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New to cigars, need help.

Ok, so having never smoked in my life a few weeks ago I was at a friend's birthday party, and someone had given her a gift of a few nice cigars. We all sat around her back porch smoking them after dinner and generally enjoying ourselves.

So in the next weeks I decided I wanted to take up cigar smoking. My local grocery store has a dresser-sized cigar case, and so I picked up a few different brands to see if I could find something that suited my tastes. H Upmann, Don Diego, Macanudo, Romeo Y Julieta, Onyx, Excalibur, along with a few others. Several of them were quite nice, but I still hadn't found anything like the first one I had, nothing that was full-bodied enough or with a rich-enough flavor.

So of course I turned to the internet. The cigars that my friend had recieved were Montecruz, and after searching around a little I figured out that they were Montecruz Negra Cubana cigars made by Dunhill. There were 3 of them at the time, and they came in corked glass tubes. I figured to myself that glass tubes would be great, since I didn't want to invest hundreds of dollars on a humidor (especially since I'm currently a college student and don't have the money to spend excessively on cigars). Cigar.com, my source so far on all things cigar-related, didn't have any, so I kept looking. I couldn't find any that came in glass tubes, but I did find where I could get a box of 30 Negra Cubana Lonsdales for about $60. The problem being of course that I would have to buy a humidor as well.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to either inexpensive humidors or another brand similar to Montecruz that comes in a container that wouldn't need humidifying?

Sorry for the long post, but I figured if I explained my whole situation some more experienced smokers could probably be of better help.

Thanks.

Comments

  • j0z3rj0z3r Posts: 9,403
    If a humidor is out of your budget, I'd recommend looking into a large tupperware container or a medium sized cooler, the kind you would keep sodas in with ice, that kind of cooler. Both can be had for pretty cheap and will hold humidity very well. As for keeping the cigars humidified, the general consensus is that Heartfelt beads are the way to go, most likely the 65% ones. Those can be found at heartfeltindustries.com, and are an inexpensive and reliable way to maintain an optimal humidity.
  • urbinourbino Posts: 4,517
    Also, the tubes some cigars come in are not a substitute for a humidor. They're better than nothing, and might be fine as long as you smoke your stogies within a week or two of buying them, but the tubes don't hold humidity as well as you might think.

    Joe's suggestion is a much better option.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    long post? you havent read my posts yet.

    i will second the tupperware as makeshift humidor advice.

    tubes are good for (in my opinion) about a week. i wouldnt go too much more than that.

    PM sent.
  • j0z3rj0z3r Posts: 9,403
    Just to give a price perspective on a medium sized cooler, a 60 quart igloo cooler can be had from Walmart for around $20. The interior size of this cooler is sufficient to hold about 10-15 boxes of cigar, depending of course on the size of the box.
  • FourtotheflushFourtotheflush Posts: 2,555
    They also had here on ccom a few weeks ago if you bought over $100 worth of stick they would send you a free humi.
    I think you could probably find that deal here again in another month or so.
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455 ✭✭
    I think I'm a little confused here. Not sure why anyone hasn't recommended buying a slightly smaller (50 count) humidor. It's not a couple hundred dollar investment on something that small. Actually something like that could be found online fairly cheap. I just got my 150 count for under $100. It was well worth every penny and if you aren't sure if you'll really enjoy the hobby, start smaller. I did, and my small (25-30) count humidor is now used as my "aging humidor" for all my high end smokes that I want to let sit for a while.

    Just my two cents.
  • Rob1110:
    I think I'm a little confused here. Not sure why anyone hasn't recommended buying a slightly smaller (50 count) humidor. It's not a couple hundred dollar investment on something that small. Actually something like that could be found online fairly cheap. I just got my 150 count for under $100. It was well worth every penny and if you aren't sure if you'll really enjoy the hobby, start smaller. I did, and my small (25-30) count humidor is now used as my "aging humidor" for all my high end smokes that I want to let sit for a while.

    Just my two cents.


    Yeah, actually another member PMed me with a place where I could get a humidor for cheap. So I ordered a 100-count humidor for about $40, just cheap enough of a purchase to not affect my budget.
  • Figured I'd post this in this thread as to not waste space:

    So I bought some cigars and a humidor, should I wait for the humidor to get "broken in" before putting cigars in?
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455 ✭✭
    Glad you found one within your price range. If you have another place to put the cigars temporarily, I'd season it before putting the cigars in. That allows the cedar to soak up as much of the water as it can before anything else is in there to compete with it.
  • j0z3rj0z3r Posts: 9,403
    If you put your cigars in before seasoning the humidor, the humidor will tend to draw moisture from the cigars, thus drying them out, this is a bad thing. So yes, you will want to season your humidor before placing cigars in it. I usually recommend placing a small bowl with distilled water in the bottom and leaving it alone for 2-4 days. You can also get a cloth slightly damp with distilled water and wipe the inside down first, just make sure you are not soaking the wood.

