A cigar is made up of three parts, the filler, binder, and wrapper, and these components of 100% pure tobacco combine to give a cigar its overall taste and aroma. The role of a cigar factory’s master blender is to ensure that these components burn well together to provide an enjoyable smoking experience.
Filler: Filler leaves make up the bulk of a cigar and are chosen for their flavuor and burning qualities. The larger the ring gauge, the more filler leaves will contribute to the overall taste and aroma of a cigar.
Binder: This component binds the filler keeping it in place. It doesn’t impart a lot flavuor or aroma but it works with the filler to give a cigar a nice even burn and strong ash.
Wrapper: The final touch on a cigar is the wrapper leaf. Wrapper leaf is predominantly grown under shade which limits the amount of sunlight it receives and grows finer than other leaf grown under direct sunlight. This finer leaf wraps cigars to give them a cosmetic appeal and adds to the overall taste profile of a cigar
Some argue that the wrapper leaf gives a cigar a lot of its flavour, but this depends on the ring gauge of a cigar and the type of tobacco used for wrapper leaf. On a smaller ring gauge cigar, the wrapper will impart much more of its flavour as it makes up a larger percentage of the overall cigar.
On larger ring gauge cigars, the wrapper will of course contribute less of its flavour due to it being less, as a percentage, to the filler and binder in the blend. A short corona, lancer, or Lonsdale sized-cigar will contribute more to the cigar’s aroma and flavour as opposed to wrapper leaf on a toro or gordo sized cigar.
Juan Marco Ferrera of Ferrera Cigars Honduras is currently on a cigar rolling tour of Malaysia. Visit our Facebook page for locations and times and discover how he creates a cigar using these three components.