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Do You Age Your Smokes?

I age most smokes, both N/C and Cuban. Aging “rounds out” the cigar, making it far smoother. A well-aged cigar will usually taste quite different than a fresh smoke. This even holds for N/Cs that are factory aged. The flavors will be more blended and mellow making them far less abrupt and sharp than fresh. In very strong cigars, aging can bring out more subtle flavors that are overpowered when fresh. But, it will reduce the nic strength of the cigar and can mute the flavors if aged too long.

I’ll typically age mild smokes maybe 3 – 6 months, medium smokes 6 months – 1 year, and full smokes 1 – 4 years.

Opus X is a good example. While many love the jalapeno spiciness and nic power of “fresh” Opus X (which are reportedly factory aged 2 years!), I don’t. I think they’re overly strong and so spicy that they overpower the underlying flavors. I typically age them another 1 – 3 years depending on size. I’ve likened an aged Opus to a Don Carlos on steroids. The jalapeno spice has mellowed to a hot cinnamon, the nic strength has dropped to tolerable levels, and they also develop delicious sweetness and cedar flavors that you can’t taste at all when they’re fresh.

Aging typically only works on better smokes. “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear” applies here. Bundle smokes are not going to magically turn into fine Cubans sitting in your humi. At most they might be a little less sharp tasting, but cheaper smokes aren’t made with the best and most flavorful tobacco to begin with so they’re likely to go flat.

How do you decide which smokes to age? I think that’s simple. If you like the smoke when fresh, if it has good flavors, then it’ll probably age to your taste. Buy a “fiver” and sit 3 back. Try one at 3 – 6 months depending on initial strength. If they’re still fairly flavorful, let the others go a little longer. You’ll soon hit the optimum age you like for that smoke.

Article Courtesy of HeavyMetal and Cigar-Review.com
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Smoking a Cigar
Do You Age Your Smokes?

 


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