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This is probably going to be a little lengthy, but since this will be my first real post on the forum, I feel like a little background will be beneficial.  I have kept a small humidor for over 20 years.  My yearning to acquire CC's via the internet began after my family and I spent Christmas in Old Quebec this past year.  I was able to acquire a few CC's, which I brought home and dutifully rested for four months before I began to smoke them.  Some were duds, including a couple of classics that I really expected to enjoy, like the Montecristo No 2's and Partagas Serie D No 4's (they weren't beautiful looking examples to begin with, but I really wanted them).  The surprise stars of my little batch were the H. Upmann Connoisseur #1's, the RyJ Short Churchill's and the Trinidad Vegios (these all had beautiful wrappers, and fully lived up to their aesthetic promise).

So in mid April I began searching for a source via the internet.  I finally settled on a supplier in Europe and placed my order.  Part of my choice of this particular supplier was based upon the fact that they offered many of the singles I wanted to try in tubed three packs, which I surmised might endure a long journey in a small box better than loose singles.  My order ended up being a combination of mostly the tubed three packs and a few loose singles.  Due to our lovely Covid situation, the package arrived at my door 11 weeks later.

Upon opening the box, everything was vacuum packed and in good physical condition.  Predictably, some of the cigars were beautiful and others... not so much.  But one thing that struck me about all of the cigars, was their aroma.  All of the cigars exuded the expected fine tobacco perfume, but also a sharp twang that I associate with vinegar.  This smell was particularly strong in the tubed cigars; even more powerful than the tobacco scent.  I have never encountered this smell in cigars before, and I really don't know what to make of it. 

I have to assume that the vast majority of the package's transit time was sitting in a warehouse somewhere, maybe climate controlled, maybe not.  The last few weeks have been very hot here.  The smell is very much like vinegar to me, not ammonia, but perhaps the heat during transit has caused the tobacco to release ammonia, and I interpret the combined tobacco and ammonia scents as vinegar?

In any event, I have no idea what could, or should be done about this.  Can y'all offer any guidance here?     

 

 

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Most of the time the cigars I receive are very aromatic when I first open and unpack them. I've had many cigars (well after receipt) have an aroma of what I would call cat pee. I've never really given it much thought, other than to ignite and enjoy.

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Perhaps very young and green. Give them some time and they should be alright. At the same time smoke sim in a few months to get a baseline. 

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  I haven't smelt anything ammonia-like from Cubans for at least a decade, certainly nothing to make me sit up and wonder what's going on, and certainly nothing from a few singles from different boxes. 

  I'm wondering if it's something to do with the vac-pac? Burnt plastic maybe?

  How have they been since removing from the packaging? Ie is the smell from the cigars themselves now or a leftover from the packaging?

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It's more than likely due to vac-pak and long shipping times with some high heat spikes along the way.

Nothing to be super concerned about as it sounds like you're taking short term stock for smoking 'now.'

I would keep them in a small Tupperware with a 69 or 72 boveda (a little high) and burp the container 2-4 times a week for 45-60 days and then give them a solid 30 days at your normal humidor settings 

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On 7/18/2020 at 8:52 AM, Çnote said:

It's more than likely due to vac-pak and long shipping times with some high heat spikes along the way.

Nothing to be super concerned about as it sounds like you're taking short term stock for smoking 'now.'

I would keep them in a small Tupperware with a 69 or 72 boveda (a little high) and burp the container 2-4 times a week for 45-60 days and then give them a solid 30 days at your normal humidor settings 

Will do Cnote, and thank you!

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About 8-9 years ago, I opened a box of Trinidad Reyes that completely reeked as if they had been drenched in vinegar. It took a couple of years for it to completely dissipate and they always tasted/smoked fine.  It was different from the green or fresh smell.  Occasionally, I may get a whiff of it here or there, particularly in a 3/5 cardboard pack, but nothing like the pungency of those Reyes. 
 

what’s interesting is that OP @Hibauchery appears to smell it in a variety of different cigars and not an isolated box. 

