Every Question About How Long Do Cigars Last in a Humidor Answered

Justin R.
Justin R.

Cigar Enthusiast, Chief Editor

how long do cigars last in a humidor
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Cigar connoisseurs will go to the end of the earth to keep their cigars fresh. It makes sense considering numerous cigar enthusiasts spend a fortune on fine cigars.  After all, a good stogie should remain as fresh as it was the day it was crafted.

So that brings us to the popular question of how long do cigars last in a humidor? While there’s no fixed duration of a cigar’s shelf life in a humidor, there are a few ways you can determine how long your premium cigars will remain fresh.

Here at Cigar Amigo, we go above and beyond with our research to give you the most valuable answers to everything regarding cigars.

In this post, you’ll learn everything you need to know about cigars and how long they’ll last in a humidification unit.

How Long Do Cigars Last in a Humidor?

Your cigars should last about five years in a high quality humidor under the right conditions. However, the exact lifespan depends on how you set up and maintain your humidor.

Storing cigars in a humidor is the best way to keep them fresh for as long as possible. A humidor is a sealed container that keeps the cigars inside moist by maintaining a proper humidity level. No matter the temperature or climate outside, the humidor will keep your fine cigar collection from deteriorating.

That said, it’s not as easy as buying a humidor and placing your high-quality cigars inside. If you don’t take time to set up your cigar humidor, your stogie collection may be dried out before you can even light one.

Do Cigars Go Bad in a Humidor?

A humidor doesn’t work as a force field protecting your cigar collection from drying out, so cigars can still go bad inside humidors. However, it’s highly unlikely your cigars will go bad anytime soon if you’re storing them the right way.

Humidor maintenance is one of the many art forms involved in the lifestyle of cigar aficionados. Without it, stogies from even the most premium cigar brand will be unusable in less than a week.

How Long Do Cigars Stay Fresh in a Humidor?

Cigars contain organic materials, meaning they will eventually deteriorate over time. However, most cigars will age like wine in a humidor under the right storage conditions.

That said, the leaf isn’t the only part of the cigar you need to keep fresh. Stogies contain several natural oils that keep them moist and produce those to-die-for aromas cigar enthusiasts crave. Without a humidor, the oils can leak into the leaf or even evaporate.

Some of the best cigars can stay fresh for around five years, where other cigars should be smoked within a few months. The cigar’s makeup and atmospheric conditions will determine how long your stogie will maintain its freshness in a humidor.

How Do I Keep My Cigars Fresh in My Humidor?

How Do I Keep My Cigars Fresh in My Humidor
Fresh cigars

Now that you’re aware of the importance of storing cigars in a humidor, how do you go about doing it properly? Luckily, it’s easier to use a cigar humidor than you may think. All you need is a little patience and focus and you can keep your cigars sufficiently moist in your humidor.

Here are some techniques to maximize your cigar’s lifespan:

  • For starters, you should always use only distilled water in your cigar humidor. Using tap water runs the risk of mold spores and minerals infiltrating your cigars, ruining their flavor and overall build quality.
  • After adding your water, you’ll want to monitor humidity levels every week and examine your cigars for any signs of mold growth.
  • Try to only store one brand of cigars in each humidor. If you mix different brands of cigars, it can affect the flavor profile. The oils and aromas will blend and you’ll end up with a funky tasting story.
  • Keep enough space between your cigars for sufficient airflow. Otherwise, some cigars may have a disproportionate amount of moisture as time passes.
  • Don’t be afraid to open your humidor occasionally to let some fresh air in. Leaving them sealed too long will make them smell musty and taste a bit off.
  • Rotate your cigars about every six months to ensure each part of the stogy gets a suitable amount  of humidity.
  • Make sure your humidor is large enough to fit your cigar collection. Overstuffing or under stuffing your humidor can impact the taste and freshness of your cigars.

 

Obtain a Hygrometer and Humidistat

If you want to make the most out of your humidor, you can consider buying two affordable devices – a hygrometer and humidistat.

Humidistats are incredibly useful because they can maintain proper humidity without using electricity. Most cigar experts report that the optimal conditions for stogies is around 70% humidity. You can easily find a humidistat that works fine and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

An analog hygrometer is a humidifying device that allows you to read the current humidity levels in your humidor. Having a hygrometer will make maintaining your humidor much easier.

