The most crucial aspect of aging is maintaining a stable environment. Cigars should be kept at 70° Fahrenheit and 70 percent humidity. Too much humidity or heat, and your cigars will rot or get bugs. Too little, and the aging process will be impeded and cigars will dry out. Dry cigars have less flavor and aroma, are less smooth and flake off in the mouth. Dryness is the major cause of unraveling wrappers, the second most frequent complaint among premium cigar smokers. Also, rapid changes in temperature and humidity cause cigars to expand and contract, cracking their wrappers.
You can’t just shut your cigars in a sealed box at a specified temperature and humidity and be done with it; the chemical reactions involved in the aging process release gases that can impede the processes – but giving those gases an egress could also let the vital humidity escape. It was precisely this problem that led to the invention of the humidor, with its humidification element and tightly sealed lid.
However, it’s not just a matter of the humidor’s interior, but also where the humidor is located. Set the humidor in direct sunlight, or in a room subject to wild swings in temperature and humidity, and the cigars risk damage. Stability and consistency in the environment is the key.
In ideal circumstances, the space in the humidor should be at least twice the volume of cigars inside. Just as the tobacco in pilons needs to be rotated during curing so all the tobacco leaves can be exposed to ideal conditions, sticks in your humidor should be rotated and allowed to breathe.