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Old 02-11-2020, 04:42 AM   #1
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Question NCs that don't age well?

Greetings fellow inmates,

So I've heard some dismaying reports about some NCs not aging well, meaning, that after a certain amount of time, they begin to lose flavor & other desirable characteristics.

I was wondering, are there any brands specifically that any of you suggest to watch out for when it comes to this?

I suspect it would be easier to just ask which are not ideal for long term as opposed to asking every cigar that ages well. However, for the record, among the NCs I currently have stashed away for the long haul would be 601s/Espinosa's stuff, AJF, DPG/My Father, some CigarFed stuff, Aganorsa Leaf/Casa Fernandez & Warped. Generally all of these selections are at least medium plus in body, so I'm hoping that would give them a better shot.

Furthermore, why do some NCs not age as well as other NCs or CCs for that matter? If I had to guess, I would assume it would have a lot to do with the fact that a lot of NCs use extensively aged tobaccos in the first place, making the overall longevity less than some of their counterparts? But that is just a guess...

So what say you? What brands or even specific lines have you had bad results with? Any and all feedback is appreciated!
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Old 02-11-2020, 06:12 AM   #2
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Default Re: NCs that don't age well?

I don't like my Tat's aged.
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Old 02-11-2020, 09:36 AM   #3
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Default Re: NCs that don't age well?

I feel most NC brands are made to be ready to smoke fairly soon, I feel all ncs have a sweet spot and past that most get flat flavor wise and lose complexity.
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:02 AM   #4
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Default Re: NCs that don't age well?

I have a decent stock of aged NC's, I smoke them from time to time and the only constant I've found is stronger tobacco seems to hold up better to aging. The only CT shade or lighter bodied NC's I'm holding onto are special meaning sticks that probably won't ever get smoked (Operation Iraqi Freedom Cuesta Rey's come to mind).

In general I actually like aged Tatuajes, but again the stronger ones hold up better than the medium bodies. Some of the ones that Pete made to be intentionally as strong as possible to shut up the haters (T110, M80, etc) are friggin fantastic right now, but there aren't too many left out there in the world and it's hard to smoke off the last of them for me when I too am very curious how extended aging will effect these

I agree with Chayse, most NC's are made to be smoked on the spot or shortly after purchasing, but that doesn't mean there isn't still some fun flavors out there to discover. I used to have a box of '05 DPG blue's that were 5 years old when I bought them (found them at a store in NH for a DPG event, had Don Pepin sign the box, then I showed him the date on the bottom and he smiled big and said I was going to enjoy them), those things had a sweetness to them that could never be found in a fresh blue.

Also, another note, if you have a chance to try a very well aged Opus X jump on it. I never really bought Opus because I could find plenty of other cheaper stuff I liked more, but then I got the chance to buy some that were 10 years old (15 years now) and it was a whole different beast. I only have a couple left, but it may be time to revisit. The most fantastic sweet mustiness that burned it's way into my memory, not super complex but that flavor was fantastic and I could recognize it anywhere now

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Old 02-11-2020, 10:10 AM   #5
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Default Re: NCs that don't age well?

In my experience, Illusiones peak after 5 years or so, then begin to decline
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:32 AM   #6
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Default Re: NCs that don't age well?

My even thought it's probably worth half that ...........

Everyone is different by but my experience is that any good cigar I like now only gets better. You can't make crap into fillet so a cheap crap cigar won't magically become a great cigar. The cigars will change over time. You may or may not like that. I think that's why some say a cigar doesn't age well. Not that it's bad, it's just changed and no longer suits the palate. It just didn't age well for them.

Typically stronger cigars become more mellow and complex. Lighter cigars can get that honey flavor that wasn't there in the beginning. I've got various 10+ year old Pepins (especially the Padilla stuff) that are just getting better and better. Some lighter blends like Cabaiguan just blossom with a bit of time. They become the closest to a cc I've ever had in an nc in a short time. If you like that sharpness of "fresh" cigar, as I do too, just buy more than you can smoke. Then over time, you will have plenty of aged stock to choose from as well as still smoking "off the shelf". The best of both worlds.

