Sep 8th, 2023
There are many steps to the cigar manufacturing process, and one of the most important is the aging process. Like a fine wine, cigars are enriched over time and must be aged before the perfect scent and flavor profiles are reached. Aging cigars lets the tobacco mature properly, which creates a more refined smoking experience. While most cigars are already aged in the fermentation process, the aging room at La Aurora, and other cigar factories, accomplishes this task.
In this cellar or room, the humidity levels of various kinds of tobacco used in a cigar are combined. The wrapper, binder, and filler of the tobacco all have different humidity levels, and the aging room helps to balance them out.
This happens with the assistance of master blenders like Manual Inoa of the La Aurora factory.
To balance the tobaccos and blend them as one, the blender must arrange the cigars in cedar cases in a room lined with cedar, which both enhance woody essences. In addition to infusing these aromas, the aging room provides precisely controlled humidity and temperature levels essential for the resting period.
According to Inoa, cigars need to undergo a single resting period, where there isn’t any acceleration or alteration, which is why the cedar cases are so integral. Decades ago, the master blender needed to enter the aging room every couple of days to control the process manually, but today, the aging of cigars is mostly automated.
Although this stage is more automatic in modern times, the master blender’s job is still very important. They need to ensure that the blends developed for every range are maintained with the same tobacco variety, consistency, and flavors. Consistency is key once a blend is developed, so there must be no variations.
However, maintenance of certain tobacco types over time can be tough. After all, tobacco is a natural substance and with time, factors such as the environment, climate, and land all change. This inevitably affects the particular notes and flavor profile in a cigar.
Hence, it’s essential to control tobacco daily in this specialized humidor room, ensuring the qualities remain the same despite inevitable external factors. For this reason, a well-aged cigar isn’t just a symbol of sophistication - it’s a testament to the craftsmanship of its maker, and a cigar would be nothing without the master blender and employees who work in the aging room.
That answer depends on the specific cigar. For instance, certain premium cigars require one to two months, whereas Super Premium cigars can range from six months up to a year.
Other factors are affected by length of time in the aging room as well:
Ultimately, the aging room in a cigar factory allows the tobacco to harmonize, which is vital in formulating a high-end cigar. As cigars age, the tobacco leaves undergo chemical reactions, breaking down harsher compounds and mellowing out flavor profiles. Without this process, the notes in the taste and smell will be completely thrown off, creating a lesser experience for the smoker.
Although there’s no industry standard regarding how long a stogie needs to be aged, more time is always better for those who want a mellow and well-composed flavor. Based on the expert opinion from La Aurora’s master blender Inoa, cigars can “sleep” in the aging room for up to 20 years and be perfectly fine. In fact — just like wine, the longer they age, the more impressive they’ll turn out.
Whether you’re an experienced cigar consumer or a more casual enthusiast, the aging process adds depth, making cigars a true pleasure to savor.
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