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Havana Cigars Unique since 1492


Wine connoisseurs may justly debate the origins of the finest wines in the world but amongst the aficionados of cigars there is little dispute. No tobaccos achieve such delicacy of flavour as those grown in the rich, red soil of Cuba and no cigar can match the quality of those fashioned by hand in the island's capital - Havana.

What makes Havanas so special and what gives each brand its flavour and character?

The Inside Story

  • The Wrapper leaf (Capa) - the outside leaf that dictates the cigar's appearance
  • The Binder leaf (Capote) - the tobacco leaf that holds the filler in place
  • The Filler leaves (Tripa) - the tobacco that makes up the heart of the cigar and gives it its bulk


  1. Ligero - Dark in colour and full of flavour, although the word translates as 'light' in English. Picked from the top of the plant where the growth and strength are the most vigorous, the leaves must be matured for a minimum of three years before use.
  2. Seco - Much lighter in colour and dry in texture, the seco is taken from the central leaves on the plant which still have flavour but much less than Ligero. They can be used for making after eighteen months.
  3. Volado - Literally the 'flying leaf' picked from the bottom of the plant where little or no flavour remains. These serve to assist the burning of the cigar, and can be used after nine months maturation.

It is the blending of these three Filler leaves that creates the individual flavours of different brands

The Binder is usually made of two leaves of similar character to the Volado i.e. from the bottom of the plant with little flavour.

The Wrapper leaf is very special. It as grown in a different manner to the other leaves under muslin to protect from sunlight so that a soft, silky appearance is achieved. The micro climate on different plantations produces a variety of different colours of wrapper leaves, which affect their ultimate flavour. The maturation period required is one year to eighteen months, however the longer they are left before crowning a cigar the better.

Thus every Havana contains a blend of tobaccos from at least two and often three harvests. There are many similarities between fine cigars and wines, particularly with regard to ageing, but at this stage they are better compared to cognacs or champagnes'


The Blend of the filler

The balance struck between the quantity and style of Ligero, Seco and Volado tobaccos dictates the fundamental difference in flavours between the brands Each brand is blended to its own flavour.

The Colour of the Wrapper

Wrappers are classified into four different colours:

  • Claro - light brown
  • Colorado Claro - mid brown
  • Colorado - dark brown
  • Maduro - black

A Claro wrapper adds a top flavour of dryness to the blend of filler whilst a Maduro wrapper adds sweetness. The shade of wrapper in between offer flavours on a scale between dryness and sweetness. Colours are matched within boxes of 25 cigars but vary between boxes.

Inspect the cigars in any box you buy to ensure that the wrapper is to your taste.


Age refines the flavour of the finished cigar. When freshly made, Havanas display the fire of youth but mellow as they grow older.

Five to seven years are required to mature a cigar fully when its fermentation is complete and its unique flavour will be realised with the minimum of effort on the part of the smoker. Eventually the flavour will start to diminish, but this may take fifteen tears or more.

Most Havanas smoked in Britain are approximately two years old measured from the moment they leave the makers bench.