Cigar Wrapper Shades

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Cigar Wrapper Shades

There are 7 distinct cigar wrapper shades.

Double Claro (Green / Slightly Green - Wrapper)

  • Candela
  • Claro Claro
  • Jade
  • American Market Selection (AMS)

Achieved by heating the tobacco in barns right after the tobacco leaf has been picked. This process locks in the chlorophyll which gives the leaf its green hue. Also refered to as "flue cured".

Claro (Light Brown / Light Tan / Khaki / Yellowish - Wrapper)

  • Natural

Shade grown by using cheese cloth

Colorado Claro (Medium Brown - Wrapper)

  • English Market Selection (EMS)

Colorado Maduro (Dark Brown - Wrapper)

  • English Market Selection (EMS)
The Wrapper is the outermost part of a cigar which is usually made from the larger, lower leaves of the plant. The wrapper is round around the cigar and binds the whole cigar together. The wrapper can determine the flavour and character of the cigar, because of this cigars are often characterised by the colour of the wrapper.

The different colours are as shown, from light to dark.

Double Claro - The lightest, slightly green wrapper, it is often grown in Connecticut and the style is achieved by picking before maturity.
Claro - This wrapper is yellowish or light tan and usualy indicates shade-grown tobacco.
Colorado Claro - Normaly associated with Cuban or Dominican grown tobacco it has a mid-brown colour.
Colorado Manduro - Normaly associated with Cuban or Honduran grown tobacco it has a dark-brown colour.
Natural - This is sun-grown and is light brown to brown.
Maduro - This is dark brown to very dark brown.
Oscuro - Often referred to as "Double Manduro" this wrapper has a black oily apperence and is usually grown in Cuba, Connecticut, Brazil, Mexico and Nicaragua.
Wrapper Colors and Definitions

   * Commonly Used Terms:
         o Claro              –         green
         o Natural          –         brown
         o Maduro           –         dark brown 
   * In-depth Terms:
         o Double Claro                        -           very green
         o Claro / Jade / Candela          -           green
         o Natural Claro                        -           khaki
         o Natural / Colorado                -           brown
         o Natural Maduro                   -           light-dark brown
         o Maduro                                 -           dark brown
         o Oscuro / Maduro Maduro    -           black                                                  

How Wrapper Effects Cigar Taste

   * Claro Wrapper:
         o This type of tobacco leaf wrapper is harvested prematurely and therefore has a low sugar and oil content. Due to the low amounts of sugar and oil, these cigars tend to be very mild in flavor. The fact that the wrapper does not have much oil content means that the cigar tends to burn faster. 
   * Natural Wrapper:
         o The Natural tobacco leaf wrapper matures on its own and is hung in a barn to dry. The leaves have a medium amount of oil and sugar content. The increase in oil and sugar causes these cigars to have more flavors. Cigars wrapped in a Natural Wrapper burn slowly and have a very flavorful taste. 
   * Maduro Wrapper:
         o The Maduro tobacco leaf wrapper matures in the fields and gets the most sunlight of all the wrapper types. The high amount of sunlight causes the Maduro wrapper to sweat natural oils and increases sugar content. Cigars wrapped in Maduro leaves have tremendous flavor. These cigars burn very slowly and command wonderfully full taste.
A cigar wrapper is easy to understand if you remember their are seven basic colors. There are variations on these, but the information provided on this page will allow you to identify the wrappers.

- The Double Claro wrapper is a light green color with a slightly sweet taste. The light green comes from the wrapper being dried quickly with the use of heat. These were once popular, but not found much today.
- Claro has a light tan color. These plants are usually grown under netting, harvested before reaching maturity and dried quickly. This produces a very mild wrapper.
- A Colorado Claro has a medium brown color and is also referred to as a Natural. These are mostly sun-grown, but not always. This produces a smooth, medium taste.
- The Colorado is medium brown with a reddish hue. These are usually shade-grown and often offer hints of spice and can exhibit a bit of strength.
- Colorado Maduro is in between a Colorado and a Maduro.
- Maduro can go from dark brown to almost black. The fermentation process for these takes longer than others. Don't be deceived by its looks. These are generally smooth and rich.
- The Oscuro cigar wrapper is very dark, actually black. This tobacco leaf is at the very top of the tobacco plant and is harvested last. This produces a wrapper with a very distinct, strong taste, which is too harsh for many cigar smokers.

The debate over how much a wrapper affects the flavor of your cigar is ongoing. It's true that a wrapper consists of 10% or less of a cigar, but many insist it has the most overall effect. Yet... Others say that the binder and filler has the most bearing on taste, because, after all, it makes up 90% of the cigar.