How long do cigars last? This is a question asked by every patron out there who cherishes his precious moments with his cigar, but is worried about how long he can keep one with him. After all, cigars are not your average smoke – they are not the regular pack of cigarettes that you can purchase from any store at a cheap price: cigars are vastly different. The rarity, the style, the extravagance comes with a price, and is difficult to procure too. Hence it would be a huge waste to store cigars only to have them perish and become unusable. Hence having an idea about the lifespan of a cigar is tremendously important.
Now, the lifespan of a cigar varies a lot according to the conditions in which it is stored. Cigars have an optimal level of temperature and atmospheric conditions that allows them to remain consumable for the longest time. Any extreme fluctuations in these conditions causes the shelf life of the cigar to deteriorate rapidly. As you might already know, cigars are quite delicate and fragile – they can be spoiled and rendered worthless by even the slightest of mistakes.
As one would probably expect, the cigars are best preserved when they are under the same climatic conditions in which the tobacco had grown. Any conditions other than that will result in rapid decay of the cigars. Hence knowing about the ideal condition for their preservation can help a lot. These conditions have very specific known values, which have been given below.
1) Since tobacco is largely grown in warm tropical regions, a medium to high level of humidity at 68 to 74% is largely favourable to the cigar’s preservation.
2) The cigars can survive in a maximum temperature of 23ºC, or 73ºF.
The ideal temperature conducive to their preservation is a temperature of 21ºC or 70ºF and 70% humidity. As long as these conditions are met, they should last you a long time. However additionally, to maximize their shelf life one must ideally store them in a humidor made completely out of Spanish Cedarwood. This adds to the fragrance and flavour of the cigar and also protects it from being chewed on by beetles.
So, now that we have talked about the various conditions which affect the shelf life of your cigar and the conditions best suited for your cigar, let us see how long do cigars last in varied conditions. We shall discuss mainly three types of scenarios.
How long will your cigar last without the help of a humidor?
Right after their purchase, you can expect your cigar to last for about a month, assuming they are still in their wrappers. As such, you may want to smoke them within a want before the decay sets in. However, if a cigar has been unwrapped and placed in normal conditions without resorting to any form of preservation, you cannot expect it last beyond two days depending on the climate of the area you live. Note that the climate of the area where you live plays a major role in determining how long your cigars will last – obviously if the climate of your place resembles that of the place in which the tobacco was grown, the cigars can survive well naturally without any need for special preservation techniques. In fact, under such climates, a humidor is not even a necessity. However, any climate that is different from it will result in a reduced lifespan, and the harsher the conditions, the lower the shelf life.
Here is tips on Store Cigars Without a Humidor
How long will your cigar last with the help of a humidor?
Assuming that the humidor keeps functioning normally and no issues are found in the hygrometer and humidifier, the cigars can last up to even five whole years inside a humidor. The extreme shelf life is because a humidor ensures that the cigars are maintained at optimal temperatures and humidity levels all the time.
However, using humidors is not as simple as one may think them to be; they must be properly calibrated to ascertain that they can maintain the temperature and humidity conditions that are just right for your cigars before they can be trusted to protect them. Also, periodic checks are required to ensure that the humidor is functioning as per the user’s expectations. Any failure will result in the conditions for preserving the cigars not being met any further and thus the cigars may start rapidly decaying, which is, of course, completely undesirable.
To properly maintain your cigars inside a humidor, you must follow a few steps now and then.
#1 Consider dividing up the cigars inside your humidor, if you have various types of cigars stored in the same humidor. If different types of cigars are kept together, their flavours and fragrances get mixed and worn off, which is generally undesirable. Often, humidors come with partitions within them made out of Spanish Cedarwood, so it would be wise to keep different types of cigars in different compartments.
#2 The hygrometer must be re-calibrated now and then to ensure that it is measuring the correct humidity level inside the humidor. In case the readings are incorrect, a replacement would be needed as otherwise the humidor would set up the internal humidity levels incorrectly and thus your cigars may get spoiled.
#3 It is wise to occasionally aerate the humidor and allow fresh air to make contact with the cigars every month or so. This is because the cigars are made of natural plant-based material and thus need air every so often to remain healthy.
If you want to purchase humidor, here are the Best Cigar Humidors reviews.
How long do cigars last in a Ziploc bag?
Ziploc bags are sub-optimal methods of storage and do not compare to humidors when it comes to extending the shelf life of your cigars. In Ziplocs, cigars last a few weeks on an average – pushing the storage period beyond that may result in the decay of your cigar. Thus it is not a very good method, but can be considered if you need to travel and need a quick storage for your cigars to take them with you down the road.
Ideally to store cigars in a Ziploc bag, you should dip a sponge in water, take it out and squeeze out all the excess water from it. After that, you must seal it in the Ziploc along with your cigars. The moisture in the sponge will gradually supply the humidity that is needed by the cigars and thus help in extending the storage period. However, the Ziploc bag needs to be checked frequently to ensure that the cigars are safe. Also, the sponge, once dried up, must be soaked again and the excess water must be removed and then it must be re-introduced inside the Ziploc so that the humidity level does not go down. This is not the best of preservation methods but it works well as a quick-fix solution.
Thus this was our article on how long do cigars last. We hope that the article has come of some use to you and you gained some useful information from it.