A cigar's wrapper is the top tobacco leaf that covers the binder and filler tobaccos and is visible to the eye. The wrapper is generally considered to be pretty influential to a cigar's flavor, and a cigar's wrapper color or seed type can sometimes be indicative of what you can expect from it.
With so many different wrapper types listed on our various cigar items, we thought it would be helpful to provide you with a list of the most common wrappers and their typical characteristics.
- Once the most popular cigar wrapper type in the U.S., Candela wrappers are mellow in strength and typically vegetal and somewhat bland in flavor. Sometimes called “AMS” or “American Market Selection” because of their former dominant role in the U.S. cigar market, Candela wrappers are distinctly green in color and give off a fresh, grassy aroma.
- Green in color, an alternate name for Candela wrappers.
- Green in color, an alternate name for Candela wrappers.
- Usually light tan in color, Claro wrappers are “shade grown,” meaning that they are grown under large canopies or tents that protect the leaves from the sun’s rays. This process produces a smooth smoking cigar wrapper leaf with light, mostly neutral flavor.
- An alternate name for Claro wrappers, used specifically on Macanudo cigars
- Another shade grown wrapper type, Colorado Claro wrappers are medium-light brown in color and offer a slightly fuller flavor than regular Claro leaves. Colorado Claro wrappers are often derived from leaves sourced from Connecticut and typically exhibit burning and tasting qualities that combine especially well with other types of tobaccos.
- EMS, an abbreviation of “English Market Selection,” refers to cigar wrappers that are medium-light brown in color such as the Colorado Claro. This term has roots in the 19th century when this wrapper color was initially favored by British smokers. The majority of popular modern cigar wrappers fall into the EMS category.
- A common cigar industry term for Colorado Claro or EMS wrapper leaves.
- A leaf that is grown under a large canopy or tent that shields it from direct sunlight. Shade grown tobaccos are generally thinner, more elastic leaves, and seed varietals typically dictate strength and flavor. The practice of raising tobacco under shade originated in the Connecticut River Valley in 1900. The original tents were made of cheesecloth, but today nylon is the preferred material.
- A golden-brown wrapper leaf grown in the state of Connecticut. Generally mellow and sweet, Connecticut tobaccos intended for wrapper use are often shade grown.
- A medium-brown to brownish-red shade of wrapper tobacco. (refers solely to cigar wrapper color, not origin)
- The most famous of Cuban-seed tobaccos, Corojo wrapper leaves give off an earthy, sweet, and spicy flavor. Depending on growing conditions, Corojo wrappers can be a number of different shades in appearance, ranging from a light brown to a reddish brown color and anywhere in between.
- A reddish-brown wrapper leaf. (refers solely to cigar wrapper color, not origin)
- A wrapper leaf that is grown under direct sunlight, resulting in a thicker leaf with thicker veins. Sun grown wrappers are usually strong, sweet, and full in flavor.
- Typically mellow and sweet with hints of spice, Sumatra wrappers are grown from seeds that originated in the Indonesian country of the same name. Because of its natural sweetness and mellowness, Sumatra wrappers are often used in the production of flavored or infused cigars as not to interfere with the added flavoring. Depending on growing conditions, Sumatra wrappers can encompass a range of color variations.
- A very popular Cuban-seed varietal, Habano wrappers are known for their dark brown appearance and rich, spicy taste. In addition to their trademark spice, Habano wrappers can encompass a range of tasting notes including leather, cocoa, espresso, and cedar, and are typically medium-full in strength.
- Originated in the Republic of Cameroon in Central Africa, and sometimes grown in the Central African Republic, Cameroon wrappers are best known for their coarse, “toothy” appearance and buttery, smooth, and subtly sweet taste. Cameroon wrappers are almost always dark brown in color and generally hover around the medium-bodied strength level.
- A reddish brown-to-dark brown Maduro color wrapper. (refers solely to cigar wrapper color, not origin)
- One of the original Cuban tobaccos that emerged around the time of Columbus, shade grown Criollo-seed tobaccos are now commonly shade grown in countries like Nicaragua and Honduras to be used as wrapper tobacco. These leaves are typically medium-dark in color and relay sweet, spicy, and earthy flavor to different degrees depending on where they are grown.
Mexican San Andres
- Dark, chocolaty brown in color with a toothy texture and oily sheen, the Mexican San Andres wrapper conveys smooth, toasty, and spicy flavor with medium-full body. San Andres wrappers are usually maduros, but there are some cigars that use a non-maduro version.
- Thick, oily, and veiny in appearance, the Connecticut Broadleaf is considered by many to be “the king of maduro wrappers,” and is rich in smooth, earthy flavor with hints of sweetness. A particularly hearty wrapper, the Connecticut Broadleaf lends full flavor and formidable strength to a cigar.
- A seldom-used term that refers to a broadleaf wrapper grown in the USA that does not specify the state in which it is grown.
- A cured tobacco leaf that is produced via extensive fermentation. Deep dark brown in appearance, the production of maduro wrapper leaves is a time and labor-intensive process that actually darkens, mellows, and sweetens the leaf.
- The blackest shade of cigar wrapper, darker than maduro. The Oscuro wrapper’s extra-dark look and bold, sweet character is achieved through extra fermentation, over and above that of a Maduro wrapper.
- An alternate term for “Oscuro” indicating a dark brown, near-black wrapper. (refers solely to cigar wrapper color, not origin)
- Indicates an item containing multiple cigars of different wrapper shades, such as cigar sampler packs.
- Indicates a specialty cigar that uses more than one kind of wrapper leaf, such as barber pole-wrapped cigars.