If properly stored, cigars can remain in perfect smoking condition for many years to come. Like a fine wine, a fine cigar can even improve with proper aging. However, all cigars (even those in cigar tubes, cellophane wrappers, and cigar boxes) can only last a week or two outside a humidor before they dry out. A dried out cigar will burn too fast, taste stale, and may even crack or split. In order to collect and properly age cigars, you'll need a well-maintained humidor.
The first thing to consider is the color of the wrapper, or outside of the cigar. If you're new to cigar smoking, it's a good idea to start off with a mild to medium bodied cigar. Typically speaking, the lighter shades of wrappers indicate a more mild flavor of cigar, and the darker shades are more robust. Cigar wrappers come in many shades, but here are a few of the more common varieties.
"A cigar ought not to be smoked solely with the mouth,
but with the hand, the eyes, and with the spirit."