History of San Andres Wrappers gives a brief explanation of the rise in San Andres wrappers and highlights some of El Cigar Shop's favorite recommendations.
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History of San Andres Wrappers
The history of the San Andres wrapper goes all the way back to 1880. Then Alberto Turrent emigrated from his native Cuban home with a hand-full of Cuban tobacco seeds to Mexico’s San Andrés Valley in Veracruz. The valley is dense with fertile volcanic soil and has a humid climate which lends a unique flavor to all San Andres wrappers.
Mexican cigars were mostly shunned by connoisseurs, but cigars rolled in a Mexican San Andres-grown wrapper leaf have gained in popularity over the last several years. According to Tobacconist University, “The most famous of Mexican cigar tobaccos is San Andres Negro. Like Connecticut Broadleaf, San Andres Negro is stalk-cut and lends itself to binder and Maduro wrapper production. This varietal is a tough leaf that can withstand the extra fermentation required to produce a Maduro.”
Today, Alejandro Turrent grows the tobacco on his family’s 2,000 acres farm. Turrent has cornered the San Andres market and is the largest producer of this highly prized and sought after wrapper. You’ll find San Andres wrappers in cigars made by EP Carrillo, AJ Fernandez, and Undercrown by Drew Estate, just to name a few.
A San Andres Cuban-seed tobacco wrapper comes in a variety of shades. The dark chocolate wrapper is extra fermented and brings peppery notes with smooth, toasty qualities accompanied by the usual sweetness you find in most Maduro cigars. Flavors may also include wood, earth soil, and clay.
Experienced blenders find that the San Andres leaf does not combine or balance very well with just any filler. It lends itself best to very bold blends and will overpower a cigar quickly if it is not paired with other robust tobacco varieties.
Te- Amo Cigars: In the 1970s Te- Amo cigars were known as the “cab driver’s cigar”. Te-Amo had the reputation as a cheap cigar. Te- Amo Cigars are made in Mexico by the Turrent family and uses the San Andres wrapper leaf. These are quality cigars that have a great price point.
Undercrown by Drew Estate: Another fine example of what a master blender can do with the Mexican San Andres wrapper is Drew Estate’s Undercrown Maduro. The cigar is wrapped in a dark San Andres Maduro Negra wrapper along with Sun Grown Habano binder and both Brazilian Mata Fina and Nicaraguan Habano filler tobaccos. Undercrown Maduro begins with notes of coffee and a touch of spice and licorice that grows more intense as the cigar develops.
My Father La Opulencia: Another excellent premium cigar is My Father’s La Opulencia, which is a blend that utilizes dark San Andres wrappers with two Nicaraguan binders (one Criollo and one Corojo) and various Cuban-seed fillers. My Father La Opulencia is a full-bodied cigar delivering smooth and creamy notes of leather and cocoa.
Now that you know more about the popular San Andres wrapper, if you would like to explore cigars made with the wrapper, I highly recommend the aforementioned cigars from Undercrown and My Father as a great way to begin. Visit El Cigar Shop and to use our Cigar Wizard and explore all our available online cigars with San Andreas wrappers. Or speak with a cigar aficionado directly at 215-576-5300. For more information, read our Blog or Contact Us.