Posted: Feb 1, 2008 10:57am ET
Someone on the forums recently asked about the home humidors of the Cigar Aficionado editors. I decided to ignore my inner censor that kept shouting, “don’t let them into your home,” and give you a little peek at how I keep my cigars at home.
I used to have about six desktop humidors, everything from my first humidor that held about 30 cigars, purchased when I lived in Paris in the 1980s, to a very special Michel Perrenoud lacquered mahogany box that can hold about 100 cigars. I can’t tell you how many times over the years I would wake up one weekend and say, “Oh, my god, I haven’t charged my humidors in six weeks,” or a couple of times, even longer. It took time, every time, to re-charge them with the special container of distilled water that I kept for that purpose. Given the unreliability of some of the humidification devices I was stuck with, I also had to check the boxes for a day or two after the re-charging session to be sure that there wasn’t water leaking onto my precious stash. The entire process was essentially a pain.
When J.C. Pendergast built a medium-size cabinet humidor that didn’t cost an arm and a leg (just an arm), I decided to take the plunge and order one. I got the classic cherry wood exterior, three sliding drawers with dividers and a bottom section where I could store boxes. I think the specs say it will hold about 1,500 cigars if you max out every drawer to the top and fill the box section to capacity. I choose the glass front doors. It’s beautiful and sits perfectly in a small hallway where the door to my basement is located; it’s my little cigar corner where I also keep a cigar store Indian replica that a friend gave me for my 50th birthday a few years ago. I still keep two of the desktop humidors sitting on top of the cabinet.
But the best part about the system is the humidification unit. It’s a Honeywell device that is normally used as room humidifier. It’s got about a two or three gallon water reservoir and its own fan, although the Pendergast also has an additional fan to circulate the air. The cabinet is wired, and has an electrical outlet built into the space where the humidifier is located, on the lower right. The device is connected to a humidistat on the top shelf, and it automatically keeps the interior humidity at a constant level—I choose to keep my cigars at 70 percent, sometimes a little higher in the winter. I fill the reservoir, and clean the humidifier twice a year…yes, that’s right, twice a year, although it is usually on an seven to eight month cycle in the spring and summer and then in the winter the reservoir lasts four or five months. I do worry about temperature but because of the location of the humidor, it never gets above about 75 degrees.
The down sides? Well there aren’t many. The humidor keeps my cigars in perfect shape. They are all in one place. There are enough dividers to keep my best cigars segregated and with similar or identical cigars. And, I have more than enough space for the number of cigars that I choose to age and keep at home. The biggest flaw is if you have a problem with bugs, which I did have once due to a Cuban cigar that turned out to be infested with bugs. I lost about 100 cigars during the six months it took me to finally eradicate all the tobacco beetles. Fortunately, I found what seems to be a pretty foolproof method of killing the bugs—a full week, not just two or three days, in a deep freeze.
So there you have it. No, sorry. I won’t give you a detailed inventory. Suffice it to say there are cigars in the cabinet that are among my favorites.
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