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Last Updated on March 28, 2021
Wrappers are the first thing one notices when looking at a cigar. Those who know how cigars are made must be knowing that there are three layers in a cigar and the wrappers are the outer-most layer. The primary purpose of a wrapper is to make the cigar looking attractive. However, there is a lot more information about wrappers that are interesting to find out.
Here’s a complete cigar wrappers guide for all the readers. If you are a cigar aficionado, this guide will help you immensely.
Before we dive into the types of wrappers, let’s understand what a wrapper is and how a good quality one makes a difference.
What is a Cigar Wrapper?
It is the outer-most covering of the cigar. The tobacco leaves for wrapping cigars are specially grown at the farm. They are covered with cloth to prevent excess heat from the sun. The wrappers are fermented to a good consistency, so if you have noticed before, these wrappers have a shiny, waxy finish. There won’t be any visible leaf veins projecting out of the wrapper. Large leaves are used for the purpose to get a smooth finish to the outer layer.
The middle layer of a cigar is made of a binder. These are inferior quality leaves and do not look appealing. So the wrappers hide this unattractive layer and give an aesthetic finish to the cigars.
It’s not just about the look. The flavors are all packed inside the wrapper. Hence, the outermost covering is an important aspect.
Quick note – A cigar has three parts (wrapper, filler, and binder). Without these parts, the cigar is incomplete. The wrapper can be termed as the preview of a well-made cigar. You can’t have a good cigar without a wrapper.
Think about it – if a cigarette box didn’t have a plastic covering, it will get wet in the rain. The covering of the cigar is more useful. From the appearance to its flavor, cigar wrapper are an indispensable part!
Why is a good quality wrapper needed? Keep reading to find out the answer.
Good Quality Wrappers
By inspecting the cigars you can analyze the quality of the wrapper. These are usually premium quality leaves that are spotless. So if you find a wrapper with blemish and stains, they are of poor quality. Some might have visible veins and cracks in them.
Also, the wrapper can give away a possible mold infestation. If you do not store the cigars at the right humidity, they might have mold all over the wrappers. However, a slight greyish look on the wrappers might be an indication of the aging of cigars, which is a good sign.
Types of wrappers
There are two kinds – natural and Maduro wrappers.
Natural wrappers have a lighter color and have a mild, nutty taste. Maduro wrappers are dark in color and have a sweeter taste. The Maduro wrappers undergo a complex fermentation process to give different shades and sweet tastes to the cigar. They are available in different forms and have a wide variety of flavors. They were almost unknown a few decades ago and emerged due to demand for cigars and the manufacturers started producing Maduro wrappers that impart a distinct flavor to the cigars. There are different types of Maduro wrappers classified based on color, taste, and region where they are grown.
All other wrappers that are not Maduro are now known as natural wrappers.
Few Examples of Wrappers
These wrappers are green in color. They were traditionally made in candlelight and hence called candela. Nowadays, they are made by flash curing and quick drying process. They lock the chlorophyll during this process, imparting green color to the wrapper leaves.
They are grown in Brazil and have a dark black color. They have a distinct sweetness in taste.
Another dark-colored cigar wrapper, they are made from tobacco leaves that get most of the sunlight. They go through a long fermentation process that usually lasts for years. This produces a dark, intense wrapper leaf and is a rarity to find.
These are the good old Cuban wrappers, the same one discovered by Colombus in the historic era. They are now grown in Mexico, Nicaragua, and Honduras. They have a distinct reddish-brown color, which gives an earthly look to the cigars wrapped using these leaves.
Connecticut shade wrapper
These are a popular variety of tobacco leaves, found wound around many premium cigars. They are grown in Connecticut valley and are honey-colored. They are grown in shades and the process is labor-intensive. They impart a creamy taste to the cigars.
Previously grown in Cuba, now these are found in Honduras. They have a reddish-brown color and a spicy flavor. There are some cigars wrapped with these zesty wrappers available in the market today.
Sun grown wrapper
Wrappers that are grown under direct sunlight fall in this category. They may not be jet-black in color. They usually have a brown, coffee-colored appearance. Due to exposure to sunlight, the leaves produce oil that imparts a waxy coating to the wrapper. They also appear thicker and stronger than other varieties of wrappers.
How to use a Colorado scale?
Colorado scale classifies the wrappers into seven categories based on color. A beginner can use the scale to understand more about the cigar and its flavor using this scale.
Wrappers in the scale are Candela, Claro, Colorado Claro, Colorado, Colorado Maduro, Oscuro. From left to right, the intensity of the colors increases. Candela has a greenish shade and Claro has a light blonde shade. The rest of the wrappers’ have increasing color intensity, ending with Oscuro which is jet-black in color.
Knowing about wrappers comes in handy when you are trying out different cigars, so make good use of it.
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