Micheal Laffey

The Lifespan of a Cigar: Everything You Need to Know

Every cigar enthusiast wants to smoke their cigars at optimal flavor and texture. This gives the best cigar smoking experience. If you’re wondering how long cigars last, this article will answer all your questions. Questions like, “how long will my favorite cigar last?” and, “how long do cigars last in a humidor?”

Quick Answer

The average lifespan of a cigar, when stored well, is between 12 months to a year, but when kept in a humidor in the ideal environment it can last decades and still be perfectly fresh and flavorful.

Many factors affect the lifespan of a cigar, from the type of cigar to the type of storage.

Cigar Lifespan Without a Humidor

The lifespan of a cigar that is not stored in a proper wooden humidor or cigar cabinet will likely expire in as little as two days. But it can last up to a month, depending on the variety and storage conditions. When you store cigars without a humidor, they are often subjected to a changing temperature and relative humidity level that can ruin their quality.

Your geographical location can have a major effect on the cigars’ quality. So warmer and more humid areas will result in moistened cigars that succumb to pest infestation or fall apart. If you live in a dry climate, the cigars will lose most of the flavor and aroma that cigar lovers look forward to enjoying.

Cigar Lifespan in a Humidor

The lifespan of a cigar in a humidor can essentially be ‘forever’. If stored in optimal conditions, a cigar could outlive you! So make sure you enjoy it before it’s too late. Good cigars that have lived under ideal conditions can still be beautiful to smoke after 50 years.

In addition to lasting a long time, the longer you store cigars in the humidor, the more seasoned they become. Seasoning your cigars with age is a lot like letting a fine bottle of wine sit in the cellar, so it improves with time. Smoking a cigar right away will not always provide the best smoking experience possible.

Wrapped Vs. Unwrapped

Many people wonder if they should store cigars wrapped in plastic or unwrapped. There are many things to consider here, such as the type of cigar, storage conditions, and when you plan to smoke it.

First off, a wrapped cigar will last much longer than an unwrapped cigar. While an unwrapped, improperly stored cigar will go bad after just a few days, a wrapped cigar stored carelessly can still be fresh for up to three months.

A wrapped cigar in a humidor can last forever! But an unwrapped cigar in a humidor can still last up to 10 years or longer, depending on the cigar quality and ingredients. So you may be wondering why anyone would ever unwrap a cigar before they’re ready to smoke it. The answer is simple; an unwrapped cigar will age and become seasoned, creating a bolder flavor and aroma which makes it more enjoyable.

Cigar Seasoning

To season a cigar, you have to unwrap it. A wrapped cigar is protected from the air, so it doesn’t allow the cigar to age at all. Cigar seasoning creates a deep, rich aroma paired with a decadent flavor and strong notes of each ingredient.

Experts recommend seasoning the cigar for at least five days in a humidor or up to 5 years for a truly intense flavor and scent. The longer you season, the better the taste and smell will be. But there is a point of no return where the quality begins to go downhill slowly. 

How to Tell a Cigar Is Bad

There are four signs that a cigar is no longer good and you should, sadly, throw it away. A bad cigar won’t be enjoyable, and it can even be harmful to your health, so it’s best to toss it and move on.

1. Mold

If there is any appearance of mold, like black, white, or green spots, you should not smoke the cigar. Mold means that too much moisture has penetrated the tobacco and wrapper, and bacteria has grown, which can cause a hazard to your health.

2. Smell

Cigars should have a robust and warm scent. If your cigar has little to no scent, a stale smell, or it smells like mildew or something rotting, you should not smoke it. You’ll immediately know if the smell is off when you pull the cigar close to your nose.

3. Taste

The taste of the cigar is another sign the cigar may be expired. If the cigar tastes like sand or dirt in your mouth, it is likely bad. You’ll immediately have an awful taste in your mouth when you take a puff and won’t enjoy the cigar.

4. Texture

If the cigar feels dry and delicate to the touch, it has likely lost all of its moisture and flavor, so it won’t be a pleasant smoking experience. The cigar should feel plump and not make dry crackling noises when you touch it or roll it in your hands.

Tips For Extending Your Cigars’ Lifespans

Here are some easy tips for keeping your cigars fresh and yummy for a sling as possible!

1. Use a Humidor

If you don’t plan to smoke your cigars within a day or two of buying them, you should store them in a well-calibrated cigar humidor to stay fresh. Cigar humidors are absolutely the best way to keep your cigars in perfect condition.

2. Check Humidor Regularly

Cigar humidors are wonderful, but they still need to be monitored to ensure they are at the right temperature and humidity level. You should check your humidor settings once a week, if not every day, to make sure everything is properly set up.

3. Avoid Sunlight

Place your humidor away from direct sunlight. It’s best to keep them in a completely dark room or closet, so they receive no sunlight that could affect their quality.

cigars in wooden box

Types of Cigars

Knowing some of the different cigars can help determine how long they will last when stored in the cigar humidor.

1. Parejos

Parejos are cigars with straight sides. These types of cigars are the typical kind that you see and will probably recognize. These tend to last the longest because of their tight, uniform shapes. But the larger varieties will last longer than the smaller ones.

  • Petit Corona
  • Churchill
  • Robusto
  • Corona Gorda
  • Double Corona
  • Panetela
  • Lonsdale

2. Figurados

Figurados have more unique shapes that are interesting for cigar smokers to enjoy. Sometimes these different shapes can allow more air to penetrate the cigar, so it dries out faster if left out of a humidor. But if you store it in a humidor, these cigars will season quicker and be ready to enjoy sooner.

  • Torpedo
  • Belicoso
  • Diadema
  • Culebra
  • Perfecto
  • Pyramid

Final Thoughts:

In conclusion, the lifespan of a cigar is highly dependent on how it is stored and cared for. If properly taken care of, a cigar can last as long as two years in storage. However, if not given proper attention, a cigar can become dry and brittle, rendering it unsmokable after only a few months. To ensure that your cigars are tasty and enjoyable for as long as possible, it is important to follow proper storage guidelines.

Keeping cigars in a cool, dark place with the correct amount of humidity will preserve their flavor and aroma far longer than any other method. With this knowledge in hand, you can enjoy each cigar knowing that you are getting the most out of your investment.