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I've never witnessed what some call "sick" cigars that are said to smell like some sort of animal piss... Cubans normally have a classic twangy "sour" note to them after being closed up, which is why I love them. It's very unique in the cigar world...

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On 7/25/2020 at 4:13 PM, boopdeep said:

About 8-9 years ago, I opened a box of Trinidad Reyes that completely reeked as if they had been drenched in vinegar. It took a couple of years for it to completely dissipate and they always tasted/smoked fine.  It was different from the green or fresh smell.  Occasionally, I may get a whiff of it here or there, particularly in a 3/5 cardboard pack, but nothing like the pungency of those Reyes. 
 

 

A couple of YEARS...  well, damn....  these were supposed to be samples to see what I like.

 

On 7/18/2020 at 10:27 PM, CaptainQuintero said:

  I'm wondering if it's something to do with the vac-pac? Burnt plastic maybe?

  How have they been since removing from the packaging? Ie is the smell from the cigars themselves now or a leftover from the packaging?

The smell is definitely coming from the cigars, not the packaging.  They've been out of the packaging and in a segregated humidor for a couple of weeks now.  The vinegar smell is not as pronounced as it was right when I opened them up, but it's still prominent.

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  Huh, it's not something I've come across across so hopefully someone who has had can chime in. If the smell is slowly dissipating it's at least showing that it will go. I'd hazard to say that something to remove smells in humidors, like scrunched newspaper to absorb the new plastic smell, might be too chemical for use near cigars.

I'd probably go the long game and forget about them for 6 months?

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On 7/25/2020 at 1:13 AM, boopdeep said:

About 8-9 years ago, I opened a box of Trinidad Reyes that completely reeked as if they had been drenched in vinegar.

Do you happen to remember if those Trinis traveled during particularly hot weather?

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Sounds strange for cigars in aluminum tubos to have any sort of foul odor. The tubes have a cedar lining and a cigar, that's it. 11 weeks is a very long time for your cigars to be in transport. I just received a box of Upmann's last week from the land of fine watches and took 14 days in transit. They look and smell like absolute perfection though. 

 

6 hours ago, Hibauchery said:

Do you happen to remember if those Trinis traveled during particularly hot weather?

Now that  you have had the cigars for over a week, how do they smell now? Are you 100% confident your supplier is selling the "genuine" product? I mean no offense by the question, but there are legit vendors in Europe and likely some not so legit.

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3 hours ago, NYgarman said:

Now that  you have had the cigars for over a week, how do they smell now? Are you 100% confident your supplier is selling the "genuine" product? I mean no offense by the question, but there are legit vendors in Europe and likely some not so legit.

There's no question in my mind that the vendor is legitimate and the cigars are genuine.  The cigars have been segregated in their own humidor for about two weeks now.  The smell is not as strong as it was right out of the packaging, but it is still quite noticeable.

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1 hour ago, Hibauchery said:

There's no question in my mind that the vendor is legitimate and the cigars are genuine.  The cigars have been segregated in their own humidor for about two weeks now.  The smell is not as strong as it was right out of the packaging, but it is still quite noticeable.

That is puzzling. 

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13 hours ago, Hibauchery said:

Do you happen to remember if those Trinis traveled during particularly hot weather?

Sorry, I don’t recall. But, I live in Texas, so if I were forced to lay a bet, I’d say they travelled in some heat. 

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On 7/17/2020 at 11:35 AM, Colt45 said:

Most of the time the cigars I receive are very aromatic when I first open and unpack them. I've had many cigars (well after receipt) have an aroma of what I would call cat pee. I've never really given it much thought, other than to ignite and enjoy.

When cigars are bitter from being too fresh, it's ammonia that you are tasting/smelling. And cat pee? That smell? Is ammonia. Just an FYI. 

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3 hours ago, VKUTT said:

When cigars are bitter from being too fresh, it's ammonia that you are tasting/smelling. And cat pee? That smell? Is ammonia. Just an FYI. 

I'm speaking strictly of aromatics, not flavor.

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3 hours ago, Colt45 said:

I'm speaking strictly of aromatics, not flavor.

Which is why I wrote: "And cat pee? That smell? Is ammonia." 😁

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