How long a cigar should be aged is a matter of debate.
The Mature Period represents the cigar at the pinnacle of its taste and blend; it is followed by the Plateau, in which the cigar grows physically older but doesn’t necessarily improve or diminish in flavor or strength.
However, during the Decline Period, the cigar’s oils and aromatic compounds will start to dissipate, and the cigar will assume the flavors of the box it is stored in (as oil from the cigar box’s wood mingles with the cigar’s oils) and the overall environment in which it has been stored (if that stick has been kept in grandpa’s damp basement since grandpa was single, it will generally taste like that basement.)
One thing to remember, however, is that cigars should never be smoked immediately after rolling; the moisture content of wrapper and binder is still too high to guarantee a decent smoke. Altadis U.S.A. places freshly rolled cigars in the cedar room for a minimum of eight weeks before packing or smoking.