The infinite amount of cigar blends that can be created is definitely pretty damned mind-blowing. Spoiler alert: completely different cigars can be made for decades and decades on end. But wait a minute – you’ve got three components: filler, binder, and wrapper – so with just 3 components, how can there be so many blend possibilities? Ahhh, there’s a pretty good explanation for it.
Well, cigar tobacco leaf is grown in multiple countries – Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Cuba, Honduras, Africa, Ecuador, Indonesia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Columbia, and even in the United States to name a few. Each of these countries has their own eco systems which has their own average amount of sun light, constant temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind, and most importantly the minerals and components in the soil. Now, not only does each country have a different ecosystem from one another, each country has different growing regions that have different ecosystems. The soil and the climate in Esteli Nicaragua is very different than on the volcanic isle of Ometepe on Lake Nicaragua.
So, when you’ve got all of these various ecosystems, you’re going to grow various tobacco plants with their own different flavors, textures and appearances. So, a ligero from the Jamastran Valley in Honduras is not going to be the same as ligero from Condega in Nicaragua. Makes sense, right?
Now, there’s also a number of different types of leaves from cigar plants, some even being exclusive to their country. Ligero is found at the top of the plant, getting a lot of sunlight and gives strength to the cigar. Seco is in the middle and is milder. Volado or Viso is at the bottom and burns extremely well. All three leaves are used to create a good hand rolled cigar. Now there’s also other types of leaf such as Medio Tiempo, Piloto, Olor, Corojo, Criollo, Habano, Habano 2000, Connecticut Shade, Connecticut Broadleaf, Sumatra, Cameroon, and Rosado. Damn.
So, with all of this kind of leaf, grown in all of these different ecosystems, the amount of blends that can be produced is simply amazing. And to take it even further, cigars blended with leaves from 3, 4, or 5 countries takes it all a step further. But let’s also take into consideration that tobacco, even though grown is the same region can be different from year to year if there are changes in the ecosystem like the average temperature or the amount of rainfall. I’d have to say that because it’s a live product you’re possibly going to have differences in the final product from year to year, something that’s comparable to wine.
Haven’t you ever noticed that some brands aren’t as good as they used to be, and some brands are better? If a blend uses 2010 Honduran Corojo in one cigar and 2017 Honduran Corojo in another, you’re going to have two different smokes even though you’re using the same type of tobacco.
I hope I didn’t get too nerdy or confusing here, because THIS is what cigar blenders and manufactures have to deal with every single day. All of these factors come into play when attempting to create a cigar, whether it’s brand new or the previous year’s blend. It’s a lot of work and a ton of effort on their part but they do it because of their love for this amazing product. And hey, I told you it was mind-blowing, didn’t I?
LAST MONTH’S CONTEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED!
Dominick De Pinto
BIG CONGRATS to the WINNERS! We’ll be contacting you via email to let you know which prize you’ve won!
And stay tuned for the very next giveaway right here at Stogie Stories!