Are there Certain Cuban cigars that just smoke better at a higher RH?


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99cal wrote the following on the Aging VR thread. 

I think the FOH team and members hit the nail on the head with all those, Tiramisu, prune, milk chocolate, high quality lush earthy grassy flavours,  but I do think VR is one of those marcas that if age even slightly on the dry side,  do become papery and spent. 

Like a few have already mentioned, I've also had my fair share, of lifeless/dead Classicos, and Familiares.  Although these are cigars I hadn't aged myself, and had probably changed hands a few times/done lots of air travel, etc etc.          Like any cigar I think they can be magic aged, but I do think like Sanchos they are easy to ruin,  and why I think harsh reviews are sometimes received. 

 

It was welll written and it had me thinking The question is not necessarilly about aging but storage and RH. 

Have you found there are certain cigars that just benefit from a higher RH?

Would you consider running 60% 65% and 70%  desktop tupperdores controlled by Bovedas?

Which cigars do you believe benefit by a higher RH? 

I have a couple that I believe do. Would love your thoughts. 

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Cuaba Distinguidos, VR, Fonseca no 1, Sanchos, light wrappered Dips, ERDM CS

In a general sense, anything that is mid to mild strength, and has subtle package of nuanced flavours,   that if smoked a little dry can be lost.     Fonseca No 1 is a fine example to me.  If a touch on the humid side, can taste like a poor mans Des Dieux i.e the vanilla and florals are slightly elevated,   if too dry can taste papery and tannic. 

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I don't think it is a particular cigar issue, but more of the state of the cigar.  20+ year old cigars are generally able to carry on with a little more humidity than a current box code.

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Purely anecdotal but last summer I had some Sir Winnies in a humidity bag from a shop in Switzerland I hadn't removed yet, had been there around 6 months. They felt a bit soft but I fancied one, tremendous smoke and perfect burn, out of curiosity I stuck a hygrometer in and discovered they were sitting at 81%. I took them out of there as was worried about mould but got me wondering.

Would be an interesting one for a video, smoking at higher than normal humidity. I think Lawrence Davis who owns Sauters in London tends to keep his smokes around 80% and swears by it.

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PLPC and PLMC smoke better for me when I let them sit for a couple weeks in a 69 boveda ziplock. Flavors are stronger and deeper. PLMC pulled from my typical 62 bin is also the go to when its 75+ humidity outside as it always performs beautifully in high humidity


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PLPC and PLMC smoke better for me when I let them sit for a couple weeks in a 69 boveda ziplock. Flavors are stronger and deeper. PLMC pulled from my typical 62 bin is also the go to when its 75+ humidity outside as it always performs beautifully in high humidity


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Interesting.

69% seems pretty high, and would expect them to have burn issues, wanting to go out unless constantly puffing, and possibly being a little bit bitter based on my experience with high rh Cigars rott from most vendors.

That's why I try to let everything rest and acclimate to my rh for a month or so.

Have occasionally broken that rule and smoked a fair number pretty much rott, and occasionally have the issues described.

Also find the experience of those in high humidity climates stateing that they smoke differently in the high outdoor humidity.

I would think that they wouldn't have a long enough exposure time for the rh of the Cigar to change any, but it seems to be the case with most people in high humidity climates.

The outside th here in Wyoming is rarely above 50%, and commonly closer to 20% or so since we are a high desert and get very little precipitation

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Fonseca 1 is the most obvious to me that smokes better at a higher RH. I’m starting to think montecristo smokes better as well. I do believe those marca that tend to have sweeter notes will smoke better when stored at a higher rh. Overall I have moved my storage from 62% to 65% the past year because my smokes were becoming flavorless and tannic. That said, I don’t have a temp controlled unit so my storage is very inconsistent throughout the seasons.
 

Five years in and I still haven’t figured it out. Trial and error. 

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2 hours ago, smbauerllc said:

I would think that they wouldn't have a long enough exposure time for the rh of the Cigar to change any, but it seems to be the case with most people in high humidity climates.

Maybe not from just sitting outside. But smoking seems to have a much faster effect. Generally at warmer temperatures though.

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Maybe not from just sitting outside. But smoking seems to have a much faster effect. Generally at warmer temperatures though.
Very interesting.
Very glad to have relatively low humidity and more moderate temperatures here

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3 hours ago, Bri Fi said:

Fonseca 1 is the most obvious to me that smokes better at a higher RH. I’m starting to think montecristo smokes better as well. I do believe those marca that tend to have sweeter notes will smoke better when stored at a higher rh. Overall I have moved my storage from 62% to 65% the past year because my smokes were becoming flavorless and tannic. That said, I don’t have a temp controlled unit so my storage is very inconsistent throughout the seasons.
 

