Dunhill Signed Range
The Dog Days of Summer Can be Hard on Cigars
A reader recently wrote posing the following questions: How important is temperature stability to keeping your cigars healthy? How do you maintain the ideal temperature within the humidor during the hot summer months?
The simple answer to the first question is yes, temperature (noted here as degrees Fahrenheit) is important, as it will affect the relative humidity within the humidor. On the higher end of the scale, temperatures above the 75 degree mark should be addressed. The higher temperatures will make cigar beetles more active (read about these no good parasites in the Bullz-Eye archives). In general, try to maintain the temperature near the ideal spot of 70 degrees (a range of 65 to 75 degrees). Room temperature is often considered normal at roughly 72 degrees, so it should not be that challenging. However, living in the heat of the Southeast, especially this summer with the latest heat wave, I must admit – it can be very challenging.
It is important to understand that cigars are primarily affected by light, temperature, humidity and friction. Cigars should never be exposed to:
- Ultraviolet light (especially directly). Light bleaches cigar wrappers, making them less elastic and more likely to tear or rip. Ultraviolet light also changes the molecular composition of the wrapper leaf in a rolled cigar. Direct light will also likely raise the interior temperature of your humidor.
- Humidity is relative to temperature, thus the term “relative humidity” (RH). Most people prefer their cigars at about 70 percent RH; however your cigars will generally not be harmed at levels ranging from 65 to 75 percent RH.
- Friction will cause more damage to cigars than most of the other factors. For proof, just take a close look at some of the loose cigars in the walk-in humidor of your tobacconist. When loose cigars are moved, they can become scuffed, rubbed and jostled so that the wrapper tears. Once a tear starts it's hard to stop, although there are several vegetable-based adhesives on the market that will allow you to repair small wrapper tears.
You should still take measures to keep temperature in the range. Try storing your humidor in a naturally cool part of the house like the basement, or if you are really blessed, a wine cellar (not an option for me). Keeping your humidor in a cool area like that should just be enough to bring the temperature back down to normal range. You may be especially challenged if you live in the Southwest desert regions -- these folks typically have brutal summer temperatures and no basements. If this applies to you, consider a small portable air cooler in a closet. They are not all that expensive, especially if you store upwards of 50 or more cigars, and they won’t kill your electric bill.
So let’s get smoking enjoy the hot night before the cool ones come back!
Dunhill Signed Range
Size: Toro 6 inches long, 50 ring gauge
Price: $12.50 to $15.00 range
The Dunhill cigar brand is often associated with some of the historically finest cigars marketed across Europe. The Dunhill “signed range” line was initially released in England before its debut in the United States in 2003.
Cigar Aficionado claims: “The name ‘Dunhill signed range’ is quite literal. Every box is individually numbered and features the signatures of many of the people responsible for creating the cigars. Four signatures appear on every box: that of the torcedor (cigar roller); escogedor (the sorter who groups the finished cigars); empacador (the packer); and the ultimo control de calidad (the quality supervisor who oversees each phase of the cigars’ production). Each signature is signed by hand.”
Introduced in 2003, Dunhill Signed Range cigars are made in very limited production with a medium-to-full-bodied blend of long-filler tobaccos from Colombia and the Dominican Republic, a U.S. Pennsylvania-grown binder, and an Ecuadorian wrapper leaf, all of the highest quality. Plus, every step of the manufacturing process, from roller to packer, is logged on each box. These are the ultimate Dunhill cigars.
- Wrapper: Ecuador
- Filler: Columbia, Dominican Republic
- Binder: U.S. (Pennsylvania)
I joined a local cigar group and the cigar shop owner welcomed me with a super premium, highly recommended cigar, the Dunhill Signed Range. It was a pretty cigar, but I noticed the foot may have been slightly damaged, probably by me as I transported it back home.
Look and feel
The Dunhill Signed Range is a gorgeous cigar -- it looks the part of a super premium. A rich milk chocolate wrapper tops it. It certainly has the mass and feel of well-made cigar.
Aroma and Taste
The pre-lit aroma was chocolaty with a little cinnamon. The double bladed cut opened a nice airflow leading to an interesting and tasty pre-lit draw. This initial draw was a pre-cursor of things to come, post-fire. The smoke was everything you expect from a super premium with the storied reputation of Dunhill. Dunhill has built its reputation in the European market where the tastes in cigars generally run slightly milder. The Signed Range departs the mild norm of Dunhill, but it is a successful diversification towards the medium to full bodied range. The taste is best described by the word “balanced,” but complex. Cocoa and earthy flavors are evident but no one flavor was dominant. Various spices were evident in the flavor, including some pepper that ranged between subtle to clearly evident.
RATING: 9.3 (on a scale of 1 to 10)
The burn on this cigar was excellent and the nicotine content was equally balanced, not too strong, but also not weak. This is an excellent high-end cigar with a price tag to boot. If you got the bucks or want a celebratory or image-setting cigar, buy it.
Keep the comments and recommendations coming – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Quoting a Cigar Man
"If I paid ten dollars for a cigar, first I'd make love to it, then I'd smoke it." - George Burns
DISCLAIMER: At the risk of sounding too much like a TV commercial, I do want to sincerely state: This feature is NOT intended to advocate the smoking of cigars any more or any less than you already do, nor do I intend to influence the non-smoker to begin smoking cigars. Make no mistake about it; CIGAR SMOKING MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH.