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Curious about aging CC's

BasicTek

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Hi all,

I'm very new to the cigar world, prior to this October I pretty much only smoked a cigar once in a while and had 0 info about which ones were good, which ones I liked, how to care, etc....

I decided to pick up the habit full time and proceed buying my 1st humidors and a bunch of nc's (at the time I liked cohiba red dots). Well shortly after I found my 1st real cuban, and redirected all my efforts into buying an inventory to have on hand. When my last 6 boxes come in I'll have bought just over 600 sticks and I've smoked about 100 so far (so it's been a busy oct, nov, and dec...).

So far I pretty much like all of the cc's I've tried but partagas are definitely my favorite (they seem a little richer and stronger in flavor) I also really like Monte's and enjoyed my 1st Bolivar and Saint Luis Rey.

So to the questions I hear so many people in the forum talking about how much better these get with age and since I enjoy them even without rest (although they are often to moist and I definitely see the need for rest to alleviate burn/draw problems)

  • How much age is needed to see significance/improvement in these cigars? 6 oms, 1 year 3 years more...
  • What actually changes with age?
  • Do they get stronger, more flavor? Do they get milder and smoother (I don't think this would interest me at all)?
  • I see people post that they get more "complexity" and being a newby I'm not quite sure what this is...

Anyway just figured I'd ask input from all the seasoned vets in here to get an idea of what I'm missing out on . With the inventory I have it wouldn't be too much trouble to start the aging process but I'm really not sure I have that much patience (as you may observe by how quickly I've jumped into this).

Thanks for any feedback!
 
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Boudie

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Hi all,


  • How much age is needed to see significance/improvement in these cigars? 6 oms, 1 year 3 years more...The amount of ageing depends on the cigar and your tastes.
    Many CC's especially in the past where shipped with residual ammonia from incomplete curing of the tobacco. Best thing to do is taste one out of the box, if you like it enjoy if you feel they will get better with a bit of development let them rest.
  • What actually changes with age? Similar to aging red wine the chemistry in a cigar changes and new flavor compounds are formed. This chemistry never stops in a cigar , just slows down There are several good articles that go into the specific chemical changes that occur during aging if you are interested in doing a Google search.
  • Do they get stronger, more flavor? Do they get milder and smoother (I don't think this would interest me at all)? The aging process often removes some of the harshness or pepper in a cigar that many people define as strength so they could become milder or smoother.
  • I see people post that they get more "complexity" and being a newby I'm not quite sure what this is... Many cigars have one or two dominant flavors that overwhelm your taste buds and hide the more subtle flavors present in the cigar. Aging will often allow these dominant flavors to go through the chemistry and produce more nuanced flavors or simply dissipate and allow the previously overwhelmed flavors to present themselves.

Anyway just figured I'd ask input from all the seasoned vets in here to get an idea of what I'm missing out on . With the inventory I have it wouldn't be too much trouble to start the aging process but I'm really not sure I have that much patience (as you may observe by how quickly I've jumped into this).

Thanks for any feedback!
 

icehog3

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  • How much age is needed to see significance/improvement in these cigars? 6 oms, 1 year 3 years more...
  • What actually changes with age?
  • Do they get stronger, more flavor? Do they get milder and smoother (I don't think this would interest me at all)?
  • I see people post that they get more "complexity" and being a newby I'm not quite sure what this is...
Depends.
Depends.
Depends.
And complexity for me is a cigar that has more than one flavor profile, or more than one strength, or other changes as the smoke. develops.

As far as your first 3 questions, for me personally it's a crap shoot. I know what I like, so that's what I buy and age, But boxes of '05 Bolivar Royal Coronas aged nothing like '08 Royal Coronas. Some Cazadores got milder after years of aging, some Party Shorts seemed to get stronger. But smoother and milder is more common than stronger...with Cubans it's more about complexity and flavor, and not so much strength. Better off with Nicaraguans if strength is what you're ultimately after.....Cubans are more nuanced in my experience.

But for the "depends"....you just need to get in there and start. Soon enough you'll answer all those questions for yourself.
 
