Beginners’ Guide to Cigars: Part II – Cigar Anatomy

In the first part of the Nice Tight Ash Beginners’ Guide to Cigars we took a look at the various sizes and shapes cigars are made in. Today we’re examining what makes up a cigar.

cigar-unraveled-labeled

Diagram courtesy of Tobacconist University.

Wrapper

The most obvious part of the cigar you see is the wrapper. The wrapper is a single tobacco leaf of high visual quality. Depending on the type of tobacco used for the wrapper, it can provide the majority of the flavor for a cigar, and it always is the most expensive componet of the cigar.

Binder

The binder is a piece of tobacco leaf that is wrapped around the “bunch,” which is the bundle of filler tobacco. Binder leaves are usually thicker, tougher leaves than those used for the wrapper.

Filler

The filler makes up most of the volume of the cigar, and is comprised of at least two and usually no more than five different tobaccos, and are rolled together to form the “bunch.” The blend of these filler tobaccos provides the other main flavor component of cigars. The mix of different fillers from different countries or even regions of a country, and the proportions used in the filler give different cigars their uniqueness.

Most premium cigars are made with “long filler” which means filler that runs the length of the cigar. Mixed filler or “Cuban sandwich” style filler is a mix of long filler and medium or short filler which results in a less expensive (and sometimes messier) cigar. Short filler is usually found in cheap, machine made cigars.

Cap

The cap is a small circular piece of wrapper leaf placed at the head of the cigar to finish it. The cap is the portion you clip or punch through before smoking.

That’s the end of Part II. Part III will examine the types of tobacco.

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Comments

Thanks again for all the info you guys give us.

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