Frequently Asked Questions for Humidors
Q3: I just bought some cigars that came in individual aluminum tubes. Do I need to store them in a humidor?
A: Theoretically, no. But if you have a humidor, use it.
Properly humidifed cigars stored in factory-sealed, airtight tubes will retain their freshness and smokability for as long as the seal is unbroken. Cigar Aficionado editors have smoked tubed cigars stored for more than 25 years outside a humidor that were wonderful. But if the cigars weren't properly humidified at packing time, or if the seal wasn't completely airtight, or if it was cracked before you bought the cigar, the cigars will dry out. That's a lot of ifs, and they're all out of your control.
A humidor is always the safest route. Remember to open the tubes when storing them in a humidor. You may feel this defeats the purpose of buying tubed cigars--they often cost extra--but it's better to be safe than sorry. And by all means keep the tubes. They're handy as carrying cases and for protecting cigars during shipping.
This is a reprint of the article in the "Tip of the Week" section of the website
of Cigar Aficionado ( www.cigaraficionado.com ) in the week of February 01, 1999.