Premium hand-rolled cigars are an art much like the art of fine wine they get better with a little age. Most premium cigars will continue to improve for up to 12 to 15 years after being picked from the fields theyre grown in. The Cigar manufacturer does some of this aging for you ( anywhere from 2 to 7 Years). The rest is done inside a Cigar Humidor (A Spanish cedar lined air tight box) equipped with some sort of humidification device.
The humidifier in your cigar humidor should always be filled with either humidification solution or distilled water. Humidification solution is simply a mixture of distilled water, polyglycol and a mold inhibiter and will guarantee that your cigar humidor is kept at 70% relative humidity Plus or Minus a few percent. You should always try to position your humidor in a location with a consistent temperature which never exceeds 72F. The optimum temperature youre looking for is between 66F and 72F.
You should be able to use your cigar humidor as soon as you add the water to the humidifier, there is no need to wait a few days to test the condition of your cigars. To make sure your humidor is doing its job, press with the pad of your thumb just below the band of the cigar. The cigar should feel firm but have a little spring to it if it is being properly cared for. If it feels hard and brittle simply fill your humidifier again or consider getting an extra humidifier if you think your humidor is a little too large for the humidifier you have.
Remember that premium cigars need fresh air every now and again. Be sure to open your humidor periodically and be sure to rotate the cigars. If you are storing your cigars for a relatively long period of time, at the end of each Month put the cigars on the bottom layer of your cigar humidor to the top layer of the humidor to insure consistency from cigar to cigar.
Store your humidor on a flat, level surface. Never store your humidor in direct sunlight which may fade the wood, fade your beautifully cigar wrappers and heat the inside of the humidor.
Always use a soft cloth when cleaning your humidor. Any over the counter dusting spray or wax is fine to use on the outside of your humidor. Try not to use harsh chemicals on the inside of the humidor as these chemicals will be cycled throughout the environment of your humidor and destroy your cigars. Regular dustings will help keep your humidor looking as good as new. Be sure to change the water in your humidifier every couple weeks and when doing so, check for any bugs. Occasionally some premium cigars have tiny tobacco bugs that come over from their native countries. These little guys can prove disastrous to your cigar stock and are normally kept at bay by the scent of the Spanish cedar lining your humidor.