How to fix your frozen cigars

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MY CIGARS ARE FROZEN! What do I do??

The temperature in some areas of North America has fallen colder than the surface of Mars! This winter I have been bombarded with calls from concerned customers who have ordered cigars and unintentionally left their package of cigars outside in their mailbox. Most recently was a customer who was lucky enough to purchase a box of Don Carlos Eye of the Shark (AKA the Cigar of the Year for 2017). This cigar is the king of the humidor right now since it achieved the highest rating of the year and a box costs about $400!

I got the call from a Brother of the Leaf who was in a panic, he quickly explained what happened and asked if there was anything he could do to save his precious cigars or if they were all ruined. His major concern was that they were dried out and that the wrapper would crack once he put them in his humidor. I calmly told the gentlemen to take a deep breath and relax and then asked him the following questions to get a better understanding of his situation so I can make an assessment of his situation:

Q: Where are you in the U.S.?
A: Indiana.

Q: What was the average outside temperature for the days you left them outside?
A: About 20 degrees.

Q: Where are the cigars now?
A: Inside my house.

Q: What’s the temperature inside your house?
A: 60 Degrees.

Q: Is your furnace on? If it is, is it dry in your house? Also how far away are the cigars from the furnace?
A: It is on and my house is dry inside. The cigars are in a different room.

Q: How long have the cigars been inside your house?
A: About 6 hours.

Q: Did you unpack the cigars and put them in your humidor?
A: No they are still in the shipping box.

 

Consensus 

Based on the customer’s situation, he was in luck! Since the average outside temperature was around 20 degrees which is higher than most cigar companies freeze their cigars. Also the inside of his home was around 60 degrees and the cigars had been inside for about 6 hours the cigars should have acclimated to the inside temperature. Since his furnace was on the environment was dry, and we wouldn’t want to leave his cigars out of the humidor for too long.  He could actually drop his cigars in humidor as long as the humidity was around 70 percent and not higher (a higher humidity would be too much of a spike, thus cracking his cigars).

I explained to him that freezing cigars is a trade secret. Most companies (good ones anyway) freeze their cigars before shipping them off to the good ol’ USA. This needs to be done because it’s a part of the quality control process. Freezing the cigars kills bugs and denatures their eggs. Most companies tend to freeze at 0 degrees. Depending on the company and the number of cigars, this process can take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks but not all companies do it the same way.

 

Here’s how you fix your cigars

I believe knowledge is power and most people are uncertain about what to do.  If you’re ever in this situation listen up! You’re going to want to know these tips so you can save and protect your cigars:

1. Note the temperature of where the cigars are. Believe it or not, your cigars are most likely going to be good to smoke if the temperature does not drop below -65 degrees. The reason is because it’s so cold at -65 degrees that the moisture in the air freezes and I believe there is no way of coming back from that. Nonetheless, I would still try bringing them back by following the instructions below. Also, if you ever had cigars reach that temperature, let me know if you’re successful at bringing back the cigars.

2. The longer the cigars stay frozen the higher the chances they dry out. As you bring them back from their frozen state, the potential for cracking will increase if they are too dry.

3. Slow and steady wins the race. The key is to not spike anything at all! Nothing! Do not run inside and stick them next to the heater to thaw. You need to slowly raise the temperature of the cigars. If the temperature rises too quickly, you can create unwanted moisture too fast. This may cause your cigar to expand rapidly and crack or just become wet. That’s not only wrong but disgusting (Note a cigar that is overly wet/moist placed in your humidor can cause mold.)

4. Quality control. The best thing would be to take them inside your home ASAP and place them in the coolest room in your house. A lot of people say to place them in a fridge but the problem with that is that the fridge is too moist. And like I said, too much moisture and a spike in temperature or humidity can crack the wrappers of the cigars. Avoid this at all costs!

5. Feel your cigars. Feel them and judge the temperature of the tobacco. Does the cigar feel extremely cold to the touch or do they feel cool to the touch? Once they are room temperature or around 60 degrees, which may be the temperature inside your house this time of the year, you can place them inside your humidor. Check to make sure that they are not expanding, which will lead to a cracked wrapper. This is especially important around the foot and cap of the cigar because they are the most vulnerable. Monitor your cigars for a couple of days, just to make sure that everything is okay.

6. Enjoy! Now you’re ready to enjoy your once frozen cigar. Feel it as you would with any cigar that comes out of your humidor to ensure it meets your standards. If you have any questions, comments, feel free to leave one below. Especially if you have a method you would like to share as well.

Keep Calm and Light Up!

Smooth Classic Cigar Combo

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