In a previous Stogie Tip, I passed along some things to remember when it comes to aging cigars. Here, we go in-depth with Doc Stogie, whose Stogie Fresh website is unique in rating cigars and evaluating their aging potential over time.
Stogie Guys: What part does aging play in your enjoyment of cigars?
Doc Stogie: I mostly smoke younger cigars that I feature on the Stogie Fresh 5 podcast or that I am just getting started with in a reviewing cycle. It is not until I get later on in the reviewing cycle of any given cigar that I may smoke a cigar that is a year and a half to two years of age. On the other hand, when I do get to smoke a cigar "just for myself," I will often times dig into the archives. For example, I recently smoked a Dunhill from 1987 that was absolutely fabulous.
SG: Do you buy cigars specifically to age?
DS: You never can tell how good a cigar will get with age, nor can you be sure whether or not you will even like the cigar after is has some significant time in your humidor. I can taste an LFD DL Chisel, or La Aurora 100 Acos, or Ashton ESG and say, man these are good, but they will have much more complexity and smoothness with a bit more age. But, you never really know until you actually try them when they are older.
SG: What sort of questions do you get from Stogie Fresh readers about aging?
DS: I do get a few questions from readers about aging, but not a huge amount. Many people who have recently gotten into cigars either don't have the wherewithal to purchase enough cigars to lay down, or they haven't yet had the time to enjoy the effects of long-term aging on the cigars they do have. Laying cigars down to age takes a major commitment: of time, of money, and of effort.
Time is a concept that is lost on many cigar smokers. Many people buy cigars in small batches, say five to ten cigars. They buy them that way so they can smoke one or two and then "lay down" the rest to "age." However, long-term aging may take years and will require much patience. This is difficult for many people who don't have the patience to let their cigars age for more than a few months.
SG: What are some of the major considerations to getting into aging cigars?
DS: Ideally you should buy cigars by the box for aging. That way you can keep them in their original box and away from the influences of other aromas and flavors of cigars in the same humidor. Plus, by buying boxes, you will have enough cigars to enjoy periodically for the long term. In any case, this could cost a lot of money. Another monetary consideration is the space to keep all these boxes of cigars. People that want to seriously age their cigars must be thinking in terms of large volume humidors. Either large coolers, or cabinet style humidors, or walk-ins. Providing space for hundreds, if not thousands, of cigars can be costly.
Finally, it takes some effort and even more patience to stick to a process that will reward you with the benefits of aging cigars. By keeping cigars in boxes you can pluck one out at various intervals and try it to note the changes that 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, and more have made on the smoke. If you smoke from a box of 25 cigars, at an interval of, say, one every 3 months, that box will last you 6 years. Thus, depending on how well you think a cigar will age, you must either slow your smoking or purchase more boxes. Either way, you can see the cost and time constraints.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Source: Stogie Guys Online Cigar Magazine