You don’t need to have a full understanding of cigars to enjoy smoking them; however, knowing a little more about the anatomy of your cigar may give you a better appreciation for it and enhance your experience.
Parts of a Cigar
Cap of the Cigar
The cap is an essential component of the cigar, holding everything together. Made from a loose piece of tobacco, the cap is attached to the top of the cigar using natural glue to secure the wrapper and ensure that it does not unravel.
This is the portion of the cigar that you cut before the fun of smoking commences. It’s a good idea to cap about 2 millimetres off your cigar, but be sure to do it with an appropriate cigar cutter.
Body of the Cigar
The body is the main part of the cigar and is composed of three different layers of tobacco:
Wrapper Leaf of the Cigar
The outermost layer is the wrapper. It is a single tobacco leaf that is wrapped around the cigar. Sometimes, the wrapper is actually the most flavourful part of the stogie.
The leaves often come from the bottom of the tobacco plant, a section known as Volado, which burns well and helps the cigar to be smoked properly.
The tobacco leaf used for the wrapper must be absolutely flawless. In fact, the cigar makers are so resolute on providing the most aesthetically impeccable product that less than 10% of all tobacco gets accepted as being good enough to use as a wrapper. Because of this, it is the most expensive aspect of the whole cigar.
Binder Leaf of the Cigar
The next layer of the cigar is known as the binder and is arguably the most important. A coarser and tougher type of tobacco leaf referred to as Seco, which comes from the middle of the plant, is used here to hold the filler together.
These leaves do not provide much flavour, putting the key focus on the filler flavours that are expertly blended. The strength of this layer aids in the process of giving the cigar its signature shape.
Filler Leaves of the Cigar
The tobacco leaves in the middle of the cigar make up the filler. These dark and flavourful leaves, found at the top of the tobacco plant, called Ligero, are varied and impact the most on the taste of the cigar. The more ligero leaves used in the filler, the stronger the cigar will be.
In each filler, there are usually between two and five different sorts of tobacco. Master blenders take several varieties of tobacco, in different amounts, and then combine them to attain the desired taste and strength. This is the key aspect of producing a sense of individuality and uniqueness between brands and regions of cigar makers.
Short Filler and Long Filler Tobacco for Cigars
There are two types of filler tobacco, short filler and long filler.
- Short filler is chopped tobacco leaves. It burns hotter as it is less densely packed. Often used in cheaper and machine-made cigars.
- Long filler is whole tobacco leaves that are concertinaed. It burns for longer and typically offers a more complex smoke and flavour. More commonly used in premium cigars.
Foot of the Cigar
Sometimes known as the ‘tuck’, this is the open end of the cigar that you light. Not covered by the wrapper, you can see the blend of tobacco within the body. To really enhance your smoking experience, many like to smell this end before lighting the cigar, to really enjoy the expertly formed aromas.
How Cigars Are Made
Cigars can take more than three years to make. This is mostly down to the ageing process of the tobacco. It is aged for that long in order to obtain deeper and more complex flavours. The tobacco is examined carefully and constantly by experts specifically trained to guarantee top quality and consistency in the flavour, feel and form of the tobacco.
A torcedor then takes charge, highly-skilled in the art of combining the filler, binder and wrapper tobaccos, ensuring the cigar stays smooth and pleasing to the eye. But also, and most importantly, this expert cigar maker will make sure the stogie burns correctly.
Issues With Cigar Construction
There are, of course, problems that could (but shouldn’t!) arise in the construction of cigars. If too much filler is used, it can block the airflow through the cigar, meaning that it will frustratingly go out all the time, and may cause the wrapper to split.
Conversely, too little tobacco will give an uneven appearance and feel. Too much space for air to pass through will make the cigar burn faster than it should, which can mask the subtle flavour tones and ultimately taste unpleasant. To overcome such issues, it is best to buy premium cigars from sellers such as Havana House.
Whether you’re a cigar aficionado or a complete beginner, it can be interesting to stop and think about how our cigars are formed.
Each component of the cigars we stock are expertly formed and designed to come together as something truly spectacular! Why not take a look at the collection of cigars we have available for purchase online?