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Try different sticks till you find your favorite few and buy cabs of 50 if you can when you get down to say half a cab put it up and buy another keep doing that and eventually you'll find out what a 5 yo D4 or PLPC tastes like.
 
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I’m too new to have any aged stock myself. Buy or trade for some from other brothers here. But hell if you like what you’ve got already forget about age. I certainly wish I could forget about CCs and age.


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Nacho Daddy

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"Do they get milder and smoother (I don't think this would interest me at all)? "

My advice is get rid of them now and go back to the NC world..
If Partagas is your choice for favorite,you probably are looking for the Nicaragua kick you are familiar with,that CCs will never provide for you.

To be totally scientific,you should not smoke anything for a few days,and then try a CC.
Smoke nothing but CCs for the next 10 or 15 cigars.
Get a digital Hygrometer and allow your CCs to dry down for at least a week to 10 days,and try them again.

We can discuss age at a later time.
 

jwintosh

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a lot of good advise given... as a general rule, I'll let new cigars rest for 30 days. this allows the cigars to acclimate to my humidor. As for aging, get two. save one, smoke one. If you open a box and they're not smoking great, put them away for six months and try again,,, and again,,, and again. I had a box of monte 5's that were awful the first few trys. Then I wished I had put a few more down.
 

BasicTek

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Thanks for all the great comments! I think I have some I'm not totally happy with (my recent Ramon Allones don't seem to have a lot of flavor so I'll let them sit a while). Others like the partagas and Quintero seem to be awesome after a week. I did really like the kick of a 1926 Padron (NC), but not many of the more affordable Nicaraguan's I've tried (yet).... These cuban robustos - corona size are much less $$$ than the padron and even though I don't think any of them are as strong I prefer the flavor of Partagas & Bolivar (especially on the retro) but I'm new so I do intend to keep trying others.

I can definitely keep at least some for the long term but just wondered how much better they will actually get... Less than 3 months ago I was stocking up on cohiba red dot's and hadn't even tried a real cuban so who knows how much my tastes will change in another 3 months or 3 years....
 
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Cubans are a different animal than NCs. As far as aging goes many do significantly improve over time, smoothing out the rough edge and allowing you to realize the flavor potential. As mentioned, the strength will usually be less over time but will also be less harsh more flavorful. As far as recommending brands- that's a personal call, although you will find many that you will like most are high quality. I would suggest stashing some of your CCs away then revisit in 6 months to a year. Some of them take many years to reach their potential...
 

BasicTek

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A couple more (hopefully) quick questions about aging.

  • I smoked a Ramon Allones small club corona out of a sampler and thought it was amazing, then purchased a new box. The box was dated Dic 18 (assuming 1 year old) I've had 2 out of the box so far (1 after a few days rest the other after a week) and both were like weak version of the sampler that I had. The flavor was similar but it seemed like just a hint of it. I've read in forums where people say to make sure an age these at least 6 months or a year. Would this be a good candidate for aging? Or did I maybe just get a bad box?

  • The other question is how do you consider the box date in the aging process, does it count from the box date or from the date it hits your humidor?

Thanks again!

RE:
If Partagas is your choice for favorite,you probably are looking for the Nicaragua kick you are familiar with,that CCs will never provide for you.
I still smoke a mix of dominican Nicaraguan, cuban, and as well as other (mixes) cigars. I read that Nicaraguan were the strongest cigars and have purchased a bunch of them. I've noticed that I have a really hard time with the retro for all Nicaraguan cigars, and they are the only ones I have that issue with. Maybe by the last 3rd I can retro, so I think they may be too harsh/strong for me (at least now). The cubans to me have the best retro and the richest flavor of any cigars I've had so far. Possibly I'm confusing "strength" with "Rich flavor" I do notice if I smoke only cuban for a few days that I'm much less impressed with the flavor and that by mixing it up I enjoy the cubans a lot more if I only have 1 a day or so...
 

Nacho Daddy

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" how do you consider the box date in the aging process, does it count from the box date "

If you received a box with a two year old date,what would you think ? :nailbiting::woot::cat:
 
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I just got a new humidor that can hold 400 sticks so thank you to all who have answered this. I aged a few sticks in a small box for maybe a year or 2 and i can say i was never disappointed in the cigar after it was aged.
 
