There exist two distinct types of Cigar in the market today. The short filler, usually machine made, cigars which are created for the mass market and the more bespoke long filler which are traditionally made by hand.
Today we will be dissecting a long filler Cuban to display the 3 component parts that make up this cigar.
The outer layer of the cigar is, quite rightly, called the wrapper leaf.
Grown using a process unique to wrapper leaves these are grown under suspended shade cloths to encourage a large, thin leaf. The wrapper leaf is then aged and fermented to give it an even colour before being stretched and applied to the outside of the cigar.
Whilst the wrapper leaf does, arguably, very little for the end flavour of the cigar it serves a very important purpose in that it is the packaging - the visual aspect of your cigar.
To that end cigar producing nations take the quality of wrapper leaf incredibly seriously and multiple quality checks along the way ensure no cracked or discoloured wrapper makes it to the rollers table.
The wrapper leaf also includes a small, tear drop shaped strip of leaf wound around the top and finished with a circular cap to hold the cigar together and give an even finish.
Shown here the binder leaf is much more rough than the wrapper.
The binder is a hardier and more rugged looking leaf of the 'Volado' style. Of the three styles of tobacco, Seco and Ligero being the other two, volado has the best combustion properties and so the largest and best volado leaves are used as binders to give the cigar its final shape but also to help ensure an even burn.
The three different styles of tobacco have quite obvious colour differences.
The final part of the cigar, the real meat and bones if you will, is the filler. This is where the roller will literally bunch together the three different types of tobacco leaves to form the correct blend for that particular cigar.
The Volado for the burning qualities and also to add a more floral and lighter quality to the smoke.
The Seco which has the most aromatic qualities gives your cigar its creamy and mellow characteristics and, finally;
The Ligero which gives your cigar its strength and richness, the earthier and spicier flavours.
Ever cigar has a unique "recipe" of those three leaves which creates the flavour. So wether the rollers are making a Monte four or a Partagas D 4 the same three leaves are used.