Five years in and I still haven’t figured it out. Trial and error. 

Interesting I had way better luck with dry boxing my montecristo’s. 

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10 hours ago, El Presidente said:

I have a couple that I believe do

Be interested to hear your selection Rob

 

9 hours ago, potpest said:

I think Lawrence Davis who owns Sauters in London tends to keep his smokes around 80% and swears by it.

I think it's important to bear in mind, he's a self confessed and avid chewer of cigars.  If he ran his cigars at 65% or lower, they would most likely fall to bits in his mouth.

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6 hours ago, smbauerllc said:

I would think that they wouldn't have a long enough exposure time for the rh of the Cigar to change any, but it seems to be the case with most people in high humidity climates.

In my experience, particularly at night when rH rises and dew begins to form cigars can change very rapidly and just soak up moisture. Of course, rH at that point is well above 90%. 

I had some Monte 1s recently that I could not smoke at night because of it. They just started wicking up the moisture after only about 20 minutes of smoking. 

I've found that as long as outdoor rH is below 80-85% I can get through most cigars with no issues. A Churchill or DC might be an issue I suppose but I don't smoke many of those.

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Bolivar Royal Corona, Cohiba Maduro 5 Magicos/Genios+ Partagas Maduro lines, SC Punta and Fuerza. 

I have been smoking a lot of 20/21 BRC and I certainly prefer them at closer to 70 than 63. The cocoa notes are simply enhanced....and they have been cocoa laden. I have been experimenting with others and some of those "sweeter" treats certainly sing more for me at the higher RH level.  I have had plenty of fails. Regio/Monte 2/D4/BBF

still experimenting. 

 

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I try to take notes on my "cigar list" (age, box code, etc.) of possible "Best RH."  ...That is, the RH that I'd shoot for next time (assuming I planned ahead, which is a big assumption :) ...after experiencing a cigar that somehow was less than expected (too tight, too loose, and/or the flavors off), suggesting a pre-light RH adjustment for next time.  Experimenting is the word, and we are lucky to have the opportunity to do so (and learn from it and others) thanks to FOH :)  

VR Unicos (which can be incredibly good IMO) always seemed to me to benefit from a little more RH.  To me, they seem a bit loosely rolled when they're <63% but can provide a much better experience, and all kinds of flavor @ 65%.  

Another 2 more cents.  

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14 minutes ago, PigFish said:

I don't have enough life left in me to prove a theory like this. Let me know when the Cubans are barcoding tobacco earmarked to be stored 'wetter' and tracing them back to specific brands and boxes!

You guys do come up with the damnedest things... -LOL

How many cigars do you need to store and smoke and for what period do you have to store them at that level to be sure of your findings to come to a conclusion like this? I am curious! 

I fully agree that water content changes the taste of a cigar... but on a brand basis...! Really!!! Does alcohol consumption have anything to do with this theory??? 🤪 (read with levity)

-the Pig

Pig, I have great appreciation for what can be learned from your many helpful posts.  ...But this one, I have to respectfully disagree with.  The question was asking subjective opinions (mine surely are).  

IMO, different brands, blends and sizes can influence each of our enjoyment of a given cigar at a given RH levels (no doubt you'll highlight temperature too -- as temperature and RH go hand in hand, as I've learned from your presentations :)  

Nothing scientific to back up this subjective opinion.  It just seems that some cigars taste better at one RH than another.  No big deal.  Just an opinion.  

Thanks for your many excellent posts ...that is before this last one :)

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On 9/16/2021 at 8:35 AM, potpest said:

I think Lawrence Davis who owns Sauters in London tends to keep his smokes around 80% and swears by it.

If you watch how rapidly he smokes in his videos, that makes sense. 

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Between this conversation and the dipping in water experiment, I wonder if it's not as simple as higher/lower RH in the cigars, but rather higher/lower moisture content in different parts of the cigars. Specifically, what if the best result can be achieved by having a drier inner section of the cigar (which could help with burning) with a wetter outer section (which could help the flavor)?

I personally never found dry boxed cigars to be exceptional. It certainly helped making some plugged cigars smokable, but the flavor profile was always a bit underwhelming. So, across the board lower RH has not worked very well for me. Similarly, I'm finding that smoking outside in the summer (with high humidity) never delivers memorable experiences. Halfway through the cigar the draw become tighter and I have to puff faster to keep the cigar alive.

 

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