3 Minute Deep Dive: Should You Age Your Cigars?

Collect enough cigars, and eventually, you will realize that you are going to have to set some aside for future enjoyment. Which for many, is a good problem to have... at least in theory.

Cigar humidors are a multi-faceted form of storage. Not only do they help keep those precious tobacco leaves feeling supple and ready to smoke; but their humidification devices can allow us to extensively extend the shelf life of cigars.

What cigar types age best?

First off, all premium cigar blends come out of the cigar box with at least some age already on them. Hell, certain blends like the Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 receive damn near a dozen years of leaf conditioning prior to release!

But like fine wines and craft beer, certain cigar types age well, whereas others do not. And like wine and beer, cigar aging follows a "color-coded conditioning directive."

However, much like "The Pirate's Code" in Disney's swashbuckling franchise, these rules tend to be more like guidelines than official decrees from the tobacco gods above. 

The most important of these is that it is typically best to consume the lighter blends first. Instead, set the darker and more robust stuff down for aging, especially if you fire one up and find it to be a wee bit imbalanced or too potent for your palate.

Outside of staying up on your maintenance and monitoring internal humidor temps, you will want to rotate your cigars periodically to guarantee even humidity distribution. 

So how long should I age my cigars?

Now, as for the aging process itself, and how long you should put a cigar down, that is really up to you. 

I personally prefer to place my bolder stogies on a set 6-month aging program. So if I get a 5-pack of the same cigar, I can smoke one, and then set the following four sticks aside for aging.

I may go in and fire another stick up after a month or two to determine if any flavors or intensity levels have changed, but I find that the 6-month mark tends to be where the mellowing magic starts to happen.

Let your humidor be your little test lab...

Ultimately, this is your hobby and your palate's personal preferences that you are pandering to, so do what you think might provide you with the most enjoyment. 

Just be sure to stay up on your humidor maintenance, and know that extended aging past a year will require lower humidity levels in the 55-60% range. This will prevent any over-humidification issues from occurring over the long haul.