Cigar Maintenance: Storing and Aging Cigars with Rick Rodriguez of CAO (Video)

Rick Rodriguez of CAO Cigars recently took a little time to talk to us about properly storing and aging your cigars. From humidor maintenance to selecting the best sticks to age, properly caring for your cigars is very important, watch as Rick explains:


Hey guys. I’m Rick Rodriguez, the Head Blender from CAO. I’m here to talk about storing your cigars. It’s fun, it really is. If you have the ability to set cigars down for a long time, do it, because it is going to affect your cigars a number of ways. But the reason that you truly store cigars is one, and it’s you want more flavor from your cigar.

So when you’re storing cigars, I’ve been asked a number of times, “What am I doing when I’m storing my cigars?” And I believe what you’re trying to accomplish is to get more flavor from your tobacco. So the same thing that we do with our wrappers, when we age that wrapper for three years or five years, what we’re doing is we’re trying to produce more flavor from the tobacco. So the longer you age something, what happens to your cigars is your flavor is going to increase. But be careful, because you have to sacrifice something, and your body is going to decrease.

So how do I know that? If you take a cigar that was rolled in Cuba in 1955, you can today seek and buy one of those cigars, they’re out there. You’ll pay a lot of money for this cigar, but when you smoke that cigar, you’re going to notice right away, the flavor is good or great, but the body’s gone. And so that cigar made in 1955 was a full-bodied cigar, but over the time, that body is going to go away and it’s going to increase that flavor for your cigars.

So if I’m going to play with sitting cigars down, I’m going to play with medium-body cigars, and full-body cigars. I tend to believe that a mellow cigar is ready to be smoked right now, or tomorrow, or the next week. It’s not a cigar that I want to bury in my humidor for one year or two years. I tend to only bury, or only age, my medium-body cigars, and my full-body cigars. And you would be amazed. If you think you love that cigar today, bury that cigar for six months to a year and then smoke that cigar. It’s amazing what more flavors you’re going to get from that tobacco.

The other thing is to make sure you’re curing your humidor, taking care of your humidor, because we can place cigars in there throughout the years. If you’re not taking care of your humidor, you’re going to ruin your cigars. And so what I’m saying about taking care of your humidor, you need to condition that humidor, depending on where you live in the U.S. Out west, I would cure that humidor every three months. Up north, maybe every five or six months. You need to take your cigars out, damp that cedar, and put your cigars back.

So if you don’t do that, what happens is all your humidity your adding your humidor is getting sucked out through the wood. So it’s bypassing your cigars, going directly to the wood and so your cigars are going to be drier. And when you dry cigars out, you can always re-moisten that cigar, but the problem is when you dry that cigar out too much, you’re going to dry out the oils. And the oil is what we taste when we’re smoking cigars, and if you dry out the oils, you can replace the humidity, but the oils are gone. So that’s the value of keeping your cigars in great condition and keeping your humidor in great condition.

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