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Long term cigar aging: boxed or loose?
Q. I recently purchased a footlocker humidor which can hold 400 cigars (16 boxes). I want to store 7 boxes of high qualitycigars. My question is, which is best for aging cigars, keeping them in the original boxes placed in the humidor, or stored loose in the humidor? I have another humidor which holds 100 of my daily smokes which I haveloose.
– Ray L.
A. Good question. First, you need to ask yourself how long you plan on letting those 7 boxes sit. If we’re talking really long term, I would suggest removing the shrink wrap from the boxes and mark the date you received them with a Sharpie pen. This will help you know how long they’ve been sitting in the humidor when you’re ready to open them. Moreover, they will age regardless of whether you remove the cigars or not, since the boxes and cellos are porous.
Also note that the longer they remain in their cellos, I’m talking years now, the more “yellowed” the inside of the cello will become. This is not a bad thing; it’s an indicator that the cigar’s been in there a long time.
The other way to go would be to remove all the cigars from their cellos, put them back in the open boxes “cabinet style” and let them do their thing until you’re ready to smoke them. Or, just do half the work: Open and remove the cellos from a few boxes and in 6 months, one year, whatever, see how they compare to a box in which the cigars remained intact.