How important is “resting” a cigar after shipment or after freezing?

Bob_LukenBob_Luken already sucked before joining forum,.....just sayin'.Posts: 6,917 ✭✭✭✭✭
How important is “resting” a cigar after shipment or after freezing?

Can you guys with more experience put a percentage on it? Can you say a cigar will be twice as good with two weeks rest compared with no rest at all? And is there a difference between rest time required after freezing vs rest time required after shipment.

In case you’re wondering, I have had a beetle problem and I now freeze all new cigars unless I plan to smoke them asap. But I am impatient to try new sticks and after just a few days after coming out of the freezer, I'll try one. Some are disappointing me flavor-wise and I wonder if I’ll be pleased with better flavors after time has passed and I try these same smokes again.

Comments

  • CigaryCigary Posts: 630
    Resting vs aging are two different things and when it comes to resting cigars I tend to advocate this process because it does balance out "some" of those brands that are medium to full. You'd have to know your own stock in order to practice this and it means you'd have to have enough time and experience in knowing certain brands. I've been a cigar smoker for 50 years so I know what those brands are..( for me ) and I tend to rest cigars for at least 3 months. When I buy a cigar brand that I don't know much about I'll buy 3 of them or a 5 pack depending on the reviews I read. The first one I smoke after 30 days to get a baseline then the next one I smoke after 3, 6, 9 months and then at a year. This gives me enough data to know at what point they smoke the best. CC's tend to do well with more rest while NC's tend to not need more than 9 months to a year of it. Remember as well that cigars go through a "sick period" where ammonia is present and that makes for those acrid smoking times where that cigar tastes like crap...when you light up you can tell when ammonia is present just by the flame.
  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    No real need to freeze all your cigars, especially once the beetles are dealt with

    2) Cigary already nailed it. Only thing I'd add/repeat is that resting is subjective, though in most peoples experience, every cigar benefits from a period of resting after shipping, allowing the cigar to calm down after the heat or cold of shipping them across the country. As for aging - aging generally begins at 1 year and goes up; less than a year is just resting.
  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,497 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think resting is very important, strictly for smokability issues. Cigars in shipment with fluctuating rh and temp just need time to settle. Not resting, in my experience, yields a bad draw most of the time, and improper rh can definitely affect flavor.

    So, I really rest a cigar not to improve the flavor per se, but to ensure that it performs the best that it can in terms of draw and burn.
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • AVJimAVJim Posts: 449
    Amen Gray.
    "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member"
  • RhamlinRhamlin WVPosts: 6,959 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Like Gray I like to let my cigars set about a week in my humi to get to the humidity I like. But sometimes I just can't help myself and just have to have it ASAP .
  • blurrblurr Posts: 962
    xmacro:
    No real need to freeze all your cigars, especially once the beetles are dealt with

