For My Humidor with Enrique Seijas
Enrique Seijas of Matilde Cigars
What’s it like to build a company with your father? It’s smokin’–if your dad’s a Cigar Aficionado Hall of Famer, José A. Seijas. In 2013, José launched Matilde Cigars with sons, Ricardo and Enrique. Come along with youngest son, Enrique on a plant-based stroll through the tobacco rows of the Dominican Republic. Hear about Matilde’s evolution (and Enrique’s, too). Turns out, there’s a lot you can learn from your dad, especially if he’s a cigar legend.
“We prepare what we love and share it with the world,” Enrique Seijas from an interview with Cigar Dojo’s Smoke Night Live. Enrique Seijas heads the marketing and product development for Matilde Cigars.
The maturing of a cigar family
Cigars are in Enrique’s blood. He was born in 1984 in La Romana, Dominican Republic. La Romana is home to three world-famous names in Dominican cigars, Montecristo, H. Upmann, and Romeo y Julieta. Enrique’s father José was the master blender of those biggies. As VP of operations, José also oversaw the manufacturing of up to 55 million cigars a year for Tabacalera de Garcia.
Not a bad guy to have by your side to develop a new brand of premium cigars.
In his younger days, Enrique spent many a vacation learning the ways of tobacco. He primed his knowledge working in the Tabacalera de Garcia factory. (Rolling cigars is better than flippin’ burgers, yes?)
But cigars weren’t just Enrique’s school-break gig. After earning a marketing degree from New York’s Rochester Institute of Technology, he apprenticed at Tabacalera de Garcia, including a stint in sales. He was also marketing director for Las Palmas Cigars Co & Cigar Country Stores.
As Enrique was revving up his career, José was downshifting. José retired in 2012 to trade one type of sticks for another on the golf course. But within a year, the cigar biz drew him back. Only this time, José wanted to do something small very, very well. Alas, the boutique brand, Matilde was born.
The resurrection of a legendary cigar brand
Why Matilde? José resurrected the name of a Santiago factory dating back to 1876. According to Enrique, this Dominican heritage brand ceased to exist by the early 1900s. So they revived Matilde to pay homage to the Dominican Republic AKA “Cigar Eden” with its ideal soil, idyllic weather and generations skilled in growing, curing and rolling tobacco.
Matilde debuted in 2014 with the aptly named, Matilde Renacer, which means to be reborn. That year, the Matilde Renacer, with its dark Ecuadorian wrapper, was recognized as one of Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25. A sophomore effort, the Matilde Oscura, a dark, Mexican-wrapped oscuro, made Cigar Dojo’s Top 10 list. It placed on that list again in 2016 with the company’s first, fully box-pressed offering, Matilde Quadrata. Next up? The Matilde Serena, a milder cigar with a Connecticut wrapper.
Not bad for the new girl in town.
Father and son deliberately keep Matilde’s production small. A total of 250,000 cigars are created each year. The Seijases plan to annually introduce a new core blend. This measured growth allows Matilde to maintain quality. José himself is the master blender. Enrique described his father as an open book of knowledge.
“I’m working beside him; I’m learning a lot with him.
And at some point I’ll hopefully be as good and as passionate as he is with cigars.”
Learning the biz also means knowing when to make adjustments. Initially Matildes were rolled in-house in La Romana. Now manufacturing is done by Jochy Blanco’s Tabacalera Palma in Santiago.
“We were looking for more flexibility in production and blending,” Enrique explained to the website halfwheel. “Working with a factory like Tabacalera Palma gives us access to a much larger inventory of varieties of aged tobaccos and a larger team of cigar makers.”
After those cigar makers handcraft Matildes, the cigars are off to the aging room for 90 more days. This final touch ensures a rich and luxurious flavor from start to finish.
The artful science of precisely controlling humidity with Boveda
Once in their Art Deco-esque boxes—a varied hue for each varied blend—those dear, aged Matildes are protected by Boveda. While inside, Boveda slowly and gently adds and absorbs moisture to precisely lock in a 69% RH. Boveda’s patented two-way humidity control works with natural salts and pure water vapor, so Boveda’s presence does not alter the flavor of the Matildes.
