The world of premium cigar humidors is about to get a little larger, at least as far as US customers are concerned. That’s because the German-based “cigar storage enthusiasts” known as adorini are bringing their finely tuned instruments stateside. Adorini currently claims fame to the status of “bestselling brand of humidors in Europe”—largely focusing their efforts on the premium end of the market—appearing as auction items for events such as the annual Festival del Habano.
And while adorini’s products are already creeping into the US market (Amazon currently has them in stock, for example), their official debut will be at this year’s annual IPCPR show in Las Vegas. This will allow for B&Ms across the country to begin offering their line of upscale humidors and accessories.
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Santiago L – Deluxe Humidor Breakdown
- Style: Desktop
- Finish: Cherry Wood (multi-lacquered)
- Exterior Dimensions: 9.5″ × 14.5″ × 6″
- Interior Dimensions: 7.25″ × 12.25″ × 4.75″
- Capacity: 100 – 150 (Manufacturer Suggested)
- Levels: 2
- Price: $429 ($536 MSRP)
- Warranty: Lifetime
While adorini’s portfolio ranges from travel humidors to massive cabinets, the Santiago L – Deluxe fits right in the middle of the pack. With a max capacity of 150 cigars, it’s made to fit easily on your desktop and begs to be displayed prominently!
I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised with the unboxing experience. Santiago Deluxe arrives in a black, cardboard box—not much larger than your average shoebox. It weighs-in just under 10lbs, having a heavy feel to it—usually a positive indication of construction. The interior of the box is lined with foam and the humidor slides out smoothly. It is further wrapped in a black adorini burlap sack—almost reminding me of the feel of opening a box of Behikes. This is nice to have around, as it’s always a scary process moving a humidor of this caliber without attracting a few scratches.
The humidor itself is very classy and traditional in appearance. It is dark and highly lacquered, coating a base of cherry wood. There are no “belles & whistles”—no glass top, no oddball shape—simply a rectangular display with your standard gold lock and key.
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Without delay, the seasoning process was underway. Adorini is kind enough to include a rather in-depth manual that covers the seasoning process, as well as a host of other humidor maintenance tips and tricks. One such example was the recommendation to heat the dish of distilled water for better absorption into the Spanish cedar—this did seem to noticeably speed up the process (compared to past seasoning experiences I’ve had).
Of course, everyone has their own personal preferences (as with all-things cigar storage)—such as going against adorini’s suggestion to wipe the interior wood down while seasoning. I also made a slight modification to their humidification device, removing their acryl polymer device and replacing with my personal preference/recommendation of Heartfelt beads. Speaking of which, adorini understands the ineffective results from traditional humidification sponges and boasts features such as: self-regulation, antibacterial without the need for propylene solution, and less frequent refills/maintenance. Their system uses a gold-plated vent, screwed over the acryl polymer humidifier—these vents can be adjusted to fine-tune your humidity output. I simply unscrewed the cover and filled with beads, then left the vents wide open to allow the beads to do the heavy lifting. Adorini is very serious about preventing bacteria and even includes a bottle of their own humidifier liquid—which is distilled water with antibacterial silver ions—although regular distilled water will work as well.
But what would stable humidity be without a way to read it? Adorini declares their hygrometers “The most precise hygrometer available in humidors”. Now you have my attention! This intrigued me, as the Santiago Deluxe arrives with an analogue reader, which most hobbyists are taught never to trust. Adorini goes on to inform that hygrometers have a certain threshold where they can produce the most accurate readings; many instruments however, are not calibrated for the higher levels of humidity found in cigar humidors. Whereas adorini’s hygrometers are pre-calibrated to work best around 65% RH. Not only this, but their hygrometers use a synthetic hair mechanism to replicate the high accuracy of traditional hair hygrometers, without the maintenance. This contrasts the spring mechanism you’ll find in many analogue hygrometers—which is why the analogue style is typically thought inferior. Aside from the advantages of quick readability and temperature readings of digital hygrometers, the analogue style makes for a much more natural fit in the humidor. I like the idea that there is basically no maintenance here, such as battery replacements. And there’s no contest (at least in my mind) that the style is far more attractive—especially with the classic feel of the Santiago Deluxe.
Using the salt test, I found the adorini analogue to be about 5% off, whereas my Xikar digital was 2% off. This was an easy fix for the analogue. Place a flathead screwdriver in an opening in the back and twist to adjust. The Xikar, on the other hand, could not be calibrated. The adorini hygrometer worked flawlessly from this point on, seeming to adjust to RH changes (such as opening the humidor) much more quickly than the digital hygrometer.
Both the hygrometer and the humidifier have magnet backsides, holding to the underside of the humidor’s lid and out of the reach of cigars—a very nice feature that worked perfectly. On the downside, the magnets under the lid are only positioned in the center, and because of the size of the humidifier, it has to be rotated horizontally for both items to be held magnetically (see picture above). But the opening of the top shelf (designed for large humidifiers to rest inside when the lid is closed) requires the humidifier to be positioned vertically. Because of this, you either have to take off the hygrometer or keep the top level limited to a single layer of cigars—or else there isn’t enough room for the lid to close.
For the Spanish cedar interior, adorini uses thick cuts of the wood for a solid build. This is sometimes criticized for a higher chance of warping, as well as seeping a sticky resin residue over time. But adorini guarantees this will not happen, as they incorporate an extended drying and steaming process on the wood to prevent these issues. The advantages are a more solid construction and better absorption of humidity, making for more consistent RH levels.
These are great features in theory, but are difficult to test in a short time; other than confirming that yes, the humidor held very consistent RH levels throughout testing. On the flip side, the design of the wood is much more noticeable. The entire lining of the Santiago has a ribbed pattern, which serves multiple purposes. Most importantly, there is improved air circulation. This is huge, as humidors without fans often allow pockets of humidity to settle, making for an inconsistent environment (and an increased chance for mold in those overly-saturated pockets). This effect is most noticeable with a packed humidor—having no way for air to move freely between the cigars and the humidor’s cedar lining. And that’s exactly what these ribs facilitate.
Adorini takes advantage of this design and uses the ribs to allow for fully customizable departments. Wood slots slide in between the ribs to section off areas of the humidor—these can also be labelled for added convenience (date of purchase, wrapper type, etc.). A similar method is used for the second level of the humidor—where small wedges can be placed in the wooden ribs, allowing for a customized height of the second tier. This was a nice feature (once we figured it out), but we found the wedges didn’t fit quite snug enough and had to readjust a few times until they felt secure.
The top level continues the theme of airflow, with a relatively small shelf, holding cigars only on the far right and left sides. This is to allow for a large opening, which allows airflow, as well as a nice space for larger humidifiers to rest in when the lid is closed. The same wood slot partitioning method works on this level as well. We found these customizable sections to be a great idea, especially for those that are looking for long-term aging, but were a bit cumbersome in this small space. I limited its use to about two dividers across the bottom row—good for separating the naturals from maduros.
The total storage capacity is always a tricky number—it varies widely on so many factors. And while adorini sets a max storage between 100 – 150 cigars, we found it to hold a more realistic number of 65 cigars. This number could go up another 10 – 15, but it would require taking the hygrometer off the lid as we mentioned earlier.
- Life-time warranty
- Solid build with premium look/feel
- Holds humidity to desired RH with ease (after proper seasoning)
- Dividers have little use in this space
- Hygrometer needed adjusting - placement can be tricky