Cory Carnley Wants to Help You Choose Your First Humidor
Cory Carnley, a Certified Tobacconist, is a passionate collector and fine cigar steward who wants to help you choose your first humidor. The manner in which cigars are stored is crucial in preventing physical degradation and tainted flavor. Cigars, as a luxury product, are often expensive and every enthusiast wants to get the most out of their investment. It can be difficult to choose your first humidor, so Carnley provides a foundation below to help.
Basic Humidor Accessories
In every humidor, there must be some type of humidification device, which is an apparatus whose purpose is to emit moisture throughout the interior of a humidor in order to properly maintain an acceptable relative humidity (RH) level. Many humidors will include a floral foam device, but these are less reliable and require more maintenance than Carnley’s recommended device, the ever-popular Boveda two-way humidification pack. To ensure proper humidification is taking place, a hygrometer (not to be confused with a hydrometer) may be kept inside the humidor for continuous RH measurement. Carnley recommends using a digital hygrometer as opposed to an analog. Though analog hygrometers are often included with humidors, they are notoriously inaccurate.
The two primary materials from which humidors may be constructed are wood or acrylic, says Cory Carnley. Many “wooden” humidors are actually made predominantly of fiberboard (an engineered wood product) with a Spanish cedar veneer lining the interior, and a laminate or wood veneer covering the exterior. Spanish cedar is utilized, as opposed to other woods, not simply because it is traditional or for its pleasant aroma, but because it contains a resin that is both antifungal and repellent to insects. Because wooden humidors have a porous, hygroscopic interior, they must be seasoned before use. Seasoning is a process whereby a humidor’s interior surfaces are hydrated in order to prevent them from stealing moisture from cigars and being at odds with the humidification device. Acrylic humidors are low maintenance, typically being a simple box or jar with a silicone gasket. Some include a layer of Spanish cedar in the bottom, but it is not a necessity.
Size Selection – Brief
Cory Carnley explains that consumer humidors range in size from single-capacity travel humidors to multi-thousand-capacity cabinets. The most popular humidors amongst beginners are “desktop” styles in the 10-50 capacity range. There are many things to consider when selecting a size, such as how frequently you indulge, and how large you would like to grow your collection. More serious enthusiasts may take such things into account as full-box purchases. If original-box storage is preferred, then it would be necessary to select a humidor with a capacity even higher than the total number of cigars anticipated, in order to accommodate the size and shape of the boxes themselves.
There is a wide variety of humidors available. With the help of Cory Carnley, your first humidor can be right for you.