“We started working with Boveda since we started Matilde because we know it is very important to get that cigar to the right humidity to our retailers and to our consumers. Having a 69% humidity Boveda inside will assure that we get those cigars to the consumers ready to smoke at all times,” Enrique said.
It’s no surprise that a company with such calculated control over their fledgling brand counts on Boveda’s calculated control over humidity. So when a man with decades of experience and his innovative son trust their lady to Boveda, maybe you should trust your cigar collection to Boveda, too.
Awarded Best Cigar Accessory 2017
Boveda awarded by Cigar Journal as Best Cigar Accessory 2017
You voted, we thank you!
For the third time in our 20-year history, previously in 2012 and 2015, Boveda is awarded Cigar Journal’s Best Cigar Accessory. Boveda President & CEO, Sean Knutsen and Executive VP of Sales, Tim Swail accepted the award during the InterTabac trade show in Dortmund, Germany.
Boveda is a cigar necessity, more than an accessory
Cigar Journal’s are the only awards in the cigar industry that are decided by public vote. So it’s cigar aficionados like you who recognized Boveda’s knowledge and commitment to the cigar industry.
Sean Knutsen, Boveda CEO said “It’s an absolute honor to win this award for a third time—especially since cigar consumers select the winners. Cigar lovers tell us over and over again how they trust only Boveda to protect their cigar investment. It’s cigar retailers who educate those cigar smokers on why Boveda’s 2-way humidity control is important to maintain an ideal environment for their delicate cigars. More and more people are finding a Boveda packet boxed with their favorite cigars. That’s coming directly from the manufacturers who use Boveda technology to augment their own packaging. When leaders in the industry count on Boveda to protect products that bear their name, that’s the true honor.”
2017 Winners of Cigar Journal’s Cigar Trophy Awards
According to Cigar Journal, Cigar Trophy winners are chosen through a two-step process. Readers submit their top candidates for each category during a nomination round. During the second voting round, winners are chosen from these finalists.
Best Brand 2017
Best Brand Costa Rica 2017: Vegas de Santiago
Best Brand Cuba 2017: Partagás
Best Brand Dom. Rep. 2017: Davidoff Yamasá
Best Brand Honduras 2017: Oscar Valladares The Oscar
Best Brand Mexico 2017: Casa Turrent
Best Brand Nicaragua 2017: Drew Estate Liga Privada T52
Best Cigar 2017
Best Cigar Cuba 2017: Montecristo No. 2
Best Cigar Dom. Rep. 2017: Fuente Don Carlos No. 3
Best Cigar Honduras 2017: Alec Bradley Fine & Rare 2016
Best Cigar Nicaragua 2017: Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series Hermoso Maduro
Best Value 2017
Best Value Dom. Rep. 2017: Aging Room Solera Dominican Sun Grown
Best Value Honduras 2017: Rocky Patel Sun Grown
Best Value Nicaragua 2017: Flor de las Antillas
Best Cigar Lounge 2017
Blend Bar with Davidoff Cigars, Indianapolis
Best Cigar Accessory 2017
Boveda 2-Way Humidity Control
Charity & Community 2017
General Cigar Company Inc.
Outstanding Art 2017
Cigar Rings, SRL
Cigar Sense Inc.
Lifetime Achievement 2017
Getting to know Operation: Cigars for Warriors
Sometimes a cigar is a lifesaver that only you can give
It’s been one of those “you just can’t make this **** up” days. But instead of fighting with your teen, battling a boss or weaving through construction, you’ve just survived a mortar blast.
Can you understand why settling back with a cigar takes on even more importance for the servicemen and women in combat? A long pull on a really good cigar provides a bit of calm amid a chaotic war zone. It’s bonding time. Stress relief. Throw back to home.
Premium cigars are the second most requested item by members of our armed forces, according to the nonprofit organization Operation: Cigars for Warriors or OP: CFW, for short. Coffee is number one. (Guess you need a good ol’ jolt of java before relaxing with a smoke.) But OP: CFW leaves caffeine to other charitable groups. Founded in 2012, OP: CFW is the only organization that specializes in sending premium cigars to all branches of the military in combat zones or long term deployments, such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
“We have sent cigars to warships as well. One shipment went to a Navy ship in North Korea,” Jamie Lemon, OP: CFW’s Public Relations/Marketing Director said. Because of the number of requests, OP: CFW’s prefers to ship one care package per troop.
