It’s like Christmas morning for a cigar smoker: the delivery truck guy drops off a box of cigars, you open up the box to find some delicious cigars and then you take one of those cigars out of their cellophane wrapper, cut the head off, light the foot and then… You get disappointed. The flavor is all wrong, the cigar doesn’t burn right, your expectations are not met and you are now bummed.
Smoking cigars Right Off The Truck (ROTT) is a bad idea for a number of very simple reasons. Here are some that I can think of right off the bat:
- Cigars are not properly humidified while they are in transit
- Cigars have been exposed to wild fluctuations in temperature while they were in transit
- Cigars may not have been properly cared for before they were even shipped
- In rare cases, the delivery company will damage the package – accidentally of course
- Maybe the cigars were properly cared for but are still just too young to be smoked
I know it might be hard to put away some cigars that you have been looking forward to trying for a while but that is what you should do; especially when you are ordering cigars from an online retailer. When you are ordering online you have no way of knowing how those cigars that you ordered were cared for either in the retailer’s humidor or in transit. Personally, I have not had a problem with the quality of the cigars I have received from any of the online retailers that I have used as long as I have let my cigars rest in my humidor. But rest is the key.
How long should you let your cigars rest? I have found no hard and fast rules here as some cigars have been very good ROTT while others didn’t start tasting good until more than a month after I received them. Generally speaking though, I will give whatever my value, go-to cigars at least two weeks of rest after I have received them and for the more special cigars I will let them rest for at least a couple of months. I have some cigars in my not-too big humidor collection that have been resting for over a year, but that is more for finding the right occasion to smoke those cigars as opposed to giving them extra rest. (To see a review that compares the same cigar with different periods of rest go here.)
There are times, however, when I don’t stick to those rules. For example, I recently got shipments of two different kinds of very good cigars. One was the Cro Magnon and the other was the Man O’ War Puro Authentico. I smoked the smallest vitola from the Cro Magnon line ROTT and it was pretty awesome. Tons of flavor and a good balance to the flavors even though it nearly knocked me on my ass power-wise. Likewise, I smoked a Man O’ War Puro Authentico ROTT and was severely disappointed. It was harsh and the flavors were pretty bad.
Since then I have let both lines of cigars rest. Both have gotten better and the Man O’ War Puro Authenticos have become pretty good cigars with lots of flavor and nuance. If only I had rested them all ROTT I would not have wasted a cigar due to my impatience.