Just like wine improves with age, cigars are also enriched over time. This is one of the missions of the aging room. This is the room or the cellar where the humidity levels of the different types of tobaccos used in a cigar are combined. In other words, the humidity levels in the tobaccos of the wrapper, filler and binder come together. “They come into this room unbalanced and here they become one”, explains our master blender, Manuel Inoa.
In order to do so, cigars are arranged in cedar cases, also to give them a touch of wood, which, according to Inoa, “everyone wants to taste in a cigar”. Besides, the room is lined with cedar, with well-controlled humidity and temperature levels. This happens because a cigar cannot undergo changes during its time in the aging room. “It must endure one single resting period. There can be no alteration or acceleration”, points out our master blender.
Inoa explains that 20 years ago the master blender went into the aging room every three days to control the aging process. But now, with the help of technological advances, the whole process is controlled automatically. “We have automated the system”, he stresses.
The master blender watches over the blends
In any case, the master blender’s task is to ensure that the blends developed for each range are maintained over time “with the same variety of tobaccos, the same consistency and the same flavors”. “There can be no variations once a blend is developed”, he says.
However, according to our master blender, maintaining a type of tobacco throughout the years can be “a bit difficult”, because tobacco is a natural product and, as time goes by, the climate, the land and the environments change, which affects the flavors and notes we seek in a cigar. “Thus, we must control the tobacco on a daily basis, to make sure all tobaccos are as they should be”, he says.
As for the time cigars should remain in the aging room, that depends on the type of cigar in question. Premium cigars can be in this room between one to two months, whereas Super Premium can stay from six months to one year. “But they can ‘sleep’ in here for 20 years, and that’s fine”, points out Manuel Inoa, highlighting that “the longer the aging process, the better”.