it. I tend to age the cigars that are not really worth aging. Orion made a point about smoking what is good. I live by this method. There is no reason to smoke a bad cigar while saving a good one. As a survivor of the "widow maker" heart attack, I can attest to the fact that each day of life is valuable. I remember thinking of cigars in the hospital and if I had smoked my last one!!!

The age of a cigar is meaningless to me. I am only interested in the best smoking experience. I typically open a box and smoke through them like they were coffin nails if they meet my standard of excellence. I don't sell cigars, so if they are not good I put them back to see if age affects them. This is a mind game... I don't believe that time heals bad cigars, but I want to smoke good ones, so if I have good ones, I go back to those. I have plenty of good ones!!!

I deserve the best cigars! So do you! Why smoke bad ones when you have good ones to smoke?

The process of hoarding has allowed me to continue to smoke great cigars in bad times. There is no more stability in the Cuban cigar catalogue. These morons could discontinue any cigar at any time. I believe that you should stock what you like and smoke them as often as you can afford them. If this is the expensive type cigar, so be it. If it is the popular cigar, so be it. If it is the less popular thin ring cigar... such as I enjoy, so be it!

Identify what you like and stock them. Smoke them everyday if it pleases you. Life is too short to smoke bad cigars!

Cheers. -Piggy

Very well said Ray...

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I'll echo most of what Piggy mentioned. I'll estimate I've got somewhere in the neighborhood of 75 boxes but my last 10 cigars smoked have been from 4 different boxes. 2 of those boxes are less than 2 years old and the other 2 are more than 7 years old. I dont have a single box earmarked for X number of years age. Sometimes I happen to not have smoked something for 3 or 4 years and if I reach for it and its tasty I might smoke 2 or 3 in a row not giving a **** whether I might be missing something 20 years down the line. You've got to finish the box of cigars at some point, it might as well be when you enjoy it.

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I try to buy 2 boxes a year. One to smoke; one to age. It's fun watching the difference between the two. If I really like the cigar, maybe more than 2 boxes. Based on my smoking consumption and compulsive (aka hoarding) nature, I want to make sure I have cigars to last for awhile.

Personally, I think the production and quality of tobacco coming out of Cuba is world class right now. I haven't smelled ammonia for a long time from new boxes. This is why it is good to sample from different boxes over time. You might find that a cigar has reached its optimal smoking space, based on your palate, and you can smoke to your heart's content.

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As a result of smoking less than I purchase - what techniques would you advise as to keep an aged box in as good condition as possible?

For example, I've heard of collectors that wrap boxes in aluminum foil, wax paper, ziplocks, even vacuum sealing. If Jason, the OP, wanted to keep said Secretos for another 30 years, is there anything you would recommend?

Thanks in advance

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As a result of smoking less than I purchase - what techniques would you advise as to keep an aged box in as good condition as possible?

For example, I've heard of collectors that wrap boxes in aluminum foil, wax paper, ziplocks, even vacuum sealing. If Jason, the OP, wanted to keep said Secretos for another 30 years, is there anything you would recommend?

Thanks in advance

MRN has some interesting stuff on this, if i can find the passages ill make reference to them

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Jason55555,

I never had a Blah cigars, only Blah Days. If they're young you offer them something strong to drink, if they're old, better get them tea or water.

Piggy,

Aging cigars is like watching your kids grow up. You enjoy those precious moments over the years; providing all that is necessary so that they continue to grow. Personally, I don't mind if they out live me, I just hope they are enjoyed by all who care to partake.

Diamondog,

A wise man once said, "knowledge about the ageing characteristics of different cigars is non-existent in any published source I can find." It may not exist in any material able to be referenced, but it does exists in all of us who enjoy a good cigar.

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As a result of smoking less than I purchase - what techniques would you advise as to keep an aged box in as good condition as possible?

For example, I've heard of collectors that wrap boxes in aluminum foil, wax paper, ziplocks, even vacuum sealing. If Jason, the OP, wanted to keep said Secretos for another 30 years, is there anything you would recommend?

Thanks in advance

Wow. That's somewhat uncharted territory. Or at least not something fully documented or tested scientifically. When I look at all the articles or videos of old boxes 50/70/100 years old that are discovered and opened, I see a few common things.

The cigars inside are in cellophane. Maybe that helps?

The box has been stored in a cool, dark place with very little air circulation.

The cigars are box pressed and tightly squeezed in.

When you vacuum seal something you pretty much remove the air and I would assume any moisture within. Maybe some is retained deep inside each cigar and reaches equilibrium within the package over many years? In effect keeping the cigars moist enough to be viable. The oils trapped within most certainly helps.

MRN's book mentions something about the circulation of air and and cooler temps being beneficial to the "aging" process.

Some people here keep their cigars airtight. I'd like to hear from them and what their observations are. I've thought about doing the same but I fear that I might be creating the ideal conditions for mold to settle in. I'm too paranoid to trust that a sealed cigar box will be contaminant free.

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I try to buy 2 boxes a year.

Is this like a bible year where 7 days is more like 14 billion years?

Jason55555,

I never had a Blah cigars, only Blah Days. If they're young you offer them something strong to drink, if they're old, better get them tea or water.

Piggy,

Aging cigars is like watching your kids grow up. You enjoy those precious moments over the years; providing all that is necessary so that they continue to grow. Personally, I don't mind if they out live me, I just hope they are enjoyed by all who care to partake.

Diamondog,

A wise man once said, "knowledge about the ageing characteristics of different cigars is non-existent in any published source I can find." It may not exist in any material able to be referenced, but it does exists in all of us who enjoy a good cigar.

Wonderfully put

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... I think I would like to add the following.

Aging cigars is a pursuit that I actually reject. I don't wish to offend those that do it, but I have found that at least some do this as a means to emulate a process put forth by collectors and the super wealthy. People of course will do it for their own reasons and I don't wish to impugn those reasons. But some of these super rich collectors, the collectors that have made this process popular are not smoking bad cigars while waiting for others. In some ways it is simply a means by which they wish to stratify the endeavor and put space between themselves and you and me. Snobs exist! Cigar snobs exist as well!!! Snobbery does not lead to a good smoking experience. Smoking great cigars when they are great, leads to a great smoking experience.

If you think about why you are aging cigars and if you are honest with yourself about the process, your budget, etcetera; you may find that you cannot really play in this league except on a small level. There is no need to compete! If cigars are meeting your expectations, and you enjoy smoking them, regardless of age, smoke away!

Accept or reject my bias at your will. But smoking a good/excellent cigar when it is ready to smoke is worth the emphasis. If you want to age buy more of your favorites. But don't pass them up in order to save them for a day that might never come!

Cheers! -Piggy

Exactly Ray could not have put it any better my self "carpe diem"

Cheers OZ

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