What's Your Aging Strategy?


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I am now up to about 45 boxes of CC cigars. I finally feel I am at the point where I have more than I can smoke smoke. Now it's time to start aging some of them.

 

For those of you who have multiple boxes of the same cigar, do you smoke through half, then start smoking a younger box of the same cigar? Or do you smoke through the whole box first? What your strategy?

 

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My Aging Strategy consists of a lot of greasy and fried food, abundant alcohol (preferably beer), and lots of time in the sun. Works like a charm! I’m 36 going on 50.
Haha, looks like we are on the same plan.

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I’ve got about 500 sticks that I have earmarked for mid to long term aging. I usually buy these boxes with the intent of putting them away for a while. These are typically high end HQ and PSP level boxes.

For the boxes I intend on smoking in the short term, I generally purchase 2 or 3 at a time, and employ the buy more than I can smoke strategy.


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I'm about the same number of boxes in my humidor as you.  Once I start smoking from a box, the additional boxes of that same cigar age until I'm through with the first.  But I tend to buy multiple boxes of the same type in the same order, so they are usually from the same vintage.  If I've only bought 1 box and really start to like them 6 months later, the follow up boxes will still be aged and I'll smoke the first box a bit slower.

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I've got a "loose" strategy.  I go deep on some particular boxes and smoke them in older to recent order.  But not religiously. Some cigars behave differently over time and even when you think you've figured out a  sweet spot for a particular box of cigars, things like factory codes and plain old rotten luck come to play.  Some things I age for a year or so, others I set aside for 5+ years.  I am also at the point where I have enough quantity and variety that my stock is going to have lots of age ranges in it. And as much as I like certain cigars, I don't want to plow through a full box of them consecutively just because they're doing it for me.  I like variety.   I'm not a daily smoker. I smoke in batches.  I'll pick things in the mild/medium range to start and work my way up to bold/stronger cigars as the night progresses.  There's no right way to do this really.  You'll probably pick up on other's ideas here and there and see what works for you.  I see this as a journey vs a destination.  Were I a cigar speculator for profit, I'd take a different approach along the lines of sell aged stock for higher margins now and then and wait for my new stuff to get aged. 
Thanks for your response. Your thoughts on this topic i am sure will prove to be very helpful.

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I've got a "loose" strategy.  I go deep on some particular boxes and smoke them in older to recent order.  But not religiously. Some cigars behave differently over time and even when you think you've figured out a  sweet spot for a particular box of cigars, things like factory codes and plain old rotten luck come to play.  Some things I age for a year or so, others I set aside for 5+ years.  I am also at the point where I have enough quantity and variety that my stock is going to have lots of age ranges in it. And as much as I like certain cigars, I don't want to plow through a full box of them consecutively just because they're doing it for me.  I like variety.   I'm not a daily smoker. I smoke in batches.  I'll pick things in the mild/medium range to start and work my way up to bold/stronger cigars as the night progresses.  There's no right way to do this really.  You'll probably pick up on other's ideas here and there and see what works for you.  I see this as a journey vs a destination.  Were I a cigar speculator for profit, I'd take a different approach along the lines of sell aged stock for higher margins now and then and wait for my new stuff to get aged. 


In all seriousness, this is my “strategy” too. I spend a little more for aged stock or scour unnamed sources for good deals. I buy vigorously from 24:24 deals and set those aside for aging. So, I smoke the expensive aged stock first, newer stock gets put aside. That’s also how I justify the price of premium aged boxes ... I’ll enjoy it here and now so it’s worth a little more.

I break the rule from time to time and smoke a young stick to try out a cigar I may have never had before and also to have something to compare it to when I smoke another some years later.
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I have some strong feelings about this. I have 95 boxes, all untouched, all aging. 

Personal consumption: I do box splits and buy boxes to smoke through, rinse and repeat; I never have more than 2 boxes i'm smoking through though. This process is helping me educate myself on cigars I absolutely love and hate. The idea is that at some point I'm going to know what my favorites are and then I can start double or tripling down on those. 

Is this the best strategy? No. I know I should smoke one cigar every 6-12 months or so to see how the aging process is going. 

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1 minute ago, SinfullyPatient said:

I have some strong feelings about this. I have 95 boxes, all untouched, all aging. 

Personal consumption: I do box splits and buy boxes to smoke through, rinse and repeat; I never have more than 2 boxes i'm smoking through though. This process is helping me educate myself on cigars I absolutely love and hate. The idea is that at some point I'm going to know what my favorites are and then I can start double or tripling down on those. 

Is this the best strategy? No. I know I should smoke one cigar every 6-12 months or so to see how the aging process is going. 

