If you’ve been living the cigar lifestyle for any length of time then you already know how important cigar humidors are for your smokes. You’ll also know all about how to keep it clean and well taken care of. That’s kind of the Cigars 101 type of thing you usually get told by whoever brings you into the cigar world.
Unfortunately, you usually get told “get a humidor” and that’s about it. The rest you have to learn along the way. We all already know a bit about seasoning your humidor. You also know to keep the moisture and humidity right to prevent mold. However, what they don’t always tell you, is how to graduate from a tiny box of smokes to a full cigar humidor that holds all your smokes.
One Cigar Humidor is Never Enough
We’re gonna say this plain: Get a travel humidor. Sure, it’s possible to store a stick or two in the pocket of your jacket for a celebratory smoke after a round of golf. Yet, when you want to smoke while you’re away, not having a travel humidor means relying on whatever you can carry. You’ll hear many tips for traveling with cigars. While many will work in a pinch, the real solution is getting a travel humidor.
Travel cigar humidors aren’t novelty items anymore. You can get quality travel humidors now that will serve you when you’re away from your personal setup. Even if you’re not a jet-setting celebrity like Tom Cruise or Demi Moore, a travel humidor saves you a headache when visiting in-laws or going on vacation.
We’re not suggesting you keep your most prized possessions in a travel humidor. Yet, keeping a few of your regulars around for smoking while you’re away is enough. A cigar lover knows to take care of his smokes even when he’s not on his home field.
Keep Cigar Humidors Separated
We’re not talking about separating your cigars in your humidor. You already know how to do that. We’re talking about taking advice from NBA legend Michael Jordan. It’s rumored that Jordan said, “You should always have two cigar humidors, one with your good smokes for people who enjoy them, and another with some regular smokes for people who don’t know what they’re doing.” Ok, we may be paraphrasing a bit, but the idea is simple.
Keep your good stash in one humidor and have a second for your everyday smokes or the smokes you give to those whom you don’t want to waste your premiums on. There’s nothing worse than handing over one of your best cigars, and then watching the guy or gal choke and put it out less than halfway through.
We honestly suggest you keep a box of lower-quality smokes to pass out to anyone looking to test the waters. It’s fine to give them a good cigar, just not your prized possessions. Keep the really great stuff for your brothers and sisters of the leaf in a separate humidor.
Invest in Quality Cigar Humidors
Everyone living the cigar lifestyle knows that Spanish cedar is the way to go for your cigar humidor. It’s just a fact that the best wood for humidors is Spanish cedar because it resists moisture and mold buildup. It’s also great for letting things age.
However, we all know that one guy who just buys whatever box someone throws at him do he can “have a humidor.” He doesn’t take the time to inspect it for quality. Don’t get us wrong, there are some good products out there that are made from composite materials and most of them will serve you well. Yet, we can’t stress this enough, it’s best to go with an all Spanish cedar humidor if you can. The build quality and the potential of the humidor differ with composite boxes that only have a cedar veneer.
A Spanish cedar box will let you age your smokes for years without worrying about them breaking down in storage.
For those not up on their woods, Spanish cedar, or Cuban cedar as it’s commonly called, is not actually cedar at all. It’s also not from Spain. Instead, Spanish cedar is closer to Mahogany than anything else. Due to its scarcity, it’s often sourced from plantations in Africa that grow it specifically for this purpose.
Here’s another tip we feel we should stress, just in case. Check your seal. Even in a high-quality box, the joints and pivots can wear out and compromise your seal which will ruin the whole humidor. At that point, you’d have as much luck storing them in your pocket.
It’s easy to forget once you’ve had your cigar humidor for a while that regular maintenance and checking is key, but if you really care about your smokes, take the time to check on your box. If need be, replace it.
Go With More Than You Need
This should be a given, but we’ll go over it anyway just for clarity. Don’t cram your cigar humidor as full as possible. How many smokes it will hold likely depends on what you’re storing. Lanceros for example, take up less space than a bunch of beefy Gordos, so you can fit more in your humidor.
The problem is, we see all these ads with humidors filled to walls with cigars and not a space unused. This is terrible for your smoke. Humidity and air circulation are key to keeping your smokes in good shape.
A good rule of thumb is to leave 20% of the space in your humidor open to allow for circulation. Sure, this takes some of your storage space away, but if you value your cigars, then get another humidor.
Like Goes With Like
This last bit of information is something that should probably seem obvious but may not be as easy in practice.
If you’re a fan of several varieties of cigars, like movie heavyweights Arnold Schwarzenegger and Matthew McConaughey, you may want to store different varieties in separate cigar humidors. It’s a matter of personal preference, but it should be noted that cigars stored together in the same humidor with flavored cigars will alter their flavor profile.
If you’ve got some primo cigars that you love the taste of, you’ll want to place them in their own humidor to keep the flavor profile pure. Yes, aging does affect the flavor profile, but not in the same way that storing flavored and non-flavored cigars together will. It’s also useful to keep them in the cellophane to help protect the flavor a bit more, though it’s not mandatory.
Some enthusiasts will go the extra mile and store the same brand together in their own cigar humidor, but storing unflavored cigars together is perfectly fine.
How Much You Care Matters
What you spend on your cigar humidor and how you store your smokes are relative to how you like to enjoy your smokes. We won’t go as far as to say that you must have a solid cedar humidor. We also won’t tell you that storing all your smokes separately is the way to go. These are just suggestions for getting the most out of your passion.
In the end, invest in what you care about most. If you prefer to always have a good smoke with you, then get a quality travel humidor so you never need to go without. If keeping the flavor profile pure is important, buy separate humidors for your favorite smokes.
Finally, we will say this: Quality matters, no matter what you’re going for.
Photo credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Humidor.jpg