Recommended Posts

I’m watching Bond Roberts and I see a lot of the cigars being posted are from 2017. I got into cigars in 2016 so most of my collection is 2017 making it vintage by definition (4+ years). That said, I’ve been sampling my cigars and noticed they have mellowed out a tad bit. Granted they are hardly vintage, but they’ve definitely smoothed out some. I was beginning to think about some of the cigar reviews done by our hosts on YouTube as well as other reviewers. Many say “these have some great aging potential.” 

For those who had the opportunity to watch your collection age, what do you look for in fresh cigars that make you believe they will age well or poor?

Is it marca? Level of woodieness? Bitterness (Tannins)? 

Some of the theories behind aging contradict itself. I’ve heard that tannins lead to great aging. The box of Sir Winston I have from 2019 have no bitterness, but historically Sir Winston age well... 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did not and still do not enjoy much of the 16/17 stock ...I pass on them in trades and purchases all the time ..surprised to hear this about their against potential etc


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I look for a tannic and punchy quality to cigar.  A core of flavors with raw a edge.  Has the stuffing to age and not taste like rice paper 15 years later.

Then on the other side, I buy cigars I like and have already had at different stages of "aged" and I am just going to buy them regardless if they age or not. 

The former are for cigars I bought one box of and then bought more.  One cigar that recently fits the criteria of tannic and punchy are the a Spanish Regional Gloria Cubana D No.5's.  Not only are they great candidate to age; they don't cost a banker's mint.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is great stuff. Thanks for the OP and all insight so far! Keep it coming. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, 99call said:

As a final point, I think HSA are (bit by painful bit) removing 'difficult' aspects to their blends.    Savoury, or heavily tannic cigars are being phased out, in preference for cigars that are sweet creamy, and seem desperate to be liked.  I would argue the majority of cigars from 2018-19  have very few rough edges when smoked in their first year.  I do think this has implications for quite a recent cigars and their long term ageing.  

 

I fully agree with your and @Markspring1978 analysis and spot-on comments.

I dare to go farther and say that rolling out "ready to smoke - no ageing needed" cigars began much earlier than 2018, to me it began around ca. 2010.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In regards to “ready to smoke” cigars... I gave the example of the sir winston from 2019. They were amazingly smooth and only got a little harsh toward the nub. Same can be said about the 2019 Siglo VI.

That said, is “ready to smoke” to be expected from super premium cigars with better quality tobacco? Or is there less aging potential from these cigars than blends from decades ago? 
 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The big issue with "ready to smoke" cigars is it ruins the investment (Assuming ready to smoke correlates to loss of flavor with age). So now (theoretically) cigars have a shelf life of say a year or two then the begin to degrade. That would really suck for those that want to build a collection of 20+ boxes of cigars and sample them over the years. This is obviously just speculation.

If you look at wine similar things are happening. The wines of Bordeaux in the past have generally been quite tannic and brooding while young and could easily stand 30 years. Many are now going new world style where they are ripe with fruits and jam at a young age. Will this destroy the future for aged wine? Who knows. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My experience over about 20 years...I don’t really agree with the strong blends aging better. I’ve seen the biggest change from Cohiba, HdM and upmann. Siglo 6 that were tasteless in 2012 turned into flavor powerhouses in 2017-2018. Epi 2 and hdm DC showed big changes too, zero to hero in the Flavor dept. Partagas and bolivar seemed to just fade. I’m all about flavor not nicotine so there is that. I’ve started vacuum sealing just to be safe.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Markspring1978 said:

I think a lot about this. Not only has HSA altered the blends to remove the “difficult” aspects. They have also deleted many of the vitolas that lent themselves best to aging, based on the blend. Some examples include Punch SS 1 and 2, HdM DD, Boli BCE and BCG, SLR Serie A, just to name a few. 

I was talking with a retailer in London the other day who ages stock for decades in their basement. We were talking about Punch as a brand specifically and how in the short run, the blends aren’t very approachable, but they age wonderfully. Unfortunately, most don’t have the patience, and HSA has adjusted accordingly. 

As to the OP’s original question, I initially look for strength and tannic levels, in addition to good construction as good aging candidates. I generally pass by the light creamy profiles. Stuff I’m laying up now are Party 898 (unfortunately I don’t think these will be with us much longer), Lusis, BPC, BFF, HU Connie 1 and SW, JL1, CoLa, Fundys, and PLPC. Some I’m avoiding for long-term aging are pretty much any HdM, most Romeo (exception for Churchill’s ) and QdO. Monte obviously ages well, I’m just not a huge fan of the brand flavor profile. 

