First cigar out of the box?

By Gary Korb

If you're like most cigar smokers, when you purchase a box of cigars, be it at your local cigar store, or by mail-order, you probably open it up and smoke one right away. I've often seen customers who buy cigars at Famous Smoke Shop do this in the Retail Store right at the cash register. The reason I bring this up is, sometimes that first cigar doesn’t always live up to its expectations, and I'm wondering if anyone else has also found this to be the case?

I suppose the question is: Should you dive-in right away, or give the cigars a few days, even weeks, to "settle?" I admit, it's hard to resist, especially when you order by mail and you're practically foaming at the mouth to light-up your latest purchase.

Another reason I bring this up is because some mail order customers have written to me saying that the first cigar was disappointing, whereas a couple weeks later the cigars smoked beautifully.

My theory is that there are a couple of factors in play: First, it depends on the conditions the cigars were stored prior to shipping. Secondly, you have the effects on shipping them; the travel time in the plane and/or truck, which, depending on the weather, etc. can sometimes affect the taste or burn of the cigar.

Believe me, it takes a lot of restraint to keep from firing up that first one out of the box, especially if it's a brand you're trying for the first time. But I've found that cigars taste better when left to recover from jet lag, or "truck lag" for at least a few days. Moreover, a fellow co-worker once told me they never smoke the first cigar before letting it settle for at least a week.

Since I have a decent amount of aged stock readily available on a daily basis, there's really no reason to smoke that first new cigar right away, and I'm certain most cigar smokers are in a similar position. But I have to admit that curiosity often wins out, my cutter and lighter poised for action within seconds after opening the box.

Your thoughts?


John B. said…
I have to say I agree, I very rarely smoke anything I buy in a store or online right away. I always try to let them hang out in the humidor for awhile before I smoke them. I like to them get back to optimum humidity. Occasionaly I will smoke one as soon as I get it, but not often.
John D said…
I usually take one out within a day of purchase to check for construction problems.(plugged) I also smoke one to find out where the cigar is at in it's aging. Some cigars like Puros Indios Reserva Maxima '03 are already there, no need to age this fabulous smoke!

John D
Gee EL said…
It depends on the cigar and my finances. Sometimes rather than purchasing an individual cigar, I will buy a box. The price per/cigar is much less, so I will try one. Aging usually improves a cigar, but if the humidor isn't just right, it can make the cigar worse - too dry or too soggy. What do I really know, I'm just an "amateur" like most of you reading this comment. ENJOY!

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