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Cigars/Aging and air circulation


Dear James

I have a very large selection of cigars and I have been smoking Cubans and some non Cuban brands.
Lately my selection grew so big I found my self storing cigars with Boveda packs in clean air tight tapper wear in my large wine fridge at around 62 degrees and 69 percent humidity.
My other storing places consist of a large cabinet custom build humidor with electronic humidification and several large desk top humidors all very full of cigars.
One of the desk tops is a  large Savinelli that is not made out of cedar but it seems to hold humidity in my dry climate very well.
It is also slightly defective as one side of the lid allows a very minute amount of air to enter the box.
Through the years I have noticed that that specific humidor makes the cigars in it taste substantially better as they age in comparison to the other humidors and ways of storing the tobacco.
In addition the cigars that go in the taper wear stay in great shape and I try periodically to open them all and get some air in every few weeks.
I have concluded the old Savinelli with yellow looking wood inside(used to be white when new)from all the cigar oils for twenty years always makes the cigars way better in a year or more than the ones in the taper wear that seem to stay close to the taste they had when young even after two years and a half stored that way.
The others including the large cabinet being the next best container and the desk tops can never achieve the results of the Savinelli over and over as I rotate what I smoke through it and keep more than half with cigars that sit in there for years.
I am wondering if there is a magic specific air circulation of a specific quantity that might be existing over the others that results in better aging.
I have a hard time determining how to quantify this part as other factors as RH and temp is always between low sixties to seventy degrees through the seasons of the year on all the humidors except the ones in the cooler where the temp is steady as well the humidity with out much air circulation.
Could it be possible that best results in aging for best taste might exist or develop with most air circulation provided that temp and RH is proper or even fluctuating between the values mentioned?
I guess I am certain the Savinelli performs better and I am looking for the real causes that I might be able to provide for the rest of my collection and the endless purchasing and smoking of cigars which is one of my best passions in life.


Hi Mario,

You're correct, air circulation is actually very important to cigar storage.  I have several humidors and also use tupperware containers (tupperdors) to store surplus cigars long-term and over the years, I have noticed that cigars sealed in an air-tight environment such as a tupperware container does not age and taste as well as cigars stored in a container with some type of circulated air flow.  All cigars need aeration to "breathe" and properly develop plume which is why it's always recommended that you periodically open your humidor(s) to rotate your cigars, vent the old stale air and allow fresh air to circulate through.  As a rule of thumb, it's also advised that if you use tupperware containers to store cigars, always let the lid rest closed but NOT sealed.  By doing this, air can still naturally enter and exit your containers through the thin gap between the lid and container and this will promote a healthy and even aging. (Not only will this improve aging, but it will also allow excess humidity to escape your containers which is crucial.)

Whether or not humidors require a specific quantity of air circulation is still up for debate among many experts but the general consensus is that as long as you periodically open your humidor/cigar boxes for rotation as well as allow fresh air to circulate through, your cigars will age quite nicely.

I hope this helps. If you have any more questions, please feel free to just ask and I will be happy to help.



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James Yee


My main area of expertise is Cuban cigars and I can assist you if you have questions pertaining to Cuban cigars. I can also assist you with the following:

- General cigar-related questions and advice
- Humidor maintenance and troubleshooting (How to treat humidor mold, correct high/low humidity, humidor seasoning, etc.)
- Accessory maintenance and troubleshooting (Cigar cutters, hygrometers, humidifiers, etc.)
- Cigar restoration, preservation and troubleshooting (How to treat cigar mold/tobacco beetles, restoring vintage/dry cigars, etc.)
- Cigar/Brand identification
- Cigar etiquette

Unsure of a certain cigar brand? Wondering what a certain cigar tastes like? Have a question about Cuban cigars? Having problems with a humidor or Just let me know! I have smoked every brand of Cuban cigars and most reputable non-Cuban cigar brands on a regular basis so I know a fair bit about taste profiles, cigar etiquette and other fine nuances to cigar smoking. (NOTE: My main focus is on premium, hand-rolled cigars and not cheap, machine made, convenience store cigars.) IMPORTANT: PLEASE NOTE THAT I DO NOT PROVIDE CIGAR OR CIGAR-RELATED APPRAISALS. If you have a vintage cigar item and you want to know if it's worth something, please contact an antique dealer that specializes in "TOBACCIANA".


I currently have 19 dedicated years of cigar smoking and counting. I have smoked every brand of Cuban cigars and most reputable non-Cuban cigar brands on a regular basis so I know a fair bit about taste profiles, cigar etiquette and other fine nuances to cigar smoking. For 5 years, I studied with Cuban torcedores (rollers), catadores (taste testers) and revisadores (inspectors) on every aspect involving the production of the Cuban cigar and I am currently writing a book that will help beginners understand everything they need to know about cigars and cigar smoking.

Maple Leaf Gardens: Memories & Dreams 1931-1999 (1999; ISBN: 0920445616)
50 Things Every Guy Should Know How To Do (2006; ISBN: 0452286654)
The [London] Times (October 8, 2009)

B.A. University of Toronto

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