    2) Cigary already nailed it. Only thing I'd add/repeat is that resting is subjective, though in most peoples experience, every cigar benefits from a period of resting after shipping, allowing the cigar to calm down after the heat or cold of shipping them across the country. As for aging - aging generally begins at 1 year and goes up; less than a year is just resting.
    I'll respectfully disagree with this, about the no need to freeze part. The rest I completely agree with macro. Its all where you're ordering, from what countries, and what tobacco in my opinion. I buy a lot of Cubans anymore to age, freeze them all for 3 days and it had no undesirable effects vs non frozen aged, my humble palate opinion. Find me a guy who can taste this wad frozen versus this wasn't before a year of rest, and I'll call myself wrong. If you had a beetle breakout, and wasn't to feel safe freeze. My humis sit at 65 degrees year round all day every day. But several shipments came in with beetles in the last year, NC and Cubans. My stash I don't worry about, its great. Its putting new possibly dangerous sticks into a very expensive collection I do worry about. Freeze to be safe if you care about your stash. That said, age I'm 100 percent behind cigary. Nerds of cigars like us have a long period of rest before we even try new brands. I wait three months. This causes a conundrum, how to stock up on new sticks when you wait three months after release to even try it. Well I keep a deep inventory of cigars and never taste a stick that I think anymore needs rest. When you have thousands of cigars its likely most will be smoked very well rested, that's how I do myself. Rest is important, age is key to my humble palate. Your mileage may vary, its all opinion.
  • The_KidThe_Kid Posts: 7,871 ✭✭✭
    Not gonna touch the freezing part..nor the aging part.. As far as the resting goes, I will often consider the source, the type/ brand of a cigar and how long it was in transit.. I tend to rest the higher quality cigars more than the lower ,,, there are some cigar brands like Viaje that I wont touch for at least 4-6 months, Thats just because my experience tells me thats what works for that brand..If were talking a connecticut I usually just out of experience am not as concerned about resting those for any significant amount of time, though I do have some aged connies , kinda depends on a lot of factors,, longer shipment times,, longer rest.. If I get a stick from a brother who I know takes care of their sticks with a sticker on it saying it has been around 4 months or so,, and it was only 2 days in transit.. I may light that puppy up only after a couple days rest if Im eager to try the blend for one reason or another.. Ive smoked stuff rott just to get a baseline on the stick,, maybe I need to move on a deal or something and want to have a general idea of what its characteristics are or perhaps I am already familiar with that stick and dont feel a need for a long rest ,, I believe some sticks are just more tempermental than others,, funny,, but dont know another way to put it.,, Relax and Enjoy em
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭
    Cigary:
    Remember as well that cigars go through a "sick period" where ammonia is present and that makes for those acrid smoking times where that cigar tastes like crap...when you light up you can tell when ammonia is present just by the flame.
    most NC companies have an aging room just because of this. you will see this issue in Cuban cigars more often than non-Cuban.

    Gray4lines:
    I think resting is very important, strictly for smokability issues. Cigars in shipment with fluctuating rh and temp just need time to settle. Not resting, in my experience, yields a bad draw most of the time, and improper rh can definitely affect flavor.

    So, I really rest a cigar not to improve the flavor per se, but to ensure that it performs the best that it can in terms of draw and burn.
    this is axactly why i do it. bad draw and burn issues seem to happen more often when i dont rest a shipment and my rested/aged stock has few burn issues.

    about a month of rest after major humidity spikes usually takes care of most cigars.
  • Lee.mcglynnLee.mcglynn HahahahaaaaaPosts: 5,993 ✭✭✭✭
    If it goes into a wineador IMO a week should do if just a normal humi I tend to wait a few weeks but as stated sometimes you can't help yourself!! But I find rest is really needed unless its winter when temps are down
    Money can't buy taste
  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken already sucked before joining forum,.....just sayin'.Posts: 6,917 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Lee.mcglynn:
    If it goes into a wineador IMO a week should do if just a normal humi I tend to wait a few weeks but as stated sometimes you can't help yourself!! But I find rest is really needed unless its winter when temps are down
    Exactly! I'm wanting to try all my new stuff an I can't help myself. I'm getting ready for a party where I'm gonna serve cigars and I've really stocked up lately. Everything should have at least couple of weeks rest by then but I can't help tasting the new stuff and I figure I'm not giving them a fair assessment by being impatient. What I'm really curious to know is would you (or anybody) put a number on the difference between rest and no rest. 50% better with rest? 20%? Maybe that's asking too much from a subjective judgement for someone to put a number on it. All blends being different and all. Thanks guys for all the replies so far.
  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,497 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think a % difference would not make sense. As I mentioned, the big factor for me is improved "performance" in draw and burn. How much better is a cigar with a great draw than the same blend that is plugged or too tight from being hot and humid in the mail? I think infinitely better, lol.

    For the sake of clarity, I'd call rest any short-term storage in stable conditions. Maybe up to 6 or 8 months... aging would be putting them away for a year or more. This is slightly arbitrary, but it sounds like you are asking more about the effects of "aging" than "resting".

    Certainly a just shipped cigar may not taste as good. But this is environment-related, and will be ameliorated quickly (within a couple weeks) with proper storage. And sometimes (as Lee mentioned is usually true during winter months) a just shipped cigar may smoke just fine, and rest really won't do much. Rest will only "fix" environment-related construction issues and any subsequently related flavor issues. It wont have much effect on flavor in terms of aging; that's why I think of rest and age as different.

