Meet “Doc” Harold!
Since Cigar Thief began I’ve tried to pick general topics of interest to share with all our cigar loving guests. While some contributions have been based on my personal knowledge and experience, others reflect subjects pertaining to specific aspects of our cigar enjoyment.
While too much information about anything can be boring and unneeded, a little bit more of specific knowledge can be gently enlightening and instructive no matter what the subject is.
It is at this time that I’d like to introduce you all to one of my decades long best buddies, Harold. On a biographical note he’s a highly educated, retired very successful Pharmacist and an accomplished chemist. He also dabbles in Physics and Science as well as being a cigar lover. Additionally as a Tequila and Bourbon connoisseur, he possesses an amazing collection of both.
While my move to Arizona has put a painful distance between us, we’ve doggedly kept in touch on a frequent basis. He loves our site and followed it since the beginning.
I’ve mentioned more than a few times of what a fan I am of allowing cigars to grow older in our personal humidors.
In a recent discussion we spoke about how most cigars improve with age. It’s generally known that age makes a cigar’s flavor kind of softer, rounder, mellowed or just better overall. And as more time passes, the more pronounced the difference.
Then I asked him, “But exactly why or how does this happen?” His response was as follows ,
Well we know that tobacco fermentation is an important
part of the manufacturing process of cigars which transforms the sugars and starches in tobacco into acids and alcohols over time while the curing process that turns the leaves from green to brown occurs because of the loss of moisture.
Aging causes tobacco to go through further physical and chemical changes with the acids and alcohols forming a compound known as an ester. These esters are actually responsible for the pleasant tastes and aromas we love. As more time passes these changes in taste occur more slowly and can range from dramatic to almost nil. The exact moment when any cigar is deemed at its peak of enjoyment is every smokers personal preference which science can’t dictate.