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Some people say there is no sick period for cigars right now. You can smoke directly from the box, and some say you need to wait at least 3 years to smoke a cigar. What do you think about it and what is your experiences about it?

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1 hour ago, agulerer said:

So when we say sick period, we are talking about bland and bitter taste right?

Quote

The “sick period” is typically included in this stage and it is one that needs a lot of attention because cigars should not be smoked during this time. “Immediately after rolling” explains Min Ron Nee (famous author of the book An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Post-Revolution Havana Cigars) “a cigar undergoes a sick period, during which the ammoniac [sic smell is still detectable in a newly manufactured cigar.” This is due to the fact that tobacco leaves are moistened before rolling and this accelerates a further fermentation producing a lot of ammonia. How long it takes to get rid of the ammonia scent depends on the fermentation rate, the chemical constituents, the cigar size, the packaging and how we store cigars. Per Min Ron Nee, “For the majority of cigars handled in the usual way, the ammoniac smell will be over 90% gone in a few months, 95% to 99% gone by the end of the first year, and practically all gone by the end of the second year. Milder cigars .. take even less time.”

http://www.cigarjournal.co/stages-of-cigar-aging-fresh-vintage/

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That ammonia degassing is long gone imo. Sick periods, as they were, no longer exist. Cigars can have thick, dull fkavours, grass, be undercured or fermented tobacco, too wet, too dry, whatever, but sick period as it was 20 years ago no longer exists.

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@shlomo can you tell me these for me please so I can learn:

Thick:

Dull flavors:

Grass:

Undercured:

Too wet:

Too dry:

 

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Thick, dull, muted, muddled...all mean the same thing. All flavours mix w each other and it is very difficult to pull out anything other than tobacco flavour.

Grass is grass. Literally fresh cut grass. I dont like that taste. I get it in young Cohiba, Vegueros and young des dieux. Some ppl love it.

Too wet and too dry referring to the cigar and how much water is in it. It affects smoking time, speed, taste, burn, everything...

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4 minutes ago, shlomo said:

Thick, dull, muted, muddled...all mean the same thing. All flavours mix w each other and it is very difficult to pull out anything other than tobacco flavour.

Grass is grass. Literally fresh cut grass. I dont like that taste. I get it in young Cohiba, Vegueros and young des dieux. Some ppl love it.

Too wet and too dry referring to the cigar and how much water is in it. It affects smoking time, speed, taste, burn, everything...

Yes. All true. If your cigar is too wet it will probably not burn evenly and have a tendency to go out. If it's too dry it will burn fast and hot. Both ends of the spectrum lead to unpleasantly bitter flavors. Also cigars are sometimes overfilled or underfilled which leads to burn and draw problems.

 

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2 minutes ago, shlomo said:

Ill smoke a freshly rolled cigar any time over a well aged (20+ yr) one. Different strokes....

^ Now that's not a response you see everyday.  I've never smokes a 20+ year old cigar so I have no point of reference.  However, I have been pleasantly surprised how good some of the current Cuban production is with little to no age on it.    

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4 minutes ago, shlomo said:

Ill smoke a freshly rolled cigar any time over a well aged (20+ yr) one. Different strokes....

I agree, although "freshly rolled" should be defined. For me it's between 3 and 10 years.

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I found what is dry and wet and @Philc2001 and @PigFish comments were very helpful for me.  At 62 rh% at 79F was dry cigar for me and it had very bad taste. And I received cigar from LCDH which was very wet and it tasted very bitter and was very hard to keep it lit. 

 

I think main thing is about Cubans are bad quality control.

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24 minutes ago, TomF said:

I agree, although "freshly rolled" should be defined. For me it's between 3 and 10 years.

Freshly rolled meaning right off the rollers table. 3-10 SECONDS...

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49 minutes ago, TomF said:

I agree, although "freshly rolled" should be defined. For me it's between 3 and 10 years.

"Fresh" has traditionaly been used to refer to "younger than young". Calling a 9 y old cigar a fresh cigar doesn't make sense.

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used to be true, habanos extended the pre aging of tobacco couple of years ago, now even within a couple of months of the box code you are not gonna taste any ammonia. but lots of (milder) cigars still need a couple of years to develop proper flavors.

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1 hour ago, shlomo said:

That ammonia degassing is long gone imo. Sick periods, as they were, no longer exist. Cigars can have thick, dull fkavours, grass, be undercured or fermented tobacco, too wet, too dry, whatever, but sick period as it was 20 years ago no longer exists.

Don't know where this repeatedly stated myth is stemming from, with all due respect Shlomo. Perhaps people think with Cubans now being more approachable earlier, since a couple of years (which is true), the ammonia issue is gone as well. That is not at all the case! And it neither is a sign of poor or good quality. Perhaps it is less pronounced, but it is just so that fresh cigars in a closed box initially still develop some ammonia gas. That can vary from Marca to Marca, box to box, but you can clearly smell it, and you taste it when smoking such a stick, so I always wonder about those statements.

As to the OP. My answer would be: Both! There is ammonia (if you will call it 'sick period' - ok) and yes, you can smoke "directly" from the box. How at all would you be able to judge on the quality of a fresh cigar? My advice however, to always take the stick out of the box a few days prior to smoking, i.e. either dry-box it or leave it in the open room (if conditions allow it), to aerate the stick a bit. That way, you'll be able to pleasantly enjoy even a very fresh stick. Meaning - as to the debate above - not fresh from the roller's table (those don't hold any ammonia anyway) but fresh from a new box.

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Not a myth. I only speak from experience. I havent smelled that cleaning fluid smell in a very, very, long time.

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I have not experienced the "sick period" in years.  If I am impatient and smoke one ROTT, I sometimes get that type of taste but I chalk it up to shipping shock.  After a rest, they smoke fine.  Shlomo is right, a fresh of the table cigar is a wonderful and different experience.

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To my taste most cigars today smoke very well young (within 12 months of boxing). 

You get anomalies. 

One example is that not all boxes are rolled of boxed in the same conditions. 

Those D4's rolled over four days of pouring rain/100% humidity in Havana ....factory windows open are going to have a higher moisture content than those rolled 8 weeks earlier in a beautiful dry week. 

The better managers will stop production during those wet periods. 

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5 hours ago, Smallclub said:

"Fresh" has traditionaly been used to refer to "younger than young". Calling a 9 y old cigar a fresh cigar doesn't make sense.

Of course a 9 year old cigar is not "freshly rolled". I've never been to Cuba so there is no way I could have ever tasted a Cuban cigar rolled 10 seconds ago. I was agreeing that I'd prefer a cigar with 3 to 10 years over one with 20+. @shlomo

Someday I'd like to try a real Cuban "fresh roll", maybe in December...

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6 hours ago, shlomo said:

Ill smoke a freshly rolled cigar any time over a well aged (20+ yr) one. Different strokes....

ditto

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I would say younger than 6 months I have found some that perform poorly but usually past 6 months you get the real DNA of the stick. One of the best Cigars that I had in years was a CoRo with only a little over a year on it!


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