The four major wrapper leaves, from light to dark, are Connecticut, Corojo, Habano and Maduro.
Connecticut. As the name implies, this leaf comes from the Northeastern U.S. state and is essentially the only significant tobacco export from America. However, the seed is grown in Ecuador as well. This plant is nurtured under special conditions, garnering it the nickname “Connecticut Shade” because it is mostly grown under some form of protection – like giant sheets of cheesecloth. This keeps its colour light and the unpredictable weather, such as excessive sun radiation, from beating up the plant. The lack of sunlight also contributes to the leaf’s mild flavour and low nicotine content, but it usually has a woody, mellow, and dry nuts taste. Suggested examples include Mitchellero, Joya Classico, Davidoff signature etc
Corojo. A little darker in colour than the Connecticut wrapper, the Corojo was originally grown in Cuba but, because of the embargo, it is now mostly grown in Honduras and Nicaragua. Due to the new location, the seed needed to be genetically modified in order to survive in its new environment. This wrapper tends to have a very spicy, peppery, robust flavour, favoured by many cigar smokers; however, one drawback to the wrapper is its toughness. It sometimes doesn’t smoke easily. Some examples are Camacho corojo, Rosalones classic, La Aurora ADN etc
Habano is similar in colour to Corojo and is also from Cuba, but today it grows mostly in Nicaragua or Ecuador. The leaf produces a heavy, spicy flavour, so it may overwhelm a beginner smoker. Some examples are Padron, Herrera Esteli etc
Are many different Habano seed like:
Habano Rosado. One of the more uncommon wrapper shades is Rosado, which translates to “rosy” or “pinkish” in Spanish. These wrappers have a distinct reddish hue and are extremely difficult to grow outside of Cuba, which means that only a handful of companies are lucky enough to have a supply of this leaf. This makes Rosado-wrapped cigars rare and highly sought after. Typically, these cigars are very spicy with notes of cedar, coffee, earth, and pepper. Most of the rosado wrappers are cultivated in Ecuador. Some Examples are AJF Last call, Rosalones reserva
The Maduro is the darkest in colour of the four and enjoys the lengthiest lifespan, from seedling to wrapper leaf. It goes through such a long process to properly darken and flavour the leaf properly. Because of these distinct parameters, to be classified as Maduro the wrapper requires a hearty, thick leaf that can withstand years of aging and still maintain its un-blemished cover quality. Not every leaf can be turned into a Maduro wrapper and, interestingly enough, they tend to defy their ominous looks. These cigars often produce a somewhat sweeter undercurrent, which has earned this style the nickname “dessert smoke.”
Some special Maduro wrappers are:
Connecticut Broadleaf, unlike Connecticut shade, is grown in full sun, where the leaf gets thick and full of sugar. The plant is stalk cut instead of primed. Usually earthy and toasty with a subtle sweetness, this wrapper is certainly one of the most popular in the last few years. This leaf is grown in many countries and is the primary type used in Maduro cigars. The word “Connecticut” in the tobacco’s name refers to the valley, not the state.
Ej: CAO flathead, Liga Privada no 9, Oliva G maduro, Arturo fuente Reserva Xtra Viejo or exquisitos.
Mexican Negro San Andres: 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. 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. Flavours 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. If its not well fermented could leave excessive metallic notes on the palate.
David – Cigar Ambassador. firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this so far, tune in tomorrow to hear about other noteable wrappers.