The last time I was at the Shack Herf, we had a circle of well aged cc's going around. A 12 year old Fuente Hemingway Signature was secretly introduced to the circle and it held it's own , it was fantastic!

I guess you'll just have to have a long term experiment to find out.
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:35 AM   #7
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Default Re: NCs that don't age well?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCRadioMan View Post
I guess you'll just have to have a long term experiment to find out.
That's the fun part
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Old 02-11-2020, 12:31 PM   #8
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Default Re: NCs that don't age well?

Wow great feedback everyone! Especially informative are some of the first hand experience accounts, so thanks to everyone for your input!

@ Ben I also got lucky recently and came across a box of DPG Black Robustos that are from 2013, I'm so tempted to smoke them but trying to hold off a while longer...maybe 2023? Haven't had much luck with the Blue lately, have a 2019 box of Coronas that will definitely need left alone for a while...

I'd also like to mention that I've found that a lot of AJF's stuff seems to benefit immensely even in the short term (as fast as 8-12 months) so I'm really excited to see what a lot of his stuff will be like farther down the road...
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Old 02-11-2020, 12:38 PM   #9
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Default Re: NCs that don't age well?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gomeitsmybday View Post
@ Ben I also got lucky recently and came across a box of DPG Black Robustos that are from 2013, I'm so tempted to smoke them but trying to hold off a while longer...maybe 2023? Haven't had much luck with the Blue lately, have a 2019 box of Coronas that will definitely need left alone for a while...
Smoke one now, or else you won't have anything to compare the rest to when you planned to open up the box. If it were me I'd probably buy a fresh one and smoke that back to back (or within a couple days) with the 13's to see the difference, it won't be an exact comparison because tobacco (and possibly blends) could have changed, but it may give a general idea of the change thus far
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Old 02-11-2020, 01:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: NCs that don't age well?

NCs that don't age well?

All of them

Sorry I am just a CC Snob
I did smoke NC's for a many years and went through all the high end lines Padron, Opus x, Diamond Crown, Hemingway, Don Carlos ext. I worked PT at a cigar shop and lounge for 10 years. So I have smoked Ashton to Zino and most all in-between (I smoked 4 to 5 cigars a day)

I can't tell you why CC's age better then NCs. But I can tell you I have smoked 1000s of Vintage CCs 20 year old + and 95% have been outstanding.

But I can tell you that NC's after 10 years go flat. (for my palate)

If I had to pick some NC's that may hold up and even get better they would probably be on the stronger side.
Camacho
Don Pepin
Joya De Nicaragua
Drew Estate Liga Privada
Ashton VSG
Tatuaje
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Old 02-11-2020, 07:31 PM   #11
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Default Re: NCs that don't age well?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stearns View Post
Smoke one now, or else you won't have anything to compare the rest to when you planned to open up the box. If it were me I'd probably buy a fresh one and smoke that back to back (or within a couple days) with the 13's to see the difference, it won't be an exact comparison because tobacco (and possibly blends) could have changed, but it may give a general idea of the change thus far
Good call! Luckily I do have quite a few more recent DPG Blacks to compare them to (a personal fav blend of mine so I try to stay stocked up). Once the weather gets nicer this spring I'll definitely compare them, maybe even write a review if I have the time.

@ Havanaaddict I totally respect that opinion too

I've definitely been venturing in to CCs more as of late, but mostly I'm just stashing those boxes in the bottom of my coolidors so they can get some appropriate age first. That said, even the younger ones I've had to date are quite impressive.

For now, I plan on smoking primarily NCs while my CCs get some rest, at least the ones I don't break down and smoke early anyway haha. I'll be interested to see where my preferences lie 5-10 years down the road though
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Old 02-11-2020, 07:33 PM   #12
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Default Re: NCs that don't age well?

Well, I guess I will add my own opinion here... and it is just that, my opinion.

