Archives for May 2012

How NOT To Cut a Cigar

As I sat down enjoying a cigar and beverage late the other evening, a stranger sat down and offered to buy my a drink. Nothing creepy, they just recognized me and wanted to chat a bit.

That was cool. I am always up for some cigar talk as well as a free beverage.

I then offered my new found friend a cigar. He did not have any “tools” to light it up, so I handed over my personal cutter and lighter.

Mistake Number One..

The person said they didn’t need the cutter – He then proceeded to bite off the end of the cigar.

That hurt.

For starters, it was a good stick. Secondly, this act was the swan song to his telling me what a “cigar aficionado” he was.

There a a million posts on how to pick out a good cigar cutter and use it properly.

Here is what NOT to do…

Don’t bite off the end

Don’t use a key as a punch

Don’t take off the entire cap of the cigar (check out the example in that cool professional photo I found).

That is pretty much it. Use a cutter and remember that you can always cut more off if you decide you need to.

Here endeth the lesson.


Can I Store Cigars In My Refrigerator?

This happens more often than I care to count. Someone asks me if it is ok to store his or her cigars in the refrigerator.

Well, there is a short answer and a long answer.

The Long Answer…

Warning labels are for suckers. I mean we shouldn’t have them.

It is just a way to stop, for the most part, stupid people from shoring up the human gene pool.

We are only as strong as our weakest link.

If we stopped printing warning labels like, “Coffee May be Hot,” or “Don’t Operate Chainsaw Under Influence of Alcohol,” we might be collectively be smarter when those people are gone.

That said, there really is not a warning label on a cigar that says, “Don’t put cigar in the refrigerator.”

There is also not a warning label on the refrigerator that says something like, “Not suitable for storage of automotive oil, platypus urine, tar paper, or cigars.

So, it is understandable how some people could be confused.

Not having a humidor is really the “go to” excuse people use.

If you don’t have a humidor, make a small coolidor and call it good, but don’t get cigars anywhere near your refrigerator unless you are fighting tobacco beetles.

The Short Answer…

NO. It is bad for them. Wrong temperature, wrong humidity.

Hear endeth the lesson. Any questions? 

How to Save Your Cigars From Tobacco Beetles

There are worse things than tobacco beetles you could find in your cigar humidor

The day you open your humidor or go to light your favorite cigar stick and see a small pin-head size hole that is the telltale sign of a tobacco beetle – it will make your heart stop.

All is not lost, just follow these steps.

Step One: Assess the damage

First off, tobacco beetles hardly ever carry a lighter with them – so they have not smoked any of your cigars. Sure, they can be annoying, but if you catch it early enough, the actual damage to you cigar will be minimal.

You have to assume if you have some in your humidor, they are in all the cigars (or could be). It is possible if you catch them soon enough they are only in one drawer or level – but better safe than sorry.

Step Two: Off to the deep-freeze

You are going to want to take the affected cigars (and any you think might be affected) and pack them loosely in Ziploc bags. Pony up for the freezer Ziploc bags if you can find them.

Once you have packed them in the Ziplocs, you are going to want to put them in a deep freezer. I say deep freezer because, if you can, you are going to want a freezer that is below 25 degrees.*

*If you can’t find a deep freezer, it is not the end of the world. Your standard household freezer will work most of the time.

Keep the cigars in the deep freezer for 8-10 days.

Step Three: Move the cigars to the refrigerator.

Yes, I know, some guys will tell you just take them out of the freezer and move on. Frankly, I think it helps the cigar by not going from 25 degrees to 70 degrees in one shot.

Leave them in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Step Four: Return to the humidor

Now, I am going to assume during that time you have cleaned your humidor. It does not do you any good if you return the cigars only to find tobacco beetles waiting for lunch to be delivered.

Clean out drawers and trays. Be sure to remove any trays (tobacco beetles just love to hide at the bottom of the humidor).

Don’t worry; you don’t need a microscope for this venture. Just clean it out (even using a vacuum will work).

Throw the cigars back in the humidor and keep and eye on them. If you don’t see any [new] tobacco beetle evidence in the next 4-6 months you are home free.

How to avoid them in the first place.

Here is the deal about avoiding cigar beetles. At some point you will come across them. It is just a part of nature. You can buy your cigars from the best store around and still end up with one (kind of like winning the lottery in a bad way).

If you bring home cigars that you are concerned with, keep them in a Ziplock in the humidor (think of it as a mini-cigar quarantine).

Some people we know have a whole other cigar humidor for suspect sticks. Although that may be bit overboard, you don’t want to rush to throw in that “It’s a Boy” cigar with your finest rare cigar.

How To Make A Coolidor Cigar Humidor

You have probably heard the term “Coolidor” in cigar smoking circles and wondered what the heck it is…and if you should even have one.

First off, the Coolidor is a great way to come up with a make shift cigar humidor – and don’t let the cigar snobs tell you otherwise.

Sure, a full fledged humidor is the way to go, but some people, either due to space or budget, just don’t want to outlay that kind of cash.

So, here is what you need for a quick humidor that will work great (and it sure beats throwing your cigars in a shoebox).

Here is what you will need.

One Igloo type cooler

4-Pack: Boveda Humidifier

2-3 Cigar Caddy Crystal Gel Humidification Jars

1 XIKAR Digital Round Cigar Hygrometer 832XI

Cedar cigar boxes (or cedar racks)

The concept…

The Igloo type cooler is sealed and works well. These coolers are “food grade” – so you don’t need to worry about some sort of plastic smell getting on your cigars.

The Boveda packs are great for maintaining a specific humidity. I like 72 for the Igloo, but there are other variations available so you can find one to your liking.

I like adding the Gel Containers. Although the Boveda packs work on their own, you will extend the life of them if you add another source for humidity. The gel containers can be refilled as needed (use distilled water). Keep up with those and you won’t need to replace your Boveda packs anytime soon.

The Hygrometer will keep everyone honest. You can adjust the gel containers and Boveda packs as needed.

The cedar boxes…well…it is cedar after all.

Going for a big cooler?

If you are going big (100 quart cooler or more), consider adding a cordless fan. You can get the battery operated ones at your local drug store. They run on batteries and are meant to work as a room air freshener. DO NOT add the air freshener part – just use the fan. They typically come on every 15 minutes or so, run for a few minutes, then turn off.

That is it.

You have a great make shift Cigar Humidor that does not cost you an arm and a leg – and will keep your cigars fresh!*

*and please don’t be that guy that keeps cigars in the refrigerator – you now know better!