Brennan's owner Kevin Brennan releases state-of-the-art Durango Humidor
The Durango Humidor keeps cigars at perfect humidity with almost no effort. Conceptualized by Kevin Brennan of Brennan’s and DurangoCigars.com and designed in digital 3D by Martin Goebel of Goebel Furniture, this “smart” humidor offers a modern, timeless design with exceptional functionality. A hidden climate sensor chip inside the Durango Humidor links to your smartphone and sends a push notification if there are any irregular changes in temperature and humidity.
“If you get the notification, simply replace the two-way humidification system,” Brennan said. “Depending on how many cigars you have, that usually lasts anywhere from a few months to half a year, but you can set when you want to be notified. Typically, cigars are stored and aged at 68 to 72 percent humidity.”
Tobacco is porous and takes on the dominant flavor it’s aged with, so the Durango Humidor features a perforated chamber to infuse cigars with a variety of aging elements. Aging times range from a few months for light tobaccos to a few years for fuller-bodied blends, while aging elements range from chocolate, coffee and coconut to herbs, spices and spirits.
If you want to infuse your own cigars, do a trial run first and keep in mind moderation is key. “For example, a full glass of whiskey is too much,” Brennan said. “Tobacco is so porous that it’ll soak up so much of that booze that you won’t even be able to smoke it.”
Cigars are typically selected based on brand and packaging, but Durango is working to change that. "If people eat with their eyes, then we believe they smoke with their nose. It's best to smell the blend before you buy," Brennan said. Now, thanks to the cork seal in the lid, customers can get a whiff of each cigar blend before they make a purchase.
A fusion of Old World craftsmanship and New World technology goes into the production of each Durango Humidor.
“Storing and aging cigars is a lot of what we do here [at the Durango Cigar Lounge at Brennan’s in the Central West End]. We wanted something that both looked good and worked extremely effectively. That’s how we started thinking about the model,” Brennan said.
“Martin [Goebel of Goebel Furniture] uses his knowledge of how different woods last over time and incorporates the technology behind the CNC machine for a detailed, precise interior. When Goebel & Co. get the humidor back from the CNC process, they hand finish each piece, highlighting the beauty of the wood to create a truly original humidor that will last a lifetime.”
Humidors range from less than $100 for machine-made products from China to $5,000 or more for upscale, handmade pieces. “Even the really expensive ones have been ineffective in regulating humidity perfectly. Ours fixes that problem,” Brennan said. The Durango Humidor ranges from $1,000 to $1,500 depending on types of wood used. Readers should visit DurangoHumidor.com to see what’s currently available.
The Durango Humidor inspired the creation of the Micro-Tobacconist program, a retail display featuring small-batch artisan cigars. Essentially, the Micro-Tobacconist is to mainstream cigars what microbreweries are to Anheuser-Busch.
“We didn’t want all the cigars in a walk-in humidor cross contaminating one another, so we created a display that stores each cigar in its own humidor box and uses a proprietary two-way humidity control to keep the product as fresh as possible,” Brennan said, adding these cigars are not stored in the new Durango Humidors.
Cigars in the Micro-Tobacconist display are organized by three color-coded categories: traditional, aged and pipe tobacco cigars. Within each category, cigars are numbered lowest to highest, lightest to strongest. One such setup featuring 120 different cigars is currently on display at Lukas Wine & Spirits in Ellisville. More setups will soon be popping up in casinos, hotels and other liquor stores.
Lauren Healey is associate editor at Sauce Magazine.
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