Dunhill Estupendos

3 December 2007

There’re tricks in every trade- but one thing cannot be faked, and that’s age. Whether it’s a good bottle of wine, a classic car or a great cigar, they all demand proper care, patience and a true love for them. Today I smoked a Dunhill Estupendos (7X47 tubos) from the mid 1980’s. Made entirely of Cuban tobacco, it has been among the most sought after cigars for collectors at auctions.

I never had the opportunity to taste what a Dunhill Estupendos tasted like when it was new, but having smoked this one with over 20 years of age… why turn back the hands of time? This cigar began slightly vegetal in character, with an herbal and tea-like quality. It slowly built in all aspects- strength, flavor, and aroma.

By the mid-point of this cigar a toasty, caramel-like flavor began to work its way into the profile. Hints of cedar and honey also became more apparent as I smoked more and more, but impressively the cigar never became hot or harsh.

The finish was long, and lingered after the cigar was extinguished but not in an unpleasant manner at all. It was a wonderful example of how age can benefit a cigar. Aging cigars helps to marry a blend, and really allow the tobacco to mellow. Though mild cigars generally do not age as well, especially long term, fuller bodied cigars age wonderfully as there is more potential for change and development over time.

Of course opportunities to smoke cigars with this much age come few and far between, but aging cigars yourself can become as a much a part of your cigar experience as actually smoking them. Active humidification systems ensure that the humidity remains stable and consistent. But you don’t have to sacrifice the aesthetic of a room to risk it looking more like a cigar store than an office or den. Companies like Filias Design (www.filiasdesign) can help create an appropriate humidor to work with your space and will perfectly store and age your most precious cigars.

Purchase cigars in boxes, and age them appropriately in your humidor. Mark on the box the date you received them, and keep a log of your experience with the cigar each time you smoke one to keep track of how the cigar is changing and whether that change is favorable or not. Then stock up, put them away, and enjoy the pleasures of smoking a fine aged cigar.