One of the most frequently asked questions regarding cigars involves the tubes that some are packaged in. While there are no set rules in place when it comes to the correct practice for storing tubed cigars, we give you a handy guide to storage and answer some questions:
Why do some cigars come in tubes in the first place?
Some may say that these tubes are primarily used as a necessary part of the packaging process, to ensure that the cigars are preserved during their transportation. Others, however, claim that their use is merely down to a marketing ploy, with many tubes proudly displaying their brand’s logos.
Tubed cigars are infinitely useful. Their individual packaging makes these cigars excellent gifts. They are ideal for shops and retailers who perhaps do not have the prime conditions for storing cigars. With many retailers wary of storing large quantities of premium cigars, due to the fear of them getting damaged or the quality being impacted through storage, tubed cigars allow a wider range to be stocked.
So once you own a tubed cigar, what do you do with it?
There are many options; put the tube in a humidor still sealed; remove the lid and place the open tube in the humidor; or, abandon the tube and place the cigar alone in the humidor. But which way is the right way?
When do you want to smoke it?
Ultimately, it comes down to when you are planning on smoking it. Tubes tend to make cigars mature slower than if they were uncovered. The tube keeps most air out, meaning that the aromas and flavours develop slowly. If you are looking to smoke it in the coming year or two, then you will definitely want to remove it from the tube to quicken the pace of its aroma development.
If you are in no rush to smoke it, and in fact, would like to leave it maturing for some years, then keeping it in the tube can have some interesting effects. While it’s certainly not to everyone’s tastes, stronger cigars left to mature in their tubes can become milder. The slight evaporation of essential oils and ammonia that will occur inside the tubes also means that the aromas of the cigar will have changed from that which it originally held.
Use a Humidor
Whatever you decide to do with the tube, it’s probably best to put it in the humidor either way. While the cap stops a lot of air getting in, it isn’t quite airtight, meaning that the cigar isn’t being humidified if it’s just left in the tube outside of a humidor. One way around all of these variables is to keep the cigar within the tube, inside the humidor, but with the tube’s lid removed. This will protect the wrapper leaf from damage within your humidor, while still allowing humidified air to reach the cigar.
Tubes can be especially useful if you like to take a cigar with you when you go out and about. The tube protects the cigar if you are carrying it in your jacket pocket or bag. Tubed cigars can also be handy if you are travelling, and do not have room to bring a travel humidor with you, as they are kept safe and fresh.
What do you do with your tubed cigars? Let us know in the comments and on social media.