Because most cigar smokers buy cigars online, they have to wait for them to arrive. As a result, I’m often asked how long cigars should be allowed to rest in the humidor before smoking them.
Actually, the cigars should be ready to smoke right out of the box – the shipping box that is. After all, most well-made cigars are ready to smoke right out of their factory boxes. But whether they’re purchased online or at your local cigar store, premium handmade cigars tend to smoke better after being allowed to “settle” in your home cigar humidor anywhere from a few days to a few weeks…
Consider this: The cigars get some resting time while they’re on the truck, plus, the packing materials help insulate the order, which should also help keep the cigars fresh whether they be in a factory box, a bundle or a sampler. Of course, the conditions the plane and/or the truck is exposed to en route such as extreme heat, cold, or dampness, could possibly affect them in some way. That said, if the shipper packs the cigars properly, regardless of the conditions in the time it takes to get from the store to your house, they should arrive in prime condition. Other factors include the condition of the cigars when they arrived at the port of entry, as well as the conditions of the retailer’s warehouse.
If you live in the same state as the retailer, or a neighboring state, it’s a pretty safe bet that the cigars will arrive within a day or two at the most by UPS, FedEx, et. al. If they go via USPS, add at least another day. If you live on the opposite coast of the supplier, it will usually take anywhere from five days to a week depending on the day they ship. Some cigar smokers are willing to pay extra for two-day or overnight shipping to keep their orders from getting too much travel time. The decision is up to you, but as noted above, if the cigars are packed well, they will survive up to two weeks with little or no effect – and that’s a pretty safe estimate.
Regardless of how long it takes the package to get to you, unless you’re really Jones’n for a cigar the moment the box hits your doorstep, I’ve found that cigars tend to smoke and burn much better when given at least a week to rest after leaving the warehouse, even if the vendor’s warehouse or humidor is kept at optimum conditions. Though it’s hard to resist smoking that first one out of the box, my advice is make sure your cigar supply hasn’t dwindled down to nada before the new smokes get to you. Always try to keep several days worth of cigars on-hand so you can give your new order at least a little time to rest. I know that some readers will take umbrage at this advice, but patience generally pays-off at a much higher interest rate.
I’ve also discovered that as each week passes, the cigars taste better, too. Try it yourself by smoking a cigar right out of the box, then smoking one a week later, then two weeks later, etc., and you’ll see, or better yet, taste.