How Can You Tell If a Cigar Is Fresh

smelling cigarsYou pick a cigar from your humidor, you cut off the tip, light it with your butane lighter and slowly draw a puff. Then you taste it. Your cigar tastes kinda funny. It doesn’t have the same aroma, taste or flavor the last time you smoked one.

Questions start rushing into your mind. Was it the same cigar brand? Is my taste buds faulty today? Was is it the humidor’s fault? Was it the cellophane wrapper’s fault? Or was I fooled by man in the cigar shop?

In time you will find the right answers. As you grow accustomed in cigar smoking,  you will know the basic do’s and don’ts. But for now, let me help you understand why suddenly your cigar began to taste funny and weird.

The only reason that I could think of is that your cigar has lost its freshness. Fresh cigars taste a lot different from aged ones. Not that I’m saying aged cigars are bad, since a number of people intentionally age their cigars. But let’s put that discussion on hold for later. For now let’s concentrate on fresh cigars.

Cigars should be able to retain their freshness over a couple of weeks when stored properly. Cigars are normally stored in boxes called humidors. However, once you open the box the cigars will start loosing their freshness since the moisture within the cigars will start to evaporate. The dryer or hotter the climate, the faster the cigars will dry out.

If you think putting them in a refrigerator will help, then your absolutely wrong and you should never do so. The frost-free environment inside the refrigerator dries out the cigar faster. Never attempt to give your cigars a "sponge bath." The excess water and humidity will damage your cigars. The idea is to retain the most moisture through the most natural way possible. A good cigar box or humidor can do the job pretty well.

To spot whether a cigar is fresh or not, one can use the traditional, yet quite effective "pinch or squeeze test." To do the test, you simply and very lightly "pinch" the cigar between your thumb and forefinger. The cigar should feel firm and a little springy. You can tell if it’s no longer fresh if the cigar feels like wood, or if it feels too soft and spongy.

Other indications of a fresh batch of cigar include having rich and oily sheen. Although, sometimes the type of tobacco used in cigars are dull. The "pinch test" seems to be the best way to know the freshness of a cigar.

I mentioned earlier that some prefer aging their cigars. Aging is actually a matter of preference. Some would age their cigars from three to six months while some even like wait for four years to smoke their cigars.

Cigar aging also depends on the type, brand or variety of cigar. Some cigar variety age well while others will not. People who prefer aged cigars attest that the flavors are more blended and the taste is much mellow compared to fresh ones. Fresh cigars have characteristically sharp and zesty flavors. By aging the cigars, the flavors are muted and become less distinguishable.

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