The 10 Best Humidors
This wiki has been edited 20 times since it was first published in February of 2016. If you or someone you know is a regular cigar smoker — or even better, a blossoming stogie aficionado — take a look at these humidors. They'll keep even your most prized Cubans at their ideal temperature and humidity level, so they’ll be fresh and ready to smoke at any time, be it days, weeks, or months down the line. We've also included some portable options for those who travel often. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best humidor on Amazon.
A Primer On Choosing The Right Cigars
Colorado cigars are medium brown and often have a reddish tint; they are rich but smooth.
A tan or light brown cigar, called claro in color, will be mild in character.
Whether you enjoy several cigars a week or you want to know how to choose the right cigar to help celebrate a wedding, a birth, a graduation, or just getting through the day without going insane, a little bit of knowledge can go a long way. When it comes to choosing a great cigar, you don't have to rely on its price tag as the standard of excellence; as with wines, whiskeys, and fine foods, whatever cigar best suits your preference is the best stogie for you.
Before you go about selecting a cigar (or a box of them) there is a bit of vocabulary you should acquire, and there are a few helpful facts to internalize. Let's start with the language that relates to a cigar's physical size, as a cigar's size has much to do with its smoking characteristics.
A narrower cigar, often approximating the width of a man's finger, is referred to as a panatela. A cigar of moderate diameter is called a corona (this is the most common width, for your reference). Thicker cigars can be called robusto, presidente, or Churchill. A cigar's length can also be described in various words specific to the lexicon, but many people settle for short, medium, or long. A panatela of moderate length will smoke for a little more than twenty minutes. A corona may last you as long as forty five minutes. And the largest, thick, long cigars can be smoked for as long as an hour and a half, in some circumstances.
Next let's talk about color, as the coloring of a cigar's outer wrapper is one of the most telling aspects of the cigar. A tan or light brown cigar, called claro in color, will be mild in character. Colorado cigars are medium brown and often have a reddish tint; they are rich but smooth. A maduro cigar is dark brown and has a robust, hearty flavor profile. And finally oscuro cigars are almost black, and are the boldest cigars available, and often "flavored" with liqueurs or other substances.
Knowing the right cigar for your own preferences, for the pleasure of your guests, gift recipient, or colleagues, and for the situation in which the smoking will be enjoyed does much to help you select the right cigar. While a long maduro corona could be perfect for enjoying during the back nine holes on a golf course, it might be a poor choice for a short smoke session outside the wedding reception, for example. It's also a gentlemanly decision to offer the novice cigar smoker a claro panatela instead of an oscuro Churchill.
Once you know which cigars you're going to buy, be it a trusty Dominican or a newly available Cuban, next you must consider how to best take care of them. Unless you're going to be smoking a cigar within a day or two of its purchase, you'll need a good humidor.
How To Select A Humidor
Any good humidor will take good care of your cigars as long as you take the time to keep its humidifier filled with water, and remember to check its thermometer and hygrometer intermittently. As long as you're willing to spend a few dollars to get a decent unit, choosing a humidor comes down more to capacity and style than to performance.
Smaller humidors with divider trays further limit the number of cigars they can accommodate.
If you smoke large cigars and you like to have lots of them on hand, many humidors are not going to be the right choice for you. Many humidors measure fewer than ten inches across -- with an interior even smaller than that -- and cannot accommodate some larger cigars, or at least can't hold many. Smaller humidors with divider trays further limit the number of cigars they can accommodate.
On the other hand, if you only keep a few cigars in the home (or in the office) or if you enjoy smaller cigars, a smaller humidor can provide ideal interior moisture control. Just choose a humidor that's large enough for your needs and that you'll be proud to show off.
At the very least look for these attributes: any decent humidor will be lined with cedar and will close snugly. A built in humidifier helps keep the cigars moist without them touching any water. And built in hygrometers and thermometers both look great and help you monitor and maintain ideal conditions for those precious cigars of yours.
Preparing Your New Humidor For Proper Use
Before you ever place a cigar in a new humidor, you need to prepare it properly. The process is also called "seasoning" in some circles. Get a clean cloth, ideally cotton, and soak it in distilled water. Wipe down the cedar interior of your humidor until it is uniformly damp. (The cedar will darken when properly wetted.)
If it reads higher than that, leave the unit's lid open for a while.
Now fill your humidor humidifier with water and then close the lid. Leave the humidor alone for at least 24 hours, and then inspect it. The cedar should appear and feel dry, and the hygrometer should read around 70 percent humidity. If it reads higher than that, leave the unit's lid open for a while. If it is lower, check to see if the humidifier needs more water, and consider lightly wetting down the cedar once more.
And once it's time to put the cigars into your humidor, it's advisable to remove their plastic wrappers, if present. The wrapping can prevent that fine cigar from being fully exposed to the properly humid environment you have established.
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