Annually, OP: CFW serves about 25,000 service people. Since its inception, the cigar charity has shipped more than 750,000 cigars. Where do the donations come from? Cigar aficionados, cigar makers and cigar retailers. DONATE NOW
Boveda goes to combat to defend against the enemy of cigars
Boveda was OP: CFW’s first sponsor and is always there to protect OP: CFW shipments as they make their way all over the world. No matter how combative the environment, Boveda’s 2-way humidity control adds and absorbs moisture to lock in a precise 69% RH that’s perfect for cigars. (If Boveda can safeguard cigars in the arid desert or the humid high seas, your home humidor is safe and sound.)
“OP: CFW reached out to us about five years ago to see if they could buy Boveda at a discount. Boveda was critical to get their cigar shipments across the globe in perfect condition, but the cost was getting too high as OP: CFW’s cigar donations were increasing,” Charlie Rutherford, Boveda’s Business Development Director, said.
“Once we learned about OP: CFW’s mission, we GAVE them as much free Boveda as they needed instead of just giving them a discount. An organization that supports soldiers who go to work every day defending the freedom and liberty of the U.S. is not going to pay for Boveda when a cigar at the end of the day might be the closest connection they have to normalcy.”
Warriors wait for orders because of FDA ruling
Previously, more than 30 cigar makers have been on board to donate cigars, including Rocky Patel, Moscato and Oliva. Since August 2016, U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations now prohibit the cigar industry from the decades-long tradition of donating cigars to troops.
“The FDA ban on manufacturers cut our supply roughly 80%,” Robert Allan, OP: CFW Director of Operations said. But the ban hasn’t decreased the demand, according to Allan. “There are times our military has waited months for a shipment. Right now we are at an eight week shipping delay or longer.”
Some U.S. legislators are seeking an exemption for corporate military cigar donations. According to an October 24, 2016, article from the cigar website Halfwheel:
“U.S. Representative Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, introduced a bill that would allow for donations to the troops. It currently has one co-sponsor and seems highly unlikely to pass in the current Congress.
U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif, who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, has stated he will try to add an amendment to the defense authorization bill — the annual bill that sets the military’s budget — something that will have much better odds than Castor’s standalone bill.”
It’s your time to serve—give now
In the meantime, the FDA ruling does not prevent individuals from donating cigars to the troops. And that’s where Boveda customers like you come in. Boveda is reaching out to every cigar lover out there. Next time you add to your own cigar collection, share a cigar (or box) with a man or woman fighting for our freedom.
OP: CFW is a 501 (c) (3) charity, so your donation is tax deductible. There are three ways to give:
- Dip into your humidor for a few favorite sticks, like a Tatuaje or MoyaRuiz, and send cigars directly to OP: CFW.
- Drop off cigars at any of 200 OP: CFW’s donation sites. Many are in smoke shops, where you can also buy a box and leave it there.
- Or click here to donate immediately.
In upcoming months, Boveda will share stories from some of the troops you’ve helped. So you can hear how that cigar care package gave a moment of relaxation and spread camaraderie, which in turn protected us all back home. Thank you for your service.
“Thank you for the cigars, OP: Cigars for Warriors have provided! It has brought together our Airmen [and Airwomen] in a fun and joyful atmosphere. We, Aircraft Maintainers, thought it would be great to “light one up” in front of our AC-130U aircraft. …this awesome organization that enabled us to enjoy our cigars. Thank you, Boveda. Once again, thank you OP: Cigars for Warriors team.”
Traveling with Boveda
Reviving Dried Cigars
There’s nothing to be embarrassed about having dried cigars. Sooner or later, it happens to everyone–really. Whether it was in a backseat, an overhead bin or a motorcycle saddlebag, many a cigar-loving traveler has dried out their smokes by treating them like common baggage.
Throwing humidity control to the wind even for a few hours can damage your cigars and diminish their flavor.
