Aging Cigars

plume-mold

When you walk into a steak house, ever notice the fine aged steaks always cost much more money than the fresh cuts butchered a few hours before they landed on the dinner plates? Ever wonder why? It’s simple. Aged steaks, cigars and scotch tantalize our taste buds. (Can’t say the same for women, can we?)

If you are a cigaroholic like me, then you probably already have multiple humidors, if not then you have to go out and buy, steal or borrow a second quality humidor.

Here is how to do it:

Make sure your second humidor reserved for aging is properly prepared and cared for like your primary humidor.

It is imperative that the aging cigars, like all cigars maintain a 14% moisture content to age properly. You will be fine if you maintain a 70 degrees Fahrenheit humidity level in your humidor.

Do not over stuff your humidor. Never fill it to the manufacturers suggested quantity because the air will not be able to properly circulate to age the cigars. If you have the standard 50 count humidor, I recommend no more than 25-30 aging cigars.

The oils from the cigars will rise to the wrapper over time, which will create “bloom” or “plume” (either term works).  “Bloom” or “plume”, is a fine white powder that collects on the cigar’s wrapper, and can easily be rubbed off with your finger. “Bloom” or “plume” accumulates when a cigar is aging in optimal conditions. You want to see “bloom”, but you don’t want to see mold. How can you tell the difference? Well mold on a cigar is usually a yellowish or greenish color that is difficult to wipe off and usually stains the wrapper. It usually has a “hairy” appearance. Plus, it will smell musty like all household molds.

Remove the cellophane wrapping from the cigars. The cellophane wrapping traps the oils and stops them from rising to the top of the cigar wrapper, which prevents “bloom” or “plume” from being released. I usually always remove the cellophane even when I’m not aging them. The cellophane does nothing more than protect the cigar from physical damage when handing them or traveling.

The optimal age is 5-10 years. After 10 years the cigars don’t really age anymore.

The hardest part of the aging process is avoiding the temptation to prematurely smoke them.

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