The basic, structural purpose of the cigar wrapper is to hold the binder and filler together, however it does much more than that.
The wrapper, as a general rule, can contribute up to 40-50 percent of the flavor of a cigar. The balance provided by the blend of tobaccos in the filler and binder.
Remembering, of course, that taste and aroma are linked and the “flavor” of a cigar will vary as it is smoked, the initial blast of flavor on the tongue comes from the wrapper.
There are several contributing factors to how much of an impact the wrapper will have. The type of tobacco leaf is a major one. The major groups are natural and maduro, but there are several different sub-types that vary from mild to full bodied. The natural wrapper is a lighter, more mild leaf, while the maduro is naturally darker in color, with a more full bodied influence.
Wrapper tobacco comes from several countries around the world, with the Connecticut Shade coming from here in the U.S. Much like grapes to the vintner, the Master Cigar Roller chooses his wrapper carefully. Weather, terrain, soil conditions, and moisture all affect the plant, and therefore, the leaf. Wrapper leaf will vary in price from $8.00 a pound to over $60.00 per pound. The quality difference between low end and high-end wrapper is significant; Mass produced, machine made cigars, which represent over 90 percent of the worldwide production, will focus on the lower price point and use the lesser quality wrapper.
Ultimately, the flavor/aroma combination of a quality cigar is a result of, A) the quality of the tobacco, and, B) the blend and quantity of tobaccos the cigar is made from. For example, a Connecticut Shade, mild wrapper leaf with delicate flavor nuances, when paired with a full bodied ligero filler for example, would become overwhelmed and contribute much less to the over flavor of the cigar. In contrast, a fuller bodied filler would be married with a more full bodied wrapper, perhaps a Dominican Maduro or Corojo, complimenting the characteristics of each cigar component.
Another important aspect of tobacco selection is aging. Most mass produced, cigar store sold product uses tobacco that has been aged less than a year, and therefore is less expensive. The large corporate cigar factories are more concerned about cutting costs and the bottom line. PAYNE-MASON cigars are hand crafted from tobacco that has been aged up to 8 years before it is rolled into a cigar. In addition to the selection and use of aged tobaccos and prior to the band being applied, PAYNE-MASON also extends the aging process for more than a year once the cigar has been rolled. This additional aging allows for the merging of the complex tobacco notes and characteristics.
There are a great many factors that are attributed to the taste, complexity, aroma, and burn of a premium cigar. Uncompromising standards for quality and tradition attest to the exceptional smoking experience that is PAYNE-MASON.
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