Think about it. Cigars are born, raised and rolled in humid countries. Take cigars on a plane ride and you’re exposing them to moisture-sucking conditions. Humidity in that airplane’s cabin is extremely low–usually less than 20%, according to the World Health Organization’s website. 20% RH? That’s Death Valley for cigars!
Humidity fluctuation is why many high-end brands, including Arturo Fuente, Matilde and Rocky Patel, nestle a Boveda 69% RH packet in each box to protect their cigars while they’re in transit. Boveda’s patented 2-way humidity control keeps the cigars at an ideal moisture level until they reach your home humidor.
That’s great if you’re globetrotting to the Dominican Republic. But journey to Cuba or other locales that can’t or don’t yet carry Boveda, and you should bring along your own humidity protection.
Cigar aficionados don’t leave home without the travel insurance of a Boveda Humidor Bag, which:
- Zips to seal
- Takes up next to no space in a suitcase
- Provides the same protection as a plastic container
- Works better than store-bought sandwich bags because of its tough, high-barrier laminated construction
- Comes prepacked with a patented 69% RH Boveda packet, which adds or removes moisture to protect your cigars
But let’s say the damage is done and you think your cigars are toast
If the wrappers are intact, there is a good chance you can ‘repair’ them, according to Cigar Inspector. And Boveda is the safest and easiest way to revive dry, road-weary cigars. Just ask Matt from Michigan, who went searching for a way to revive some abused Cubans and happened upon Boveda.
“As far as cigars go, I am a newbie,” Matt explained. “On trips to Cuba, I smoked a lot of very good cigars—Cohiba Robustos, Cohiba Siglo Vis and H. Upmann Coronas Majors. I was spoiled right from the get go!”
Yep, Matt was hooked. So he brought some Cohiba Siglo VIs stateside. “I had my cigars for about a month with no humidor. I did not know that they needed to be taken care of in that way,” the humidity novice admitted.
While we appreciate Matt’s roll-up-his-sleeves, solve-it-himself approach, here’s Boveda’s official 1-step method for reviving dried cigars:
- For a month, store your dried cigars in a Boveda Humidor Bag that’s prepacked with a 69% RH packet. Done. (No bag? Pop a Boveda 69% inside a plastic container with your dry cigars for a month.)
Why a month? Cigars lose moisture 4x as fast as they can safely gain moisture. Exposing your cigars to a safe, stable level of perfect humidity with Boveda minimizes the chance of the wrapper cracking as the filler gains moisture and grows. Nothing good happens quickly with cigars, so be patient.
Sure, you can chance reviving dried cigars with wet sponges, crystals and beads. Those one-way methods humidify cigars too quickly and don’t know when to stop. This “flashing” of your cigars with humidity is dangerous any time, but especially when the wrappers are dry and hypersensitive to moisture. Could it work? Sure. But the odds are your wrappers will crack when you finally settle it to smoke those sought-after souvenirs.
Travel lesson? Take a Boveda Humidor Bag aboard with you to avoid those dead sticks in the first place.
Take a virtual trip with Boveda to these cigar-friendly destinations:
For My Humidor with Manuel Quesada, Jr.
Why Humidity is Integral to Cigars
Peek into the world of Quesada Cigars. See where they’re made, how they’re made and who crafts them. Watch and learn how Manuel fled Cuba and turned $100 into an iconic cigar brand. Told by Manuel Quesada, Jr. himself, patriarch of Quesada Cigars and the 2016 recipient of Cigar Journal’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Anytime we put a cigar on the table, it’s our name on the table.”
Throughout four generations, the Quesadas have been leaders in the cigar business with popular brands like Casa Magna, Quesada, Fonseca and Heisenberg. Quesada boxes its prized cigars with Boveda 69% RH packets. (BTW, did you catch the Boveda seal that blesses each box of Quesadas? Nice touch.)
From Quesada to Boveda to You-a
Señor Quesada said it best, “Moisture becomes an everlasting, ongoing part of making cigars and dealing with tobacco.” From the time tobacco is grown until the finished product reaches cigar sellers, someone is responsible for humidity control. Once cigars are in your hands, that someone is you. Luckily, Boveda is more than just a travel companion to the world’s best cigar brands, like Quesada. Boveda makes you an expert in cigar humidity regulation.
