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While smoking the new reissue of the Camacho Candela (wrapped in a strangely olive-drab green cigar wrapper) I began to consider just how much the flavor of a cigar was impacted by the use of different wrappers. After all, this olive-drab Candela tasted so different from everything else that I had ever smoked from Camacho.
Wrappers give cigars their appearance, of course. And they can generally be used to give you an idea of what to expect. A creamy golden cigar wrapper is going to be much different in its flavor than a wrapper that is dark brown (so dark that it is almost black).
But how much of that is actually due to the cigar wrapper, rather than the different tobaccos commonly used in cigars these days? Believe it or not, the wrapper actually has a lot of impact on the flavor of the cigar.
Since it is on the outside and against your lips while you’re smoking (among a number of other valid reasons) the wrapper of your cigar is responsible for between 60 - 90% of the flavor that you taste from the cigar. In other words, a good way to pick a cigar (if you know nothing else about the cigar but the color of its wrapper or the kind of wrapper it has on it) is to simply use the cigar wrapper as a guideline.
Actually, while traveling, I myself have done just that. In lands where cigars were plentiful (but English speakers were not), most of the time I could find a decent cigar if I simply stuck to the darker wrappers. Something like the Maduro cigars, similar to what I usually smoke here in the United States.
I digress. Now, back to the greater point, I find that when talking cigars a lot of the flavor is decided not so much by the filler tobacco, or even the binder. The flavor is often heavily influenced rather by the cigar wrapper itself. In fact, MORE THAN HALF of the flavor can be said to be derived from the wrapper alone.
Now, obviously, how much flavor the wrapper will provide also requires an understanding of what kind of wrapper we are talking about. For example, a Connecticut Shade wrapper is often considered to be one of the less ‘full-bodied’ wrappers on the market.
Indeed, Connecticut Shade cigars are often known as some of the mildest cigars. Because of this, the wrapper (though it provides a lot of the flavor to the cigar) is likely not really contributing to any more than 50% of the overall flavor. This means that the tobacco inside the cigar is a lot more important than it would be on another cigar.
Think about a dark, oily, Maduro Oscuro wrapper now. The wrapper is so delicious, so tasteful, so deep in flavor that it is going to overpower most other flavors. If you’re enjoying a thick and voluminous cloud of smoke from an oily and deep Maduro cigar wrapper, it is less likely that the filler and the binder matter as much regarding the flavor of the cigar you're smoking.
So, when it comes to the Camacho Candela that I smoked the other day (that mossy green cigar wrapper I previously mentioned) it imparted much of the somewhat bitter and sweet flavor of the cigar that I experienced. It was also a fairly strong wrapper and a delicious one at that.
That’s not to say that the wrapper is the only thing that matters when it comes to the flavor of a cigar. But if you’re looking to figure out what cigar you may want to smoke, you are going to find that you will be better off if considering the wrapper as very important.
Picking a cigar is hard, especially if you go somewhere and can’t find your favorite cigar (or, even worse, if you go out to your favorite cigar shop or online cigar shop and find that your favorite cigar is no longer being made, or is back ordered due to temporary issues).
Understanding that the wrapper is the majority of what provides the flavor of your cigar will at least help you to be able to find a cigar you will probably like if you can’t find what you normally smoke when you’re out.
To find more informative cigar-related reading about wrappers, primings, history, and more, visit our website. And check out El Cigar Shop's huge selection of premium and rare cigars online. We are an online cigar store that loves to talk about our passion. Contact Us for more information!