How Long Can a Cigar Be Out of a Humidor?

Although humidors are an excellent way to keep your high-quality cigars fresh, not everyone has the means to obtain one. In that case, the question remains of how long a cigar can last without a humidor?

On average, a cigar can last up to three days without a humidification source. So, a humidor isn’t exactly necessary if you’re only buying one or two cigars at a time.

However, you’ll need a cigar humidor if you’re saving your premium cigars for a special occasion. The right temperature and humidity will ensure your cigars will always meet your personal preference.

Common Humidor Problems

Although a humidor is an excellent way to maintain freshness and flavor for your cigars, there are some common issues to expect.

Cigars Get Too Damp

If cigars are packed in too close to each other, they tend to get too damp by the time it comes to smoke them. To avoid this , add some space between each cigar and try placing a piece of veneer between the stogies and humidifier.

Cigars Get Too Dry

Its difficult to rehydrate dried out cigars if the humidor doesn’t provide the right conditions. In that case, make sure you choose a humidor with proper airflow and the right surface material.

Tobacco Beetles

While this is a rare issue, it can happen. A tobacco beetle is a small insect that thrives in similar conditions and humidity levels humidors provide. Make sure you have an airtight humidor to prevent these pests from entering your cigars.

Understanding the Cigar Aging Process

Understanding the Cigar Aging Process
Cigar aging process

To better understand how long cigars stay fresh, you need to know a bit more about the cigar aging process. The same cigars that dry out quickly could age like fine wine under the right conditions. To produce the best flavor profile, cigar leaves need to be aged.

Unlike other tobacco products, people enjoy cigars for their natural flavors.  A top-notch cigar maker won’t add any artificial flavors to their stogies, but will instead let the leaves age using an adequate humidity level.

Cigars develop an outstanding taste after being in a humidor for a specific period. The duration of aging depends on the brand, size, and storage method.

Which Cigars Age the Best?

The outcome of cigar aging depends heavily on the size of your stogie. Thicker cigars tend to age better inside humidors because their flavor won’t be affected by humidity as quickly. Furthermore, thicker cigars tend to develop the best flavors over the years.

Other than thick stogies, cigars from premium brands tend to age quite well. That said, you’ll need to double check what kind of tobacco leaves are used.

Alternative Ways To Keep Your Cigars Fresh 

If you don’t want to store your cigars in a humidor, there are a few other ways you can keep your stogies moist and preserve their flavor. However, these are only a temporary way to store your cigars, as they will only work for a couple weeks.

Ziploc Bag and a Damp Sponge

Let’s say you’ve just ordered a humidor, but you already have cigars that you need to keep fresh. You can use a Ziploc and wet sponge for at least a couple weeks. However, this is only an optimal way of protecting your cigars if you only have a few stogies.

For this method, place your cigars inside a Ziploc bag. Then, cut and wet a small piece of sponge and place it in the bag next to your stogies (don’t soak the sponge and make sure it doesn’t touch your cigars).

Make sure you check up on your cigars every few days for any signs of mold or deterioration.

Humidification Pouch and Tupperware

The Tupperware and humidification pouch is one of the best ways to match the effects of a humidor, but only if you have just a few stogies. Moreover, nearly everyone has Tupperware at home already. You just need to make sure the lid is airtight to avoid additional moisture from getting inside.

You can buy the humidification pouches of the best qualities at your local cigar shop. The primary purpose of these pouches is to provide a sufficient amount of humidity that makes protecting your cigars on the go much easier.

One pouch can keep a good number of cigars fresh for about three months. All you need to do is clean your Tupperware container with a paper towel, place your cigars and humidification pouch inside, and seal it up.

Conclusion

Keeping a cigar fresh can be daunting. Not only do you need to provide an appropriate humidity level, but you also need to monitor your stogies regularly.

That said, all that hard work will pay off when it comes time to smoke your cigar. For more information about cigar’s shelf life, be sure to check out our post on how long do cigars last.

You might be as well interested knowing what cigar ashes actually good for.