Cigars and cigar smokers have been around for many years. But how many people know enough about cigars to really get the best from their habit?
The Cuban Cigar
Since the 1800s, we have always heard of Cuban cigars with nothing but high praise. Anyone that started smoking cigars would automatically want “Cuban cigars” because of their reputation for their exquisite taste. Another appeal of the Cuban is the illicit appeal – the fact that due to the cigar embargo, most of them are actually illegal in the United States. Forbidden things are always more attractive, unfortunately, and it seems cigars are no exception!
With all the problems the Cuban government and tobacco industry has had to deal with through the years, the Cuban cigar industry has declined to an almost completely nonexistent state. Many avid and dedicated cigar smokers have determined that the Dominican, Honduran and Nicaraguan premium cigars have everything that the Cuban cigars do – and for less money to boot! So nowadays, there are still many places that sell Cuban cigars, but they no longer control the market so to speak, as they used to as far as taste and quality were concerned.
Cigar Humidity and Humidors
As with cigarettes, most cigar smokers have their own certain favorite brands, but will also smoke a cheaper brand for everyday if they like the taste. What many cigar smokers don’t realize is that in order for the cigar to taste its best, they do require a certain kind of maintenance. Just as perishable food will spoil if not refrigerated, so will cigars spoil if not kept in a proper container – a humidor. Many people mistakenly feel that a humidor is just a box for storage – any old box! A humidor, however, is much more than just a box, it’s to your cigar what a refrigerator is to your fresh food.
When a cigar is rolled, it is made up of many layers of tobacco leaves rolled together. If the humidity is not right, it will affect the flavor of the cigar. The importance of a humidor is that it keeps the inside of the cigar at the required environment – 70 degrees Farenheit, and 70% humidity. If the humidity starts to lessen, the outside of the cigar will dry out, but the inside will still remain damp at first. The result will be the outside layers will shrink, and the inside tobacco will swell – causing the dry outside to split open. This causes a cigar to lose its flavor. By having the proper humidity levels that a good quality humidor provides, you will get better burning speed, less heat and therefore ultimately more flavor. It is also important that the humidor be in good condition, so that it closes properly without letting air get inside.
Therefore, cheaper cigars can possibly taste as good as less well-looked after more expensive ones, if they are properly stored and taken care of. It’s a known fact that the longer cigars are kept in a properly shut humidor, the more flavor they will.