Cigars Need Rest, Too

Gary Korb - The Cigar AdvisorCigars are, by nature, delicate objects. They are a hand-made product, and one made from a delicate plant. It’s one of the reasons most premium cigars are wrapped in cellophane; it protects the wrapper leaf and helps maintain moisture during shipping. Today I’m going to address some issues that surround shipping cigars, and resting cigars after shipment to ensure the optimal smoking experience. If you’re like most cigar smokers and order cigars online, the question is: Will the cigars be fresh when they arrive? They should be, since cigars can survive almost a month in their boxes or bundles under normal conditions.

The other question is, should you smoke one of your newly-arrived cigars right away? Sure, but it might be better to give your new arrivals a chance to “settle.” Most cigars are, indeed, ready to smoke right out of their factory packaging. But whether you bought them online or at a local cigar store, handmade cigars tend to taste and burn better after at least a few days in your home cigar humidor.

resting cigars

Resting cigars after shipment can improve the smoking experience.

Honestly, I’ve never really understood why cigars seem to taste better after a little nap time in the humi. Maybe it’s just psychological, but they do, and many cigar smokers agree. That said, it’s the “burn better” aspect, whereby, resting cigars may have a more noticeable effect. It might be that some extra moisture accrued in the cigars during shipping. If that’s so, the cigars may burn irregularly. Giving them a chance to “breathe” in a space where they’re not so tightly packed appears to help. Moreover, the cedar in your humidor absorbs some of that extra moisture.

So, the next time you open a fresh box of cigars, give ‘em a break. They’ve traveled a long way to get to you, and resting cigars a little before lighting-up will do both of you some good. ;-)


Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.


  1. I often smoke right off the truck if it’s a new cigar for me. It sets a benchmark for a box,but that’s just me. In most cases, I do agree resting will improve the cigar.

  2. bandido pelon says:

    always try one as soon as i get it… cant help myself, but always better after 3 to 4 days in my properly maintained humidor, also a humi is like your refrigerator open as little as possible and know what you want then close the door immediately!

  3. creekend_uk aka roy.r says:

    I am of the G. Korb school of good cigar husbandry – the experts have it.

  4. J A Reyes says:

    I always light one out the box and then wait a week to try another to compare taste and draw.It ‘s good to let the rest but some are just as good the first day.

  5. Creekend_UK aka Roy.R says:

    What I also meant to add to the comment I left yesterday was that I view fine cigars like fine wine, so it’s just real tempting to pour a part glass when opened and then compare it after it’s had time to breath which depends on the quality/age of the wine. Sometimes the hype or expectation with a cigar is just like that, you know they need humidor time but just have to smoke one now and compare in a month or so.
    Life’s cruel…..

  6. Eric says:

    There’ve been boxes that I’ve tried a cigar right away and not liked it. Then I left them in my humidor for a few months and I thought these were totally different cigars! They burned, drawed and tasted way better.

  7. I’ve found that most cigars taste better after a month or two in my humidor.

  8. Galen says:

    I find resting cigars enhances the taste and makes them smoother. I try to rest a box for a year in my cabinet humidor. When I purchase a box I remove the cellophane, except for one in each row (see explanation below). I store for the duration of the year checking every month. What I check is the odor, signs of mold, signs of plum, and rotation of the box. I smoke one after 6-months to test how the cigar is aging.

    Really a year?
    Like I said, I try for a year. It took some time but I saved up, increased my purchasing, and increase my will power not to smoke up my inventory. This method definitely took some time. Sometimes my inventory and funds runs low and I need to start on a box earlier.

    Remove the cellophane, except for one in each row?
    This is similar to how a new box of cigars usually has a small ribbon inside to remove your first cigar. My favorite cigar is Tatuaje Havanas. I found once you smoke the top tier of cigars in the box it is difficult to remove one from the second tier without tilting the box over or damaging the cigars in other ways. Leaving one cigar with a cellophane wrapper in each row makes it easier for removal.

  9. Sarkis says:

    Yes, Mr. Korb you’re absolutely right, that’s what I am doing after my Cigars arrive , let them rest in my Humidor (cellophane off) at least for a week, and for me its not psychological its really better tasting after a while resting, so enjoy, happy smoking to all cigar smokers.

    Always I say to my cigar smoking friends (After a good meal a good cigar is an ultimate joy).

  10. Latrice says:

    Wow! That’s a really neat anewer!