There are many stops along a tobacco leaf’s journey, each as important as the last to the tobacco’s character. Yet as the leaf makes its way to the blending stage, a tobacco blender will combine the leaf with others to develop a final cigar recipe. This recipe will denote which tobaccos are to be used for the three parts of the cigar: fillers, binders and wrappers.
Parts of a Cigar - Filler
This comprises the main “guts” of a cigar and often features Seco, Viso and even Ligero tobacco leaves. The filler for handmade premium cigars is entirely “long filler” or whole leaves that are bunched together and formed either by hand or using a mold to achieve the desired shape. Some cigars, such as budget or mass-market options, might feature “short filler” or tobacco that has been chopped into pieces. A combination of short and long filler, known alternately as “mixed filler” or “Cuban sandwich” can also be used for many value-priced cigars.
Parts of a Cigar - Binder
The all-important binder does just as its name implies and binds the filler blend together. This is most often a single leaf, yet multiple leaves can be used for more complexity in body or taste, as well as better combustion. Seco and Volado leaves are generally used for binders, but other leaves can be used depending on the needs of the blend or construction. Whereas handmade premium cigars use all-tobacco binders, many machine-made cigars employ binders of Homogenized Tobacco Leaf (HTL), a mixture of tobacco bits and other ingredients pressed into a paper-like material.
Parts of a Cigar - Wrapper
The wrapper covers both the binder and filler, putting the finishing touches on each cigar while adding varying levels of taste, aroma and texture to the cigar smoking experience. From Seco to Ligero, the highest quality leaves from the tobacco plant are used for the wrapper. The choice of wrapper all depends upon the blender’s needs to create the right burn rate, character, taste and, aesthetic quality for the cigar. Once the wrapper has been applied, the cigar might be put down for extended periods of aging before eventually finding its way into your humidor.
Analyse the Filler, Binder and Wrapper
Every cigar has its own recipe, the master blender utilising a wide range of tobacco leaves to form a dreamy spoke. Some cigar brands are revered for their wrappers and binders, but the very best Cuban cigars are defined by their filler.
Discover the other parts of a cigar. Explore different Cuban cigars and taste your way through the finest on offer.