    Does this help, or did I miss your question?
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken already sucked before joining forum,.....just sayin'.Posts: 6,917 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Gray4lines:
    I think a % difference would not make sense. As I mentioned, the big factor for me is improved "performance" in draw and burn. How much better is a cigar with a great draw than the same blend that is plugged or too tight from being hot and humid in the mail? I think infinitely better, lol.

    For the sake of clarity, I'd call rest any short-term storage in stable conditions. Maybe up to 6 or 8 months... aging would be putting them away for a year or more. This is slightly arbitrary, but it sounds like you are asking more about the effects of "aging" than "resting".

    Certainly a just shipped cigar may not taste as good. But this is environment-related, and will be ameliorated quickly (within a couple weeks) with proper storage. And sometimes (as Lee mentioned is usually true during winter months) a just shipped cigar may smoke just fine, and rest really won't do much. Rest will only "fix" environment-related construction issues and any subsequently related flavor issues. It wont have much effect on flavor in terms of aging; that's why I think of rest and age as different.

    Does this help, or did I miss your question?
    Infinite huh? That's a big percentage. LOL. Yes all the information has been helpful. Even though I only intended to ask about the effects of resting and not aging.
  • Big T smokesBig T smokes Posts: 211
    When I buy stuff from a B&M, I smoke it right away. Sometimes right there in the store if it's cold out. When receiving a shipment, even if it's just a few days, I ALWAYS let it rest in my humi for a week. But a week, not 3 months. A week allows the cigar to normalize when it's been shipped in varying humidity and temperature. The cigar burns better and in general tastes better after a week. 3 months is where we're getting into aging. And is 3 months enough time to properly age a full flavored cigar? I dont think so but do what you want.
  • CigaryCigary Posts: 630
    blurr:
    xmacro:
    No real need to freeze all your cigars, especially once the beetles are dealt with

    2) Cigary already nailed it. Only thing I'd add/repeat is that resting is subjective, though in most peoples experience, every cigar benefits from a period of resting after shipping, allowing the cigar to calm down after the heat or cold of shipping them across the country. As for aging - aging generally begins at 1 year and goes up; less than a year is just resting.
    I'll respectfully disagree with this, about the no need to freeze part. The rest I completely agree with macro. Its all where you're ordering, from what countries, and what tobacco in my opinion. I buy a lot of Cubans anymore to age, freeze them all for 3 days and it had no undesirable effects vs non frozen aged, my humble palate opinion. Find me a guy who can taste this wad frozen versus this wasn't before a year of rest, and I'll call myself wrong. If you had a beetle breakout, and wasn't to feel safe freeze. My humis sit at 65 degrees year round all day every day. But several shipments came in with beetles in the last year, NC and Cubans. My stash I don't worry about, its great. Its putting new possibly dangerous sticks into a very expensive collection I do worry about. Freeze to be safe if you care about your stash. That said, age I'm 100 percent behind cigary. Nerds of cigars like us have a long period of rest before we even try new brands. I wait three months. This causes a conundrum, how to stock up on new sticks when you wait three months after release to even try it. Well I keep a deep inventory of cigars and never taste a stick that I think anymore needs rest. When you have thousands of cigars its likely most will be smoked very well rested, that's how I do myself. Rest is important, age is key to my humble palate. Your mileage may vary, its all opinion.
    You hit a key point with resting/aging and storage and smoking later. It becomes a rotation that you coordinate as your cigar count goes up. Those with smaller numbers of cigars will find this to be hard to deal with because you want your cigars now....I have over 5000 cigars so my rotation has been set for quite awhile and I agree with the waiting time of 90 days....once you do that you get past the initial "sick period" where ammonia content is highest and a lot of BOTL tend to have a bad experience with their sticks and chuck it. Treat them like the gold they are...give them a chance to acclimate after those long trips esp. in the summer time and extreme cold. You will find as you continue your journey which cigars benefit from rest...I know my cigars and what is their best resting times are but that is subjective...we all have different tastes so experiment with what you buy. Buy singles and 5 paks and smoke them over a period of about 9 months and at the end of the pak you'll know if they are box worthy.
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    I don't care where I bought it, I rarely smoke a cigar until it's been in my humi for at least a week, preferably two months. New releases or fresh boxes need a couple months to get rid of the ammonia taste. I cannot tell you how many times I have had a terrible experience ROTT or right from the shop. Some shops humidify so poorly I wait 6 months. Fluctuation is not a good thing, stability is. Does that mean I don't get excited sometimes and smoke something 3 days after I got it??? Of course I do... But I follow a strict rule for a reason. Too many bad experiences and not enough good ones. When I buy cigars, I wait 2-6 months in my humis before I smoke them.
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    Freezing is fine, and necessary if you do not have temp control for habanos. I also freeze NC's during the summer at times. I've seen my fair share of beetles in my mailbox, it's worth the peace of mind. I do 24 in fridge, 7 in freezer, 1 in fridge, and one room temp, then a month in humi. BTW...for what it's worth, I've heard from famous blenders that they prefer 30 days freezing off the rolling table.
  • rzamanrzaman Posts: 2,650 ✭✭✭
    This is a very interesting thread. Cuban does have the tendencies to get the beetles. However, I don't freeze them in the freezer rather than put them in the freeze for a week. So far so good. I always use Boveda 65 with new cigars and 69 with aged cigars. Boveda works for me. All the Cuban I just brought recently are in the freezer now. However, long aged cigars(10 years plus) usually do not get beetles as much as new cigars which have more moist. I have no scientific data to back my statement just from my limited cigar experience.

