In a previous article entitled “Cigar Misconceptions: Which one would you do away with?”, we were all reintroduced to common cigar related myths and misconceptions that we have all heard one time or another. In fact, there was most likely a time in our past when we spread some of these fallacies ourselves.
In each part of this Quelling Cigar Misconceptions series, I would like to shed some light on some of the most common myths and misconceptions. I hope that we can all learn a little and help those that are not aware.
Misconception: That cigars MUST be stored at 70 degrees / 70% RH.
Submitted by Mark of Cigarmony
Everyone knows the old rule of thumb “70% RH & 70 degrees”. This “rule” originally came about from an insert that a US cigar manufacturer put into their cigar boxes and since it was an easy to remember marketing tool, brick & mortar owners quickly grabbed onto it and passed it on their clients.
I believe the reason many cigar shops like the 70% “rule” is because by the time most clients get their cigars home and put them in their improper home storage conditions, the cigars sold by brick & mortar cigar shops end up being smoked in the low to mid 60%s RH ranges anyway. But that’s just my opinion with no data to back that up at all.
The 70/70 rule is a North American phenomenon. European and Asian cigar collectors have stored their cigars at much lower temperatures and RH levels for decades.
The choice between storing your cigars at 65% RH or 70% RH, first and foremost, should be completely based on personal preference. Some people prefer the wetter smoke that 70% RH delivers and others prefer the drier smoking experience of 65% RH.
With that said, many cigar aficionados actually prefer storing their cigars at 65% RH for several reasons.
- You will experience far fewer draw problems (on average) with a cigar stored at 65% RH as opposed to 70% RH.
- You will experience far fewer burn problems (on average) with a cigar stored at 65% RH as opposed to 70% RH.
- You should experience better flavor maturation and aging with a cigar stored at 65% RH as opposed to 70% RH.
After switching to 65% RH storage conditions nearly 10 years ago, I have experienced virtually ZERO draw, burn, and flavor problems that couldn’t be associated with the construction issues of the cigar instead of RH storage conditions.
On average, 70% RH is too much and is the leading cause for draw and burn problems that most people experience, not poor construction as they often attributed to.
Additionally, as you get close or above 70 degrees, the likelihood of tobacco beetle larvae hatching greatly increases.
I think a “65/65? rule would have done cigar smokers a great justice than the problematic “70/70? has done.
If you are currently storing your cigars at 70% RH, try this
- Grab one of the cigars that you smoke on a regular basis and that you are very familiar with in regards to construction, flavor, and typical burn patterns that you experience.
- Get a small humidor with NO humidification device in it.
- Prior to smoking your next cigar, let it rest in the “dry box” for 3-5 days prior to smoking it.
See if you notice a difference.
I hope this helps and happy smoking my friends!
Mark Neff from Cigarmony