Next time you light up a buddy’s cigar from his humidor, bring out the science behind Boveda:
- Natural salt is the secret that signals the patented Boveda packet that it’s time to absorb or add moisture.
- That moisture is pure, hyperfiltered water that’s slowly released when your humidor drops below the RH value printed your Boveda packet.
- Different cigars thrive in different RHs—Boveda has four RHs to choose from (plus the 84% RH to season your humidor).
Then take a long draw on a something like a Quesada Reserva Privada. Exhale, pause and say something like, “Boveda are God’s creation to cigars.” (Although Cigar Aficionado Hall of Famer, Manuel Quesada said it first, we’re sure he won’t mind if you quote him—especially over one of his cigars.)
A Conversation with Daniel Marshall
From “just a cigar” to the sublime—
A conversation with Boveda and Daniel Marshall
When a cigar great like Daniel Marshall carves out some time with you, you savor the moment. The man’s fashioned elegant humidors for some big names, including Al Pacino, Steve Harvey, David Beckham and Jay-Z, just to name a few. For cigar connoisseurs and collectors, Marshall creates luxury blends, such as The Golden Cigar, which is wrapped in 24k gold leaf.
Over a smoke with Marshall, Boveda’s CEO, Sean Knutsen, and EVP, Tim Swail, talked cigar care, cigar collecting and the mystery of a missing humidor.
The video’s a little over 8 minutes, so go grab your favorite cigar. (We’ll wait.) Then relax and settle in with three guys who speak the language of fine cigars. Enjoy the flavor of your smoke and the richness of the conversation.
Daniel Marshall Tells Story About Missing Humidor
Filmed, left to right, Boveda EVP, Tim Swail; Boveda CEO, Sean Knutsen; and Daniel Marshall at the 2017 International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) Annual Convention and International Trade Show.
Throwback to one-way cigar humidification
It’s the early 1980s. Daniel Marshall was in his California sailboat workshop taking apart a humidor. Taking apart? He had to learn the inner workings of one before he could design them for his own namesake company and others, including Tiffany & Co., Harrods and Alfred Dunhill.
“It takes a lot to make a humidor, so it doesn’t warp and change over time,” Marshall said.
Marshall’s replica of the Alfred Dunhill humidor he disassembled went missing during a move more than two decades ago.
Recovered in storage, the 35-year-old humidor was displayed at the 2017 IPCPR Convention. Turned out a bottle of Dunhill whisky was just one of the shockers inside the old chap. The other?, how primitive cigar care was back then. “You couldn’t dial into a specific humidity,” Boveda EVP, Tim Swail pointed out.
The analog hygrometer only gauged if moisture was low, normal or wet. How low, normal or wet? Who knew?! The RH was next to impossible to control. Cigar smokers filled the humidor’s antiquated vials with tap water then adjusted their caps so that moisture could evaporate.
So 1982? Think again–some cigar consumers still haven’t evolved beyond outdated one-way cigar humidification. They still use distilled water and sponges, gels or beads to douse their cigars with moisture.
Elevating the experience for cigar lovers
In a recent conversation with David Savona, Executive Editor of Cigar Aficionado, Marshall said he discussed how far cigar humidification has come–from those fillable vials to Boveda’s two-way humidification system.
Boveda CEO, Sean Knutsen acknowledged Cigar Aficionado’s role in educating cigar smokers, “…they’ve become much more keen and demanding on quality. And they understand the difference that moisture plays in the flavor of a cigar and the aging of that cigar.”
“The key element is a humidification system,” Marshall said. The humidor paired with a humidification system “…replicates the environment that the cigars were born in and grown in and aged in.” Boveda is Marshall’s chosen cigar humidification system.
Why cigar leaders, like Daniel Marshall,
trust Boveda for their cigars and humidors
A cigar lover chooses what Boveda RH% is right for their cigars. Then just tosses a Boveda packet into a humidor and forgets about it for months. Boveda’s patented two-way humidity control works automatically to maintain a precise RH level. Natural, food-grade salts know when to absorb moisture and when to release purified water vapor. When the packet gets rigid, it’s time for a new Boveda.
