Humidors, humidors, humidors!
Ok, relax! As you probably know there are a zillion articles and opinions about cigar Humidors.
When I was brought into the CIGAR THIEF crew I was very honest about how I didn’t want to share my experiences, knowledge and ideas the way other people do. If you’ve read my other submissions you’ll see that I’ve tried to come across in a basic bread and butter manner. I’m a regular person just like you just older! I know what it takes to earn a living and how busy most of us are with work, families and the like. I also know that depending on how much money you want to spend, the choices are endless when it comes to selecting a humidor to store your premium cigars.
Even though I had my own walk in humidor, I still had personal humidors at home. We sold the finest products available at the time. Elle Bleu, Michelle Pernod, Prometheus, Nat Sherman to name a few.
At this point in time I’m assuming we’re not talking a foreign language and all of you know what a humidor is for and how they work on a basic level. One common description applied to most of these units is that they contain passive humidification systems to keep the humidity level around 70%. This means there is some type of sponge, foam or moisture retaining device either affixed to the inner lid or placed somewhere inside the unit.
Does size matter?
The size and appearance of actual humidors you buy is a personal choice. Just make sure it is at least lined with Spanish Cedar. I have to tell you. From the basic economy models up to the high end ones, the passive systems they employed to keep cigars fresh were a major pain in the ass to maintain. I realize that these are the most used kinds of products out there. I’m also here to tell you that keeping your cigars fresh and providing an environment allowing them to age is extremely important.
I lost count of how many people had their cigars go bad over the years despite their best intentions with these commonplace products. So let’s talk about the basics.
First off and most importantly, no matter what you have, you must only use distilled water in the Humidifcation devices. Not Spring water or tap water ever. Why? Distilled water is the water condensed from steam. It has no minerals or bacteria that will cause mold. I’ve heard from many folks that are happy with their humidors telling me they’ve acquired a couple of boxes of cigars they can’t fit in their unit. They don’t want to buy another unit but they want to store these surplus cigars safely.
Here’s a no money way to accomplish this. Go to Home Depot and get a sealable plastic tub big enough to contain your cigars. Then get the largest cello sponge you can find like the ones used for washing a car. Then get a large zip lock type bag that can fit the sponge inside it. Buy a gallon of distilled water, saturate the sponge, place it in the bag and leave the bag open. Put your cigars in the tub along with the bag/sponge, seal it and forget it. If your paranoid put in a second sponge. Your cigars will be fine.
When I moved to Arizona in July I had six of these types of tubs filled with $5000 worth of cigars. Some boxed , some loose, some packaged. They were in a moving truck for over a month traveling through some pretty hot temperatures as they crossed the country. While they were in transit I was regretting not shipping them them ahead of time. When they arrived I held my breath when I opened up the first tub. The cigars were perfect. They sat in these tubs for another month until I was able to set up my upright humidor cabinet. They stayed perfect.
Buying a Humidor
When it comes to buying a humidor you may settle on a size that fits your needs. Do yourself a favor and get a bigger one. Time is friendly to tobacco. The longer cigars sit in a good environment the better they get. Don’t forget, cigars age well in SPANISH Cedar wood.
Allowing some of your cigars to age for months or years will be a very rewarding experience when you smoke them. Try taking one of your favorite cigars, let it age for six months and you’ll see what I mean. Now it comes to humidification. We talked about passive systems which most personal humidors are probably equipped with. Do yourself and your cigars a huge favor and buy an small Oasis Humidification machine similar to what’s pictured below. Not only is this type of device maintenance free, it keeps air flowing inside. They’re easy to install and operate . I rarely endorse manufacturers. Over the last 10 years I’ve dealt with the people at Oasis without any disappointments. WWW.CIGAROASIS.COM
The bigger your cabinet, the large a unit you can install. I have a six foot tall cabinet with two of their largest units inside. It turns out that the lack of humidity in Arizona warranted this. My cigars are fresh and aging perfectly.
If you’re thinking of upgrading to a cabinet style humidor I’ve dealt with a small family owned company: Wood Projections in Miami for many years.
As always, don’t hesitate to send me your thoughts or questions.