Should I remove the cello and cedar sleeves on my cigars?

A: It’s your call. I prefer to remove them, some cigar smokers don’t, but IMHO, they age better without the cellos. If you decide to remove the cellos, try to keep the cedar sleeves on the cigars. In many cases the cedar sleeves are held together by a ribbon or cellophane tape, so check that first or they’ll just unfurl. (If that’s the case, you can tape them closed yourself.) Keeping the cedar sleeves on will add that nice sweet cedar flavor when you smoke them, too. Moreover, the factory put them on for a reason, so I would take that into account, like the Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuentes shown above.

Here’s what I tell a lot of customers. Remove the cello from 5 of the cigars in the box. In about a month, compare the flavor of one of the cigars still in cello to one from which it was removed. Do that each month and see if they continue to improve, which they should do normally. That’s really the best test. In this case, you could even see what happens when you remove the cedar, too. In the case of cigars like the Hoyo de Monterrey Reposado en Cedros SueƱo (at left), or Oliva Serie V, I would leave them as-is.

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