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 UNIQUE BLEND OF TOBACCOS
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'
WHAT DICTATED THE FLAVOUR
The Blend of the filler
The Colour of the Wrapper
Wrappers are classified into four different colours:
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.