Cigar Q&A: How Long Will a Sealed Box of Cigars Remain Fresh?

Cigar Q&A: How Long Will a Sealed Box of Cigars Remain Fresh?

A sealed box of cigars will remain fresh for longer than you might expect.

Q: I recently purchased a box of cigars, but realized too late that I don’t have space in my humidor for them. Until I smoke enough to make room, is there a limit on the amount of time I can leave the box (still wrapped in cellophane) and the cigars will stay fresh? Or do you have any recommendations on how I should keep them stored until then?

A:  If they’re kept in a properly humidified environment, the cigars will keep indefinitely. If not, it will be about 30 days before they will begin to dry out, even if the outer box is kept in its cello. Another 10-15, and you’re pushing it. Two months, and you could be staring at almost certain death.

Once premium handmade cigars have attained a very dry state, there’s only a slight chance they can be re-humidified. That’s because when tobaccos dry out they lose most of their natural oils. As a result, even if they can be resurrected, they will probably have lost their flavor.

If you keep them in a cool, dark space, that will help, but it’s the humidity that you really need. The only other solution outside of buying a humidor, would be to store the box in a Tupperware-type container with a small humidification device.

And one final word of advice: DO NOT store the boxes in the bathroom.