Cigar Aficionado

Better With Age

James Suckling was in town this week, so Monday night we headed out to an early dinner in midtown. We ate at Benoit, a new brasserie from Alain Ducasse that just opened. (It was so new, in fact, that they didn’t have a liquor license, something we didn’t know until after we sat down. A quick trip to a local liquor store remedied that. James will be blogging about that experience soon at

Naturally we wanted a smoke after dinner, so we walked the few blocks over to the Grand Havana Room after finishing our meals. We sat down in one of the lounge's comfy chairs, I ordered an Abelour Abundah single-malt Scotch and reached into my briefcase.

When I smoke with Sucking, he usually provides the cigars, but this time we smoked some of mine. I had Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series Imperials, last year’s No. 3 cigar of the year, and they had a full year of age on them.

I’m a big believer in aging cigars, and so is Suckling. We rate aged cigars in every issue of Cigar Aficionado, in our Connoisseur’s Corner. Most of the cigars that make it to that page are 90 pointers or above, sometimes way above.

Now Padróns are great right out of the box, but like most great cigars, they get even better with age. These were amazing—rich, bold, elegant and harmonious smokes that had just a little more finesse than they did in early 2007, when I first got them. I’m sure in a few years they will be better still.

Aging cigars takes patience and self-discipline. How many times have you set aside cigars, hoping to let them rest, but found yourself taking a few here or there. Next thing you know, the box is empty!

Not everyone agrees that cigars get better with age, including the man who made the cigar that we smoked, Jorge Padrón.

What do you think? Do cigars get better with age? And do you have the patience to age your smokes?