Bourbon. Leather. Freshly ground pepper. Do you read cigar reviews and wonder if everyone but you is picking up on cigar flavor?
- Keep passing yourself off as a fake-it-’til-you-taste-it cigar smoker.
- Refine your palate. (Cigar FOMO be damned!)
- Or just store your cigars at the right relative humidity (RH) to bring out their full flavor.
Truth is, even if you have the sensory acuity of a master blender, you won’t experience the full flavor of a cigar that’s stored without humidity control. If you skip this crucial step in cigar care, that stick won’t be worth your time, your investment or the butane it takes to light it. Getting the most flavor out of every cigar starts with storing cigars at the right relative humidity (RH) level.
Fluctuating humidity can turn the good stuff in tobacco into unpleasant flavors. So don’t go there—stop yo-yoing RH with Boveda.
Why Moisture Matters When it Comes To Cigar Flavor
Cigars are hygroscopic, which means they absorb and retain moisture from their surroundings. Premium cigars hail from tropical locales, like the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Honduras. So you need to create a similar climate inside your humidor. Storing cigars at the ideal RH determines how much water makes up that cigar’s blend. This moisture content directly affects cigar flavor, construction, combustion and so much more.
3 Risks to Cigars at the Wrong RH
1. MOISTURE AFFECTS THE FLAVOR OF CIGARS
A tobacco plant naturally contains sugars and oils. A cigar’s flavors and aromas come from these sugars and oils. You can protect these organic powerhouses in your cigars by controlling RH, which affects moisture in your cigars. If you allow too much moisture to evaporate, a cigar’s sugars degrade and its oils dissipate, along with the tobacco’s natural bouquet.
To Really Appreciate Cigar Flavor, Use Boveda to Achieve the Ideal RH
Maintaining a precise RH in a humidor, coolerdor or wineador with Boveda lets you bring out the complexity of flavors in tobacco. You’ll notice definitive notes and rich characteristics in cigars stored at the proper RH. And discover a harmony among the wrapper, filler and binders. It’s like when the lyrics, beat and tempo of a song blend perfectly together to create beautiful music. It’s you who can create that beautiful experience with every smoke. Using Boveda inside your humidor to maintain a stable environment preserves the oils and sugars in your cigars. Then get ready to taste cigars like an aficionado.
What Happens When You Light a Cigar?
When you light a cigar, you create combustion. (What power!) You’re converting that cigar’s oils, sugars and other compounds into smoke, which is a combination of carbon dioxide (CO2), water (H2O) and nitrogen oxides (NOx).
Now, there’s no flavor in the smoke itself if oils and sugars aren’t there for the ride. Cigar smoke is merely the vehicle that delivers those organic compounds to your palate, (#mindblown). When you store cigars with Boveda, you’ll protect and maintain their oils and sugars. By saving these oils and sugars for your taste buds, you’ll enjoy a flavorful smoke from every cigar.
Where’s That Mind-Blowing Cigar Flavor?
“Once you light up a cigar, you don’t want to prejudge or really do any tastings of the cigar until you’re at least a half an inch in. The reason is the oils that are in the tobacco are not only in the filler, but in the wrapper. You want to let those oils warm up. Once those flavors start to open up, then you’re able to really start to pull those true genuine flavors out of the cigar”
– Travis Pappenheim, National Education Manager-Premium Cigars at Altadis USA
How Too Little Moisture Can Lead to Bad Cigar Flavor:
- Oils evaporate and sugars degrade. (And once those aromas and flavors are gone, you’ll never get them back.)
- The flavor profile becomes unbalanced, which can make tobacco taste harsh or bitter.
- Combustion happens at a higher temperature, which quickly burns off whatever scant oils and sugars remain before they even had a chance to make it to your taste buds.
Why Too Much Moisture Can Lead to Bad Cigar Flavor:
- The concentration of oils and sugars are diluted, so you’ll never experience a cigar’s full flavor.
- Too much enzymatic activity creates complex chemical changes, which negatively impact micro fermentation.
- Mold, yeast or bacteria can grow, which leads to off-flavors in cigars.
Taste flavors like the world’s leading master blenders and cigar makers. Enjoy a flavorful smoke every time when you protect your cigars with Boveda.
2. MOISTURE AFFECTS THE CONSTRUCTION OF CIGARS
To a cigar maker, a cigar’s construction is just as important as the tobacco he/she selects. The construction determines how well a cigar burns and how it draws. Maintaining the proper moisture content protects the suppleness and texture of a cigar, which in turn affects its mechanical structure. You can ruin a cigar by storing it with too much or not enough moisture.
3. MOISTURE AFFECTS THE BURN OF CIGARS
Lastly, the moisture content of a cigar affects its burn rate or temperature of the burn, which directly impacts the flavor and aroma you’ll experience while smoking.
Let’s say you invest in a celebration cigar that promises to be a flavor bomb that’s just loaded with big tobacco tastes. No matter how well-blended that cigar is, if it burns too fast, you’ll never experience any of those complex flavors you paid for.
When you light a cigar not stored at the right RH, there will be an imbalance between the moisture in the leaf and the heat. If that cigar burns too hot, the oils and sugars convert too quickly into CO2, H2O and NOx. Before reaching your taste buds, the flavors and aromas burn off and disappear and you never even had a chance to experience them. Smoking improperly stored cigars will muddy your impression of that stick, and maybe the whole brand. So if a cigar disappointed you, was it the cigar or was it the RH?
How to Tell if Your Cigar is Burning Too Hot
“Hold your cigar right behind the cherry [the smouldering end of the cigar]. If it’s so hot you can’t hold on to it that far back, your cigar is running too hot.”
– Charlie Minato, co-founder of halfwheel
How To Get the Most Flavor Out of Every Cigar?
- Store cigars at the right RH—it’s easy with Boveda.
- Don’t get a cigar too hot, charred tobacco comes through as a bitter taste.
- Space out your puffs and don’t suck so hard. Try to stick to the “one minute rule.” Wait AT LEAST one minute between draws.
Too little moisture leads to quick, hot burning cigars. Cigars were made for relaxation. It’s not a race.