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A couple more (hopefully) quick questions about aging.

  • I smoked a Ramon Allones small club corona out of a sampler and thought it was amazing, then purchased a new box. The box was dated Dic 18 (assuming 1 year old) I've had 2 out of the box so far (1 after a few days rest the other after a week) and both were like weak version of the sampler that I had. The flavor was similar but it seemed like just a hint of it. I've read in forums where people say to make sure an age these at least 6 months or a year. Would this be a good candidate for aging? Or did I maybe just get a bad box?

  • The other question is how do you consider the box date in the aging process, does it count from the box date or from the date it hits your humidor?

Thanks again!

RE:

I still smoke a mix of dominican Nicaraguan, cuban, and as well as other (mixes) cigars. I read that Nicaraguan were the strongest cigars and have purchased a bunch of them. I've noticed that I have a really hard time with the retro for all Nicaraguan cigars, and they are the only ones I have that issue with. Maybe by the last 3rd I can retro, so I think they may be too harsh/strong for me (at least now). The cubans to me have the best retro and the richest flavor of any cigars I've had so far. Possibly I'm confusing "strength" with "Rich flavor" I do notice if I smoke only cuban for a few days that I'm much less impressed with the flavor and that by mixing it up I enjoy the cubans a lot more if I only have 1 a day or so...
Some good dialogue on this thread and I can’t specifically comment on the aging characteristics of CC’s in general but I will say that I’ve been smoking a mix of Dominican, Nicaraguan, Honduran and Cuban (and a few Mexican and Costa Rican) for several years and I find the stronger sticks to be the Dominican ones kind of like an Australian Shiraz if you know what I mean. If that’s your taste profile try an Ashton VSG or LFD Double Ligero and tell me what you think. Whenever I smoke something new I always scan it using cigar scanner and google it for tasting notes (CI usually comes up first with a strength meter) and see if I taste the same flavors and if I like it. I did this a lot and got a feel for what I liked and would tell the B&M what I liked (and didn’t like) and they gave me good advice on what to try next for NC.
 

BasicTek

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Whenever I smoke something new I always scan it using cigar scanner and google it for tasting notes (CI usually comes up first with a strength meter) and see if I taste the same flavors and if I like it. I did this a lot and got a feel for what I liked and would tell the B&M what I liked (and didn’t like) and they gave me good advice on what to try next for NC.
I got cigar scanner in early November (a guy on a cruise showed me) To date I have 44 cigars entered (I rate them, and write up what I liked/didn't like), I have 8 favorites (Including 2 NC's) The Ashton VSG is one of my top Dominican's (still have a few left) but 6 of my top 8 are CC's and the only aging on them was the usual 1 - 1.5 years on the box date.
 
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44 in 2 months, that’s putting in some work! It sounds like you’re on your way already and educating yourself well. One of my favorite CC’s is the Partagas Serie D No 4, so I’d recommend that if you haven’t tried one yet. It sounds like we have similar taste profiles.


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BasicTek

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One of my favorite CC’s is the Partagas Serie D No 4, so I’d recommend that if you haven’t tried one yet. It sounds like we have similar taste profiles
That is my current #1 with a few close 2nd's
Other favs are the monte #4 (probably larger but I haven't bought any yet) H upman mag 46 (surprised by this but it is the fullest H-up I have had), Bolivar royal corona (only bolivar I've had) partagas petit corona's and mille fluers, HdM Palmas, oh and added my 1st Ramon Allones Specially Selected last night. Only the AF Don Carlos is up there for NC's so far but there are a few others I really liked but didn't add to favs such as padron 1926, and Ashton VSG, and an alec bradley max.

44 is just the ones I didn't forget to enter so I'm sure I have had more than 50 since then.
 
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I’ve only been at this a few years and you just described my favs starting out. After time I started liking “milder” stuff and Cohibas are rocking it for me now.

Keep in mind mail order are fakes. Yes I’ll get flamed and told about “trusted sellers” etc. but being in Canada and having real access to legal CC’s I stopped buying boxes online. They are just not the same.


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