That’s just me, to each his own. 

Spot on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/13/2021 at 6:10 PM, Bords said:

Siglo 6 that were tasteless in 2012 turned into flavor powerhouses in 2017-2018

This is really interesting, and fairly unusual. I personally have yet to experience a cardboard cigar turning into a gem. It goes without saying that a young cigar that is bad has no assurance of getting better. But, for a bland cigar to get legs and turn into a powerhouse seems unexpected. I suppose a lot has to do with an individual palette in cases such as this. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adjust how you age. Slow the process.  Qdo will age gracefully and get much better with age. To each their own. No right or wrong. You can triple decant a bottle of 16-17 phelps insignia to make it more drinkable. You can slow aging, but you can’t push age on a cigar.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Markspring1978 said:

But, for a bland cigar to get legs and turn into a powerhouse seems unexpected.

I've had ones that were muted when young, and the flavours became much more pronounced and distinct after some years down. Don't know if this is considered "bland > powerhouse", but fits the theme where I couldn't taste much early on and they became really flavourful later.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is really interesting, and fairly unusual. I personally have yet to experience a cardboard cigar turning into a gem. It goes without saying that a young cigar that is bad has no assurance of getting better. But, for a bland cigar to get legs and turn into a powerhouse seems unexpected. I suppose a lot has to do with an individual palette in cases such as this. 

Well tasteless probably wrong word...like a muddled mess of nasty, raw taste like mushrooms growing on cardboard. There was power but no discernible flavors.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/14/2021 at 12:10 PM, Bords said:

My experience over about 20 years...I don’t really agree with the strong blends aging better. I’ve seen the biggest change from Cohiba, HdM and upmann. Siglo 6 that were tasteless in 2012 turned into flavor powerhouses in 2017-2018. Epi 2 and hdm DC showed big changes too, zero to hero in the Flavor dept. Partagas and bolivar seemed to just fade. I’m all about flavor not nicotine so there is that. I’ve started vacuum sealing just to be safe.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I agree that mild cigars aren’t necessarily poor aging candidates.  In particular HU2s were infamously mild when young and in my experience gained both flavor and power with age.  Boxes I have start getting good, to my palate, at about 8 years.   01s that were flat are smooth and flavorful now, even in the opinion of buddies that love punchy new cigars.
 

To put some context to the topic of whether the 18/19s will age well because they are smoking well now, I remember a similar concern in 08.  My 08s were some of my best at 9/10 years old.  
 

I tried to go long on current production and am hoping.🤞

 

I will also say I have had duds when young that never really came around.  They got slightly better but never blossomed — so who knows. 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

there is no general rule!I think the beauty of havana cigars is that they are unpredictable.I had experiences of CGR , I smoked the last one last week, and I can tell you that I preferred them the first year I was smoking them (back in 2010)! Don t get me wrong, there are other cigars that with age they become better and better( LGC M. d or n2 for instance or cohiba lanceros) but in my experience there is a soft spot and then slowly a fading, Trini Fundies from2000 (50cab.) one of the best box I ve ever had, I bought them in 2011, they were amazing then, around 2015 was their pick, last summer I smoked the last one,was still very nice, but in decline.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, PigFish said:

I think the process of aging is highly overrated. It is not the age of the cigar you taste, it is the quality of tobacco and care in production. That is what you taste. A good cigar will remain good if stored well (only a theory, as I said you can only smoke a cigar once) and a crap cigar will always be crap.

I think I agree with this. But it is hard for me to tell, as I can't smoke young examples of long discontinued cigars, and I wasn't smoking them back then.

2 hours ago, PigFish said:

I would say once cigars are acclimatized, you can handle them for firmness and weight. If they are underweight and not firm, they will likely be poorer than average. That is my take anyway. Firm cigars are almost always better cigars. Lightweights are the ones missing core tobaccos, they have a tendency to tunnel, burn poorly or spit sparks like a firework!

This one I disagree with at least in my experience. If well constructed I like underweight cigars. As long as they are consistent in density and don't have any hollow sections (this will cause tunneling or mess up the burn) I find they burn very well if puffed lightly. Just had an amazing Partagás Serie du Connaisseur No.1 that was 8.11 grams where the official weight (which is generally on the low end to begin with) was supposed to be 10.29 grams.

