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Cigar Knowledge

Making a Cigar!


A cigar's outermost layer, or wrapper, is the most expensive component of a cigar. The wrapper determines much of the cigar's character and flavor, the color is often used to describe the cigar as a whole. Wrappers are frequently grown underneath huge canopies made of gauze so as to diffuse direct sunlight and are fermented separately from other rougher cigar components.  Wrapper tobacco produced without the gauze canopies are commonly known as "sun grown". The seven most common classifications of wrapper shades are as follows, ranging from lightest to darkest: Candela-very light, Claro-very light tan or yellowish, Colorado Claro-medium brown, Colorado (Rosado)-reddish brown, Colorado Maduro-dark brown, Maduro-very dark brown, Oscuro-black



In general, dark wrappers add a touch of sweetness, while light wrappers add a hint of dryness to the taste. Beneath the wrapper is a small bunch of "filler" leaves called a "binder". Binder leaves may show evidence of physical blemishes or lack uniform coloration and they are generally thicker and more hardy than the wrapper leaf.

By blending various varieties of filler tobacco, cigar makers create distinctive strength, odor, and flavor profiles for their various products. In general, fatter cigars hold more filler leaves, allowing for more complex flavors. In addition to the variety of tobacco offered, the country of origin can also be one important determinant of taste, with different growing environments producing distinctive flavors. The bulk of a cigar is "filler"—a bound bunch of tobacco leaves. These leaves are folded by hand to allow air to pass through the length of the cigar, through which smoke is drawn after the cigar is lit. 

Cutting a Cigar!

Although a handful of cigars are cut or twirled on both ends, the vast majority come with one straight cut end and the other capped. The cap end of a cigar must be cut or pierced for the cigar smoke to be drawn properly. Some cigar manufacturers purposely place different types of tobacco from one end to the other to give the cigar smokers a variety of tastes, body, and strength from start to finish.  The basic types of cigar cutter include: Guillotine (straight cut), Punch (small hole), V-cut (wedge cut).

Men's hands cut a cigar with scissors. O

Lighting a Cigar!

The head, or cap, of the cigar is usually the end closest to the cigar band. The band identifies the type of cigar and may be removed or left on. The cigar should be rotated during lighting to achieve an even burn while slowly drawn with gentle puffs. If a match is used it should be allowed to burn past its head before being put to the cigar.  The tip of the cigar should minimally touch any flame, to avoid charring the tobacco leaves.  A third and most traditional way to light a cigar is to use a splinter of cedar known as a spill, which is lit separately before using.

Smoking a Cigar!

The proper way to smoke a cigar is not to inhale, but to draw the smoke into the mouth. Then swirl the smoke around in the mouth before exhaling.

Close up view smoking of a cigar.jpg
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