There is more you should consider when buying cigars for the first time. The initial attributes you should look at when choosing your cigar include the color and the exterior’s sheen. Cigar wrappers may look like a marketing tool for cigar shops and cigar makers. Still, most cigar lovers will tell you that it plays a significant role in determining the cigar flavor, taste, and aroma.
There is more weak spots to cigar wrappers than the outward aesthetic appeal. At least 20% of the cigar’s quality depends on the type of wrapper the manufacturer uses.
That said, it is essential as a cigar aficionado to learn about the different cigar wrappers. In this article, we explain some bits of cigars wrappers you should know to help you make the right choice when buying your next stogie.
What is a Cigar Wrapper?
A strong cigar wrapper is the outermost leaf of the cigar. It’s the first characteristics of cigars you see when you pool it out of the cigar box. For most cigar enthusiasts, the cigar wrapper is the center of attraction. It plays a role for most cigar lovers in choosing the best cigar. Sure, only experienced cigar smokers will notice the difference in cigar wrappers and what flavors they give.
A cigar wrapper is made of the outermost leaves and is mainly composed of the broadest part of the tobacco plant. The wrappers set the perfect tone for the cigar. A good cigar with a bad wrapper is not likely to sell to novice smokers.
Most Cuban cigar manufacturers may not value the kind of wrapper used. Cuban cigars are already famous worldwide, and the manufacturers have no reason to ‘beautify’ the wrappers to sell. However, for most cigars from Nicaragua, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, and the rest of the world, a wrapper is used to add some unique flavor to the cigar filler – the tobacco.
A wrapper comes in multiple colors depending on the method the manufacturer uses in the cigar’s fermentation and curing. The cigar wrapper says a lot about the cigar you buy.
How To Choose A Quality Cigar Wrapper
As a novice smoker, you are likely to shop for your next cigar by checking the quality in the wrapper. So, what should you be looking for when you buy a high-quality cigar by the wrapper?
1. The veins and bumps
You can choose a quality cigar by looking at the bumps and veins in the wrapper. It’s easy to tell that your cigar is of high quality if it has a shade-grown wrapper with smoother and smaller veins. The cigar wrapper used by the manufacturer should be oily and thick.
An adequately dried-out cigar wrapper enhances the cigar’s flavor and doesn’t burn faster. Cigar wrappers are supposed to age for more than a year to ensure smoother and longer smoking. Cigars wrappers with veins and bumps have high nicotine content and burn slowly.
2. Sun grown Vs. shade grown
Cigar wrappers can also be grouped under shade-grown and sun-grown. Shade-grown wrappers are made from tobacco plants grown under a shaded tent. The shaded tent ensures the tobacco plant leaves don’t become too large. A tobacco plant grown in direct sunlight, also called sun-grown, produces thick and broader leaves. They make the best cigar wrappers with quality flavor.
You can choose your loose tobacco cigar wrapper by checking whether they are made using sun-grown or shade-grown tobacco. Most manufactures will generally indicate this on the brand label. Sun grown cigar wrappers are thick, dark, and oily.
3. Choose by color
Cigar wrappers have different shades ranging from dark brown to light tan. You are also likely to find green cigar wrappers when you shop around for Garcia cigars. Cigar wrapper gets its chocolate hue color from the aging process. Also, the cigar wrappers’ shade depends on where the cigar is grown, how, and where the seed originates.
There are over fifty different types of cigar wrappers leaves from other countries. Some hybrid wrappers leave, such as Ecuadorian Connecticut and Dominican Sumatra, originate from one country but are grown in another. The first country indicates where the wrapper leaf is grown, and the second country is the seed’s origin.
Types of cigar wrappers
Cigar wrappers come in different textures and colors due to the various methods used in cultivating, curing, and fermentation of tobacco products. You can find multiple shades, given that different tobacco seeds can produce wrapper leaves of different sizes and colors based on the technique used.
The cigar wrapper’s color says a lot about the flavor, strength, and intensity of the cigar you are about to smoke. Full strength or robust cigars have darker cigar wrappers, while mild cigars come in lighter cigar wrappers.
Sometimes, color may not necessarily mean that a blend of tobacco cigar is of high or low quality. You only know the quality of the cigar until you light it up and take your first puff through the palate. Here are some popular cigar wrappers you should know as a novice smoker:
Candela wrapper is most common in the American market. They come in different colors ranging from vibrant green to blonde.
The wrapper earns the name from its unique drying process. Traditionally, the manufacturers would use candlelight to ferment the leaves. In some cases, a charcoal fire is used to dry and cure the leaves.
The chlorophyll remains intact in the leaves during the quick drying process. This gives the wrapper its green color.
Maduro is one of the most popular cigar wrappers of Spanish origin. The wrapper is made of sun-grown tobacco leaves. The wrapper leaves go through fermentation and curing for years, which gives them a unique flavor and aroma.
Maduro leaves are coarse and thick to survive the pressure chamber aging process and the hot conditions. They are oily, robust, and have high nicotine content. Also, these types of cigar wrappers are almost black and have some visible veins and bumps.
Oscuro wrapper is also known as Double Maduro. They are black in color and a bit oily. Most cigar brands from Nicaragua, Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, and Connecticut use Oscuro wrappers. Just like Maduro wrapper, they also have bumps and veins on them. They give a robust spice-filled flavor, which makes most smokers prefer cigars with this type of wrapper.
Connecticut is another famous cigar wrapper of American origin. The wrapper leaves used in making Connecticut wrapper comes from Northeastern U.S, but the seeds are grown in Ecuador.
The tobacco plant is cultivated under special conditions to protect it from direct sunlight. The leaves have a light color and mild flavor due to the low nicotine content and have a cedar, woody, and spicy taste. Some cigar brands with Connecticut wrappers include the popular Montecristo and Macanudo cigars.
Corojo wrapper leaves were originally grown in Cuba. Today they are grown in Honduras on a large scale because of the embargo. The Corojo seeds are modified to survive the new climate in Honduras. The Corojo wrapper is a bit darker in color compared to Connecticut. It is also spicy, robust, peppery, and thick. Most enthusiasts prefer this wrapper because of its unique flavor and longevity.
The wrapper is tough and doesn’t smoke easily. Some brands using the Corojo wrapper include all Camacho Corojo cigars.
When buying a cigar, you have to look into several factors like taste, flavor, aroma, texture, wrapper, etc. Cigar wrappers are very useful in setting the flavor and tone of the cigar.
This simple guide has shared some tips you can use to pick the best cigar by a wrapper. You can explore cigars with some of the wrappers mentioned here and choose the best ones. Sure, you can find one that meets your unique taste.