    I do believe in freeze Cubans before put them in the humidor for the long rest. It is just a precaution. Non-Cuban cigars rest in cold room before go inside the box for final destination. I have seen that in all major cigar factories in Nicaragua but not in Cuba.
    catfishbluezz:
    Freezing is fine, and necessary if you do not have temp control for habanos. I also freeze NC's during the summer at times. I've seen my fair share of beetles in my mailbox, it's worth the peace of mind. I do 24 in fridge, 7 in freezer, 1 in fridge, and one room temp, then a month in humi. BTW...for what it's worth, I've heard from famous blenders that they prefer 30 days freezing off the rolling table.
  • CigaryCigary Posts: 630
    kuzi16:
    Cigary:
    Remember as well that cigars go through a "sick period" where ammonia is present and that makes for those acrid smoking times where that cigar tastes like crap...when you light up you can tell when ammonia is present just by the flame.
    most NC companies have an aging room just because of this. you will see this issue in Cuban cigars more often than non-Cuban.

    Gray4lines:
    I think resting is very important, strictly for smokability issues. Cigars in shipment with fluctuating rh and temp just need time to settle. Not resting, in my experience, yields a bad draw most of the time, and improper rh can definitely affect flavor.

    So, I really rest a cigar not to improve the flavor per se, but to ensure that it performs the best that it can in terms of draw and burn.
    this is axactly why i do it. bad draw and burn issues seem to happen more often when i dont rest a shipment and my rested/aged stock has few burn issues.

    about a month of rest after major humidity spikes usually takes care of most cigars.
    Yes...NC's are stored longer and some of the tobaccos have aging rooms but it's not as many as you'd suspect. The vast majority of NC's are not aged like everybody thinks they are unless it's the aged Padrons and others that say they are aged tobacco. The whole idea for manufacturers is to get product out to market...and they do so with product that hasn't been aged/rested and if it did they'd be putting dates on the packages. While some like Nicaraguan cigars have kept their product hanging in the barns for a year it will still go through a sick period which means the tobacco has been rolled before the sugars and fermentation process is finished. The "finishing rooms" called the escaparate hold the finished product but one can still smell the ammonia present even after a year. This gets passed on to the consumer and it's still wise to let your box of cigars stay in your humi for a good 2-3 months. JMHO.
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