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The Anatomy of a Cigar
Written by Kevin Godbee

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

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tobacco faqstobacco terms and definitions





Comments 

 
0 # Where are you getting your information?Donnie Allison 2009-08-12 05:34
Why would you think that the wrapper leaf contributes so little to the flavor? It is a well respected opinion in the cigar community that the wrapper actually contributes quite a bit to the flavor of the cigar. Also the plants that are usd to grow wrappers are usually grown under some type of cover like gauze to help protect the leaves.

Also, the entire filler is not made up of ligero but rather it is added as is needed for the blend.

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0 # Kevin Godbee 2009-08-14 01:54
First of all, I want to thank you for reading my article and commenting on it. Secondly, I do not want to get into a long drawn out debate, but would just like to answer your question as to my thinking and opinion on this.

The impact of the wrapper on the taste of a cigar is one of the most debated issues in the cigar world. To assign a value to the impact is impossible since each blend differs as do their wrappers.

However, I would say you are half right. The wrapper can have a very significant impact on the flavor of some cigars, but not all, and not to the extent that the "group mentality" of the "cigar community" will try to have you believe.

If one just considers the volume of tobacco, the wrapper is less than 5% of the cigar. How can people say it accounts for over half of the taste?

The impact of the wrapper also depends on how you personally smoke your cigars. If you hold it in your mouth for a long time, versus setting it in the ashtray, this will have an effect.

Connecticut wrappers are generally quite mild, but they sometimes cover a full-bodied cigar. Another common misconception is that ALL cigars with light wrappers are mild and ALL cigars with dark wrappers are "strong". Not true.

Connecticut wrappers are also usually shade-grown, but not always. This is what you are referring to when you say, "usually grown under some type of cover like gauze to help protect the leaves".

However, not all wrappers are shade grown. As a matter fo fact not all Connecticut wrappers are grown in Connecticut. Many Connecticut wrapper cigars are rolled with leaves grown in Ecuador from U.S. Connecticut seed.

I respect your opinion, and I agree with you 50%.

I do not agree with a blanket statement that the wrapper effects the majority of the flavor of every cigar. It's 5% of the volume of tobacco and it is not always the strongest leaf. It is definitely the most attractive leaf though.

Thank you again for reading and commenting.

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0 # Article needs editing.BigEasy 2009-08-14 23:13
Kevin, please read your article and consider editing it. Your article index doesn't match your article. Also, check your spelling (cigart). The filler is also known as the "blend". The filler can contain combinations of Seco (dry, light flavor) and Ligero (less dry, strong flavor) leaves. The filler (blend) is what defines the overall body of the cigar, but the wrapper contributes to it as well.

Donnie is 100% right when he says the wrapper "contributes quite a bit to the flavor of the cigar." It's not all of the flavor, but the wrapper "contributes" to the character and flavor of the cigar. If you put a maduro wrapper around a Seco filler, you will taste the difference from a Claro wrapper.

Finally, I have never seen anyone clip the foot of the cigar before they light it. The head (cap) is clipped to allow the smoke to come through.

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0 # Parts of a Tobacco Planttzaddi 2009-08-16 13:23
On the tobacco plant, each leaf is harvested by priming a specific leaf position on the plant. The absolute top (picudura) and very bottom leaves (libre de pied) are not used. The remaining leaves are split into sections. The top 30% is called Ligero, the middle 40% Seco, and the bottom 30% Volado. Even from the same plant, a ligero leaf will be quite different from a volado leaf in terms of size, flavor, strength and cumbustion. Typilcally the higher up on the plant, the smaller and thicker the leaf. The flavor will be stronger and they'll burn slower. These leaves will require more time in curing, fermentation and aging. The lower on the plant, the larger, broader and thinner the leaf will be; the larger, broader and thinner the leaf is, the quicker the combustion, and the mellower in strength and flavor will be.

There is a great article titled Unraveling the Wrapper Mystique in the Winter 2006/2007 Smoke magazine

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0 # shawn taylor 2009-08-17 09:42
I thought that I posted a comment to this article but do not see it. Just to comment on what you've said in response to donnie. I do believe that many in the cigar community feel that the wrapper contributes greatly to the flavor of a cigar. wrapper tobacco is handled quite carefully in order to preserve appearance and in order to promote the best the leaf has to offer. I disagree with your statement that this is exaggerated. Only a person that knows nothing about cigars will think that a dark wrapper means 'fuller, bolder, or stronger' and a light wrapper means 'mild, light, and weak or low nicotine.' the fact of wrapper being grown under shade is correct and it also has to do with appearance. shade allows for smaller veins and smoother texture. you comment on connecticut in ecuador? they grown some of the best wrapper there b/c of the climate. the area of growth is said to be under constant overcast skies, thus acting as a natural shade. All Im pointing out is that your article is misleading to a person that doesnt know better. In all my research of this wonderful world of cigars I've never heard of anyone making a cigar the way you discribed. I dont know this for a fact but would consider that even those that are 100% corojo or 100% ligero, the tobacco would come from different regions in order to produce a blend that is not overpowering in a certain sense. meaning, a cigar that is made if 100% ligero would not all come from jalapa b/c you may get too much of one side. anyone in their right mind may make a 100% ligero but it's not all coming from the same region for fear of no complexity what so ever. esteli is known for strong full tobacco. if you made a full ligero cigar from tobacco only from esteli? forget it. no one would want it. I 'd be willing to bet a box on it.

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