Your strategy sounds evolutionary.  It's good to sample from multiple boxes,especially if you're keen on a few specific releases.  It helps you benchmark that cigar to your palate and what the next steps are. Smoke? Age? Sell/trade?  But if you're like me, you'll probably hate to break up a set and just go "blind" on some boxes until you "feel" it's time.  :D  Though, going in on splits helps you keep your full boxes.  For example. I'm a big fan of the Connie A.  Bought  3 cabs.  But I also picked up 5'rs here and there from locals selling or splitting their purchases just to delay ripping into my cabs.  In a few case, they had the same box codes, so it worked out well.

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I have some strong feelings about this. I have 95 boxes, all untouched, all aging. 
Personal consumption: I do box splits and buy boxes to smoke through, rinse and repeat; I never have more than 2 boxes i'm smoking through though. This process is helping me educate myself on cigars I absolutely love and hate. The idea is that at some point I'm going to know what my favorites are and then I can start double or tripling down on those. 
Is this the best strategy? No. I know I should smoke one cigar every 6-12 months or so to see how the aging process is going. 
I like your logic behind this. I've never though about the option of box splits for personal consumption. It makes a lot of sense. Thanks for chiming in.

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It helps with the aging thing if one doesn't smoke too many cigars. It's a rare week that I smoke more than three. I don't smoke many young cigars and I know a lot more about what I like than I did 15 years ago. I age a lot of cigars and start to sample them at 5 years. I had a lot of stuff 6 years ago, Els and REs that I sold and I bought Cohibas, Bolivars, PLPCs, RASS, and PP with the procedes. Now, when a box or three are on I tend to smoke through them and I'm not tempted to fuss with cigars that aren't ready. 

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For stuff I'm seriously aging I like to leave the boxes saran wrapped and in the tupperdore.  Once I move a box out of there it goes into a current use tupper with about 40 boxes of different variety in ziplocks and I can pull from those anytime or use them to keep my desktop humi loaded.

The saran wrapping does interfere with the popular notion of sampling as a box ages, but I've come around to the side that prefers to minimize air exchange during aging.  Ideally I'd like every box to get 5 years on it before I crack it open, but probably half of my current tupper is younger than that and half is at 5-10 years.

I've also supplemented the current tupper with PCC aged program stock, but the best smoking stuff ROTT that I've bought has consistently been Pacific Regionals with a few years on them, and two of the Anejados (Monte and Partagas).  Add to that some of the consistent, new-stick smoking stuff like PSD4, Siglo VI, some Punch, Mag 50/46 and there's plenty of good sticks to tide you over while your big bin ages.

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most of my intact boxes are '14s,with some older and younger open boxes for my rotation.

When a box is done I open another for the rotation,and cross it off the intact box list.

I expect I will have 6 or more years on some of these when they are opened.

I like to have a couple of years on everything I smoke when possible.

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I complete one box before going to the next.  The more expensive stuff tends to age longer as I am less likely to smoke them.  Similarly for cigars that are out of production; I just can't bring myself to smoke them...   In the end they shoot up in value and I sell or trade them for more pedestrian cigars I am more likely to smoke.

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I've got half a dozen untouched boxes in the tupppador, set to one side in a vacuum pack bag. They're also logged separately in the old spreadsheet. It's a psychological barrier to prevent me dipping. It's worked for a couple of years now...

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I don't have one per se but if i were to think about it i'd say that my "strategy" involves outbuying my consumption at a large rate. I really only smoke 1-2 a week and gave myself a huge head start by having my honeymoon in Havana last year. So, as long as i keep buying them, i'll outpace my rate of consumption, leaving many to age.

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I come up with great plans, but don't seem to follow through with them.  Sometimes, I don't like to beak into a "special" box and other times I have to try something.  I would love to follow the same plan as Derrek, only pull from an open box, but curiosity always gets the better of me.  Buy more than you smoke, then wake up one day with an aged collection and think "how did that happen?" 

Your collection will age as fast as life goes by.  Which apparently speeds up the older you get.

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I've got my favorites of which I have several boxes (up to 9 of PLMC and HUPC, each, 3 cabs of RASS). These, I always try to keep one open to smoke out of, several in the hopper (smoking oldest to youngest) and an exemplary box or 2 untouched and earmarked for long-term aging (i.e.: do not touch until 10 yrs old or so). Haven't had this system for a long time, so my oldest boxes are at the 5-yr-mark.  

In addition to my favorites, I have some that just plumb need age to be good - I have less of those (1 or 2). I will sample every 6-12 months to check in, but I know those cigars, so am rarely surprised when a 2-yr-old box doesn't perform.

Beyond that are my customs and random boxes - I check in and when they're good, I start grabbing fivers and migrating them to my desktop "smoke now" humidor.

All aging/storage is done in a cooler outfitted with beads. Cheaper storage = more $$$ for boxes!

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