Everything You Need to Know About Cigar Wrappers

Everything You Need to Know About Cigar Wrappers


True cigars aficionados know that the colour of the wrapper can say a lot about the flavours and aromas of Cuban Cigars. To quote the great cigar pioneer, Zino Davidoff, “The strength of a cigar is indicated by its colours – the darker the cigar, the stronger the taste”.

Regardless the concreteness of this statement, there are far too many differentiations and exceptions to passively accept this general rule. In an attempt to clarify the misconceptions about cigar wrappers and how they contribute to the overall taste of a cigar, we are looking into the variations of cigar wrappers, from the way they are cultivated to the distinctive features that they add to any Cuban puro.

tobacco leaves at el laguito cuban cigars online

 A pile of tobacco leaves at El Laguito factory

"The colour of the leaves range from fair blonde to vibrant green"

CANDELLA – Highly popular in the American market, the Candella wrapper is also known by the name Clarisimo or Double Claro while the colour of its leaves range from fair blonde to vibrant green. Their name, Candella, results from the way which the leaves are fermented, with the use of a candlelight. During the cultivation process, leaves are often flash cured either through a quick drying process or a charcoal fire which allows the leaves to lock in the chlorophyll, explaining their rich green colour. It also worth mentioning that green hued cigars are often called Candella while blonde ones mostly go by the name Double Claro.

CLARO – Also known as Connecticut Shade, Claro results from cultivating the tobacco leaves early. Claro is usually grown under cheesecloth tents as to reduce the leaves exposure to the sun, keeping them in cool temperature in the shade. This technique also protects delicate leaves from varying weather conditions. As an outcome of a natural air drying process, the Claro wrappers acquire a distinctive tan or golden colour. Although the Connecticut Shade is the most famous example of this process, Claro can be cultivated outside North-Eastern USA, like Ecuador, where a mild yet aromatic Claro leaf is being produced.

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The process of handrolling a cigar at El Laguito factory

"Characterised by distinctive aromas and rich flavours"

COLORADO CLARO – This particular wrapper also goes by the name Natural. As the name suggests, the Colorado Claro leaf is grown in the most naturally way, facing the sunlight, explaining its medium brown colour. In comparison with the above leaves, the Colorado Claro is left to mature for a short amount of time before being cultivated. That results in a so called natural wrapper that is neither too dark nor too light. The Por Larranaga Petit Coronas Cigar from our collection features a Colorado Claro wrapper and reflects the puro’s light to medium profile – an excellent example of the tan colour and characteristic aromas of the Colorado Claro wrapper.

COLORADO – The Colorado wrapper is one of the most popular choices amongst cigars aficionados. Characterised by distinctive aromas and rich flavours, the Colorado leaves are mostly grown in shade too. Left to mature for far longer than their counterparts, the Colorado leaves develop a robust profile. Our selection of Regular Production Cuban Cigars offers an extensive selection of exquisite puros encased in the Colorado wrapper. One of them being the Romeo Y Julieta Belicosos Cigar. Wrapped with a rich Colorado leaf, the Belicosos Cigar combines deep flavours with a light sheen of oil.

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Left: Por Larranaga Petit Coronas Cigar, Right: Romeo Y Julieta Belicosos Cigar


"Usually cultivated from the highest leaves of the plant"

COLORADO MADURO – The marriage between the Colorado and the Maduro leaf as its name suggests. This wrapper is claimed to be the Spanish favourite. Some experts and cigar aficionados state that being slightly less cured than the Maduro wrapper, the Colorado Maduro retains a more aromatic flavour profile.

MADURO – Meaning mature in Spanish, the Maduro is considered one of the most popular cigar wrappers, encasing puros of noteworthy Cuban Cigars brands, like Cohiba for years. An all time favourite amongst Cuban cigars enthusiasts, Maduro is usually cultivated from the highest leaves of the plant which are exposed directly to sunlight. The Maduro wrapper can undertake years of curing and fermentation, while the leaves are usually thick and coarse, ideal in order to survive the excessive heat during the pressure chamber ageing process. The outcome is an oily yet robust wrapper with distinctively sweet flavour and high nicotine content. Aged in wooden barrels for at least five years, the Maduro wrapper of the Cohiba Maduro 5 Magicos Cigar adds to the unique aromas and underlying sweetness of this fine puro.

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Left: Cohiba Maduro 5 Magicos Cigar, Right: Cohiba Maduro 5 Genios Cigar

OSCURO – Sometimes known as Double Maduro or Black, the Oscuro is the darkest coloured cigar wrapper. Also collected from the highest leaves of the plant, Oscuro leaves are left on the plant for as long as possible before cutting them. In addition, Oscuro undergoes a much more intense and longer fermentation process than a Maduro which can last for many years. This process results to a dark and almost black wrapper, tough in texture and with a very characteristic flavour profile. The Oscuro is a rare wrapper to find due to the amount of work involved.

Cigar wrappers contribute both to the appearance and the intensity of a cigar’s flavours. From the light and vibrant green Candella to the dark and heavy flavoured Oscuro, find the perfect puro to your taste from our great selection of fine Cuban Cigars Online. Read more about Cuban Cigars and what they're made of here: