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Can I smoke them the day I receive them? Aging domestic cigars

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All,

I am going to make a thread late August, early September where I start sampling the below list of cigars (A few more still need to be added). Maybe I'll wait or at least come up with an order on when to sample what based on replies I receive here. I am planning on repeating the same thing about 6-8 months later.

I'm on a quest to see if there is anything out there that rivals a good CC. I doubt there is, but I have a few friends who swear otherwise.

Admittedly I stopped smoking domestic cigars around 1999-2000. Since 2000 I've smoked an occasional Don Carlos Robusto or #3 as well as a few La Palina Goldies. I take about 1 domestic cigar for a spin every 5 years. I've never really been all that satisfied, even though the DC will always have a special place in my heart.

Although as far as cigar flavor is concerned for CCs there is no substitute. - BUT - Maybe something non Cuban will be acceptable on a given occasion? That's all I'm asking/trying to accomplish. Also to have on hand some smokes to give out to friends on occasion.


I have never smoked any of the cigars on this below list, except for the Don Carlos and Padrons

I am hoping for your opinions and insight:

1.) Which ones can be smoked right after delivery?
2.) When is the shortest time, at the very least least one should wait before firing up after delivery? (minimum age time)
3.) What is the sweet spot when waiting after delivery to smoke any on the below list? 1 year, 3 years?
3.) What is the longest the below cigars can age before showing signs of decline?
(I have read Opus X (not on the list) is great after 1 year if age after two years start to decline)

I don't know if anyone is laying domestic cigars down for 10-20 years years - I tend to age all my cigars without trying because I buy faster than I smoke.

I am going to assume that most if not all of these cigars below don't last on retailers' shelves a few years before being sold, and that all of them have box/ship dates from the manufacturer within a few months from today. Maybe even a few weeks.

Any insight as far as aging and when to smoke would be appreciated, feel free to add other comments and opinions!


  • Alec Bradley Prensado Corona Gorda
  • Arturo Fuente Don Carlos #3, & Robusto

  • Ashton ESG 24-Year Salute & 23 Year Salute*
  • Ashton Symmetry Robusto* & Prism Corona Gorda*

  • Drew Estate Undercrown Maduro Corona Viva*

  • EP Carrillo Pledge Prequel - Robusto Natural

  • My Father The Judge Toro & Corona Gorda
  • My Father Le Bijou 1922 Torpedo & Toro

  • Oliva Serie V Double Robusto Natural*

  • Padron 1926 Maduro
  • Padron 2000 Robusto natural

  • Rocky Patel Fifty Toro Oscuro
  • Rocky Patel Tavicusa Toro Natural

  • Tatuaje Havana VI Artistas (torpedo)
  • Tatuaje Havana VI Verocu Corona Larga*


* denotes I have not yet received the delivery but placed the order
 

CAJoe

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For the most part domestic cigars already have aged tobacco in them in that the manufacturer had the tobacco itself age, the cigars after rolled age, or both. Cuba typically rolls as fast as they can and ship. Most manufacturers will telll you the cigars are ready to smoke when you get them and for the most part they are right. Some may get better over time but they can also age out quickly.
 
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Note: I don't expect any of these to rival the flavor of a great CC, but I do expect that the construction, draw and combustion to be better than most CCs. Maybe there might be a vitola or two that I can weave into my rotation that will be a bit satisfying and not break the bank. That's all I'm really looking for.

I don't really plan to be buying Ashton ESGs or any of the super priced smokes on the list on a regular basis but I have to try them, in the name of science and complete testing :)

I am buying these in 5 packs, a few at the box level, in order to sample and have left overs for my poor friends who will no longer be getting my CC handouts but rather something from these domestics to choose from.

With the prices of CCs lately I can't afford them for myself even. So I admittedly looked for smokes that have a decent Cigar Aficionado rating, not that I ever cared about ratings, but some people do and it will be easier to hand over a USD$10 EP Carrillo instead of a SIGLO IV when the EP was recently the cigar of the year.
 
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For the most part domestic cigars already have aged tobacco in them in that the manufacturer had the tobacco itself age, the cigars after rolled age, or both. Cuba typically rolls as fast as they can and ship. Most manufacturers will telll you the cigars are ready to smoke when you get them and for the most part they are right. Some may get better over time but they can also age out quickly.
Thanks CA Joe, that makes sense. I rarely have had a CC that tasted decent in the first 1-2 years of box stamp(most even longer). There have been a few exceptions, but those are rare.

Any Fuente I've had was always decent right out of the box. But things change and I am currently a domestic noob.
 
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Agreed. Seems unless a buddy sends them they’re usually way too damp to smoke well. There’s some really nice non Cuban cigars out there. To the point I’m certainly not going for Cuban any time soon.
 

Nacho Daddy

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I have some Camacho Corojo from 2001 still smoking well.
I have aged La Gloria Cubanas for 14 years and found them excellent.
I also have a hand full of sticks as old as 1947 that would surprise you with the body and flavors.
You will not recognize the difference in the average cigar after a year unless you get one right off the rolling table.

Generally ,strong cigars age and improve longer that mild ones, but there can still be a lot of character in a mild stick.

Quit worrying about trying to "optimize " a handful of NCs and enjoy a good cigar.
 

BoneYard

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Aging NCs are a gamble in my mind. The two NCs people age the most are Fuente, (especially opusX) and Padron. I’ve only rested a handful of Opus X passed 3 years and 1 of them turned out to be the best NC I ever smoked. (I bought a fiver of OpusX angels share in Fuente Fuente off a member here) and it was astounding. The other 4 were not as good but that one cigar was truly amazing.
I’ve seen other NC cigars unintentionally pass 3 years in my cabinet, but was generally unimpressed with flavor improvement once acclimated to storage. YMMV and my experience may be outdated now, idk.
 

BoneYard

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Come to think of it, I did also put down some opusX power rangers for several years, but they were not that memorable to me. However, I do remember reading some stellar reviews of aged power rangers
 
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All,

I am going to make a thread late August, early September where I start sampling the below list of cigars (A few more still need to be added). Maybe I'll wait or at least come up with an order on when to sample what based on replies I receive here. I am planning on repeating the same thing about 6-8 months later.

I'm on a quest to see if there is anything out there that rivals a good CC. I doubt there is, but I have a few friends who swear otherwise.

Admittedly I stopped smoking domestic cigars around 1999-2000. Since 2000 I've smoked an occasional Don Carlos Robusto or #3 as well as a few La Palina Goldies. I take about 1 domestic cigar for a spin every 5 years. I've never really been all that satisfied, even though the DC will always have a special place in my heart.

Although as far as cigar flavor is concerned for CCs there is no substitute. - BUT - Maybe something non Cuban will be acceptable on a given occasion? That's all I'm asking/trying to accomplish. Also to have on hand some smokes to give out to friends on occasion.


I have never smoked any of the cigars on this below list, except for the Don Carlos and Padrons

I am hoping for your opinions and insight:

1.) Which ones can be smoked right after delivery?
2.) When is the shortest time, at the very least least one should wait before firing up after delivery? (minimum age time)
3.) What is the sweet spot when waiting after delivery to smoke any on the below list? 1 year, 3 years?
3.) What is the longest the below cigars can age before showing signs of decline?
(I have read Opus X (not on the list) is great after 1 year if age after two years start to decline)

I don't know if anyone is laying domestic cigars down for 10-20 years years - I tend to age all my cigars without trying because I buy faster than I smoke.

I am going to assume that most if not all of these cigars below don't last on retailers' shelves a few years before being sold, and that all of them have box/ship dates from the manufacturer within a few months from today. Maybe even a few weeks.

Any insight as far as aging and when to smoke would be appreciated, feel free to add other comments and opinions!


  • Alec Bradley Prensado Corona Gorda
  • Arturo Fuente Don Carlos #3, & Robusto

  • Ashton ESG 24-Year Salute & 23 Year Salute*
  • Ashton Symmetry Robusto* & Prism Corona Gorda*

  • Drew Estate Undercrown Maduro Corona Viva*

  • EP Carrillo Pledge Prequel - Robusto Natural

  • My Father The Judge Toro & Corona Gorda
  • My Father Le Bijou 1922 Torpedo & Toro

  • Oliva Serie V Double Robusto Natural*

  • Padron 1926 Maduro
  • Padron 2000 Robusto natural

  • Rocky Patel Fifty Toro Oscuro
  • Rocky Patel Tavicusa Toro Natural

  • Tatuaje Havana VI Artistas (torpedo)
  • Tatuaje Havana VI Verocu Corona Larga*


* denotes I have not yet received the delivery but placed the order
Because of widely different storage practices, I would wait at least two week for the sticks to acclimate. I would also aim for somewhere between 66% and 68% for storage. 66-67 is where I like Nicaraguan puros. Things with Honduran or Dominican I like closer to 68%. Cubans I enjoyed at 65%.

I also make it a habit to wait at least one month on Oliva.

Padron 2000 gets better with time. I wouldn't judge it right off the truck. The 1926 uses 10 year old tobaccos. So, it is subtle. I would give it time to acclimate, then smoke it when the weather is comfortable and you won't be distracted. I like them, but only smoke them in lounges with well maintained humidors.

In my experience the My Father stuff is best in the first three months. Then, at six to nine months they become a different smoke. Depending on how wet it is when it arrives, it may be a right of the truck smoke.
 
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You might want to try some Aladino Natural or Corojo Reserva and lay them down for three to six months. Aladino is Julio and Justo Eiroa. Julio is a really old Cuban farmer that moved to Honduras and uses "authentic" Cuban corojo seed. Their blends have that old school Cuban style if not the exact flavor. So, it might be worth experimenting with.

You may want to try some of the stuff rolled by Julio's son Christian. Eiroa Jamastran is one of my absolute favorite smokes and age doesn't hurt them a bit. I also like the Eiroa First 20 Years, CLE signature, and CLE 25th Anniversary. All should do well with long rests.

