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Humidors: How They Stack Up

David Savona, Brendan Vaughan
From the Print Edition:
Wayne Gretzky, Mar/Apr 97

(continued from page 11)

This is a nice mahogany box, but an ineffective humidor. The humidity level ran well above the desirable 70 to 72 percent, causing mold to develop on some cigars. The other cigars were too soggy to smoke. Adding more cigars didn't solve the problem. The lock and brass handles are chintzy, but the black-and-brown marbled exterior is attractive and the workmanship is quite good. But none of that matters if the cigars are unsmokable.

Caribbean Cigar
Cuban Craftsman Cove Inlay/$199
(305) 267-3911

Capacity: 100
Interior: Spanish cedar
Humidification: Credo Epsilon
Details: No hygrometer, no dividers
Score: D+

There isn't much to this piece, which is as light as an empty cigar box. Made of solid Spanish cedar, the lid closes only under heavy pressure. The joints fit fairly well, but they are rough, and the box does not look or feel as if it can withstand long-term use. It was impossible to keep the Credo stuck to the lid, and we had to refill it twice with water, but at the end of the test the cigars were in decent shape. This is a budget, high-maintenance humidor that is functional.

Abbey Cigar Products
AEH50 Oak/$100
(800) 663-8768

Capacity: 50
Interior: Red cedar
Humidification: HumiStor
Details: No hygrometer
Score: D

This is a bare-bones box. It has very little detailing and comes with neither a hygrometer nor any dividers. It kept the cigars in smokable condition, but just barely; the humidity ran a little low throughout the test. The interior wood is a strong, aromatic cedar (not Spanish cedar) that could affect the flavor of cigars over time.

Cigar Essentials
Alente 100/$575
(519) 473-7905

Capacity: 100
Interior: Brazilian mahogany
Humidification: Humi Pak
Details: Two dividers
Score: D

The Alente is plain and roughly finished with a painted wood exterior. The interior is rather austere. Those are the positives. This box has major flaws. It took two hands to open--one to hold down the box, one to pry open the reluctant lid, making us wonder if the manufacturer was trying to keep us from smoking. One hinge actually broke at the conclusion of our test. Even when it was in place, the lid wouldn't fully close; after the hinge broke the gap grew even larger. The Alente's humidity was consistently high throughout the test and the cigars were soggy and soft. We added more cigars, but that didn't fully correct the problem. This is no place for your good smokes.

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