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How does aging affect a cigar’s flavor?

Q. I’m new to cigars, and have read a lotabout how they get better with age.So,in what way does agingaffect the flavor of a cigar? Thanks.
– Kenny in Shreveport, LA

A. As a cigar ages, its flavors tend to mellow over time. During the aging process, the oil content in the tobaccos lessen whlie the flavors in the tobaccos continue to “marry.” The longer the cigars age, the more the cigars “settle,” and you’ll notice a significant difference as you smoke your aged cigars over time. As cigar that might have been uncomfortably spicy out of the box, three to six months later may have lost some of its kick, and be much more enjoyable.

According to one source, aging cigars in a Spanish cedar-lined humidor may add more complexity to a cigar’s blend, while aging cigars in a glass or metal container may even deepen the flavors.

To help prove the point that there’s a big upside to long-term aging, after placing your cigars in your humidor (I remove the cellos, but it’s not necessary), hold four cigars of the same brand & blend aside over the period of a year, and smoke one of them every three months. You’ll notice how the cigars have mellowed and most likely improved in flavor during the course of the year. Depending on how many cigars you have, you can extend the aging period out even longer. (Some cigar enthusiasts have separate humidors just for long-aging their favorite cigars.)

You might even discover that certain cigars have a “sweet spot,” meaning that, by experimenting with different aging periods, you’ll eventually learn what the “ideal” aging period is for them.


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