An unusual one I like is the Oscar Valladares Altar Q. I buy a box every year. Then I start smoking them at three months. The evolution through the fifteen to sixteen months I smoke them is cool to experience. I've heard good things about 2 year old ones as well.

Pete Johnson said he blends Tatuaje to be good now, but great with age. He has mentioned that he blends with an eye towards how they will smoke in two years. The Verocu was a much better smoke at eight months in my opinion.

Edit to add:
I bought a box of Herrera Esteli cigars that were three years old. They are on the low end of medium now. They are more complex though with a nice sweetness that comes across with some vanilla and toast that is yummy.
 
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I have some Camacho Corojo from 2001 still smoking well.
I have aged La Gloria Cubanas for 14 years and found them excellent.
I also have a hand full of sticks as old as 1947 that would surprise you with the body and flavors.
You will not recognize the difference in the average cigar after a year unless you get one right off the rolling table.

Generally ,strong cigars age and improve longer that mild ones, but there can still be a lot of character in a mild stick.

Quit worrying about trying to "optimize " a handful of NCs and enjoy a good cigar.ying what you
I have a Room101 Namakubia that is eleven years old. I know when I smoked them at 10 years they were still top notch cigars. They were blended when Camacho and Davidoff we're still using Eiroa tobacco. Unfortunately Camacho now is very different than in 2001. However it lends credence with trying some Eiroa and CLE smokes with age on them. Eiroa's tobacco and blending does very well with age.

I agree with just enjoying what is in front of you. I've had too many friends get taken before they were 55. Tomorrow isn't promised. So, of something I like is in the humidor a year from now that is just a bonus. Altar Q being the exception.
 
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You lost me at “Opus begin to decline after 2 years.”
I have a typo and don't like to edit so, what I wrote was: "I have read Opus X (not on the list) is great after 1 year [of] age after two years start to decline"

Someone posted on one of these forums that after a year of aging, Opus X hit their peak which lasts about a year, maybe two, and then after that they start to decline. I am not an Opus smoker, tried a few in the 1990's but always thought the Don Carlos was much better. I never really aged domestic cigars when I started out in the 90's. Switched to CCs in 1999-2000.

So I am totally an out of the loop domestic cigar noob and have no idea after how long after purchasing the types of cigars on the list should one wait before getting them at their earliest best.

A lot of good info here, trying to digest, thanks all
 

Nacho Daddy

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after a year of aging, Opus X hit their peak which lasts about a year, maybe two, and then after that they start to decline.


total bullshit........

amazing what you find on these forums. no shortage of uninformed idiots..............

Quit worrying about trying to "optimize " a handful of NCs and enjoy a good cigar.
 
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I have a handful of OpusX sticks with 20+ years of age on them. Maybe it’s time to put the CCs down and spark one of these up?
 
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I have a Room101 Namakubia that is eleven years old. I know when I smoked them at 10 years they were still top notch cigars. They were blended when Camacho and Davidoff we're still using Eiroa tobacco. Unfortunately Camacho now is very different than in 2001. However it lends credence with trying some Eiroa and CLE smokes with age on them. Eiroa's tobacco and blending does very well with age.

I agree with just enjoying what is in front of you. I've had too many friends get taken before they were 55. Tomorrow isn't promised. So, of something I like is in the humidor a year from now that is just a bonus. Altar Q being the exception.
after a year of aging, Opus X hit their peak which lasts about a year, maybe two, and then after that they start to decline.


total bullshit........

amazing what you find on these forums. no shortage of uninformed idiots..............

Quit worrying about trying to "optimize " a handful of NCs and enjoy a good cigar.
OK great, now I don't feel so bad if a bunch of these end up sitting for 5-10 years for whatever reason. (y) I know they'll still be good.

I ordered all of these to start doing taste tests to see what I can weave into my CC cigar smoking schedule on a regular basis, as CC prices are through the roof.

Just didn't want to:

  1. Smoke anything too fast that usually needs 3-6 months to get normal
  2. Have any on hand that would be past their prime after a certain amt of time - I prefer to smoke those first or give them away before they are duds, that's all, not trying to optimize anything. You're giving me too much credit. I'm seriously this much of a noob when it comes to non Cubans, I might even ask which side to cut... just kidding.

OK, no more questions, and I will be adding a few more to my taste test lineup based on these threads, thank you all, this forum rocks ;)
 

Boudie

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Just my opinion but it seems that CCs generally get more complex and nuanced with age while most NCs will have less harshness and body. Most older, mild NCs just seems to be flat. If you find a NC harsh or too full bodied age may improve them.

Padron, Fuente, maybe some others may not fit this pattern. I have a couple of boxes of Padrons that I probable won't touch for another 5 years.

I think the difference between ageing NCs and CCs is what happens to the complexity or range of flavors of the cigars.

Best part of this hobby is smoking cigars in the name of doing research!
 

BoneYard

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Just my opinion but it seems that CCs generally get more complex and nuanced with age while most NCs will have less harshness and body. Most older, mild NCs just seems to be flat. If you find a NC harsh or too full bodied age may improve them.
That’s been my experience too, although I’ve never aged NCs to the extent I have CCs for a fair comparison.
 
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