Cigar wraps are made out of tobacco leaves, which come from the lowest part of the tobacco plant. The composition of the tobacco leaves makes each cigar wrap unique. The combination of tobacco and flavors create a delicious cigar.
The two main types of cigar wrappers are Madura Wrappers and Natural Wrappers. There are also many sub-types of wraps. Factors that play a role in wrapper properties include:
- The temperature during the fermentation process
- Duration of the fermentation
- The total area of the tobacco plant
- Amount of sunlight the tobacco plant receives
What are Maduro Wrappers?
Madura refers to the fermentation process of the leaf and translates to “mature.” The leaves go through a fermentation process to achieve colors that range from brown to jet-black. They also have sweet, rich flavors.
The wrapper can vary in strength, flavor, country, or region it is produced. Madura came into the mainstream after the 80s as a result of the growing complexity of people’s taste for flavorful cigars.
Madura wrappers are known by their color intensity. When it comes to the Colorado Madura, you will notice dark brown colors. Nearly black wrappers are a trait of the Oscuro wrapper, which is also called a Double Maduro.
Maduro cigars are separated into strong, medium, and mild. The best known Madura is the Connecticut Broadleaf.
What are Natural Wrappers?
Natural wrappers tend to be lighter in color, which includes light-tan or golden-blond. The taste is a hint of almonds, cedar, or cashews. They also have light to moderate spices flavor, which is found especially in Connecticut wrapped cigars.
The cigars that aren’t Maduro are labeled Natural. The most common Natural wrapped cigars are Ecuador Connecticut and the Connecticut Shade.
Now that you have an overview of wrappers, we will go into some subtypes of wrappers. There are many out there so keep in mind that this list is not all-inclusive.
Subtypes of Wraps
Each of these subtypes has its own unique flavor. This will help you pick your future cigars better and introduce you to other flavors that you may like.
These wrappers are made in Connecticut (hence the name). They are produced in the Northeast region or around the Connecticut River Valley. Some common brands that use Connecticut wrappers include:
- Arturo Fuente
Connecticut wrappers are typically golden-brown in color. They have a creamy, rich, and sweet taste because the region has less intense sunlight than compared to other regions. Two famous variations of these wrappers include the Broadleaf and Shade.
The Connecticut Broadleaf is a Maduro wrapper and has a dark-brown color. Sometimes the color can be almost black. The taste is sweet and somewhat oily. You will notice hints of black currant, chestnut, dark chocolate, cedar, raisins, and spices. The Connecticut Broadleaf is considered the stronger cousin of the Connecticut Shade.
Connecticut Shade is not grown under direct sunlight, instead, they are protected by nylon mesh. The nylon mesh simulates a cloudy sky and keeps direct sunlight away from the plant. These features make it different from the other Connecticut wrappers.
You will find Connecticut shade wrappers are lighter in color, which include honey or golden colors. They have a silky, lighter texture as well. You will get tastes of almonds, coffee and cream, and cashews with this wrapper.
Producing these crops are labor-intensive, which is why you will find cigars wrapped with Connecticut Shades have a higher price.
Corojo is mostly grown in Honduras and other countries in Central America today. However, it was grown in Cuba. The leaf had a red-brown hue, you will notice the wrapper has an oily texture. The wrapper can be very tough, which makes it difficult to smoke. When you do smoke it, you will notice spicy and pepper quality.
Similar to Corojo, Habano used to be grown in Cuba as well. However, now it is grown mostly in Nicaragua because of the embargo. The Habano has a heavy, spicy quality that some smokers prefer. They do have wood, coffee, and earthy flavors. This cigar is rich, so it can be intimidating to those who are new to cigars.
The Wrap Making Process
Now that you understand the different kinds of cigar wraps, we will provide an overview of the wrap making process from cultivation to packing.
1. Cultivating Tobacco
Tobacco seeds are planted indoors and transferred to fields after six to 10 weeks. If the plant is going to produce outer wrappers, they are kept covered with a cloth to protect them from the sun. It takes several months for tobacco plants to mature in the fields.
Once the leaves are harvested they must be cured to develop their aroma. The leaves transition from bright green to dried brown or yellowish leaves. Harvested plants are strung to narrow strips of wood, and hung in a well-ventilated barn. If the leaves are flue-cured, they are hung in a small barn that is heated to 90-170F.
After they are cured, the leaves are sorted by size and color. They are tied into bundles and kept in boxes called hogsheads. The tobacco is kept in the hogshead anywhere from six months to five years. During this time, the leaves undergo a chemical change called fermentation.
The filler leaves have their stem (or main vein) removed so the cigar will burn evenly. Stripping is done either by hand or by machine. Once the leaves are stripped, they are wrapped in bales for further fermentation.
5. Hand Rolling Or Machine Rolling
The finest cigars are rolled by hand and it is skilled work. When a cigar is hand-rolled, the worker selects two to six leaves for the filler. These are placed on top of the other and rolled into a bunch.
Next, the worker puts the bunch on the binder leaves and rolls it cylindrically around the filler. The cigars are put in a mold that holds their shape until they are wrapped.
If the cigar is rolled by a machine, one worker feeds the leaves into the machine. The guide bar is adjusted to the proper length of the cigar. The machine bunches the leaves to create the filler. A binder leaf is put on the binder and the machine drops the filler in place.
Try a New Cigar
Now that you understand how cigar wrapping works and the different kinds of wraps, check out the variety we offer and try a new one today.