The cigars we love are composed of three main parts: the wrapper, the filler, and the binder. Nothing steals the show or commands more attention than the wrapper component. Largely, the taste of a cigar is led by the leaf that wraps it, and the wrapper furthermore is an important part of what makes a stick appealing enough to pick up and smoke in the first place. If cigars were plays, these below would be the leading performers.
Still, there is always that one person at the pizzeria that loves them, for every ten that says "Not on my slice please!"
Candela wrappers will appear moderate to bright green as opposed to the brownish hues our eyes are accustomed to seeing in today's cigar age. The greenish hue comes from removing the leaf from the tobacco stalk just before it fully matures, pressing and drying it out quickly, and then moistening it again for wrapping. This process produces a leaf that retains the natural chlorophyll color and taste, giving these wrappers a grassy smell and lime flavor. Smokers find these wrappers to be quite mild, tart, peppery and relatively void of sweetness.
The proper name for this wrapper is Candela, but you will probably find these cigars labeled as Double Claro or Jade as well. Even though these wrappers are now shunned by many and loved by few, they still have a place here. As Kermit always sings, "It Ain't Easy Being Green." If you dare, try a Arturo Fuente Claro.
This wrapper is produced in the good ole' USA and is the envy of many. Other tobacco producing locations such as the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Mexico have not yet been able to produce the environment required for this leafy treasure. "The Constitution State" has an environment that produces some of the world's best premium tobacco due to its perfect mix of rain, sunshine, and fertile soil.
Connecticut leaves come from tobacco plants that are grown under a cheese cloth that filters the abundant sunlight, causing the leaves to have very light veins and a hyper smooth texture. This process has afforded the wrapper the affectionate name of "Connecticut Shade." Connecticut Shade gives smokers a milder leafy wrapper with tones of pepper, cream, coffee, butter, and cedar.
These wrappers are not very sweet, so if you are looking for something sweeter mosey on down the list because the sugar content on these is nil. A cool Connecticut wrapped cigar to try would be a San Cristobal Elegancia reviewed here.
Because of its versatility, one will find this type of wrapper affectionately used in medium to full-bodied cigars as well as lighter offerings. A cool Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapped cigar to try would be a San Cristobal Elegancia reviewed here.
Thanks to the Rodriguez family, and filtered sunlight through muslin cloth, we are able to continue to enjoy cigars wrapped in the original Corojo outside of Cuban borders. Reddish-brown in hue and oily in nature, this wrapper is robust and bold with a slight cocoa flavor amidst pepper, leather and largely spicy tones. If you want to experience many of the flavors mentioned try one of the Camacho Corojos.
Because of its susceptibility to mold, Criollo is usually blended with the more hardy engineered version of itself known as Criollo '98; this means growers and cigar makers need to depend less on crops of the pure-strain, but more vulnerable original. If you are feeling particularly nostalgic and want to experience old Cuba, trying the Criollo Mancha may be ideal for an early evening smoke.
These toothy treasures are proudly produced in Cameroon within the Central African Republic. The leaves are very delicate and elastic because of the optimum cloud cover and diffusion of sunlight that this region of Africa provides naturally. Cameroon wrappings have a sandy, drier, low-oil finish.
Because of the completely natural way that the tobacco plant is grown, the color of the wrapping can be inconsistent when compared to a Connecticut or Ecuadorian wrapper. Even though it is not very golden, particularly attractive, or as stylish as some of the other brethren listed here, this leaf is an ideal choice when creating a cigar that isn't supposed to make you sweat and shudder.
I find these to be quite the wise choice for smokers working at the office or doing tasks that require a clearer mind. A Cameroon wrapped cigar will easily give a smoker pleasing memories of butter, toast and pepper flavors. Try a Serie G if you want to experience a cigar that will rub you the right way and tastes great while doing so.
Sumatra is used in the production of flavor-infused cigars such as those by Acid because of its mild nature and tendency to leave a sweet aftertaste during a mellow smoke. If you want a go at an infused cigar try the Kuba Kuba and let me know how you feel about this Acid offering.
Obviously with a stronger cigar wrapping, smokers will get more nicotine, and the Habano wrapper will not disappoint. For a cigar that will please experienced cigar lovers and neophytes alike try Joye de Nicaragua RED which has been reviewed here.
Like wine, aging makes tobacco wrappers all the more delicious. These leaves are typically darker in color, milder, sweeter, and more flavorful. Caramel, berries, chocolate, and black pepper are just a few of the flavors that can be achieved from the longer curing and aging process.
The term "maduro" has confused many, because of the reckless way that we, myself included, use the term. A wrapper can be described as "maduro-colored" which is not to be confused with actually being Maduro. "Maduro-colored" can get even more sketchy in that there are three colors associated with the name. Colorado Maduro (dark-brown), Maduro (pretty gosh darn dark), and Double Maduro (pretty close to black). I find the 1964 Padron Maduro to be quite delightful.
By aging the leaves even longer, manufacturers can give you a more lasting, richer flavor. The confusion of the Maduro labeling doesn't stop with the Oscuro. Oscuros are labeled "Double Maduro" interchangeably for the type of wrapper, to define the components of the stick, or both. A cigar that has a Maduro filler in addition to a Maduro wrapper could also be called a Double Maduro even if it's not actually Oscuro. Hence, you may find a cigar that has an Oscuro wrapping, binder, and filler and thus labeled ... wait for it ... A Triple Maduro or Maduro Maduro Maduro. Say that three times fast, try the La Flor Dominica Cabinet, lie down, and call me in the morning.
Rarest of the lot you will find in-store or out is the Rosada wrapped cigar. In Spanish, Rosada means "rosy," and it is pink or red in hue and very spicy. The spiciest of cigar wrappers originates in some shape or form from Cuba, and this leaf is very difficult to grow outside of that little island.
The Rosada is sought after and adored because of its rarity and offers along with the bold spice, notes of cedar, coffee, and pepper. As you will no doubt notice, I have no cigar choice linked here to recommend. If anyone has one in mind, share it below, and I will gladly try it out.