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


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3 hours ago, Enduin said:

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.

 

High humidity summer weather is the worst for cigars. Cuban tobacco literally soaks up the moisture and taste/burn go downhill real quick. For myself usually before the halfway point. Very much look forward to the drier air of fall. 

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40 minutes ago, NYgarman said:

High humidity summer weather is the worst for cigars. Cuban tobacco literally soaks up the moisture and taste/burn go downhill real quick. For myself usually before the halfway point. Very much look forward to the drier air of fall. 

It really is! @Bijan mentioned before that the effect that ambient air has on cigars being smoked is much stronger than cigars in storage and it's so true. The amount of moisture that gets into the cigar as you suck moist air in is huge. Basically if a cigar has a perfect draw you end up with a snug cigar after the halfway point, and if it was snug you end up tossing the cigar after the halfway point because it becomes plugged...

The dry season cannot come soon enough!

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39 minutes ago, Enduin said:

It really is! @Bijan mentioned before that the effect that ambient air has on cigars being smoked is much stronger than cigars in storage and it's so true. The amount of moisture that gets into the cigar as you suck moist air in is huge. Basically if a cigar has a perfect draw you end up with a snug cigar after the halfway point, and if it was snug you end up tossing the cigar after the halfway point because it becomes plugged...

The dry season cannot come soon enough!

Interesting... I'm guessing that the high humidity might also impact burn consistency as the cigar smokes too.

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18 hours ago, patrickamory said:

Interesting... I'm guessing that the high humidity might also impact burn consistency as the cigar smokes too.

Absolutely. Basically with high humidity if everything is not perfect with the cigar, there will be issues. Still, in spite of all that, I love smoking outside. It's just a more relaxing, meditative experience for me.

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20 hours ago, NYgarman said:

High humidity summer weather is the worst for cigars. Cuban tobacco literally soaks up the moisture and taste/burn go downhill real quick. For myself usually before the halfway point. Very much look forward to the drier air of fall. 

I completely agree here. I'm in SW Tennessee in the USA, in a city that borders the Mississippi River & has been very wet for spells this Summer. Since I like to dry box before smoking CCs and I can't smoke inside my house, the 70+% humidity on average here has led me to smoking NCs for the last 3 months or so. Good & bad thing I guess, as it means my CCs can get some age and I get some tobacco diversity into my rotation. Discovered Illusione Epernay and Leaf by Oscar Corojo as a result, but look forward to being able to get Havanas back in the rotation in 2-3 weeks (hopefully; climate change might have a say in this).

There's nothing worse than going to the trouble to source CCs, build excitement at the clipping and torching, only to have atmospheric issues ruin the experience. Patience usually pays off, and when a Cuban is "on" there's nothing like it.

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Milder cigars seem to benefit from higher rh for me. I keep my cigars at 65 rh by default. Some of the ones that tend to be rolled tighter, or are young or rougher or stronger might go into the 62 box, and/or get dry boxed when it’s their time. 

Cohibas, Trinidads, HdM, and most RyJ I typically keep at 65 always. Most Montes too, usually, unless they have draw issues (like all my Montes 1s) - lower seems to kill the cocoa notes. In my 62 box now and recently I have had Partagas Shorts, RyJ Cazadores, BPC, PLM, some young Monte Especiales 2s, and D4s every now and then.

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