In my experience though, this applies to skinnier and low ring gauge cigars. Anything 46RG and over doesn't really benefit from being light, nor is it hurt so much by being overweight, as draw is already light on those to begin with. I generally don't have good luck with overweight skinny (<39RG) and medium cigars (39-43RG).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Bijan said:

I think I agree with this. But it is hard for me to tell, as I can't smoke young examples of long discontinued cigars, and I wasn't smoking them back then.

This one I disagree with at least in my experience. If well constructed I like underweight cigars. As long as they are consistent in density and don't have any hollow sections (this will cause tunneling or mess up the burn) I find they burn very well if puffed lightly. Just had an amazing Partagás Serie du Connaisseur No.1 that was 8.11 grams where the official weight (which is generally on the low end to begin with) was supposed to be 10.29 grams.

In my experience though, this applies to skinnier and low ring gauge cigars. Anything 46RG and over doesn't really benefit from being light, nor is it hurt so much by being overweight, as draw is already light on those to begin with. I generally don't have good luck with overweight skinny (<39RG) and medium cigars (39-43RG).

The problem with official cigar weights is that the water content is unpublished. Cigar weights that I refer are empirical to the individual smoker, his smoking preference and the ability to keep them stable. The published weights actually mean little to anyone other than the importer relating to tariffs. One ring gauge can significantly change the weight of a cigar, and cigar rings can vary considerably. Uniformity of all components should make a difference to recipe and consistency, however (opinion again) the smoking characteristics, a relationship of firmness, weight is (opinion again) very important.

You may have enjoyed your cigar underweight due to water content. It may have been narrower than published ring. I cannot prognosticate either on ones taste, the quality or the EMC of any cigar beyond my own... I opine for food for thought.

As a parting shot, I will say read and understand my complete statement. Weight and firmness go hand in hand. A heavy loose cigar is likely as bad as a light loose cigar. Your opinion my be different, there is no right or wrong here. There is your opinion and there is mine.

There is a relationship of displacement of any smokers mouth and a vitola, water content, weight and the packing of a cigar. This theory I have coined mass flux. The mass flux relationship is different for every smoker. What works for me is limited, restrictive air flow through the whole cross section of the cigar, burning the cigar cross section, creating a convex shape of unconsumed tobacco at the foot. This happens (for me, more often) in slow smoking, dense cigars of thinner rings.

I believe that the mass flux of a cigar is based on packing and ring, and of course core tobaccos. In Cuban cigars, I believe there was a reason why there were historically many, many 42 ring cigars. This was due to empirical nature of proving a mass flux theory and the average smoker.

Many people today trend smoke. Packaging and driving up ring gauge is more about marketing than taste. While cigar must sell and marketing helps determine one cigar from another. It is no longer about taste. It is about marketing, trends and how much some damn fool will pay for a cigar.

All, only my opinion.

Cheers! -Piggy

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@PigFish thank you for your detailed and thoughtful reply. I hope you don't mind if I reply to your points in turn, it is partly due to my way of digesting the statements.

6 minutes ago, PigFish said:

The problem with official cigar weights is that the water content is unpublished. Cigar weights that I refer are empirical to the individual smoker, his smoking preference and the ability to keep them stable. The published weights actually mean little to anyone other than the importer relating to tariffs. One ring gauge can significantly change the weight of a cigar, and cigar rings can vary considerably. Uniformity of all components should make a difference to recipe and consistency, however (opinion again) the smoking characteristics, a relationship of firmness, weight is (opinion again) very important.

Yes official cigar weight is most likely a way to cheat the taxman, and probably why they tend to the low end and not the high end of the spectrum.

Given my preference for lighter/less dense cigars I tend to pick out the cigars with larger rings first. Agreeing with your statement about personal smoking preference (though maybe you are referring to EMC).

9 minutes ago, PigFish said:

You may have enjoyed your cigar underweight due to water content. It may have been narrower than published ring. I cannot prognosticate either on ones taste, the quality or the EMC of any cigar beyond my own... I opine for food for thought.

I chose the cigar I did tonight because it looked a little wider in ring than the other ones I had. Again yes a matter of tastes. As to EMC it is beyond my abilities to speculate as my storage is a bit unusual. Somewhere in the mid-60s in RH (I don't have the best of sensors), but currently at around 7C temperature. I really do wonder if your MC curves for RH/temperature do something different or curious at low temperatures.

