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Hey, gang.  Just thought I'd throw this up here to see if your expertise can help me out.  

Since I have discovered and started buying CCs over the last six months, I've had some horribly plugged cigars.  These plugged cigars have been across multiple box codes and marcas.  I simply chalked it up to cigars being too young and wet, so I started dry boxing them a few months back.  I thought a couple of days in my desk top humi would help.  Dry boxing didn't help with extremely plugged cigars.  Sometimes, even my draw tool doesn't help.  Kinda sucks.

However, most recently, with the cigars that initially draw well, I've been experiencing a lot of tunneling.  If I put a cigar down for even just a couple of minutes, I get the tunneling.  I'm constantly having to lightly touch a flame to the wrapper to help it keep up with the tobacco on the inside.  Now, what I'll do is take a bunch of cigars out of their dress boxes or SLBs and stock up my humi.  So the first cigar I smoke from that batch might be dry boxed for a day or two.  By the time I get to the last of the cigars, it could be a couple of weeks.  Are the cigars getting too dry at that point?  Will I ever have a relatively maintenance free CC smoking experience?  I mean, sometimes I just want to lay back and smoke.  I don't enjoy babysitting all the time.

Thanks for your help.

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I keep most of my stock at 62-65. Then I have a smaller Tupperware that I dry box in at 58. Some sticks have been in there for a month or more before smoking and, honestly, the longer they're in there, the better they seem to smoke.

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33 minutes ago, El Presidente said:

You need to stop worrying ;)

1. Humidify them at 65

2. Don't touch them for 90 days. 

3. Pick one that feels good in the hand. 

4. Dry box it for a day or to. 

5. Smoke it.  

6. You are happy?.....continue to smoke them until they don't (and then move to point 7). 

7. You are not happy?.....revisit them in another 90. 

 

Most boxes will come good .Member polls show you should get on average 3-4 poor experiences per box. That leaves 21 - 22 good ones. 

It will come good. Trust the process grasshopper.....we have all gone through it  :cigar:

OK, thanks. This does provide some comfort. My only confusion is when I see other newer smokers, even new to Cuban cigars, that seem to experience utter delight with every stick they light up.

I suppose I have to manage my expectations, and not the cigars, a little better.

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2 minutes ago, Chef said:

OK, thanks. This does provide some comfort. My only confusion is when I see other newer smokers, even new to Cuban cigars, that seem to experience utter delight with every stick they light up.

I suppose I have to manage my expectations, and not the cigars, a little better.

I am sure others will chime in but generally, if you follow some key rules of humidity and rest, the only thing you need to add is a little zen like patience and all of a sudden, everything starts to take care of itself :D

The more you worry, the worse it gets. It is a little like driving and looking at the railing because you don't want to hit it. 

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I love my upmann HC's like everyone else does, and I have a delicious box of them (UEB ABR 18) but even from such a great box code I get a plugged one from time to time, even with a bit of a dry boxing. I've noticed that if after you clip and the draw feels super tight, let it sit in your dry box till you can get a decent draw through it. 

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8 minutes ago, HumidorJuan said:

I love my upmann HC's like everyone else does, and I have a delicious box of them (UEB ABR 18) but even from such a great box code I get a plugged one from time to time, even with a bit of a dry boxing. I've noticed that if after you clip and the draw feels super tight, let it sit in your dry box till you can get a decent draw through it. 

I only recently learned if i get a plugged or very tight one - leave it at the bottom on the humidor.  Each time you look thru it you say "not smoking that one it's gonna be an issue" and loath and behold years have gone by and it's aged and opened up at the same time lol.

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My only confusion is when I see other newer smokers, even new to Cuban cigars, that seem to experience utter delight with every stick they light up.

I assure you, even those guys are having issues occasionally. For the most part don’t base anything on what other people say. Rob provided very sage advice. What I have found works for me is similar to that. I let boxes I buy just hang out for a while in stable conditions (usually at least 90 days). Smoking anything ROTT has always been a disaster for me. I lowered my RH to around 60-61 in the wineador that I smoke from after reading some of Pigfish’s knowledge on storage. I dry box things for a week or two..... or three, depending on when I get to them, in a desktop that has a 58rh Boveda on the bottom under a cedar sheet (the RH in my house is usually always below 60%). This has seemed to help alleviate most of the burn issues for me. Sometimes I still have a cigar that acts a fool and ends up getting punted to the other side of the yard. Patience is a virtue but waiting sucks. Like I said, this is what works for me and I still may be doing it all wrong but I’m enjoying my cigars and I believe that’s all that matters.
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I have had some luck smoking already aged (from boxes with date codes three years + in the past) sticks right OTT.    My hypothesis is that they have stabilized for so long that a week or two in transit is unable to change them for the worse.

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I started cutting my cigars, when I planned to smoke that day or that week, to test the draw.   If it's got a nice draw go for it.  If it's got just an ok draw I dry box, and keep testing it.  If it's too tight then back down for a while, 90 days as El Pres stated.  Sometimes they just aren't ready.  

 

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I always feel a little silly when raising an issue and then realizing it was a bit premature.  Over the last couple of days, I've smoked a JL1, JL2, and now in the last third of a Connie 1, and each of these has drawn, burned, and tasted so, so good.  In fact, this Connie 1 seriously rivals the best Connie A I've had, which I also enjoyed to the utmost.  Looks like I need boxes and boxes of juicy Connie 1s. 

I do appreciate the advice, though, everyone.  I'm sure it'll all prove useful in the days to come.

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You’ve already gotten great advice. I store at the RH I want to smoke at which is 58%. Believe it or not, it’s actually pretty hard to get a wino down to that level consistently.


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I had a clearance box of HU2 that were seemingly all plugged. After fighting many of them I just left them alone. Several that I had cut and were severely plugged, now draw perfect. Some custom papo lancero and la verdad I had were the same way. After a year or so now they all have been smoking wonderful. If it doesn't have a good draw when you cut it, just put that one away and grab another that does, you'll find o e eventually.

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As someone relatively new to this hobby it took a while for it to sink in just how important the 90 day rest period is. Your odds of having a good smoking experience per cigar go up considerably after 90 days. It can be frustrating because I usually like to smoke one ROTT and often it’s a good smoke but I have to remind myself that I just got lucky and it is almost always a waste to try another without letting them rest. 

Also, do you freeze your cigars? If so, consider not freezing them. the freezing process draws moisture into the cigars and imo causes them to then need a much longer than 90 day rest period (more like 180 days minimum).

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I’ve dryboxed up to 2 moths at 50-55 and these are the best cigars I’ve smoked .......I preach this constantly ......dryboxing isn’t just pulling smokes out 2 days before you alike them and sitting them out on your desk ......it’s a process .....it takes a lot to reach the point of being too dry ....they’re fine trust me


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