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Thursday, May 25 2017
What makes a good wrapper?
The wrapper is arguably the most vital component of the cigar, contributing to most of its flavor. Ever pulled off a piece of the wrapper that was hanging off, only to reveal the blander tobacco filler underneath? Definitely not as pleasant to smoke. Your wrapper should be free of all blemishes, and large enough to smoothly cover the entirety of the cigar. The four main wrappers which you will most commonly find are Connecticut, Corojo, Habano, and Maduro.
The Connecticut wrapper is made of a leaf that originates in, you guessed it, Connecticut, USA. It is grown primarily within the Connecticut River valley which also runs through Massachusetts and the southernmost part of Vermont, making it one of the only significant tobacco exports from America. The seed, which is also grown in Ecuador, is typically grown and nurtured under protected environments which block out external light, giving this wrapper the nickname “Connecticut Shade”. These growing conditions keep the color of the wrapper very light, contributing to its mild, woody or cedar flavor. Notable cigars that we carry with a Connecticut wrapper include the My Father Connecticut, and the AJ Fernandez New World Connecticut, which offer tasteful blends while being characteristically mild and easy to enjoy.
The Corojo wrapper, known for its peppery and spicy flare, was first grown in the early 90s in Cuba’s world renown Vuelta Abajo tobacco-growing region by a man named Diego Rodriguez. Since then, the robust wrapper has transitioned to being grown mainly in Honduras. Due to its susceptibility to mold and other conditions that interfere with the growing process, the corojo seeds need to be handled with intensive care. Holding a slightly darker color than the Connecticut, you can pick up the La Aurora Corojo, or Joya de Nicaragua Antano Dark Corojo by Drew Estate to get a taste of the rich wrapper.
Similar in color to the Corojo, the Habano wrapper is also from Cuba, although grown mainly in Nicaragua today. Smoking a cigar with this wrapper provides a much heavier and spicier flavor, while being very dense with nicotine. These cigars may be a tad bit too strong for beginner smokers, but can offer quite a delicious and flavorful experience nonetheless. Try an AJ Fernandez San Lotano Habano, or RomaCraft Aquataine for a taste of this spicy wrapper.
The Maduro wrapper is the darkest of the four, and have the longest growing process from seedling to leaf. Packed with oil and earthy richness, a proper Maduro wrapper will be able to survive years of aging while still maintaining its thickness and un-blemished quality. Although dark in color, these cigars will often create a sweeter tone, giving it the nickname “dessert smoke”. For those wanting to try this bold wrapper, we recommend the Espinosa 601 Maduro, and the Casa Fernandez Aganorsa Leaf Maduro.
There are a few other types of wrappers that are worth mentioning, the first of which is the candela wrapper. This wrapper is easy to spot, with its distinctive green color. This wrapper is often considered the mildest, with a sweet and grassy flavor. Think spring time cigar. The candela wrapper takes the least amount of time to age, and done in such a way that it locks the chlorophyll in, giving it its color. A good cigar to pick up with a Candela wrapper is the Illusione HL. Next, we have the Sumatra wrapper, which is grown in Indonesia. This dark wrapper is known for its cinnamon flare, and often offers a milder full bodied smoking experience. A favorite with this wrapper is the Aging room f55 Quattro. Third, we have the Camaroon wrapper, featured in the Oliva Nub 460 Camaroon. This wrapper has a “toothy” quality to it, which refers to its rougher texture. Characteristically smooth and dominated by a more woody or toasty flavor, it is one of the more difficult wrappers to grow and work with. Last, we have the Oscuro wrapper, which is extremely dark, often called the double Maduro. These wrappers offer an even deeper and richer smoke than the Maduro, since it is left to ferment for a longer amount of time. A notable cigar with some kick is the La Flor Dominicana Ligero Cabinet Oscuro L500.
Most of the cigars mentioned in this post can be picked up at Ligero Tobacco House to be enjoyed in our smoking lounge or in the comfort of your home. As always, you may be compelled to also enjoy a cup of our authentic café Cubano (Cuban coffee) along with your cigar!
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