Welcome to our weekly FAQ post! We’ll be asking and answering a trending question that we receive from customers every Monday. If you have questions, please feel free to ask them in a comment on any page or email us at email@example.com.
Today’s question is: “What are the best cigars to age for a couple years?”
We’ll be putting together a comprehensive guide to aging cigars in the future, but here’s the short and skinny!
What does it mean to age cigars?
There’s a lot of debate surrounding the terms resting and aging. Some would say that resting cigars is short term and aging cigars is long term, but there are specific parameters that must be considered when a cigar is purposefully aged:
Time is the ultimate factor that must be considered when aging cigars. If you’re just looking to put a year or two on some Opus X, you can store them with your day-to-day humidor and sleep easily at night.
But if you’re considering aging a cigar for 7-10 years, the other factors come into play due to the length of time that you will be spending with your cigars. Realistically, each cigar is different and you may find that a cigar you planned on aging for a decade tastes exactly like you want it to in 18-36 months. That’s why we always recommend sampling your cigars over time to make sure you that are poised to take advantage of an opportunity when it strikes.
It’s generally acknowledged that it’s better to lower temperature, humidity, and oxygen when aging cigars for longer periods of time. This is because aging cigars is all about oil management and fermentation.
That’s right, your cigars are still fermenting, if at a much slower rate than before due to the influences listed above. Fermentation is a chemical exchange in which cigars release ammonia, carbon dioxide, nicotine, and other compounds. By keeping our temperature lower, we impede fermentation like the sweating process that tobacco undergoes after it's cured.
Likewise, we restrict oxygen and humidity for the same reasons. Higher humidity and oxygen directly correlate to faster fermentation. That’s not to say, though, that we want to use an airtight container, as that will prevent any evaporation from occurring. We also want to make sure that our cigars don’t dry out, as oils are the source of rich flavor that we seek.
So aging, then, is manipulating these factors over time to produce the desired experience.
Why do people like to age cigars?
People age cigars for all sorts of reasons, but in the end it all boils down to one of two goals:
- Better smoking experience
Determing which goal you have in mind will help you choose how long you want to age your cigars. If you're starting a collection that you want to show off indefinitely, you know that you've got a lot of work to do in ensuring that your collection stands the test of time against mold, bugs, and other nuisances.
But if you just want to prepare for an optimal smoking experience, chances are that you can achieve that with non-Cuban cigars in 6-24 months. Of course, there will always be particular blends that shine with more or less patience.
Which Cigars are the Best to Age?
Whenever we talk about the best of anything cigar related, we have to emphasize that personal preference supersedes any and all recommendations. You’re the only one on the planet with your particular taste buds, and you’re the only one that can decide what you like and don’t like.
So the short answer is, the best cigars to age are the ones that you feel perform and taste the best after your desired period of time.
But of course, the only way to test this out is through trial and error or with a time machine! So we polled the members of our Facebook Group to produce this list of suggestions:
- Arturo Fuente Opus X
- Arturo Fuente Anejo
- Don Pepin Garcia Blue Label
- Illusione ECCJ 20th
- L'atelier Cote d’Or
- La Flor Dominicana (any)
- My Father Classic
- Padron Classic
- Tatuaje Avion 13
- Tatuaje Black Label
- Tatuaje Havana VI
- Tatuaje Monsters
- Tatuaje 10th Anniversary
- Warped La Colmena
We should also add that every cigar ages differently according to it’s physical/chemical properties as well as your preferences.
What are some of your favorite cigars to age? Add to the discussion by commenting below!