11 minutes ago, PigFish said:

As a parting shot, I will say read and understand my complete statement. Weight and firmness go hand in hand. A heavy loose cigar is likely as bad as a light loose cigar. Your opinion my be different, there is no right or wrong here. There is your opinion and there is mine.

My view of loose vs tight, reflects draw, and not so much construction, which seems to be more so what you are referring to. A light cigar in weight can have a tight draw, but that is generally due to a localized plug (this is where the perfecdraw tool helps). A heavy cigar will generally have a tighter draw just due to the amount of tobacco relative to volume. This is all assuming the same moisture content. And this is my experience of things. In all cases draw vs weight is a probability distribution. Lighter weight cigars will tend to skew lighter in draw, and heavier weight cigars will skew tighter in draw, but anything is possible given the luck of the draw (apologies for the pun).

17 minutes ago, PigFish said:

There is a relationship of displacement of any smokers mouth and a vitola, water content, weight and the packing of a cigar. This theory I have coined mass flux. The mass flux relationship is different for every smoker. What works for me is limited, restrictive air flow through the whole cross section of the cigar, burning the cigar cross section, creating a convex shape of unconsumed tobacco at the foot. This happens (for me, more often) in slow smoking, dense cigars of thinner rings.

Beyond the shape of one's mouth there is also one's pattern of puffing. I tend to puff more often and more shallowly, but one puff at a time. That's just how I tend to do it. This works well with a lighter drawing cigar for me. When faced with a tight draw I tend to puff harder to get the same smoke output (I generally enjoy more smoke output), but that just ruins things and doesn't give good smoke output. I have found recently that if I puff a tighter cigar gently but for a longer puff period, that it will burn better (slower), and I just have to settle for the lower smoke output (especially for the first half of the cigar, vs a lighter drawing cigar).

This is for thinner ring cigars. With larger ring cigars I have the opposite problem. This is where the shape of my mouth comes in. Too loose a draw on a big ring cigar and I can't puff hard enough for the cigar to burn properly without getting too much smoke volume to be able to hold it in my mouth.

27 minutes ago, PigFish said:

I believe that the mass flux of a cigar is based on packing and ring, and of course core tobaccos. In Cuban cigars, I believe there was a reason why there were historically many, many 42 ring cigars. This was due to empirical nature of proving a mass flux theory and the average smoker.

This matches my experience, in that with 42 RG cigars, I can probably enjoy the widest range of draws given my storage conditions, my puffing pattern and preferences. For thinner cigars I prefer them on the lighter end of the draw spectrum, and for wider cigars I prefer them heavier in draw than average

31 minutes ago, PigFish said:

Many people today trend smoke. Packaging and driving up ring gauge is more about marketing than taste. While cigar must sell and marketing helps determine one cigar from another. It is no longer about taste. It is about marketing, trends and how much some damn fool will pay for a cigar.

Marketing is probably very true, and probably a large part of why Habanos S.A. stopped selling cigars without bands. The statement that it is no longer about taste also explains partly why there aren't multiple vitolas with different blends for the same marca anymore. Simplification/rationalization explains some of it, but if taste is paramount, different blends of the same vitola would be desirable.

Another thing driving up ring gauges, is the price/margin on these cigars. Maybe 40% more tobacco in a robusto than a Petit Corona, but about twice the price. Petit Robustos probably even more attractive based on these numbers.

37 minutes ago, PigFish said:

All, only my opinion.

My thanks to you for sharing yours!

My opinion is that sharing one's opinions is one of the things that makes this hobby of ours more enjoyable.

Cheers!

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Bijan said:

My thanks to you for sharing yours!

My opinion is that sharing one's opinions is one of the things that makes this hobby of ours more enjoyable.

... agreed. This is what makes the forum interesting.

I have found that I have been opining on cigars so long, and beyond simply taste, politics (cigars), storage etcetera, that I am often positioned by others as being a cigar Guru. I am not...! I am just a guy that smokes cigars, is rather opinionated, does not exactly follow trends and knows bit more than the average smoker about automated controlled (precision) storage. I tend to over predicate my position of opinion. That way some bloke is not spewing what I say as gospel. While it may be to me, it should all be treated with skepticism (like any data found on the web) by others.

Without a good detailed thread delving into contrasting opinion, we just get to read about what some Guru postulated as fact, regurgitated by another or sports teams!!!

There are of course various threads of cutters discarding spent caps as feces! -LOL  Those are good!!!

Cheers! -R

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Community Software by Invision Power Services, Inc.