Do you remove the band when smoking a cigar?
It’s personal preference. If you do decide to take the band off, you should be very careful. The band is applied with vegetable glue and can easily rip the tobacco leaves when being removed. The best way to do it is to smoke the cigar for a few minutes, allowing the glue to heat up then slowly sliding the band off the cigar.
Do you remove the plastic wrapper when storing in a humidor?
It doesn't matter.
Cigars are stored in what is called cellophane. The cellophane is used to prevent the cigars from being damaged, and deters against flavors mixing. But what many people don't know is that cellophane is actually a porous material. In other words, it allows humidity to pass through it.
It comes down to personal preference. Some people like them on, some people like them off. The advantages of keeping them on is that your cigar flavors won't mingle as much, though you would be hard pressed to notice unless you were an expert. It also is great to cut your cigars with the wrappers on as it keeps the blade clean and sharp much longer.
Do you have to age all cigars?
Just like wine, aging a cigar adds to the taste, aroma and experience. Most people will buy a box or two of cigars and place them in their humidor. They smoke a few at a time, and age the rest. In fact, many people have separate humidors from aging. It is by no means necessary to age your cigars, however, it does add to the experience.
How do you restore a dry cigar?
It has happened to all of us at one time or another. You simply forgot about that nice box of stogies you had in the back seat of your car for 3 months. Ok, well hopefully you aren't that absent minded, but you get the idea. I always get asked what you can do to restore dried cigars.
The most important thing to remember is that restoring a dried cigar takes time. Lots of time and patience. Don't be in a hurry to get the job done.
- Take your cigars and put them in a non-humidified humidor. If this doesn't exist, then you can use a zip-top bag with some holes poked in it. You want to bring the cigars to a steady humidity level that is much less than 70%. Let them sit in this environment for about 2-3 days.
- Take a fresh clean sponge and get it damp with distilled water. Place inside the zip-top bag and allow it to sit there, not touching any cigars, for at least one more week. This will slowly add humidity to the cigars at a rate that will prevent the wrapper from bursting.
- After two weeks your cigars should start to look a lot healthier. Put them in your charged, maintained humidor at this point. Don't smoke them yet. Let them rest for while. I would suggest a month or two, just to make sure things are back to normal.
Why isn't my humidor maintaining the proper humidity?
- The most common reason that humidors don't maintain humidity, is that they were never re-humidified before initial use. It is very important that you take the time and effort to re-humidify or season your humidor prior to loading it up with cigars.
- Make sure that the lid of your humidor is closing completely. If it is not, then humidity can escape or enter your humidor. Resulting in an inaccurate hygrometer reading.
- Assure that your hygrometer is reading correctly. This can be done by calibrating the hygrometer prior to use.
- Make sure that you are not opening and closing the humidor lid too often. Every time you open the lid of your humidor you are allowing humidity to either enter or escape.
- If your humidor is placed near a heat or cold source it will affect the hygrometer reading. Furthermore, if the humidor has been recently moved or jostled, the hygrometer might need some time to come to equilibrium.
- Finally, new hygrometers can take up to a week to stabilize. This is because PG regulates through a surface tension process. The PG and water create a mixture with separate components. The PG migrates to the surfaces, sealing in the water in a lower layer and therefore takes time for these components to migrate to their proper positions in the oasis and begin regulation.