Cigars in a humidor

How Long Do Cigars Last In A Humidor?

Maintaining the life of your cigars is the most important thing you can do! Everyone knows that a humidor extends the life of your cigars but how long do they last in there?

Cigars can last many years and even up to 10 years, some experts say!

But don’t let that fool you. Even keeping cigars in a humidor takes work! Maintaining moisture and temperature is paramount to preserving the cigar’s oils and not allowing it to become dry and brittle. 

Most people forget that cigars are a natural product and that natural things have a short shelf life due to decay. Maintaining the moisture and temperature allows the cigars to age properly. If these are not maintained the cigar will spoil faster similar to if you keep milk outside of the refrigerator. 

How Long Do Cigars Last In A Humidor Bag?

Again the answer to this question is very similar. You can keep cigars in a bag as long as you maintain the correct moisture and temperature. 

Typically a bag would be used as a temporary solution and placed into a humidor as soon as possible to reduce the possibility of having a cigar go bad on you. 

But if you are transporting your cigar you can use anything around the house to do that. Ziploc bags, Tupperware, and even old food jars can be used because they all can be sealed up and not affected by the surrounding environment as much as if they were not contained. 

Why Do Cigars Go Stale?

As we mentioned above cigars are made from natural things (tobacco leaf). All natural things will decay in a certain time. Even Mcdonald’s hamburgers will eventually decay down to nothing, even though that may take a very long time!

When the cigar’s tobacco dries out due to lack of environmental control they lose its flavor and are not much fun to smoke. The natural oils leave the cigar and cannot be returned.

But if a cigar sits in a very humid environment that can be bad too. Mold or bacteria can take hold of the cigar and start to break it down just like they do in the natural world. Now when you go to smoke it you will be smoking that mold and bacteria which is definitely not part of the experience. 

How To Tell If Your Cigar Is Too Wet Or Dry?

Dry Cigar
The wrapper of the cigar is cracked and has broken off. Most likely due to drying out.

A quick way to determine if your cigar is too dry or too wet is you can give it a good pinch. 

  1. Not too hard because you can run the risk of breaking the leaf wrapper. 
  2. If you feel that it is very firm you may have a dried-out cigar. The cigar should provide a little cushion upon the pinch. If the cigar completely cracks under the pressure you should probably throw it away. There is no way to save a completely dried-out cigar. 
  3. If the pinch results in a very soft cigar it may have absorbed too much moisture. In this case, you can save it by putting it in an empty wooden cigar box that has not been seasoned recently. Do not leave it in there too long and be sure to check on it. After it has dried be sure to return it to a properly seasoned humidor or smoke the damn thing!

Are Cigars 100% Tobacco?

Tobacco leaves drying out
Tobacco leaves in stages of drying out

Most cigars are 100% tobacco. They are not infused with chemicals like cigarettes are. 

Now we can’t speak for every manufacturer of cigars especially if they come from nefarious places but the ones the cigar aficionados discuss and buy are 100% tobacco. 

This can be seen naturally in comparing cigars vs cigarettes. Have you ever heard of a cigarette humidor? People are generally not concerned about their cigarettes going bad because of the way they have been processed. Cigars on the other hand need the utmost care because of their natural ability to decay just like every other natural product out there. 

How Long Do Cigars Last In A Humidor – Wrap Up!

If you are a collector or starting a collection of cigars do yourself a favor and get a humidor. You don’t need a whole cabinet! Just a small humidor to hold 20 to 30 is great! You will slowly learn what it takes to take care of them and in the end, it’s really not that difficult.

If you are looking for a small humidor check out our article on some you can find on amazon here.

Or if you want to amp it up a bit check out our complete review on electronic humidors. They make life for your cigars a little easier and flashy!