“We use it [Boveda] on our cigars–on our gold cigars, with our red label cigars and in our humidors,” Marshall said.
With Boveda technology and quality humidors like Daniel Marshall’s, cigar lovers can now create and maintain an environment to store, as well as collect cigars, Swail said.
“It’s a tremendous investment,” Marshall said. “And why not protect it just like they do whisky collections or wine collections or guitar collections?”
Cigar lovers will want to grow their collection after eyeing the Daniel Marshall 35th Anniversary Whisky Cigar Humidor. The design, inspired by Marshalls’ long-lost Alfred Dunhill model, has evolved. Gone are those fillable vials. They’ve been replaced by 21st century technology–the precision of Boveda’s 2-way humidification control system.
To find which Boveda RH level is right for your cigars, check it out here.
What Makes Boveda the Only Precision Humidity Control?
Two-way Humidity Control means the same thing to us today as it did when we patented the packaged version 20 years ago: The ability to add and/or remove moisture and still maintain a specific Relative Humidity (RH). It means acting on the environment instead of being at the mercy of it. It means specificity, reliability and predictability.
But recently the term 2-way humidity “control” (or regulate) has been dumbed down to include the crude releasing or absorbing of moisture, whether the contents of your container needs it or not.
Think of your remote control. Would you be happy to punch in “62” and the TV goes to 80? No, you’d chuck the remote out a window with no concern whether it was open. If you set your thermostat to 68 in the summer but the furnace fires up, you’d make a thermostat-sized hole in your wall. Both those examples are analogs to what you get from non-Boveda 2-way humidity “control”. “Good enough” is satisfactory for some people. But not for us. And not for your valuable cigars, guitars or cannabis.
What’s the not-so-secret ingredient only Boveda has patented to provide precision humidity control?
Salt. Science has known for 100’s of years that a saturated salt solution is the only way to provide the capacity to add and/or remove moisture and still maintain the specific intended RH. Boveda patented the packaged version of that science. Without salt, any humidity “control” only has a starting RH that changes wildly as soon as it gives up or absorbs water. That’s not specific, reliable or predictable.
Boveda’s natural, food-grade salts are the brains that know when to absorb and when to release purified water vapor. It’s why you’ll only find Boveda in the cigar boxes of leading cigar makers and the packaging of the biggest cannabis brands. Boveda means precision.
No salt = no precision humidity control.
Why is it Important to Season Your Humidor?
In the name of Rocky Patel,
please, please, please don’t store cigars in a new humidor without seasoning it first. Think it’s too complicated? Seasoning a humidor doesn’t have to be a CHEM 101 project. See how Boveda 84% RH Seasoning Packs will make your desktop humidor cigar-ready in just two weeks. (And all you have to do is toss it in.)
Can you skip humidor seasoning?
A new humidor is a like a vampire. Its dry wooden interior is thirsty. It will suck the moisture out of every unsuspecting Arturo Fuente it comes in contact with. Additionally, you’ll constantly battle low humidity levels that make for dry cigars and lousy smokes.
What if you season a humidor with distilled water?
For a cigar aficionado, a humidor is an investment. Your humidor and its seal may not recover from improper seasoning with distilled water. Introducing 100% humidity to your humidor can shock the wood and literally cause damage. Why risk cracking, molding or warping the wood?
Why season your humidor with the Boveda 84 RH Seasoning Packet?
• Works in 14 days in one step with nothing else to add.
• Delivers the only patented 2-way humidity control by automatically adding AND absorbing moisture.
• Releases pure hyperfiltered water vapor, which won’t contaminate your cigar storage.
Whether your preferred smoke is La Flor Dominicana, Tatuaje, Padrón or another prestige cigar brand, let’s start off with a proper humidor seasoning.
Video: Step by step instructions on HOW to Season your Humidor.
Website: Buy Boveda 84% RH Seasoning Packs right now!
How Strong Are Boveda Packs?
So you may have asked yourself…just how strong are those Boveda packs? After all, you’re putting them close to your beloved cigars, wooden instruments, or herbal medicine.
The answer to this question is: VERY STRONG.
