Tips and Tricks – Installment 1

Tips & Tricks Videos17 Comments on Tips and Tricks – Installment 1

Tips and Tricks – Installment 1

A few weeks ago I was hanging out with a friend when I decided it was about time for a cigar. I reached into my coat pocket and pulled out a cigar. Once removed from my pocket, I sat the cigar down in front of me while I reached for my Cutter and Lighter when I heard my friend say “What is that on your cigar” He was talking about my home made cigar label.

A few months ago I was sitting where I am now, enjoying a cigar as I am now, as I began to think about ways I could start to organize my cooler. My problem was that I had several singles in my cooler that have been aging for a few months, and that I had some fresh ones on the way that were the same vitola.

I was concerned that I would get the sticks mixed up and end up smoking a few that were fresh instead of the ones that I had resting. I keep the cellophane on all of my cigars, to help protect them within various boxes in the cooler. So I began to kick around the idea of simply writing the date on the cello with a permanent marker. My concern was that the odor from the marker would transfer causing a problem with my humidor. I scrapped that idea and moved onto the idea of using a label of some sort.

After a little looking around I came up with the idea to use a Return Address Label. I would use the three fields (Name, Address, State & Zip) to mark down the Make of cigar, Size name and dimensions, and finally the date it was added into my humidor.

The following morning I headed to my local “Staples” and picked up the store brand of return address labels. They were said to be a match to the Avery Labels which had a Microsoft Temple for laying out the sheet. I went home and downloaded the template and got to work.

Over the past few months I have found this technique to work out really well for me. The great part about it is that I can use the template to print on the same label sheet multiple times without wasting any labels. Below are a few photos of how they work.

Label image 1

Label Image 2

Label Image 3

When I pick up cigars that have no cellophane I use blank cigar bands that can be purchased from Heartfelt Industries. I simply write on them with a pen and apply them to my cigars. They have a low tack adhesive that sticks to itself and not to the cigar wrapper

I hope this Cigar Tip works out as well for you, as it has for me.

On a side note, this segment was fun and I would like to do more in the future. However I need your help. Because coming up with Tips and tricks is difficult, we are going to need help from the readers. If you have a Tip or Trick you would like to share please use the contact form to tell us all about it. Even something that seems very simple could make life a whole lot easier for a fellow cigar smoker, so if you have something in mind please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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enjoying cigars since 2005

17 thoughts on “Tips and Tricks – Installment 1

  1. Walt,
    Thanks for the tips and tricks. I am going to start labeling my cigars as well. It gets kinda confusing on which has age and what doesn’t. Thanks again and I look forward to more of these.

  2. Excellent tip!! Going to do that this weekend I hope if I get the time. Didn’t use to be a problem, but now, I have two humidors and both are near full and I’m ordering more five packs of the same types and it’s becoming a problem figuring out which cigar I bought when. Have to get more orginized and this will help a lot.

    One question though. This is a tricky one as it’s the age old controversy, to remove the cellophane or to now, that is the question? I see so many conflicting comments but I noticed you said you keep it on. Any thoughts or comments on that?

    Thanks again Walt and great video.


  3. Dave,

    I think the cellophane on or off is one of things that is always going to be a divided opinion.

    If I get a cigar that has cellophane on it I keep it on. The reason I do this is that, when I toss that cigar into a box that was not meant to hold that size cigar it does not get damaged if it moved around while I root through my cooler.

    If I were storing my cigars in a nice humidor where there was little chance of damage I would remove the cellophane. From what I have read, the cellophane being removed helps the aging process.

    For more information check out this five minute podcast.t It is done by our good friend Doc over at Stogie Fresh.

    Thanks for the comment

  4. Walt,

    Cellophane is permeable. I not sure I would advise this unless you are certain the glue from the Avery labels is all natural and non-toxic.

    My personal view is that cellophane causes/allows cigars to age a whole lot slower because of lack of air transfer.

    Think about this… Jose Padron cellos all his regular series cigars and none of his premium Anniversary cigars.

  5. Very awesome! Walt I had no idea you were full of tricks. This is why its safer for you to answer technical questions than me. You’re just too cool.

    Dave – I agree with Walt. Cello on, cell off is going to be one of those questions like “how many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop?” Just like with that question, the answer will always be, “the world will never know.”

    Personally I keep mine on for the same reason as Walt. Just to give the cigar a little more protection. You never know what cigar you will be taking where or sending out in the mail.

  6. Jabba,

    Thanks for posting a comment. I did not think about the glue being toxic. I looked over all of the paperwork that came with the labels, as well as checked into the company website and did not have any luck.

    I think I will make a few phone calls later in the week and see if I can get ahold of someone in the know.

    As far as the aging goes, I would remove the cellophane but I would be afraid wrappers would get damaged as I have more singles than full boxes. Because of this the cigars get shuffled around a bit in the misc. boxes I have them stored in.

