Picking Quality Cigars
CIGAR CONSTRUCTION: Quality cigars are always evenly rolled and filled. Avoid cigars that have spotting, mould, tears and inconsistency on the wrapper. Avoid cigars that are too dry or flaky.
*Please be aware that it is proper cigar etiquette to purchase a cigar if you have removed the cellophane wrapper and touch the cigar to your nose to acquire the aroma.
When smoking cigars with a rough texture or any other sign of poor craftsmanship, the draw will be less smooth. When smoking a well made cigar, the ash will maintain the form of the cigar as it is being smoked.
TOBACCO QUALITY: A cigar's quality cannot be judged by looking at the wrapper alone. A lot of it comes down to the reputation of the cigar brand. Consult with the tobacconists at Havana Castle - St. Catharines location for advice on high-quality cigars or conduct some research on your own to learn about the manufacturing, storage, and handling processes of various cigar brands. Please make sure to view credible and authentic tools and resources as the internet is filled with unfiltered information.
WHERE CIGARS ARE STORED IN A TOBACCO SHOP: Cigars thrive in humidors that are kept well-maintained and monitored as they help preserve an optimal level of moisture inside the tobacco of a cigar. If the humidor is too humid, there is a high risk of growing mould which can quickly spread to other cigars. If the humidor is not humid enough, the cigars will dry out, lose their flavor and begin to break and unravel. At Havana Castle - St. Catharines location, we like to consistently keep our walk-in humidor between 68 - 70 degrees.
LABELS & PACKAGING (AUTHENTICITY VERIFICATION): To comply with Health Canada requirements, all tobacco products must be packaged in clear and uniform labels (green bands). Some cigar brands double band their cigars which means that the first band around a cigar is the original label, while the second band around the cigar is the green cigar label - approved by Health Canada. Always check the authenticity of cigars before purchasing them from a tobacconist, since shops that do not meet Health Canada's standards may be selling counterfeit cigars.
HUMIDORS: A humidor is simply a box that keeps cigars fresh by mimicking the circumstances in which cigars were grown, matured, and rolled. A humidor allowes regulated air flow and should not be placed in direct sunlight, on an air conditioner or radiator. We recommend keeping your humidor box at an internal temperature of between 66 and 70 degrees. Humidors kept at an internal temperature of 72 or higher, for 24 hours will grow mould and/or tobacco beetles. To maintain the humidor, keep the lid closed and add distilled water to the humidifier.
Please visit our Tools & Resources page for additional information on how to season, maintain and pick a humidor box.
STORAGE CONTAINERS: Cigars that are stored in an airtight, sealed container are more prone to mould growth. As a result, placing your cigars in a humidor with air moving between them is preferable to doing so.
Travelling with Cigars
In order to keep your cigars from drying out while you're on the road, a travel humidor is a convenient option. Travel cases/humidors are small enough to fit in a briefcase or bag.
They are also ideal for keeping a few cigars humidified throughout the transfer from a store's humidor to your own.