Our own Charlie Rutherford attempts stepping his own boots on a Boveda pack to see how strong they are. “The 180 lb guy that I am, can stand here and put all my weight on it to the point where you can see my boot prints in it.”
Watch below as Charlie demonstrates the strength of a Boveda pack. Charlie explains the quality control efforts that are in place to ensure every Boveda coming in contact with your belongings lives up to our motto. No Mess, No Worries, Enjoy.
3 Things We Wish People Understood About Cigars and Flavor
1. Fluctuations in humidity will cause cigars to lose essential oils and flavors.
Like fine wine, cigars are natural products that live, breathe and age. They’re loaded with natural oils and sugars that provide all the character, flavor and foundation for improving with age. In fact, we even speak of the marriage between wrapper, binder and filler, where the oils and sugars contribute to a harmonious whole. Aging and allowing cigars to develop the “bloom” as the oils and sugars mature makes us really appreciate the harmony of flavors in fine cigars. (This is the reason you bought the cigars in the first place.)
Caring for cigars properly, like all natural products, is essential for enjoying them as the cigar master intended. To do that, you need to know some of the basics about cigar care, and indeed, about cigar tobacco.
Tobacco is “hygroscopic,” meaning it has the ability to draw moisture from surrounding environments as well as give up moisture. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult to maintain the natural oils and sugars contained within the blend.
2. Neglecting to store cigars in a proper environment is a mistake. Don’t compound a mistake with another mistake.
The biggest doom to fine cigars are fluctuations and/or cycles in humidity. There are 2 major enemies that are trying to impend this doom upon your cigars at all times. The first enemy is the storing environment. The second enemy is any inferior product that attempts to control this environment.
In other words, humidity fluctuations arise with normal changes in ambient temperature and humidity. Whereas cycles in humidity occur when using any refillable humidification device. Both are bad for your cigars.
The humidity inside your humidor spikes when filling any refillable device with water. This is then followed by a steady drop in humidity as the water evaporates. During each of these cycles, some of the natural oils and sugars contained within the cigar’s blend dissipate along with the moisture. This robs the cigar of its character, flavor and its foundation for improving with age.
Additionally, the jolt in humidity that happens when filling a refillable device with water creates an environment for your humidor to collect mold, mildew and bacteria. This not only can cause off-flavors in your cigars but can also cause degradation during the aging process.
3. How to wipe out fluctuations in humidity and age your cigars properly:
The answer is simple, Boveda. Before Boveda, all that cigar aficionados had to care for their precious cargo were one-way humidifiers like orange peels, lettuce heads, etc. (this all seems very old-fashioned to us). Two-way humidity control continually responds to the environment and maintains a very stable and precise RH (Relative Humidity). This stops fluctuations and extreme cycles these fluctuations put your cigars though. It is this balance that prevents loss of the natural oils, sugars and flavor as your cigars age.
How do changing seasons/temperatures affect cigar storage?
If you’re using Boveda, it doesn’t.
Relative humidity (RH) is inextricably linked to temperature. A certain dose of moisture at one temp will be too much at too little at lower or higher temps.
So if you’re using (PG) solution with gel, beads, crystals, sponges, the changing seasons make your job even harder. Have you settled into a time consuming habit over the winter of monitoring levels in the jar/sponge? Checking your hygrometer every few days, making sure the thermostat was at a specific temp and moving your humidor around? That won’t work when you open the windows to let the spring and summer in.
Why? PG solution and the various forms of water reservoirs don’t know when to stop adding moisture. They’ll still be giving off moisture at night when the temp falls. And they’ll still be giving off moisture when you’re enjoying the rain with open windows.
Boveda users don’t worry about any of this. As a leader in 2-way humidity control, Boveda is the only technology that isn’t controlled by the environment, but acts on it. Again, since RH and temp are forever linked, the temp and humidity can rise and fall. Boveda will add or remove moisture as necessary to get to the RH% on the pack.
It doesn’t matter the season or condition, Boveda is accounting for the temp changes. That’s the reason our Humidor Bag is so popular for golf bags. Whether it’s 90+ degree heat 60 degree coolness in your garage, you have year-round protection for your cigars.
If you’re using Boveda, all you have to worry about is what you’ll do with all the extra time on your hands.