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Cigar 101: Whats in a wrapper


By Sapna Kakkar

For anyone looking to acquaint themselves with the ABC’s of cigars, this series is for you. Cigar 101 focuses on the details of the anatomy of the cigar along with other matters such as how to pick a perfect cigar, how to smoke a Cuban, how to store your cigars, etc. Please subscribe for regular updates.

What is a wrapper? First, to talk about wrappers, we must understand what wrappers really are. The outermost leaf of the cigar is called the capa, or wrapper. This is an exquisitely thin and supple leaf and barely contributes to the flavour of a Habano, but it stands as the ultimate symbol of the cigars perfection.
From the beginning, the wrapper leaves are paid extra attention to. The wrapper leaves are grown in shade grown fields covered end to end with muslin cloths. The muslin cover filters the sunlight and traps the heat so that the leaves grow larger and finer. This is done to avoid the leaves getting direct sunlight and therefore avoiding damage. It should come as no surprise that the wrapper leaves are the most expensive to produce.
The wrappers come in a variety of shades, all distinguished. Great pains are taken to ensure that any one box houses the exact same shade of cigars. Cuban cigars pride itself in the natural colours of Habanos. No artificial process is used to force it. Leaves from the upper part of the plant are naturally darker and get further darkened when fermented.

How to identify good quality wrapper??
The wrappers job is to delight the eye. It very rarely adds f;avour to the cigar. To be considered a good quality wrapper, the wrapper leaf should be thin and delicate with none to few visible veins possible. A well maintained cigar will have a slight sheen of rich oiliness. The natural oils keep inside the flavours of the cigars. Tears, cracks and splits in a wrapper are a bad sign and usually suggest that the cigars have been stored carelessly in poor conditions.

What are the different Cigar colours?
No other product in the world enjoys a more painstaking treatment in its presentation and packaging, starting with the perfect colour matching of the wrappers.Given the natural conditions and of course, curing and fermentations, cigars come in many vibrant colours and textures. It’s a myth that the darker the wrapper, the stronger the flavour. A lighter coloured wrapper may be just as strong as a darker coloured one. The main colour classifications are
1. Claro
2. Colorado Claro
3. Colorado
4. Colorado Maduro
5. Maduro

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