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Hey all.  I've been smoking cigars for about 10 years (I'm 33 for reference), smoking mostly NCs for most of that time.  Last year I started experimenting with Cubans - I bought a box of 10 Partagas Serie D No. 4, and later a full box of RASS. Then in the past six months I bought a tin of 16 Vegueros Tapados, and then 15 of various singles from FOH.

All of the cigars have been delicious, but I've had MAJOR construction issues with the RASS, Bolivar Coronas, RyJ Short Churchills, and a few others.  The Vegueros mostly burn okay, and I don't remember having problems with the Partagas.  I've never had this many issues with NC cigars... I'd say about half the box of RASS were straight up plugged, most burned unevenly.  I'm having similar issues with the other cigars I mentioned too. 

I keep my humidor at 65 RH with a large Boveda pack (the 320 gram one) and my setup is basically a Sistema locking plastic container with a cedar tray inside. Are these issues common for Cubans or am I just unlucky? I'm considering just going back to NCs if I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. Thanks for any input!

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If the boxes have fairly recent box codes the sticks may have some excess moisture. Laying a box down in the humidor for at least 90 days may help to acclimate the cigars to your humidor. You can even try dropping the humidity % down to about 62-64. 

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As others have said - yah. That's what you can expect. What gets me is the taste will vary from cigar to cigar in the box, but if you compare box to box of cigars, if you took the wrapper off, you'd be unable to tell some of them were the same. It's a wild ride. 

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Good advice above. At least 90 days at 62-63% maximum is a good suggestion. 

If your ambient humidity is high, you may never be getting anywhere close to the low 60s. You'd be surprised. I live in Southern California and my rH never gets below 58 in the humidor even when I forget to put in the humidifier. 

Be aware of lighting practices and wind when smoking outdoors.

Get a Perfecdraw tool.

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Yes to the perfect draw tool.
Again, yes to the above recommended rH range.

Dryboxing can help, but it has been relatively inconsistent for me. I ended up chucking a whole six pack of Partagas Lusitanias b/c they were all plugged, even after dryboxing for weeks.  your biggest asset will be patience. I’ve learned to let new boxes sit in the humidor for 3 to 6 months before I touch them. It’s been a while since I’ve had a truly plugged cigar now, but that’s after many, many months of figuring out the right combination of relative humidity versus rest time.

Good luck. 

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Thanks for the replies. Kinda turns me off of Cubans TBH.  I don't like the idea of fiddling with my cigars and having to carry around extra tools etc.  I like to just light one and smoke it... maybe touch it up once if I need to... but this may be too high maintenance for me.  Oh well.  Oddly enough my Vegueros are probably the most trouble free Cubans I've bought, and they were the cheapest by far.

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4 hours ago, BirdDog said:

I have the same setup as you with the Sistema boxes and boveda packs. A couple months ago I switched from 65% to 62% and couldn’t be happier. Can’t believe I waited so long to do it, everything smoked better and more consistently. I was not expecting a 3% change in RH to have such a huge impact on my smoking experience.

I had the same reaction when I switched from 65 to 62.

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Thanks for the replies. Kinda turns me off of Cubans TBH.  I don't like the idea of fiddling with my cigars and having to carry around extra tools etc.  I like to just light one and smoke it... maybe touch it up once if I need to... but this may be too high maintenance for me.  Oh well.  Oddly enough my Vegueros are probably the most trouble free Cubans I've bought, and they were the cheapest by far.

I’m with you on this - I don’t like to think ahead that much, so I moved all my storage and my ‘ready to smoke’ boxes to 62 Boveda so that I can pick what I want without having to pre-plan. It has been a game changer - I went from 50%+ with uneven burn/tight draw to 90% good performance. Also bought the PerfectDraw which helps but after adjusting RH down I rarely have to use it.


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I can echo most of what has been mentioned already in the thread. For me dryboxing doesn’t really make much sense because I’m not one to plan out my smokes or have them preselected and scheduled, so I just keep my whole stock at around 62-63% and smoke what I want when I feel like it. Most of my draw and burn issues are a thing of the past with that humidity. You can definitely try dryboxing, but if it’s too much effort as you mentioned, just try dropping your humidity in your main humi, wait a few months, and see where you stand. I suspect you’ll have a similar experience to mine and many others on the forum. 

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53 minutes ago, adamrobertt said:

Ok, you guys convinced me.  I ordered a 320 gram 62% Boveda pack. Eagerly awaiting its arrival! How long do you think it takes the humidity to adjust?

I would give it 2 weeks time.  And if your plastic container has an airtight seal it wouldn't hurt to crack part of the lid open to allow for some air exchange. I really think your issue has more to do with too much moisture content in the cigars than construction issues. Remember NC-CC is apple to oranges. Cuban cigars have a much tighter pack of filler tobacco and they do much better with low humidity. If you eventually buy enough boxes so that you have a large rotation, they will all eventually settle and will smoke better with some sleep in the humidor. Perhaps down the road you can get yourself a small end table style cabinet humidor made from wood. This is what I have with about 50 boxes in there. Many are full boxes bought 4 or 5 years ago and have just been sleeping. They smoke wonderful. But it takes time, patience and plenty of $$ to build up a decent inventory. But it has it's advantages.

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Like everyone else said they are a different animal to NCs. 

1. I give them at least a year for almost every cigar save a handful (Partgas Shorts, RyJ Cazadores, to name some) those I give 6 months (on the box code) 

2. Lower the RH. Currnetly at 60-62 at 60F. Burns EXCELLENT, tastes great. Zero plugs even the panatelas I had major plugged issues with in the past (same box) 

 

Rest time and lower RH solved a ton of my "issues". Now its just par for the course for me. Like NYgarman said, stack em deep and you'll have aged stock. Keep back filling and youll have endless excellent cigars 

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Add me to the list of 62% Boveda users.  I used to have 69% packs and had construction and mold issues.  I've got 2 fridges and 1 tupperdor all at 60-62% now, and I have little or no construction or burn problems.   I will add (even though it might sound obvious) that the bigger ring gauges and longer cigars need more time than smaller cigars like a petite corona to acclimate.  It's worth waiting though since fighting with a poorly burning cigar certainly takes away the enjoyment. 

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Understanding that much about cigars is as definitive as fitness, and we've got science, bro-science, and tobacc-broscience... why on earth would CCs benefit more by lower rH? I don't doubt that's true for a second. It mirrors my experiences too, but the historical 70/70 numbers being 8-10% off of optimal Cuban preferences...like, yes, but why??

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3 hours ago, SmokyFontaine said:

Understanding that much about cigars is as definitive as fitness, and we've got science, bro-science, and tobacc-broscience... why on earth would CCs benefit more by lower rH? I don't doubt that's true for a second. It mirrors my experiences too, but the historical 70/70 numbers being 8-10% off of optimal Cuban preferences...like, yes, but why??

I'm no scientist, but I have worn a lab coat before, so here's my edumacated guess why it is so. The new strains of tobacco used nowadays smoke better with a lower RH than those tobaccos used in days past.

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8 hours ago, SmokyFontaine said:

Understanding that much about cigars is as definitive as fitness, and we've got science, bro-science, and tobacc-broscience... why on earth would CCs benefit more by lower rH? I don't doubt that's true for a second. It mirrors my experiences too, but the historical 70/70 numbers being 8-10% off of optimal Cuban preferences...like, yes, but why??

Cubans are rolled with a a tighter pack than non Cubans almost always. More moisture the more the leaf swells. 

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