    Your cigars will be fine if you just keep them in a sealed bag and out of direct sunlight for the few days you're seasoning your humi.
  • j0z3r:
    If you put your cigars in before seasoning the humidor, the humidor will tend to draw moisture from the cigars, thus drying them out, this is a bad thing. So yes, you will want to season your humidor before placing cigars in it. I usually recommend placing a small bowl with distilled water in the bottom and leaving it alone for 2-4 days. You can also get a cloth slightly damp with distilled water and wipe the inside down first, just make sure you are not soaking the wood.

    Your cigars will be fine if you just keep them in a sealed bag and out of direct sunlight for the few days you're seasoning your humi.


    The cigars I ordered come in a box, I assume that it would be fine to simply not open the box until I've seasoned the humidor, or should I still bag them?
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    it never hurts to be careful when it comes to some of your favorite smokes.
  • j0z3rj0z3r Posts: 9,403
    Agreed. More than likely they would be fine, however, taking a cautious approach will ensure it.
  • The tupperware idea is a good one as is a cooler, like igloo. Get the heartfelt beads or the DryMistat beads and you shoudl be good to go. The internet is loaded with info on how to set up a tupperware or cooler humidor.  Also, before I got a humidor, I had good luck with the Humidor Bag, made by Fuente. 3 sizes for a few, some and a lot of smokes -- last 6 months, then throw it away & buy another. I still use it if I'm carrying cigars around for a while or on a trip. You're gonna have to humidify 'em some way, so pick out what is cheapest for you from the ideas here and enjoy your smokes.

    One more thing: go to cigarbid.com where you can bid on cigars, lighters, humis, etc. You might get lucky & pick up a decent humi and some smokes at a deep deep discount.

  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    hey roger,
    we all may love c-bid but its fairly poor taste to say how awesome they are while on cigar.com.
    its like going into Olive Garden and telling everyone there that TGIFriday's is way better.

    I would agree on the humi bag. I had one for a bit to store overflow. i dont get overflow that much anymore because if it wont fit in the humi i wont buy it.
  • Garen BGaren B Posts: 977
    Roger, as penance you now must bring me a shrubbery and chop down the mightest tree in the forest using.......A HERRING!!!
  • LasabarLasabar Posts: 4,473 ✭✭✭
    Garen B:
    Roger, as penance you now must bring me a shrubbery and chop down the mightest tree in the forest using.......A HERRING!!!
    nee
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    Garen B:
    Roger, as penance you now must bring me a shrubbery and chop down the mightest tree in the forest using.......A HERRING!!!
    but i thought roger was the shrubber....
  • urbinourbino Posts: 4,517
    kuzi16:
    Garen B:
    Roger, as penance you now must bring me a shrubbery and chop down the mightest tree in the forest using.......A HERRING!!!
    but i thought roger was the shrubber....
    Then let him bring two shrubberies so we can get a nice two-level effect, with a little path running down the middle.
  • OK, OK, I repent.  Due to my age and habits, not thinking from time to time happens. I'll do better. Besides, I'm having my own problems now with a new humidor (small) that keeps falling to about 61% with a tube of dry mistat beads and a credo. It's been seasoned. I moved my cigars to a humidor bag while I'm leaving a damp sponge in the humidor to see what happens, adn it's gone up to 67% in a couple hours. What gives? I'm tempted to put the smokes back in with the sponge to see if they are pulling the rh down. I'm only keeping 8-10 at a time in the box. Any ideas?  Re-season? Two tubes of beads?
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    two tubes may help but the real problem is not enough cigars in that bad boy. if you have a humidor that will hold 30 Churchills and you only have 5-10 at most in there, you will have a hard time keeping your humidity stable.

    good thing for you that 61% isnt all that bad and no harm will have come to the cigars. since a cigar is hygroscopic it can act (in a way) as a humidification system.

    lemme explain:
    a cigar will lose moisture and have close to damaging RH in about 12 or so hours. it will never smoke the same after that. it may still taste ok but not how it was intended to taste. that rate of moisture loss is still very slow compared to moisture loss in the air. If you open a humidor that is at 70% in an area where the RH is 30%, almost instantly the RH in the humi will be 30%.

    this is where the cigars come in. if you open a full humi in an area where the RH is 30% and then close it back up the RH will recover quickly. the cigars held the moisture in there. if there is only one cigar in there... the recovery will take much longer.
  • Thanks for the help. I've always heard that there should at least be some air between the sticks and not packed in like a full box. I have 10 on order which should arrive in a few days, so maybe that'll help. At least I have a scientific reason to buy more (hmm, wonder if my wife will listen to scientific reasoning . . . ).
  • madurofanmadurofan Posts: 6,152
    To elaborate on what kuzi said. The rule is two-thirds. With a passive system like the beads your humi should always be about 2/3's full. ie. a 30 count humi should have about 20 cigars in it at all times. It doesn't have to be exact just close, 16-24 I'd say for a 30 count
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