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Marion wrote: I am a sea lover. Seems to be an interesting cruise. david martin Abrahams would love to travel on it.

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For this issue I thought I’d dip in to my mailbox and publish some questions I’ve received in the past few months that may also be concerns of yours. As I usually say when I reply to a question, ‘I hope this helps.’

Tubed Cigars In or Out?
I have several Romeo y Julieta and Partagas, as well as maybe 25 or 30 different Fuente Fuente OpusX cigars that are either in cedar-lined aluminum tubes or glass tubes. I took the Cubans out of their tubes when I put them in my larger humidor, but left the OpusX cigars in the glass tubes with the end plug removed (it’s a smaller count humidor that has ONLY OpusX cigars in it). Is this a good way of storing or not? Thanks for your advice, as I have heard both sides of the argument.

— Rick

I get this question often, and yes, it is a good way to store them. I’m a traditionalist, in that I remove the cello wrappers from the cigars in my humidor – well, most of them. For the pricey stuff, like Fuente Fuente OpusX, Davidoff, Padron Anniversary 1964, and other luxury class cigars, I feel it’s better to leave them in the cellos. If they’re tubos, I recommend removing the cap so some additional air-flow gets in. Even though both glass and metal tubos will maintain proper humidity for months, you get the peace of mind of knowing that the cigars are getting air flow. Keeping your finest cigars in their cellophane wrappers and tubes is also the best way to protect the outer wrapper leaf, particularly if your cigars get jostled when reaching for a cigar at the bottom of your humidor.

Spaced-out Cigars
Assuming that the humidor is not filled to capacity, is there an ideal scheme for storing the cigars - or, for example, does it make any difference if they are stacked willy-nilly inside?
—Tom B.

Not at all. Just try to keep some space between the cigars for air-flow, an important ingredient in keeping your cigars fresh and supple. Don’t pack them tightly into the humidor like they are in the factory box. If there are some cigars you smoke more often, keep them near the top. You also want to rotate them every couple of months by moving the ones on the bottom row up to the top row, etc. This is due to the fact that the humidity and temperature will vary in different sections of the humidor.

Storing Factory-Packed Boxes, and Long-term Aging
I have two questions: First, how do I keep boxed cigars in my humidor, sealed or opened? I have purchased a 550 ct. cabinet humidor that will hold several boxes. Secondly, how do I tell what cigars are good for long term aging (10+ years), and which ones peak in only a few years?
— Don

To answer your first question, keep the factory boxes sealed until you’re read to open them. Your cabinet humidor is really a mini humidified warehouse. On the other hand, if you plan on picking from different boxes as you smoke, as long as the conditions are within 65% - 70% RH and about 70° Fahrenheit, they can remain open, as they would be in a cigar store display case.

Regarding how to tell which cigars are better for long term storage, when it comes to premium long-filler cigars, there’s no way to tell. So look at it this way: The better cigars, especially if they’re valuable or rare, you may want to keep longer for those “special occasions.” But my philosophy is to “smoke ‘em now.” When a cigar is shipped from the factory it’s ready to smoke, although some additional months of home aging does help settle them. So, enjoy them as soon as you can. Ten years sounds like an awfully long time to wait to have a good cigar, especially a GREAT one.

What’s Better, Wood or Plastic?
My friends frown at my use of large Tupperware-type containers in which I store my extensive stash of cigars. This system allows me to dedicate one container to one type of cigar so they do not marry, and has the added advantage of containing outbreaks of mold, beetles, and other undesirable problems. I use a gel humidifier and a digital hygrometer, plus a small strip of Spanish cedar between the layers of cigars to allow air and humidity to circulate, and I leave the cellophane wrappers on. I eventually want to build a humidor with individual cedar lined boxes that will allow the cigars inside to be physically separated on pullout cedar pallets, each with its own gel humidifier & hygrometer. Are there any problems with this arrangement or are my friends just cigar snobs?
— Sonny C.

The answer is, they’re snobs. I get dozens of emails from cigar smokers who have the same setup as you, and their cigars are fine. I prefer to store my cigars using the more “traditional” wooden humidor, but as they say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  However, the “traditionalist” in me suggests that you invest in at least one good-quality humidor for your primos. Other than that, it looks like you’ve got the situation well in-hand (pun-intended).

About Gary Korb
Gary Korb is the chief copywriter and resident cigar guru for Famous Smoke Shop ( in Easton, PA. Mr. Korb has been enjoying the wonderful world of premium cigars for over 25 years

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