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When to Stop Aging?

When aging cigars, how long is too long?
Posted: July 14, 2014

That depends entirely on your taste and the cigars you're aging.

As a general rule, strong cigars age better because they retain flavor longer than mild cigars. At the same time, they mellow and become smoother, a process often referred to as "rounding." Another rule of thumb is that thick cigars, which tend to be more complex because they are rolled with more leaves, age better than thin cigars such as coronas and lonsdales.

But there are many exceptions to these rules. In the end, the tobacco blend is the key factor in a cigar's aging potential. For example, we once smoked two lonsdales made in the late 1970s: an H. Upmann 2000 from the Canary Islands and a Partagas 8-9-8 made in Jamaica. Both cigars had been stored in the same humidor for almost 20 years. The H. Upmann was packed with rich flavors of nuts and cedar, but the Partagas was thin and perfumy, an unappealing, common characteristic of overaged cigars.

The only way to make sure your cigars don't pass their prime in your humidor is to periodically test them. Lay a box down and smoke one at regular intervals, noting improvements. When they reach the strength and roundness you desire, they've aged long enough.

For more on aging cigars, watch this video with Gordon Mott and David Savona.

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Comments   4 comment(s)

one1off July 20, 2014 4:36am ET

I purchased 4 boxes of Cohiba Esplendido's in 1999. They were stored in a large cabinet humidor.
Currently there is 3/4 of one box left.
This article pique my interest on their progress, as I have not smoked one in over a year.
There is no doubt that after these 15 years, they have become classic. It is awash with flavors that aging melded together.
They have always been a great cigar, even when first purchased, but aging, in this case, has become rewarding! Very rewarding indeed!

David Savona July 20, 2014 5:50am ET

They sound delicious. Happy to hear our article helped you out.

David Boothby — Peru, IN, USA,  —  July 31, 2014 10:02am ET

Other than smoking them, is there any other WY to stop a cigar from aging?

Sydney Liquete — Philippines,  —  August 4, 2014 9:59pm ET

store them airtight. very cold 55f and slightly lower humidity 62-65rh, and very dark.

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