    I have my Padron Anni, RP Old World Reserves, etc. all in their own box that I try not to move. None of those cigars have cellophane on them.

  7. Just my personal opinion… I found cigars started to taste a lot better when I aged them with the cellos off… that said… if you plan on aging a cigar for a longer time, 10-15 years maybe, a slow, less violent aging process is probably better therefore leaving the cello on is probably a better idea. I don’t like any trace of ammonia on my cigars and I find cello traps the ammonia in for a longer period if they were packed fresh. Jerry is right, it’s all personal opinion and there is not right answer.

  8. Something I don’t think is mentioned much when debating the cello on/off issue – I take the cello off because it just looks a lot nicer in the humidor. I have a glass top humidor and the singles just look awesome all lined up looking pretty.

    I will admit, however, that travelling with them without the cello is an issue (but I don’t do that very much).

    Walt, I thoroughly enjoyed the “Tips & Tricks” and am looking forward to more installments.

    One tip I can recommend – when visiting your regular on-line cigar retailers, register for the free cigars and other giveaways; you never know what you might win!

  9. Back in the day, pre 9/11, I used to pack my cigars, cutter and lighter. Well, as we all know, things have changed for the worse for us cigar smokers. After having my Colibri lighter and cigars confiscated in Memphis, I vowed never again to pack my cigar stuff. What I do now is get the address to where I’m headed and UPS my cigars, lighter and cutter. I’ll even have a return shipping label already printed out and in the box for the trip home. Last time I used this method was when I traveled up to Maine. When I got to the hotel, the girl at the front desk told me that there was a package delivered in my name and was taken to my room. I guess this would be my tip.

  10. Wow, that’s quite a good idea. As soon as I start over with my new humidor this week, I’ll have to start doing that! Thanks, Walt.

  11. great tips walt!

    as far as the cello question, if i buy a cigar with cello, i will keep it on for a few days/weeks in my humidor. this allows for a smoothe transition from the b&m climate to mine. the cello will usually prevent any cracks or splits from a sometimes drastic humidity change.

    here’s a quick cutting tip for beginners and herfers alike. place your cutter flat down on a flat surface. open the blades and then stand your stogie thru the cutting hole. press down on the foot of the cigar as you cut. this will give you a perfect cut everytime. this will not work for torpedo or belicoso shaped cigars. always remember to wet the cap before cutting any stogies. this will prevent most jagged cut problems.

    a quick tip when buying most 2o – 25 count boxes: if, for example, if you buy a box of montecristo’s, (which are packed in 2 rows of 10) break the seals and open the lid. check for consistant color, size and shape on the top row. everything looks good, but what about on the bottom row? less reputable stores and manufacturers will package less attractive cigars on the bottom row. to check those, close the box and turn it upside down. then gently open the box to see the bottom row. this is also a good way to check the consistancy of each ring gauge and to spot any rolling problems, because you can see all 20 open cigar feet side by side. a great cigar company will have virtually identical cigars packaged together. this check will not work with the sliding lid boxes like Gloria Cubanas.

    hope these help.

  12. I have several humidors and I am the only one in them so I unwrapped all of my cigars, the aroma opening the humidor now is amazing, but it got me thinking. If cigars of very different tastes are left to mellow against each other for a yaer or so, do the tastes and flavors tend to get muddled?

  13. Interesting idea on the labeling, I just started enjoying the hobby of cigars and had come to the conclusion that I would need to label my sticks, so that I could keep track of age, where purchased etc.

    The idea that I came up with was Zig Zag cigarette papers. I assume that the paper will allow the cigar to breath and that the glue used on the paper would not harm my new and growing collection.

    To my surprise I ran across your T&T page. I definitely will check out the blank cigar bands.

  14. James,

    I’m glad to hear that you enjoy the site. A comment such as yours is really what keeps us going

    Thanks for leaving a comment, and the kind words

  15. Hey guys,
    I too have begun to label my cello’d cigars. If found some Avery “removable” labels 1 1/4″ x 1 3/4″ that have very low tack glue on them (sort of like a Post-It Note). they come in smaller sheets of 3 x 3 but they feed through my printer fine. Using a small enough font, I was able to get the manufacturer, brand, size and date purchased on the label. I also hand-write a serial number (ie. 1 of 5) if I bought more than one of a certain cigar.

  16. New to the pleasures of cigars, 3 weeks(?), and I find this site very helpful. I have a 100 count simple box so I feel I need the cellos on to protect them.

    I write the date on a small round label as the brand is on the ring, i.e. Romeo Y Julieta Reserva Real. I find that if I cut the end of the cello just a little long than the stick, removing the fold, makes them lie better in the humidor. Looks a little bit nicer.

    Any downside I’m not considering?

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