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Stogie Commentary: A Breath Of Life

13 Feb 2008

For a dramatic moment, even though it didn’t compare to Dr. Frankenstein throwing a switch to bring his monster to life, I couldn’t help but hope for similar results when I lifted a Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino Sun Grown #60 from my humidor.

Dr FrankensteinOne of an extremely dry four-pack I bought for $5 or so about ten months ago, I’d been resting them to see how much life would return to the six inch by 50 ring gauge sticks. For the first couple of months, I kept them in a partially closed Ziploc bag with a water pillow-style humidification pack with the humidity level a notch or two above 70. Since then, they’ve been in with the rest of the singles.

As you may know, advice on restoring dried cigars is about as prevalent on the web as offers to get rich working with Nigerian officials. Nearly all the cigar methods focus on restoring moisture in one way or another.

When I bought these, I certainly knew what I was getting. The clerk went out of his way to warn me before that the cigars had gotten very dry. I just figured that for the price I’d see what happened. These cigars, which I’ve enjoyed many times, normally run about $45 for a properly humidified box of ten.

I wasn’t expecting much from this experiment. I’ve come to believe that while it is possible to get a measure of moisture back in a dry cigar, the loss of at least some essential oils is certain to adversely affect the flavor. As if to illustrate the point of irreversible change, when I removed the two bands their patterns were still clearly visible on the wrapper.

In all honesty, though, the cigar wasn’t bad. It had characteristics you’d anticipate: loose draw, fairly fast burn, and relatively dry smoke and finish. But it also retained a fair amount of taste, highlighted by cedar and leather. A harshness I don’t associate with this usually mild cigar was evident in the beginning, but it did not linger.

I plan to not smoke the three remaining sticks for at least six more months, maybe longer. I don’t know how much they’re likely to improve, but already I believe they are the best $1.25 cigars I’ve had.

George E

photo credit: Video Detective

3 Responses to “Stogie Commentary: A Breath Of Life”

  1. Franklin Wednesday, February 13, 2008 at 4:53 am #

    So this experience suggests that buying damaged premiums is a better investment than buying properly stored value sticks, eh? Well, I trust you on this, George. After all, you wrote that five part series on cheapies, and those didn't turn out so well.

  2. Mac and Nudo Wednesday, February 13, 2008 at 4:57 am #

    On that note, do you guys have any idea of how often B&Ms have damaged premiums for sale? I'm guessing they're a pretty rare find.

  3. George E. Wednesday, February 13, 2008 at 6:43 am #

    Franklin – I'd probably agree with you as long as you're talking about really cheap "value" cigars priced under $1.50 or so each.

    Mac and Nudo – To be honest, this was the first time I'd ever run across something like this. My guess is most retailers would either just toss damaged cigars or smoke them themselves rather than take a chance or soiling their reputation.