Cigars have been enjoyed by individuals for centuries. Whether you’re a seasoned smoker or a newcomer to the world of cigars, it’s important to understand the basics. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the ABCs of cigars, including anatomy, brands, and cigar types. Let’s dive in!
A: Anatomy of a Cigar
A cigar’s structure is made up of three components: the filler, binder, and wrapper. Let’s examine each one.
The filler is the heart of the cigar and is made up of long leaves of tobacco that run the length of the cigar. The type of tobacco used in the filler can greatly affect the flavor and strength of the cigar. Filler tobacco isn’t the most attractive part of the cigar, but it does have a significant impact on the experience from flavor, burn, and aroma.
Long Filler Tobacco
Long filler tobacco consists of whole leaves that run the entire length of the cigar. This type of filler is the highest quality and is commonly found in premium, hand-rolled cigars. Long filler tobacco burns slowly and evenly, resulting in a consistent flavor profile and a satisfying smoking experience.
Short Filler Tobacco
Short filler tobacco, also known as “picadura” or “chop,” is made from chopped or ground tobacco leaves. This can be typically found in machine-made cigars and is significantly less expensive than hand-rolled cigars. The shortfall of filler tobacco consists of a faster burn and reduced even burn when compared to long filler, leading to a less consistent flavor profile and shorter smoking duration.
Mixed Filler Tobacco
Mixed filler cigars, also known as “Cuban sandwiches,” contain a combination of long and short filler tobacco. This type of cigar is usually more affordable than those made entirely from long filler, yet can offer a satisfying smoking experience with a more consistent burn and flavor profile than short filler cigars.
While the wrapper and filler often receive the most attention, the binder greatly contributes to a cigar’s flavor profile. At its core, binder tobacco serves as the foundation of a well-constructed cigar. It is the leaf that is wrapped around the filler tobacco, holding it together and providing structural integrity to the cigar. Binder tobacco is typically derived from the thicker and more elastic leaves allowing the cigar roller to bunch the filler leaf tobacco together.
The wrapper leaf is the outermost tobacco leaf used to encase the binder and filler leaves of a cigar discussed above. The wrapper leaf should create a pleasing exterior visual appearance and feel and is primarily responsible for delivering the first impression to the smoker. With its visual appeal and delicate texture, the wrapper leaf entices enthusiasts to explore the blend further.
B: Brands and Manufacturers
Cigars are produced by several brands and manufacturers around the world, each with their own unique style and flavors. Some of the most popular brands include Plasencia, Sans Pareil, Ashton, Davidoff of Geneva, Drew Estate, Padron, and RoMa Craft to name a few. There are an endless number of brands and manufacturers across the world and each one has its own unique qualities. Make sure you explore brands you haven’t experienced in the past!
C: Cigar Types
There are many different types of cigars, each with its own unique flavor, strength, and shape. We will examine the some of the most popular below:
NOTE: These are approximate sizes and can vary.
Whether you’re new to cigars or have been smoking for years, understanding the ABCs of cigars is essential. From anatomy to brands and types, there’s a world of knowledge to explore. So light up your favorite cigar and enjoy the journey!