I have had numerous Cubans age well. I have also had NCs that age well. But which ones don't?

From my personal experience, it has nothing to do with strength.
Although, I also have no clue as to what it is that makes the ones that age well, age well.

There are a few that I found do not age well: Rocky Patel is the one that comes to mid which grew to be absolutely flat. Two others which seemed to loose complexity and flavor were Camacho & Montecristo.

I really enjoy what happens with LFD Litto Gomez Diez and their Small Batch.

Of course, that is just for my tastes.

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Old 02-11-2020, 08:09 PM   #13
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Default Re: NCs that don't age well?

I got a box of Padron 64s that became nearly flavorless after about 2 years.
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Old 02-11-2020, 08:38 PM   #14
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Default Re: NCs that don't age well?

Quote:
Originally Posted by borndead1 View Post
I got a box of Padron 64s that became nearly flavorless after about 2 years.
Iíve heard that is common with as aged the tobacco is in those and the aging they do at the factory.
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Old 02-12-2020, 04:44 AM   #15
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Default Re: NCs that don't age well?

Yeah I've definitely heard the same thing about Padron too, sorry to hear that Mark - the 64s are certainly not cheap.

@ Todd thank you for your feedback on the RPs, that's exactly the kind of anecdotal evidence I was looking for - as I currently have a box of RP Royale Toros in one coolidor. I'll make it a point to get to those sometime this summer probably.

If memory serves correct, I think RP does some extensive aging on some of their lines as well, so maybe that has a lot to do with it...

Very curious how it seems that CCs stand the test of time so well over most it's NC counterparts. From what I understand that tobacco doesn't receive as much aging as a lot of the NCs but, when you consider they hold up to 20+ years as Havanaaddict reported, while it appears some NCs fall flat after > 5 years..very curious indeed....
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Old 02-12-2020, 07:08 AM   #16
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Default Re: NCs that don't age well?

Thinking about this I'm wondering if it might be a problem of expectations. What I mean is, I think that the flavors, and boldness of non Cuban cigars is greater than Cubans. So as they mellow, we still eexpect the bold and aggressive flavors they had, so it just gives the impression they're going flat, flavorless. Maybe what really needs to happen, is that they need to be puffed on in a more gentle manner searching for the more subtle flavors.

For example there was the complaint about a Padron 64 going flat. I have never had that experience. In fact there was an eighteen-year-old Padron 64 that was absolutely incredible. Yes, some of the flavors were much more subdued, however the complexity was off the charts.

I raise this as a possibility because of what I have seen with cigar smokers trying to add pipe smoking to their tobacco enjoyment lifestyle. Rarely is there a cigar smoker who does not think that the pipe produces flavorless smoke. When smoking a pipe, one needs to puff slowly, concentrate, and consider the subtle nuances in the smoke. There are incredible flavors to be found in the pipe, but it does not produce the volume, nor the strength of cigar smoke.

Could it be that the flavors in aged NC is more like the pipe? We expect them to be stronger, but they are not Emma but the nuances are there if we but let them shine and look for subtlety.

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Old 02-12-2020, 12:02 PM   #17
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Default Re: NCs that don't age well?

In my opinion cuban cigars most of the time lose there strength after 10 + years. But what they do develop is a richness and a almost chewy texture.
As far as Cuban cigars using aged tobacco. The Gran Reserva cigars are rolled with tobacco with a minimum of five years.
There maybe something to look at in the aging of tobacco in piles vs aging already rolled cigars!
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:40 AM   #18
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Default Re: NCs that don't age well?

@ Todd all good points. For example if someone was to smoke a 2019 Padron 64 in the morning and then later that afternoon, smoke a 2014 Padron 64, I suspect that person would be hard pressed to discern a lot of the more subtle complexities to the 2014 Padron.

And yeah Havanaadict it would be interesting to be able to sample two cigars, with the same tobacco/blend but with each aged in both respective methods...

Thanks again everyone for the feedback!
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