CIGAR 101

 
OVERVIEW OF CIGAR CARE

Cigars are hygroscopic in nature. In lay terms, this means that they will over time dry out when in a dry climate or absorb moisture in a humid one. And they will continue to do so until their own moisture content matches that of the ambient climate around them.

A damp cigar will not burn properly. Not only will it be difficult to keep lit, but also difficult to draw on. The smoke may become too dense leaving the smoker with a sour taste and a rank aroma. Also, over moist cigars will commonly split their wrappers.

A dry cigar will burn too hot. Without the proper level of moisture, the combustion temperature of your cigar will be too high and the smoke will be hot and acrid against your palate. The smoke may become overly aggressive and you will lose many of the subtle nuances of flavor that a properly humidified cigar would of given you. Also, dry cigars will lead eventually to the early evaporation of their essential oils and reduce their overall flavor and aroma.

Typically for the most enjoyable smoking, a cigar should contain approximately 12 -14% of its total weight in moisture. This corresponds to 60 - 70% relative humidity. Relative Humidity (RH) is a measurement of the amount of moisture in the atmosphere compared with that of complete saturation regardless of the temperature.


The primary criteria in the proper storage of cigars is to achieve a stable and ideal relative humidity within this 60% - 70% RH range. The secondary, but also important requirements are to store them at temperatures below 75 degrees Fahrenheit and in a darkened environment. Doing these three simple things will allow your cigars to not only be stored well, but also age well resulting in cigars that will draw easily, burn steadily, and share their optimum flavor and nuances with your palate.